Shonda Rhimes to Produce The Warmth of Other Suns Adaptation

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May 052015
 

From Time Magazine

It’s Shondaland’s first foray into cable TV

FX is developing a limited series based onIsabel Wilkerson’s The Warmth of Other Sunswith writer-director Dee Rees and producers Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers, best known for the ABC drama trifecta Grey’s Anatomy,Scandal and How to Get Away With Murder. The Hollywood Reporter first reported the news. (FX didn’t immediately respond to EW’s request for comment.)

Published in 2010, The Warmth of Other Sunsis nonfiction study of the Great Migration, in which, between 1915 and 1970, nearly 6 million black citizens fled the South for safety in northern and western cities. Wilkerson, who won the Pulitzer Prize in 1994 and became the first African-American woman to do so, spent 15 years writing the 622-page New York Timesbestseller and winner of the National Book Award for nonfiction.

The adaptation, to be penned by Rees, marks Shondaland’s first foray into cable TV.

Spring 2015 Reading Selection

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May 052015
 

Reading Selection:  The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson

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The Warmth of Other Suns

In this epic, beautifully written masterwork, Pulitzer Prize–winning author Isabel Wilkerson chronicles one of the great untold stories of American history: the decades-long migration of black citizens who fled the South for northern and western cities in search of a better life. From 1915 to 1970, this exodus of almost six million people changed the face of America. Wilkerson interviewed more than a thousand people, and gained access to previously untapped data and official records, to write this definitive and vividly dramatic account of how these American journeys unfolded, altering our cities, our country, and ourselves. With stunning detail, Wilkerson tells this story through the lives of three unique individuals: Ida Mae Gladney, who in 1937 left sharecropping and prejudice in Mississippi for Chicago, where she achieved quiet blue-collar success and, in old age, voted for Barack Obama when he ran for an Illinois state senate seat; sharp and quick-tempered George Starling, who in 1945 fled Florida for Harlem, where he endangered his job fighting for civil rights, saw his family fall, and finally found peace in God; and Robert Foster, who left Louisiana in 1953 to pursue medicine, becoming the personal physician to Ray Charles as part of a glitteringly successful career that allowed him to purchase a grand home where he often threw exuberant parties. Wilkerson brilliantly captures her subjects’ first treacherous and exhausting cross-country trips by car and train and their new lives in colonies that grew into ghettos, as well as how they changed their new cities with southern food, faith, and culture and improved them with discipline, drive, and hard work. Both a riveting microcosm and a major assessment, The Warmth of Other Suns is a bold, remarkable work, a superb account of an “unrecognized immigration” within our own land. Through the breadth of its narrative, the beauty of the writing, the depth of its research, and the fullness of the people and lives portrayed herein, this book is destined to become a classic.

About the Author

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Isabel Wilkerson

Pulitzer Prize winner Isabel Wilkerson is author of “The Warmth of Other Suns,” the New York Times bestseller that tells the true story of three people who made the decision of their lives during the Great Migration, a watershed in American history. The book won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction, the Heartland Prize for Nonfiction, the Anisfield-Wolf Award for Nonfiction, the Lynton History Prize from Harvard and Columbia universities, the Stephen Ambrose Oral History Prize and was shortlisted for both the Pen-Galbraith Literary Award and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize.

The book was named to more than 30 Best of the Year lists, including The New York Times’ 10 Best Books of the Year, Amazon’s 5 Best Books of the Year and Best of the Year lists in The New Yorker, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, The Economist, USA Today, The Boston Globe, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Seattle Times, The San Francisco Examiner, Newsday, Salon, The Christian Science Monitor, O Magazine, Publishers Weekly, Entertainment Weekly and over a dozen others. It made national news when President Obama chose the book for summer reading in 2011. In 2012, The New York Times Magazine named Warmth to its list of the best nonfiction books of all time.

