Category Archives: Books

Book Select – The Sexual Teachings of the White Tigress & Jade Dragon : Secrets of the Female/Male Taoist Masters

 White Tigress women undertake disciplined sexual and spiritual practices to maintain their beauty and youthfulness, realize their full feminine potential, and achieve immortality. Revealed here for the first time in English are the secrets of the White Tigress that have all but disappeared from the world. Under the guidance of Madame Lin, the matriarch of a distinguished White Tigress lineage still in existence in Taiwan, Hsi Lai was given the privilege to study these practices and record them from a modern perspective so they will be forever preserved. The vast majority of Taoist texts on alchemy, meditation, and sexuality are directed at male practitioners. The Sexual Teachings of the White Tigresspresents traditions that focus on women, traditions that stem from a long line of courtesans and female Taoists. Translations of the ancient teachings from a rare White Tigress manual dating back 3,000 years explain the sexual and spiritual refinement of ching(sexual energy), chi (vital energy), and shen(consciousness)–the Three Treasures of Taoism–the secret to unlocking eternal youthfulness and immortality

Reveals how the sexual practices of the Taoist Jade Dragon can help men achieve “immortality” through the enhancement of their sexual prowess.

• A companion guide to The Sexual Teachings of the White Tigress that focuses on the male side of White Tigress sexual practices.

• Reveals the nine Jade Dragon exercises and other Taoist techniques for achieving the elixir of immortality.

• Offers physical and spiritual solutions for the sexual issues facing men.

Hsi Lai continues the work he began in The Sexual Teachings of the White Tigress by exploring more fully the male role in Taoist sexual transformation. As with those of the White Tigress, the techniques of the Jade Dragon are part of a disciplined sexual and spiritual practice. The goal for the Jade Dragon is health, longevity, and immortality through external and internal regimens for the enhancement and accumulation of the Three Treasures of Taoism–ching (sexual and physical energy), qi (breath and vital energy) and shen (spiritual and mental energy).

The author presents the nine Jade Dragon exercises that strengthen erections, enlarge the penis, increase semen quantity and quality, prevent premature ejaculations, and enhance sexual energy. He also details herbal remedies for revitalization that address both physical and spiritual sexual components, as well as ancient Taoist breathing and meditative practices and sexual stimulation techniques that amplify sexual intensity in order to create the elixir of immortality. Concluding with the importance of the interactions between and interdependence of White Tigresses and Jade Dragons, Hsi Lai shows the reader how these ancient Taoist secrets can be incorporated into a contemporary lifestyle.

28 Black Picture Books Not About Boycotts, Basketball or Buses

When I made the first of these lists back in 2016 I had no idea the places it would go: Libraries, schools and families all over the world continue to share it even now, and I am humbled by its reception. I’ve long threatened to do a sequel to that list, so here it is. Same old librarian, all new tricks. Same rules apply:

1) Titles that came out within the last ten years (or so).
2) A spread in the gender of the protagonists.
3) Shine light on typically ignored aspects of black life. Nothing against history, but we aren’t exactly hurting for books on slavery. We could do with some more books about fishing, owning pets, and generally any other hobby children have. (That said, this list caught a lot more history than the last one.)

The books are not ranked in any way. Creator(s) are noted: Author/Illustrator.
See you in the stacks, but more importantly, buy some books!

 

  1. Freedom in Congo Square
    (Carole Boston Weatherford/R. Gregory Christie)
    I lean out of historical stuff for these lists, but this book was too strong to ignore. A look at the birthplace of jazz, and how Congo Square was just about the only place that could have happened.

freedomcongo

 

  1. Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut
    (Derrick Barnes/Gordon C. James)
    Anything that alleviates the drama of taking a child to the barbershop should be celebrated. A beautifully done and warm book about learning to love your hair, the process of maintaining it, and the unique experience of barbershop traditions.

