Audiobook: 6h 54m; Release Date: May 1, 2017
This Is Just My Face by Gabourey “Gabby” Sidibe is the story of how the actress came to be in the position that she is in today. From beginning to end it is hard not to be engaged. It was interesting to learn of Gabby’s Senegalese background and of the relationships she has had with both people in the industry as well as in her family. There are a lot of vulnerable periods of her life revealed. The book is worth a read but admittedly it is not one for those who is sensitive or is not fond of sarcasm.
Audiobook: 10h 47min; Release Date: November 14, 2017
Jenifer Lewis’ The Mother of Black Hollywood is a raw and honest account of the 62-year-old’s life. Lewis doesn’t hesitate to tell it like it is and how it was. Unashamed and 100% unfazed by other people’s opinions, it is abundantly clear that she did not hold back on details that makes up her life story. Stories of a poorer than poor childhood to a successful but often times complicated adulthood the authenticity pours from the actress. Even with over the top theatrical undertones in her storytelling I didn’t doubt any part of it for one minute. Whether you are already familiar with Jenifer Lewis or not her memoir is worth the read. It’s one that I would even recommend listening to because reading it may not mirror the same experience as hearing the words from the author’s mouth.
Audiobook: 9 hrs 7 mins; Release Date: January 31, 2017
Keke Palmer’s I Don’t Belong to You is both the title of her autobiography and her first released song. Palmer explores her life as an actress and singer and ultimately how her career led her to many revelations in her personal life.
I am one of many who is most familiar with Keke Palmer from her role in the 2006 movie Akeelah and the Bee and some of her media stunts. As with many books written by celebrities this was a recollection of Palmers upbringing, career successes and failures. The storytelling in this book, although based on her truth, to me sounded unauthentic. Even in parts where it seemed she tried to “dig deep” I wasn’t convinced that the information shared was nothing more than lackluster surface information. I was bored and turned off by the formatting. Overall it was a disappointing listen.
Length 6 hrs 29 min; Released 2017
Tiffany Haddish in her autobiography The Last Black Unicorn, without a doubt delivers a collection of stories about her life that makes you literally laugh out loud. Even though not everything in the book is intended to be humorous, you can’t help but laugh. Although some critics disputed the credibility of Haddish’s book I would argue that perception is subjective and even if some of it was exaggerated she is a comedian.
All in all, the book was reflective of what most love about Tiffany Haddish, she did not hold back. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Audiobook: 7 hrs 48 m ; released 2017
This book by Gabrielle Union is a collection of stories told by the actress in relation to her childhood, career and her life as a mother and wife.
This book was great! It’s engaging, intriguing and downright hilarious at times. Gabrielle Union narrates the audio version of this book and it was like having a conversation with a good friend. Her story telling ability is clear and articulate. There are stories that some may already know about the actress and others people may be hearing for the first time but with the way that everything comes together it is an amazing read (or listen).
I feel as though this book is one that you can read over and over and each time still be entertained.
Audiobook: 7 hrs 46 mins; Released 2017
Most may know him as one-third of “the most dangerous morning show”, Power 105.1’s The Breakfast Club but many may not know how Lenard McKelvey a.k.a Charlamagne Tha God got to be in the position that he is in today.
In the biography, Black Privilege, Charlamagne gives the reader an idea of the kinds of things that goes on in his mind. There are parts of the book that make you wonder “is this guy serious” and others where you come to the conclusion that maybe he doesn’t have them all. But as the book continues Charlamagne, or Uncle Charla as he has been dubbed, recounts many childhood memories; his brief rap career (that thankfully never took off); his relationship with many well-known industry people, which gradually lead to his position in broadcast and his relationship with his wife. There’s also a portion of the book where he speak about how he came to be known as Charlamagne.
Overall, the book was both informative and entertaining. By the ending I felt as though I personally knew Charlamagne.
*** Since the publishing of Black Privilege, Charalamagne has gone on a many of press runs (that are worth a YouTube search) and is set to release another book at the end of October.
Currently, his book Shook One: Anxiety Playing Tricks on Me is to be released on October 23, 2018.
Gucci Mane: The Autobiography of Gucci Mane Length: 6 hrs 29 mins
Forget everything that you know or think you know about Radric Davis aka Gucci Mane. This autobiography is very good. I’m sure a physical copy would be a true page turner. With my experience it was a good listen. It was one of the few audio books that I listened to in its entirety in one day. I was not bored with Gucci’s recollection of his early childhood memories, his introduction to drugs (both the ones he sold and the ones he used) his life as a rapper and life after he realized his world was spiraling out of control. If you are my age and into Hip Hop you may remember some of the stories that are being recounted but even if you aren’t this book is still a truly engaging read.