Archive for "books"

Book to Check Out: “The Upper House”

June 3rd, 2010

It’s not every day the old boss writes a great book that gets a lot of attention in D.C.’s very opinionated political inner circles.

So, providing full disclosure, Terence Samuel, author of the resourceful and revealing new insider’s view of the U.S. Senate, “The Upper House: A Journey Behind the Closed Doors of the U.S. Senate,” was my boss at one point when I worked at AOL.

Terry is funny and smart – in that modest, composed and thoughtful way.  And, when I worked with him, it was clear he held (and nourished) an abiding fascination for congressional politics that was evident in the depth and breadth of his comprehension of the rules, personalities, history, politics and trivia of the US. Senate and House.

He cracked on staffers (read: me) when they couldn’t immediately differentiate the senior senator from the junior senator of any given state; back in 2005, he correctly predicted then-Senator Barack Obama would be elected president, when he was truly a longshot; and going to the President’s State of the Union address at the Capitol every year was greeted with the thrill most people reserve for, say, Super Bowl tickets.

Samuel’s politics is described as “left of center” by Washington Times writer, Claude Marx, who writes, “Fortunately, those who want to understand both the rules and the personalities that shape the modern-day Senate have a new resource available to them, ‘The Upper House: A Journey Behind the Closed Doors of the U.S. Senate.’ Former U.S. News & World Report congressional correspondent Terence Samuel has produced a concise, engaging and readable take on the subject.”

And while his politics might indeed be “left of center,” his opinions are reasoned, informed and practical.

Terry’s book may not be on the national radar yet, but it most likely will be. There aren’t a lot of books outside of lawmaker biographies or autobiographies that document the contemporary inner workings of Congress or the day-to-day lives of America’s legislators with clarity and color like Terry’s.

“I’m thrilled to see a Black author receiving accolades for a political book that is not about Obama,” Richard Prince quotes a friend at his online column Journal-isms.

Congrats, Terry. I’m reading the book and enjoying it.

Side note: This week, Richard Prince listed 10 non-fiction books to add to your reading list this summer. They are all set in Washington or written by Washington-based journalists, including Terry’s, and cover a range of subjects. See Richard Prince’s summer reading list.

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Kirk Franklin Is About to Release a New …. Book

May 6th, 2010





Kirk Franklin has a new book and he’s taking it on tour.

The GRAMMY award winning Gospel music producer-slash-artist’s book, to be released May 18, is part-memoir, part-instructional guide.
Titled “The Blueprint: A Plan for Living Above Life’s Storms,” Franklin uses an analogy to break the subject of his upcoming project down. “It’s almost like if you are trying to build a building and you’ve got all the great workers there – everybody shows up, the electrician, the construction guys, the wood guys, the light guys, and then everybody’s there to work,” he told Tavis Smiley. “But if there’s no blueprint there, then everybody has to go on what they think is right.”

Franklin says everyone, especially those without strong parental figures, needs a spiritual blueprint to live a full and successful life.

In the book, Franklin encourages readers to, above all, trust the goodness of God. He says people must believe that all things will work in favor of those that love God. There are unseen rewards, Franklin explains in the book,  for doing good even if the benefits seem unclear. The host of BET Sunday’s Best  also offers advice for building strong, meaningful interpersonal relationships and valuable tips for maintaining overall spiritual health.

To meet Franklin and get an autographed copy of “The Blueprint,” catch him on tour at one of the locations below or visit

Tuesday, May 18 at 7:00 p.m.
8000 Mall Parkway, Suite 2460
Lithonia, GA 30038
Wednesday, May 19 at 7:00 p.m.
Ebenezer AME Church
7806 Allentown Road
Fort Washington, MD 20744-1741
Thursday, May 20 at 6:00 p.m.
2 Penn Plaza
New York, NY 10121
Friday, May 21 at 7:00 p.m.
Joseph-Beth Booksellers
Legacy Village
24519 Cedar Road
Lyndhurst, OH 44124
Saturday, May 22 at 2:00 p.m.

5601 Mercury Drive
Dearborn, MI  48126
Sunday, May 23 at 9:00 a.m.
The Potter’s House
6777 West Kiest Boulevard
Dallas, Texas  75236
Monday, May 24 at 7:00 p.m.
Barnes & Noble
Firewheel Towne Center
190 Cedar Sage Drive Unit #BB01
Garland, TX 75040
Tuesday, May 25 at 7:00 p.m.
Barnes & Noble
7626 Westheimer
Houston, TX  77063
Friday, May 28 at 7:00 p.m.

Eso Won Bookstore
4331 Degnan Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA  90008

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Author Kitty Kelley Takes on Oprah’s Personal Life in Unauthorized Biography

April 12th, 2010


Washington, D.C.-based author Kitty Kelley is releasing an unauthorized biography of Oprah Winfrey tomorrow.

The writer, some call “gossipy,” has established a name for herself with her sometimes- steamy-and-damning but always-controversial-and-prying exposés about famous people.

Her method typically involves piecing together her narrative from a wide range of sources, studious reporting and good, old-fashioned snooping. She’s also been known to cite a number of unidentified sources, whose second-hand information doesn’t add a lot of legitimacy to already cloudy claims.

Kelley says she approached Winfrey’s story with caution and respect.

According to USA Today, the book will include factoids about Winfrey’s family history that contradict the stories most people know. It will also touch on the media mogul’s private life, her sexuality and unreported tiffs with people close to her.

Her last book was “The Family: The Real Story of the Bush Dynasty.”

Get more on the story and Kelley’s new book.


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Magic and Isiah Aren’t Friends Anymore

October 23rd, 2009


Magic Johnson and Isiah Thomas. They were once so close that they shared a kiss at midcourt during the NBA Finals. What a difference 20 years makes.

In a new book written by Magic Johnson and Larry Bird, Magic accuses Isiah of spreading gay rumors and sabotaging their friendship.


“I’m really hurt, and I really feel taken advantage of for all these years,” said Thomas, the Hall of Fame point guard and former NBA coach and executive, most recently with the Knicks. “I’m totally blindsided by this. Every time that I’ve seen Magic, he has been friendly with me. Whenever he came to a Knick game, he was standing in the tunnel [to the locker room] with me. He and [Knicks assistant coach] Herb [Williams] and I, we would go out to dinner in New York. I didn’t know he felt this way.”

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