African American Authors Book Club

Meets the 2nd Tuesday of each month at 5 p.m.
At the Athens-Clarke County Library

The African American Authors Book Club is for anyone who is interested and who loves to read. The books are selected by members of the book club and are primarily books written by African American authors. Our objective is to broaden our knowledge of the many African American authors and their writings and just have fun reading.

Seen It All and Done the Rest

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January 10, 2012

Seen It All and Done the Rest by Pearl Cleage: For Josephine Evans, home was on the stages of the world where she spent thirty years establishing herself as one of the finest actresses of her generation. Josephine was the toast of Europe, and her fabulous apartment in Amsterdam's theater district was a popular gathering place for an international community of artists, actors, and expatriates who considered themselves true citizens of the world. Josephine lived above and beyond the reach of conventional definitions of who and what an African American diva could be, and her legions of loyal fans loved her for it. She had a perfect life and enough sense to live it to the hilt, but then a war she didn't fully understand turned everything upside down, thrusting her into a role she never wanted and was not prepared to play. Suddenly the target of angry protests aimed at the country she had never really felt was her own, Josephine is forced to return to America to see if she can create a new definition of home.

Camping out with her granddaughter, Zora, who is housesitting in Atlanta's West End; and trying to avoid the unwanted attentions of Dig It!, the city's brand-new gossip magazine, Josephine struggles to reclaim her old life even as she scrambles to shape her new one. Hoping her friend Howard Denmond is as good as his word when he promises to engineer her triumphant return to the European stage, Josephine sets out to increase her nest egg by selling the house her mother willed her, only to find the long-neglected property has become home to squatters who have no intention of leaving.

But an unexpected reunion with an old friend offers Josephine a chance to set things right. Spurning an offer from unscrupulous land developer Greer Woodruff, Josephine gathers new friends around her, including Victor Causey, a lawyer whose addictions left him homeless but still determined to protect his mother; Louie Baptiste, a displaced New Orleans chef hoping to return to the city he loves; and Aretha Hargrove, recovering from her role in the same scandal that sent Zora running for cover. As Greer gets serious about her plan to tear the community apart, Josephine finds herself playing the most important role of her life, showing her neighbors what courage really is and learning the true meaning of coming home. - Publisher

The Help

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November 8, 2011

The Help by Kathryn Stockett: Three ordinary women are about to take one extraordinary step.

Twenty-two-year-old Skeeter has just returned home after graduating from Ole Miss. She may have a degree, but it is 1962, Mississippi, and her mother will not be happy till Skeeter has a ring on her finger. Skeeter would normally find solace with her beloved maid Constantine, the woman who raised her, but Constantine has disappeared and no one will tell Skeeter where she has gone.

Aibileen is a black maid, a wise, regal woman raising her seventeenth white child. Something has shifted inside her after the loss of her own son, who died while his bosses looked the other way. She is devoted to the little girl she looks after, though she knows both their hearts may be broken.

Minny, Aibileen's best friend, is short, fat, and perhaps the sassiest woman in Mississippi. She can cook like nobody's business, but she can't mind her tongue, so she's lost yet another job. Minny finally finds a position working for someone too new to town to know her reputation. But her new boss has secrets of her own.

Seemingly as different from one another as can be, these women will nonetheless come together for a clandestine project that will put them all at risk. And why? Because they are suffocating within the lines that define their town and their times. And sometimes lines are made to be crossed.

In pitch-perfect voices, Kathryn Stockett creates three extraordinary women whose determination to start a movement of their own forever changes a town, and the way women—mothers, daughters, caregivers, friends—view one another. A deeply moving novel filled with poignancy, humor, and hope, The Help is a timeless and universal story about the lines we abide by, and the ones we don't. - Publisher

Life is Short but Wide

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October, 2011

Life is Short but Wide by J California Cooper: Like the small towns J. California Cooper has so vividly portrayed in her previous novels, Wideland, Oklahoma, is home to ordinary Americans with big hearts. Among them are newlyweds Irene and Val, who graciously allow their neighbors, Bertha and Joseph, to build a house on their land. Together the couples have three daughters, all who struggle to find love and success in the changing world. But although the years may bring hardship and heartache, they also teach the importance of living one's life boldly and squeezing out every possible moment of joy.

An irresistible story of faith and family, Life Is Short But Wide proves that no matter who you are or what you do, you are never too old to chase your dreams. - Publisher

That Devil's No Friend of Mine

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September 13, 2011

That Devil's No Friend of Mine by J D Mason: When Bishop Fontaine passed away he left behind more than a list of good deeds. He was known as a caring friend and doting father... but he was also manipulative and controlling, especially to those he loved. His death begins to unravel deep secrets and shocking desires among the people he cared about the most...

His daughter, Kristine, feels that with her father's death she is finally free. His best friend and business partner, Lamar, feels that now can finally have what he has longed for all these years: Kristine. His protégé, Cole, the boxing champion and rising star, married a woman Bishop never approved of and may have been right about. Rayne, the blues singer and ex-junkie relied on Bishop to keep her clean and is now slipping down a dark path without him. And Rhonda, Lamar's wife, is determined to ignore what has been unfolding in front of her if it means that her predictable life will go unchanged. And then a newcomer steps onto the scene and threatens to turn everything upside down.

Five very different people whose lives are only connected by Bishop suddenly find themselves up close and personal as desires, dreams and passions collide. -Publisher