Black*ish and Bookish

The hilarious Black*ish is must see TV in our home.  One of our favorite characters is the audaciously eccentric Grandma Ruby Johnson, played by everyone’s favorite Aunt/Mother Jenifer Lewis.  When Ms. Lewis’ perfectly named memoir hit my radar, I noticed a trend of releases coming from entertainers I’ve known from the big and small screen for years.  It’s great to see so many familiar faces transition from actor to author, giving fans a glimpse into their real lives.  The stories, memoirs and journeys are just as funny and touching as the characters we’ve come to love. 


The Mother of Black Hollywood Pretty Page Turner Blackish & Bookish

The Mother of Black Hollywood:  A Memoir 
You know the face, you definitely know that aristocratic voice, but it’s finally time we all know the woman.  Jenifer Lewis’s IMDb page is as long as a Vanity Fair article, with over 300 appearances to her credit.  Many of her films have become heartwarming cult classics.  Now, she finally shares her amazing story of fame gained, fame fumbled and regained with hard work.  Overcoming mental illness and addiction, Ms. Lewis’s story is inspiring, but still as sassy and audacious as we know her to be. 






Blessed Life Pretty Page Turner Blackish & BookishBlessed Life: My Surprising Journey of Joy, Tears, and Tales from Harlem to Hollywood 
To a certain generation, Kim Fields is our pretend cousin.  Many of us grew up with her learning “The Facts of Life” and navigating our twenties when we were “Living Single”.  One of the few childhood stars to survive the Hollywood system unscathed and intact, Fields is still a force.  Well-known in front of the camera, Fields finally lets us in on the guarded personal disciplines and faith that have sustained her 40 years in the industry.   






We're Going to Need More Wine Pretty Page Turner Blackish & Bookish

We’re Going to Need More Wine 

At BookExpo in May, I received a very small galley of Gabrielle Union’s collection of memoirs.  I laughed out loud at the introduction, mad that I was forced to wait until the October release.  Gabrielle confirms her real life role as everyone’s down-to-earth plucky girlfriend (does anyone remember her guest turn on Friends?  She’s been in the game that long!) sharing her split childhood in Nebraska and California, to affable co-star to Hollywood insider and authentic basketball wife.  The stories are laugh out loud funny, sexually explicit, honest and totally relatable to modern feminism.  





Stand By Your Truth Pretty Page Turner Blackish & BookishStand by Your Truth:  And Then Run for Your Life! 
The only guy to make the list, Rickey Smiley is everyone’s favorite uncle.  The best prankster in the business, Rickey opens up seriously about many of the subjects that he breezes through on the radio.   Unable to remain serious for very long, his down-home brand of humor is a perfect platform to speak his truth, sharing essential life lessons learned from his industry idols and familial elders. 








The Last Black Unicorn Pretty Page Turner Blackish & BookishThe Last Black Unicorn 
While watching “Girl’s Trip” (and laughing uproariously), I kept thinking that I knew Tiffany Haddish’s face from somewhere.  It took me awhile, but I eventually placed her to my guilty pleasure “Real Husbands of Hollywood”.  The fact that I remembered her small role with comedic heavyweight Kevin Hart proves she was ready for her comedic closeup. Voraciously chewing the scenery on Girls Trip, Tiffany seemingly took the world by storm, but her memoir reveals she’s been pounding the Hollywood pavement for two decades. In this coming new release, Tiffany shares her hard-knocks journey from foster care to Hollywood red carpets.  Due for release December 5, this is definitely an early Christmas present to buy yourself.