Saturday, April 23, 2016

[Library Events and Programs] Bookstock at Central Library TODAY April 23, 2016

Today is the day we proclaim "Hats Off to Bookstock 2016: From Shakespeare to Dr. Seuss and Everything in Between"

Gather the family and make your way to Bookstock! 

From 11 AM - 3 PM, the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library is hosting 40 local authors, roaming Shakespeare monologues, activities and crafts for teens and children, and so much more. This event is FREE and open to the public.

Plan your day at Bookstock with the following: 

Bookstock 2016 events schedule

List of participating local authors

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Friday, April 22, 2016

[Book Review] Roby Reviews: Best Friends Forever


Johnnie reviews Best Friends Forever by Kimberla Lawson Roby (Grand Central Publishing, 2016)

For readers who expect this book to be a great lesson on true friendship, you are in for a big surprise. 

This book is actually about a husband (Keith Richardson) who is committed to leaving home for a woman on the side. Of course, he blames his cheating on his wife (Celine Richardson). Although Keith learns that his wife has been diagnosed with breast cancer, he is not worrying about leaving his wife and daughter at a time when his family needs him the most. 

After weeks of being the invisible family man, Keith decides it is time to ask his wife for forgiveness. But what are his real motives? Will Celine forgive her husband and allow him to come back home?  Or will Celine follow the advice of her best friend, Lauren, who is single and not happy about Keith's behaviors?

This book will play with your emotions. It will make you sad. It will make you mad. It is a book that should be made into a television series.
Johnnie Mosley, North Branch

We hope you enjoyed this week's Roby Reviews. 

Authors Thomas Christensen and Kimberla Lawson Roby will speak at 1:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. respectively.  

Bookstock Memphis Area Authors' Festival @ Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library

April 23, 2016
11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

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[Book Reviews] Roby Reviews: The Ultimate Betrayal


Johnnie reviews The Ultimate Betrayal by Kimberla Lawson Roby (Grand Central Publishing, 2015)

The Ultimate Betrayal is another drama in the Reverend Curtis Black series. More specifically, it is soap opera about the life of Alicia Black, the daughter of Reverend Curtis Black.

Four years earlier, Alicia married Phillips Sullivan, a good man and husband. However, Alicia messed up the marriage by engaging in a two-way love affair with Levi Cunningham, a drug dealer and thug. Four years later, after much prayer, Phillips decided to forgive Alicia and take her back. In the meantime, Alicia finds herself back in the arms of Levi who has convinced her that he is a different man. As Alicia goes through her self-inflicted problems, she learns that her friend, Melanie, is also dealing with her own drama.

Melanie is dealing with weight issues as well as problems with her husband, Brad. Because Alicia and Melanie are dealing with a number of personal issues, they find themselves turning on each other like enemies in World War III.

Will Alicia find true love in the arms of her husband or another man? Will Melanie come to grips with her weight problems? What surprises are yet to be revealed in the lives of Alicia, Phillips, Levi, Melanie, and Brad?

For first time readers of the Reverend Black series, this book will be a blast. For veteran readers of the series, this book will not disappoint.

Johnnie Mosley, North Branch Library

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Thursday, April 21, 2016

[Book Review] Roby Reviews: One in a Million


Darletha reviews One in a Million by Kimberla Lawson Roby (HarperCollins, 2008)
Kennedi Mason is a happily married woman eager to share some really, really good news with her husband, Blake. Disregarding the “ladies first” rule, Blake makes an unexpected announcement of his own. Since Blake insisted on speaking first, Kennedi keeps silent about what she wanted to say. Now Kennedi has to readjust her life and create a new plan for her future (Here’s a hint: it involves a lottery ticket!). Along the way random strangers, relatives, old friends and even her husband complicate an already complicated situation. Luckily, Kennedi’s closest friend and her new acquaintances are there to support her through the emotional roller coaster that has become her life.
A departure from her popular Reverend Curtis Black series, One in a Million is a stand-alone title that uses dialogue and plot twists to address contemporary issues among families and couples. The characters are as familiar as any relative or friend from real life. The fast-paced plot has plenty of drama and moments of humor. In this novel a lot of events take place within a small window of time so make sure you have a reading buddy to talk to about this entertaining novel.
Darletha M., South Branch

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Wednesday, April 20, 2016

[Book Review] Roby Reviews: Changing Faces


Andrea reviews Changing Faces by Kimberla Lawson Roby, (Harper Collins, 2006)
Whitney, Taylor, and Charisse have all been best friends since high school. They are also each other’s worst enemies as well.

