I love reading, but one thing I don’t want for Christmas is a book. This holiday season I can think of a few books that I definitely don’t want wrapped in shiny paper. Several “celebrity” books were published this year that I’m sure somebody will be inspired by, but that would all probably be better suited for a 30 minute conversation (or television interview). Should these books have a place next to other African-American biographies and literary greats? Well, yes. They do have a place. The real question is, will they be relevant five years from now (I would say 20, but let’s be realistic)? You be the judge. Here are my top picks of “celebrity” books that even a gymnast shouldn’t bother to flip through:
“I ain’t had no fucked up life.” – Buffie Carruth
Vixen Icon by Buffie Carruth – Finally, the bar will be set and the truth will be told. Buffie Carruth, known as the legendary Buffie the Body, takes readers from ATL’S most wanted dancer, most sought-after YouTube actress, leading lady in G-Unit and other music videos, an in-demand ringtone wallpaper model, the most sought-after prison wall pinup girl in America and most curvaceous woman in the world, to book author with her highly anticipated expose of the industry, Vixen Icon. Buffie gives readers a Making-of-the-Body look behind the videos and cover shots and reveals the Who, the What, and the Why of the industry and leaves no opinion unwritten. The very assets that have made her the most downloaded Web girl have set the stage for ladies everywhere to swing their hips proudly. Often compared to other vixens, Buffie the Body is a far cry from the Superheads of the industry; Vixen Icon proves the Body is the most prominent and illustrious Icon the world has seen for years to come.
First Paragraph Excerpt: I started an epidemic with my big booty and dark skin. It seems as if my features weren’t accepted by the industry until I came around. In 2005 even, there wasn’t anyone like me; it’s possible this is why I was so successful. Maybe people were tired of looking at the same slim, light-skinned chicks. I feel like I brought something new to the game; I brought change and diversity and the world loved it…
“God put me in this position to touch lives.” – Neffe
My Happiness is My Sanity by Neffe – NEFFE A story that doesn’t justify the streets but glorifies a destiny unfolding through time. As you read this book, as you digest each portion of my poured out soul, I need you to understand that these words are not just apart of me but apart of you. No matter who you are No matter how old you are No matter your race, religion, economical status, sexuality, gender, occupation, or IQ. I challenge you to journey through these pages of broken promises, revived hopes, and countless dreams without being able to relate. I dare you to continue over looking the dysfunctional instabilities that society tends to disregard behind heavy coats of bull…and expose them for the traumatizing burdens they weigh down to be. I encourage you to read my story and deny a need to call out the counterfeit, unveil the hypocrite and assist with reconstructing the destruction of innocence. I warn you as this book is in your possession to wake up the worrier within and re-affirm that life is not about being perfect but being in position I plead that you take heed and rise above the circumstances trusting that there is a bigger promise awaiting your arrival. as I testify to you, The truth The whole truth And nothing but . . .
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“There are authors who don’t work on their book, who actually tell people what they wanna say . . . but I actually wrote myself.” – Nene Leakes
Never Make the Same Mistake Twice by Nene Leakes – Outrageous, captivating, and unafraid to tell it like it is, Nene Leakes shares her wild journey from a scandalous past to the pinnacle of reality television stardom. Lauded by her fans for her refreshing honesty, infectiously genuine style, and clever sense of humor, Nene is an empowered, self-made woman who has not forgotten where she came from and knows exactly where she wants to go. In this straight-talking and provocative memoir Nene charts her journey from family black sheep to single mother to making good and realizing her dreams. With her charm and bold, self-possessed voice, Nene tackles her painful childhood; the abuse she suffered at the hands of a violent boyfriend; her struggle to support her firstborn son; and her path to true love, self-acceptance, and pride. In Never Make the Same Mistake Twice, Nene dishes on her cast mates; takes on the rumors about her past; and shares hard-earned and inspiring life lessons in her fierce, no-nonsense, and irreverent style.
First Paragraph Excerpt: Go to Athens, Georgia, right now, and people will tell you in a heartbeat: Nene hasn’t changed one bit. I’ve always been loud, a little brash, unapologetically truthful, and, above all else, real. I’m like Simon Cowell on American Idol: If you say something I don’t like, I might as well correct your ass. It’s my opinion, and there’s nothing wrong with having one. I have, at least, the right to express it, don’t I?
“I didn’t know I was the second most Googled person in the country.” – Sherri Shepherd
Permission Slips: Every Woman’s Guide to Giving Herself a Break by Sherri Shepherd – Covering topics such as “It’s Jesus or Jail,””Marriage, the Hard Way,””Children: The Gift You Can’t Give Back,” and “All the Things I Don’t Know…And All the Things I Definitely Do,” stand-up comedienne, actress, and ABC’s The View co-host Sherri Shepherd comically chronicles her struggles to keep up with the many roles-professional, wife, mother, daughter, and friend-that women must play in today’s world. Sherri urges women to pursue their most important dreams and to never give up, but also let’s readers know that it’s okay to give themselves “permission slips” when things don’t always work out the way they want them to. As her many fans know, Sherri is never hesitant to speak from the heart, and her bubbly personality shines through in this delightful autobiography.
First Paragraph Excerpt: I wish someone would have sat me down when I was a little girl and told me, “Sherri, you can’t do anything right.” Hold on–I can explain. We women are trapped by our circumstances in a way that men are not. We are bound to our families. Our connections to our loved ones are intricate and profound. We stand in the center of a deep pond, surrounded by our children, husbands, boyfriends, parents, siblings, co-workers, and friends. Every move we make has a ripple effect on the people in our pond. If we make a small move, we create a small wave. Big move, big wave. The bottom line is, even if you’re doing the right thing, you’re making a wave. And that means somebody in your pond is going to get wet.
I know I’m hating, but I have the right to ask why these books are relevant. Happy reading, y’all.