Crown

 

  1. Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat
    (Javaka Steptoe)
    This is the 2017 Coretta Scott King Book Awards Illustrator Winner, and for good reason. Get hip to one of the greatest names to ever grace the art world in this completely accessible narrative done in a playful and informative style.
    radiantchild
  2. Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race
    (Margot Lee Shetterly/Laura Freeman)
    By now you’ve probably seen the movie and read Shetterly’s original adult version of this story. This is a fine encapsulation of the women scientists who went unheralded for years, now specifically for younger children.
    hiddenfigures

 

  1. Big Hair, Don’t Care
    (Crystal Swain-Bates)
    Nobody loves their hair more than the irrepressible narrator of this book. Perfect for any child that may struggle with self-esteem because of their crown.
    bighair

 

  1. My Friend Maya Loves to Dance
    (Cheryl Willis Hudson/Eric Velasquez)
    A strong and beautifully rendered take on an otherwise common childrens book topic. And how about that co-ed dance class, eh?
    myfriendmaya

 

  1. I’m a Pretty Little Black Girl!
    (Betty K. Bynum/Claire Armstrong Parod)
    This book takes the ugliness of colorism and turns it completely on its head, celebrating all the shades black girls come in.
    imaprettylittleblackgirl

 

  1. Mae Among the Stars
    (Roda Ahmed/Stasia Burrington)
    A warm and engaging take on the childhood dreams and observations that made Mae Jemison – the first African American woman to travel into space – put on a helmet.
    maeamongstars

 

  1. Hey Black Child
    (Useni Eugene Perkins/Bryan Collier)
    A poem-as-book self-esteem building exercise best done out loud. Emphasis on the loud.
    heyblackchild

 

  1. Knock Knock: My Dad’s Dream for Me
    (Daniel Beaty /Bryan Collier)
    I’m a sucker for a book with a present and affectionate black father in it, and while this one roped me in with that promise, it takes matters further by actually being about what it’s like when your father isn’t present.
    knockknock

 

  1. Ruth and the Green Book
    (Calvin Alexander Ramsey, Gwen Strauss/Floyd Cooper)
    The infamous Green Books and the circumstances that made them necessary during segregation are conveyed here in a careful and intelligent way.
    ruthgreenbook

 

  1. The Ring Bearer
    (Floyd Cooper)
    Lots of stories out there about flower girls. Almost none about ring bearers.
    ringbearer

 

  1. Early Sunday Morning
    (Denene Millner/Vanessa Brantley-Newton)
    Denene Millner has parlayed her best-selling success in writing non-fiction into a full-blown imprint deal that lets her publish children’s books with a focus on black creators, so if you see a book with “Denene Millner Books” across the top (see #2 above), get it. Early Sunday Morning is a delight of a book, roping in several black traditions in a beautiful package.
    earlysundaymorning

 

  1. Tea Cakes for Tosh
    (Kelly Starling Lyons/E. B. Lewis)
    I am also a sucker for grandmothers. This is a political treat of a book that touches on family, slavery, and the importance of traditions.
    teacakestosh

 

  1. Around Our Way on Neighbors’ Day
    (Tameka Fryer Brown/Charlotte Riley-Webb)
    This book brims with examples of a diverse and well-rounded neighborhood life with irrepressible art to boot.
    aroundourway

 

  1. This Is the Rope
    (Jacqueline Woodson/James Ransome)
    The prolific Woodson has been killing the book game for a while now, and this picture book offering takes a common playful activity – jumping rope – and connects it to notions of legacy and history without being heavy-handed.
    thisistherope

 

  1. I’m a Big Brother Now
    (Katura J. Hudson/Sylvia L. Walker)
    A good one for that soon-to-be-a-sibling who wants to know what life after the new baby is going to look like, and what their job is.
    imabigborthernow

 

  1. Lily Brown’s Paintings
    (Angela Johnson/E. B. Lewis)
    Every child loves to paint, but few of them are as talented as budding art forger Lily Brown, who tries her hand at capturing the styles of the masters.
    lilybrown

 