The Great Migration was one of the biggest underreported stories of the 20th Century. It lasted from 1915 to 1970, involved six million people and was one of the largest internal migrations in U.S. history. It changed the country, North and South. It brought us John Coltrane, Thelonius Monk, Toni Morrison, August Wilson, Bill Russell, Motown, Denzel Washington, Michelle Obama — all children or grandchildren of the Great Migration. It changed the cultural and political landscape of the United States, exerting pressure on the South to change and paving the way toward equal rights for the lowest caste people in the country.

Wilkerson won the Pulitzer Prize for her work as Chicago Bureau Chief of The New York Times in 1994, making her the first black woman in the history of American journalism to win a Pulitzer Prize and the first African-American to win for individual reporting. She has appeared on national programs such as “Fresh Air with Terry Gross,” “The Charlie Rose Show,” “The PBS News Hour,” CBS’s “60 Minutes,” NBC’s “Nightly News,” MSNBC’s “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell,” the BBC and others. She has served as Ferris Professor of Journalism at Princeton University, as Cox Professor of Journalism at Emory University, as Professor of Journalism and Director of Narrative Nonfiction at Boston University and has lectured at more than 100 other colleges and universities across the U.S. and in Europe and Asia.

Follow Isabel Wilkerson on Facebook  and on Twitter via @isabelwilkerson.

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Fall Reading Selection

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Aug 142014
 

Reading Selection: Friendswood: A Novel by Rene Steinke

Hey GBC!  Here is a novel based in our own backyard!!!  I think this will be a fun read.  (It is also featured in Oprah’s September issue.)

“Steinke’s sense of this small Texas town, with its explosive and interconnected lives and deaths, is absolutely masterful.”—Elizabeth Gilbert
untitledA big, moving novel of one tight-knit Texas community and the events that alter its residents’ lives forever.

Friendswood, Texas, is a small Gulf Coast town of church suppers, oil rigs on the horizon, hurricane weather, and high school football games. When tragedy rears its head with an industrial leak that kills and sickens residents, it pulls on the common thread that runs through the community, intensifying everything. From a confused fifteen-year-old girl beset by visions, to a high school football star tormented by his actions, to a mother galvanized by the death of her teen daughter, to a morally bankrupt father trying to survive his mistakes, René Steinke explores what happens when families are trapped in the ambiguity of history’s missteps—when the actions of a few change the lives and well-being of many.

Driving the narrative powerfully forward is the suspenseful question of the fates of four Friendswood families, and Steinke’s striking insight and empathy. Inspired in part by the town where she herself grew up, this layered, propulsive, psychologically complex story is poignant proof that extreme public events, as catastrophic as they might seem, must almost always pale in comparison to the intimate personal experiences and motivations of grief, love, lust, ambition, anxiety, and regret.

Summer Reading Selection (July/August)

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Aug 142014
 

Reading Selection: The Wedding Gift  by Marlen Suyapa Bodden

The Author’s Website: www.marlenbodden.com

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In 1852, when prestigious Alabama plantation owner Cornelius Allen gives his daughter Clarissa’s hand in marriage, she takes with her a gift: Sarah—her slave and her half-sister. Raised by an educated mother, Clarissa is not the proper Southern belle she appears to be, with ambitions of loving whom she chooses. Sarah equally hides behind the façade of being a docile house slave as she plots to escape. Both women bring these tumultuous secrets and desires with them to their new home, igniting events that spiral into a tale beyond what you ever imagined possible. Told through the alternating viewpoints of Sarah and Theodora Allen, Cornelius’ wife, Marlen Suyapa Bodden’s The Wedding Gift is an intimate portrait of slavery and the 19th Century South that will leave readers breathless.

Summer Reading Selection (June)

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Aug 142014
 

Reading Selection:  Queen Sugar: A Novel by Natalie Baszile

Author Website:  http://nataliebaszile.com

Oprah.com

untitledA mother-daughter story of reinvention—about an African American woman who unexpectedly inherits a sugarcane farm in Louisiana

Why exactly Charley Bordelon’s late father left her eight hundred sprawling acres of sugarcane land in rural Louisiana is as mysterious as it was generous. Recognizing this as a chance to start over, Charley and her eleven-year-old daughter, Micah, say good-bye to Los Angeles.