Plus-sized Whitney hates the fact she has no control over her eating habits but wants a man to love her and stay with her. She is too tired of all these men who use her and then leave her. The more she wants a commitment, the more depressed she gets and eats even more junk.

Taylor is probably the most level headed of the three friends. Her professional life as an attorney is shining and appealing but she can’t understand why her long-term boyfriend won’t settle down and marry her. Because of her sensibility and sensitivity, she often gets stuck playing referee to Charisse and Whitney.

Charisse is married and has two wonderfully adorable children. Her life may seem perfect but she is judgmental to all around her. The more judgmental she gets, the more she alienates her husband and her two best friends. She claims she is this way because her mother verbally and physically abused her.

The three women have their strife and struggles with each other and separately, but in the end will they be there for one another?

Andrea Bledsoe King, Cordova Branch

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Tuesday, April 19, 2016

[Book Review] Roby Reviews: Casting the First Stone


Andrea reviews Casting the First Stone by Kimberla Lawson Roby (Kensington, 2000)

Curtis Black is one despicable man. He has decided he wants to leave his wife of over a decade so he can be with his young, also-married girlfriend. Curtis and his girlfriend, Adrienne, have to sneak around since they both are married AND Curtis works with Adrienne’s husband, Thomas. It doesn’t matter that Tanya, Curtis’ wife, supported him and worked full-time while he was in graduate school. She is also the mother of his daughter, Alicia, who is undoubtedly the light of his life.

To make matters even worse, Curtis feels smothered by Adrienne whenever she talks about divorcing Thomas so she can marry Curtis. To deflect this claustrophobia, Curtis starts sleeping with another woman, and I mean “woman” loosely, because Charlotte is only 17 years old! Charlotte gets pregnant and her father tells Curtis he will have him thrown in jail for statutory rape charges.

But the proverbial icing on the cake is this:  Curtis Black is a PASTOR! Now you see what I mean about his being despicable? Casting the First Stone is the first book of 12 in the Reverend Curtis Black series. These are all great stories with lots of drama and tension but readers need to read them in chronological order to get the full effect. Readers will be disgusted and amazed by Curtis Black’s attitude- especially knowing he is a PREACHER!

Andrea Bledsoe King, Cordova Library

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Monday, April 18, 2016

[Book Review] The Perfect Marriage by Kimberla Lawson Roby


This is the first of a series of "Roby Reviews" written by staff members in honor of Ms. Kimberla Lawson Roby, one of our keynote speakers for Bookstock 2016.

Wanda reviews The Perfect Marriage by Kimberla Lawson Roby (Grand Central Publisher, 2013)

Derrek and Denise Shaw never dreamed their life would end up in a place where they needed help for their cocaine abuse.   After all they had the perfect life.   Both had successful careers with high salaries, a house in the suburbs and a daughter named McKenzie that they both adore.  So how did they end up in this place?  Derrek and Denise started out innocently taking cocaine Derrek as a social measure and Denise as a way to relieve stress and enjoy with her husband.  In the beginning they only used cocaine every once in a while.  They both liked the euphoric feeling it gave them when they used it.  As Denise stated it took the stress off from their highly successful jobs.

When the pressures of life began to take its toll on them, Denise and Derrek began to use cocaine more to relieve their stress. Before they realized it, they had gone through their savings from the use of cocaine. The death in the family and the loss of MacKenzie’s college savings just tore the family apart.

Ms Roby has scratched the surface of how a drug like cocaine can alter the lifestyle of a successful couple in a short amount of time.  The action and suspense in the story kept me turning the pages until the very end.  Ms. Roby is a bestselling author with a vast repertoire.

Wanda Holliday, Levi Branch

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Friday, April 15, 2016

[News and Notes] Bookstock 2016: keynote speaker Thomas Christensen

Author Thomas Christensen is the 1:00 pm keynote speaker at the Memphis Library's annual Bookstock festival on Saturday, April 23. (About Bookstock

Before Bookstock, Christensen will speak at Communities in Conversation, the kickoff event for the 1616 Symposium presented by Rhodes College April 21-22, 2016. 

Both events will pay tribute to the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare's birth date and death date, which is April 23. 

Bookstock will also feature a marathon reading of Shakespeare's Sonnets and popup monologues. (View Bookstock 2016 schedule)

Learn more about Thomas Christensen:

Visit Christensen's official website with several features, including his blog and his newest releases. 

Learn more about 1616: The World in Motion:

Christensen's 1616: The World in Motion information page


From The Dallas News:

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