  1. Little Melba and Her Big Trombone
    (Katheryn Russell-Brown/Frank Morrison)
    A beautifully illustrated and sound-rich biography of important (yet unheralded) trombone player Melba Liston.
    (Note: On my first list there was a book about current musical herald Trombone Shorty, so it was good to find a book that essentially says “These things come from traditions. Yes, even the trombone players.”)
    littlemelba

 

  1. Fishing Day
    (Andrea Davis Pinkney/Shane W. Evans)
    A girl and her mother go fishing is just about the surprising premise I found this time around. Alas, of course, Jim Crow appears. A reach-across-the-aisle tale.
    fishing day

 

  1. Young Cornrows Callin Out the Moon
    (Ruth Forman/Cbabi Bayoc)
    An ode to Philly brownstone summertime life, this is a vibrant and slightly dialect inflected book-length poem. “Today Was a Good Day” for kids.
    young_cornrows_calling_out_the_moon

 

  1. The Hat That Wore Clara B.
    (Melanie Turner-Denstaedt/Frank Morrison)
    A black woman’s church hat is a sacred thing. They come with their own stories and rituals, and this book does a great job of relaying the layers of tradition associated with them. Black church childrens books are practically a genre unto themselves, and this title is a standard bearer.
    hatthatworeclaraB

 

  1. Not Norman: A Goldfish Story
    (Kelly Bennett/Noah Z. Jones)
    Most kids want pets, but this kid is not feeling Norman the Goldfish. Fish don’t do anything cool…or do they? A cute study in appreciation, responsibility that has a nice wry touch that makes reading it aloud a lot of fun.
    notnorman

 

  1. The Moon Over Star
    (Dianna Hutts Aston/Jerry Pinkney)
    Any story that has a young girl make her cousins build her a spaceship in the backyard is pretty much gold. A period piece (1969) with a wink at Mae Jemison (see #8), suggesting that there just might be enough books about black women and space to make a proper school unit.
    moonoverstar

 

  1. The Quickest Kid in Clarksville
    (Pat Zietlow Miller/Frank Morrison)
    Two girls face off in a dramatic foot race before the big parade comes featuring Olympic gold medalist Wilma Rudolph. There’s way more drama than I gave a book about a foot race. Like, I got invested.
    quickest-kid-in-clarksville

 

  1. Hank’s Big Day
    (Evan Kuhlman/Chuck Groenink)
    I was confused by this book because the first half of it focused entirely on the adventures of Hank the Pill Bug. I feared the black girl on the cover was mere decoration, only to discover halfway through the book that Hank has essentially been making his way to Amelia, who as it turns out is his best friend. A wonderful testimony about friendship featuring an engaging young girl and her buddy the pill bug.
    hanksBigDay

 

  1. Grace for President
    (Kelly DiPucchio/LeUyen Pham)
    What better time to instill the message in our youth that their civic duty moving forward should largely be to make us forget 2017 ever happened.
    gracepresident

 

  1. Marvelous Cornelius: Hurricane Katrina and the Spirit of New Orleans
    (Phil Bildner/John Parra)
    Another New Orleans-focused entry with a ton of heart. Based on the life of French Quarter sanitation worker Cornelius Washington, who was a real character. It is a great slice of community life of the most unique city in America after one of its most trying times. Don’t worry: The hurricane part is brief. It’s mostly neighborhood love. Also, any opportunity to get a room full of kids to yell “Hootie Hoo!” unapologetically simply must be taken advantage of.
    marvelouscorn

Book Select – Their Eyes Were Watching God

One of the most important works of twentieth-century American literature, Zora Neale Hurston’s beloved 1937 classic, Their Eyes Were Watching God, is an enduring Southern love story sparkling with wit, beauty, and heartfelt wisdom. Told in the captivating voice of a woman who refuses to live in sorrow, bitterness, fear, or foolish romantic dreams, it is the story of fair-skinned, fiercely independent Janie Crawford, and her evolving selfhood through three marriages and a life marked by poverty, trials, and purpose. A true literary wonder, Hurston’s masterwork remains as relevant and affecting today as when it was first published – perhaps the most widely read and highly regarded novel in the entire canon of African American literature

You can find it online with a quick utilization of the Googles

Book Select – Writing Down The Bones

Natalie Goldberg’s word-of-mouth hit has sold well over half a million copies. Goldberg, who has conducted writing workshops for both beginners and professionals all over the United States, sees writing as a practice that helps us comprehend the value of our lives. With insight, humor, and practicality, she inspires writers and would-be writers alike to take the leap into writing creatively and well.