They arrive just in time for growing season but no amount of planning can prepare Charley for a Louisiana that’s mired in the past: as her judgmental but big-hearted grandmother tells her, cane farming is always going to be a white man’s business. As the sweltering summer unfolds, Charley must balance the overwhelming challenges of her farm with the demands of a homesick daughter, a bitter and troubled brother, and the startling desires of her own heart.

Penguin has a rich tradition of publishing strong Southern debut fiction—from Sue Monk Kidd to Kathryn Stockett to Beth Hoffman. In Queen Sugar, we now have a debut from the African American point of view. Stirring in its storytelling of one woman against the odds and initimate in its exploration of the complexities of contemporary southern life, Queen Sugar is an unforgettable tale of endurance and hope.

Spring Reading Selection

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Feb 012014
 

Reading Selection:  The Returned by Jason Mott

  • Meeting Date: Saturday, March 8, 2014
  • Venue: TBD

Author Website: http://jasonmottauthor.com/author/

Jacob was time out of sync, time more perfect than it had been. He was life the way it was supposed to be all those years ago. That’s what all the Returned were.”

Harold and Lucille Hargrave’s lives have been both joyful and sorrowful in the decades since their only son, Jacob, died tragically at his eighth birthday party in 1966. In their old age they’ve settled comfortably into life without him, their wounds tempered through the grace of time…. Until one day Jacob mysteriously appears on their doorstep-flesh and blood, their sweet, precocious child, still eight years old.

All over the world people’s loved ones are returning from beyond. No one knows how or why this is happening, whether it’s a miracle or a sign of the end. Not even Harold and Lucille can agree on whether the boy is real or a wondrous imitation, but one thing they know for sure: he’s their son. As chaos erupts around the globe, the newly reunited Hargrave family finds itself at the center of a community on the brink of collapse, forced to navigate a mysterious new reality and a conflict that threatens to unravel the very meaning of what it is to be human.

With spare, elegant prose and searing emotional depth, award-winning poet Jason Mott explores timeless questions of faith and morality, love and responsibility. A spellbinding and stunning debut, The Returned is an unforgettable story that marks the arrival of an important new voice in contemporary fiction.

The Returned has also been optioned by Brad Pitt’s production company, Plan B,  in association with Brillstein Entertainment and ABC.  It is slated to begin airing as an ongoing television series titled Resurrection beginning March 2014.

http://abc.go.com/shows/resurrection/video/PL55301868/_m_VDKA0_jdyfpnqa

Purchase The Book

Read the Free Prequels (also free as audio books on Audible.com)

Author Jason Mott

Winter/Holiday Breakfast Meeting

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Dec 012013
 

Book Selection: Who Asked You? by Terry McMillan

  • Date: Sat Dec 14, 2013 10am – 11am
  • Venue:  The Egg and I on Bay Area

With her wise, wry, and poignant novels of families and friendships—Waiting to Exhale, Getting to Happy, and A Day Late and a Dollar Short among them—Terry McMillan has touched millions of readers. Now, in her eighth novel, McMillan gives exuberant voice to characters who reveal how we live now—at least as lived in a racially diverse Los Angeles neighborhood. Kaleidoscopic, fast-paced, and filled with McMillan’s inimitable humor, Who Asked You? opens as Trinetta leaves her two young sons with her mother, Betty Jean, and promptly disappears. BJ, a trademark McMillan heroine, already has her hands full dealing with her other adult children, two opinionated sisters, an ill husband, and her own postponed dreams—all while holding down a job delivering room service at a hotel. Her son Dexter is about to be paroled from prison; Quentin, the family success, can’t be bothered to lend a hand; and taking care of two lively grandsons is the last thing BJ thinks she needs. The drama unfolds through the perspectives of a rotating cast of characters, pitch-perfect, each playing a part, and full of surprises. Who Asked You? casts an intimate look at the burdens and blessings of family and speaks to trusting your own judgment even when others don’t agree. McMillan’s signature voice and unforgettable characters bring universal issues to brilliant, vivid life.

