BIBITS Picks, by Genre
At the 2006 BookExpo America, in Washington, D.C., in May, close to 1,000 authors and approximately 1,300 publishers showcased recent releases and upcoming titles--most just in time for a book lover's summer reading pleasure. After sifting through boxes of books, checking out old favorite authors and getting excited about new writers, the editors at BIBR uncovered something for everyone. Consider taking some of these books along on vacation. In the following list, you will find witty and soul-satisfying fiction, intellectually stimulating nonfiction and books that were just plain-out romps with heartwarming stories.
From a Crooked Rib by Nuruddin Farah Penguin, June 2006 $14, ISBN 0-143-03726-9
This celebrated Somalian writer's first novel--available for the first time in English--tells the story of 18-year-old Ebla, who flees her nomadic camp to escape the older man to whom her grandfather has promised her. Ebla's journey to maintain her identity in a world where women seem undervalued and are treated like cattle is hauntingly and beautifully depicted.
Iron Balloons: Hit Fiction From Jamaica's Calabash Writer's Workshop Edited by Colin Channer Akashic Books, July 2006 $14.95, ISBN 1-933-35405-4
The Calabash International Literary Festival just celebrated its sixth year of bringing together a diverse assembly of international authors and poets, as well as a few actors, in Jamaica, to share their works with other folks who simply enjoy a good story. Iron Balloons is a collection of short stories born in the Calabash Writer's Workshop, where established writers and students have shared ideas, discussed the craft of writing and honed their skills. The stories are as varied as the writers, who include Marion James and Kaylie Jones.
Lost Hearts in Italy by Andrea Lee Random House, June 2006 $23.95, ISBN 1-400-06169-5
Andrea Lee's new novel follows Mira, a young, black travel writer from Philadelphia, who relocates to Rome with her husband. Mira begins an affair with an Italian billionaire and her marriage, as well as her sense of self, becomes endangered. Desire, regret and rediscovery pervade the events and emotional excursions of the main characters.
Ain't No Sunshine by Candice Dow Dafina Books/Kensington, June 2006 $14, ISBN 0-758-21055-8
In her second novel, Dow enters the life of a 17-year-old girl who was abandoned at birth and escapes loneliness by stripping at a Miami nightclub. Laila meets an attractive young man who was also orphaned, and they begin a relationship. As the relationship turns abusive, Laila discovers she must confront her past to make way for a brighter future.
Crabs in a Barrel by Byron Harmon Agate, August 2006 $15, ISBN 1-932-84121-0
When a luxury charter yacht headed for the Bahamas is shipwrecked on a tiny island, the 10 survivors, all of them African American except for the white captain, must figure out how to survive. Imagine this Gilligan's Island where a wealthy lawyer, a Brooklyn thug, a black Muslim and two gold-digger cousins are among the castaways.
Drama Is Her Middle Name by Wendy Williams and Karen Hunter Harlem Moon/Broadway Books June 2006, $10.95, ISBN 0-767-92486-X
In this first of three serial novels, a popular New York City radio personality and a journalist coauthor...