For more than twenty years Natalie Goldberg has been challenging and cheering on writers with her books and workshops. In her groundbreaking first book, she brings together Zen meditation and writing in a new way.

This book is available online or in your local Barnes and Noble

 

Sacred Geometry Coloring Book of Golden Ratio

Coloring Book Celebrates Mathematical Beauty of Nature with Hand-Drawn Golden Ratio Illustrations

 

Golden Ratio Coloring Book

Chambered nautilus shell
This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase, My Modern Met may earn an affiliate commission. Please read our disclosure for more info.

Rafael Araujo’s hand-drawn Golden Ratio illustrations are a beautiful fusion of art with science. For the past 40 years, the Venezuelan architect and illustrator has been perfecting his amazing drawings that are all connected by this common theme. Armed with nothing but a pencil, compass, ruler, and protractor he creates drawings that depict the mathematical brilliance of the natural world, and has recently begun to compile renditions of his best work into an adult coloring book that seeks to reconnect humans with nature.

Araujo’s illustrations revolve around intelligent patterns of growth that are ruled by the Golden Ratio. This special number, commonly annotated with the Greek letter Phi (?), is equal to 1.618 and can be seen in all sorts of natural spirals, sequences, and proportions. “Phyllotaxis” is the name given for the tendency of organic things to grow in spiral patterns and this number pattern reoccurs so often in nature that some researchers have deemed it a universal law for the perfection of structures, forms, and proportions. From sea shells, leaves, crystals, and even butterfly wings, Phi can be traced throughout our environment, time and time again.

Applying the Golden Ratio to his drawings and leaving the construction lines in the final images allows Araujo to create designs that clearly gravitate around this mathematical framework. Each composition is painstakingly detailed: it can take up to 100 hours for the artist to complete a single one. With a successful funding campaign under way, Araujo’s coloring book that celebrates this sacred geometric pattern will hopefully be available to a global audience sometime soon. In the meantime, the campaign is still accepting funding on Kickstarter with plenty of perks available to backers.

UPDATE: The coloring book is now available to purchase on Amazon.

Golden Ratio Coloring Book

Fibonacci sequence shell

Golden Ratio Coloring Book

The Fibonacci Sequence

Golden Ratio Coloring Book

Blue Morpho, Sequence

Golden Ratio Coloring Book

Blue Morpho, Double Helix

Golden Ratio Coloring Book

Danaus Plexippus, mirror

Golden Ratio Coloring Book

Phoebis, Triple Helix

Golden Ratio Coloring Book

Butterfly infinite sequence

Read the full article at MyModernMet

Book Select – Known to Evil , Walter Mosley

When New York private eye Leonid McGill is hired to check up on a vulnerable young woman, all he discovers is a bloody crime scene-and the woman gone missing. His client doesn’t want her found. The reason will put everything McGill cherishes in harm’s way: his family, his friends, and his very soul.

You can find this book on Amazon

This is on the list of completion for this week. So far it has me glued in so I will be talking about this one on an upcoming episode of Daily Focus

Book Select: RED DEATH | Walter Mosley

 


Walter Mosley

From a “new, strong and original voice” (Los Angeles Times Book Review) and the author of Devil in a Blue Dress comes a fascinating and believable mystery set in the Red-baiting, blacklisting Los Angeles of 1953. Easy is out of the “hurting business” and into the housing (and favor) business when a racist IRS agent nails him for tax evasion. And his only way out of jail is to agree to spy on an alleged communist union organizer whose headquarters is the all-black First African Baptist Church.