Purchase the book

Fall 2012 Reading Selections

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Sep 192012
 

It is finally Fall (well almost) and it is time to get your GBC read on!  What are we reading?  Well, I am glad you asked…

The Loom

The Loom by Shella Gillus

Lydia knew her fate. Like every other slave on the Maryland plantation, her life would end at the loom…

Throughout the pre-Civil War South, older slaves too worn out for anything else worked daily in the plantation’s loom room, weaving and creating cloth for their families. Tucked away out of sight and forgotten by most everyone, the wisdom and hard-won experience of these slaves were often overlooked. But Lydia, a light-skinned house slave, listens to their words and dreams of a better life.

When running away leads to her recapture, Lydia discovers that with her pale skin, the right clothing, and pretense, she can walk into a world of freedom and wealth she has only dreamed of.

But Lydia struggles to leave behind the man she loves and the culture of a world in which she belongs. Drawing on the wise community in the plantation’s loom room, Lydia chases freedom in a way no one ever expected and finds that she ultimately must choose between the love she has and the life she doesn’t.

The Loom is a colorful tale of love linked to a lie and the discovery that life is not always black or white.

To Order this book from Amazon.com Click Here

Author Shelia Gillus

 

Before I Go to Sleep: A Novel

Before I Go to Sleep: A Novel

Before I Go to Sleep: A Novel by S. J. Watson

Memories define us.

So what if you lost yours every time you went to sleep?

Your name, your identity, your past, even the people you love—all forgotten overnight. And the one person you trust may be telling you only half the story.

Welcome to Christine’s life.

To Order this book from Amazon.com Click Here

 

June 2012 Reading Selection

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May 012012
 

We (Shirley, Jetola, Mary, Shelley, Naydia, and Pam) had a great time grubbing and hanging out at April’s GBC Meeting.  Mary and I had the Shrimp and Grits, and they were really good!  We all also enjoyed the book, “The Sacred Place” by Daniel Black.  We all like Mr. Black’s writing style and loved his characters.

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

Because of so many schedule conflicts, we had decided to not meet in June, and reconvene in June, here are the details:

  • When:  June 23, 2009
  • Where:  Pam’s House
  • Time:    10:30 AMJ

Now, what is our next reading selection?  Well, since we have read two heartbreaking books in a row, we are ready for a little levity!  So thanks to one of our GBC founders, Juanita  Cole Towerly, for suggesting our next selection…

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith!  (My son also recommends it.)  It sounds like a fun read, and we all are ready for a few good laughs.

So stay tuned for more details about the meeting.  Go get the book and get to reading!

To Order this book from Amazon.com Click Here

April 2012 – “The Sacred Place” by Daniel Black

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Apr 012012
 

Thanks to all who came out for our March meeting! we all loved this month’s selection “Gathering of Waters” by Bernice McFadden.

Well, we are going back to Money…. Money, Mississippi that is….

Our next selection is The Sacred Place: A novel Daniel Black

In the summer of 1955, fourteen-year-old Clement enters a general store in Money, Mississippi to purchase a soda. Unaware of the consequences of flouting the rules governing black-white relations in the South, this Chicago native defies tradition, by laying a dime on the counter and turns to depart. Miss Cuthbert, the store attendant, demands that he place the money in her hand, but he refuses, declaring, “I ain’t no slave!” and exits with a sense of entitlement unknown to black people at the time. His behavior results in his brutal murder. This event sparks a war in Money, forcing the black community to galvanize its strength in pursuit of equality.

  • Next Meeting:  April 28, 2012
  • Time:  10:30 AM
  • Location: TBD

To Order this Book From BookCloseOuts.com Click Here

To Order this book from Amazon.com Click Here