I discuss some of what I thought about this book on Daily Focus 038

A quick google search will lead you to the path of reading!

This Ghanaian Art Historian is Creating a 54-Volume Encyclopedia on African Culture

 Nana Oforiatta-Ayim’s “Cultural Encyclopedia Project” will chronicle historical and contemporary art, music and literature from each African country.

Ghanaian writer and art historian, Nana Oforiatta-Ayim, was a PhD student back in 2009,  when she first conceived the idea of creating a comprehensive archive of African art and culture.

“I would go to the underground library vaults, and I would find theses that were so brilliant and interesting, and yet no one was looking at it and it is so valuable, she tells The New York Times. “I would get completely sidetracked reading about things like the technology of kente cloth. And at the same time I was also thinking that the narrative that is told about Africa is still the backward narrative: no innovation, it’s ahistorical and stuck. Yet with everything I was reading, it was stories of innovation, of knowledge, of technology.”

Now, Oforiatta-Ayim’s idea is coming to life through her “Cultural Encyclopedia Project,” which will chronicle art from each African country, hence its 54 separate volumes. The first volume will be an internet-based repository of historical and contemporary Ghanaian art, literature music and more, reports The New York Times.

The project, which received a $40,000 grant from the Los Angeles County Museum in 2015, aims to help preserve the creations of African artists and help build knowledge about the Continent’s history.

Oforiatta-Ayim, who’s previously worked with Sir David Adjaye—the architect behind the National Museum of African American History and Culture‘s building— has gathered a team of Ghanaian musicians, filmmakers, photographers, writers and more to help curate and edit the encyclopedia’s first volume.

It’s an immense undertaking, and each countries entry will likely take a couple of years to complete, but Oforiatta-Ayim has already created a plan on how to roll out future volumes. “So if other countries are going to take it on, then we are going to have a manual like, ‘this is how we collect things, this is what we did wrong and this is what we did right.’ There is no reason that, once we have the manual, there can’t be five countries at the same time working. So what I am doing is building teams in different countries,” she says.

There will also be art exhibits to accompany the online encyclopedia, the first of which premiered last week at Oforiatta-Ayim’s ANO gallery and research institution, in conjunction with Ghana’s 60th independence day.

The significance of the groundbreaking project is certainly not lost on those involved in its production. “What makes up the culture itself? And that is why it is open-ended and it is widespread in music, arts, language, dance. Every possible aspect is used and usable. It’s trying to tell your own stories and taking hold of your narrative,” said Nigerian musician Kezia Jones, who’s one of the encyclopedia’s contributors.

The “Cultural Encyclopedia Project” is about reclaiming African history, but it’s also about expanding knowledge of history and culture within the continent as well. It is such an important thing,” says David Adjaye.”Because actually East Africans don’t know about West Africans’ culture, and West Africans don’t know about North Africans’ culture, and North Africans don’t know about Southern Africans’ culture — and I am being simplistic here — but it is very hard. So this writing and forming of identity of the continent is really important.”

Source – OkayAfrica 

Semicolon Chicago Newly Opened Book Store

Semicolon—a vibrant new bookstore, community space, and gallery for Chicago’s street art scene—opened its doors on Tuesday with a party and mural unveiling. The store is “just one of a handful of woman-owned bookstores in Chicago and currently its only bookstore owned by a black woman.”

An author and editor with a PhD in literary theory, owner DL Mullen originally planned to open a Soho House-esque literary arena called Athenaeum Librarium, which would be a mixture of library, co-working space, and membership-only club. However, after the ambitious project was repeatedly plagued by construction woes, Mullen decided to spin the concept into a bookstore, rechristening it Semicolon.

“It represents the point in a sentence where it could stop, but the author decides to proceed,” Mullen explained to Chicago Magazine. “It means everything to me. To be able to create something that I love, as a black woman, that other black women and people can love just as much is a huge deal,” she says. “You don’t get into bookselling looking for money; it’s really hard to build up your career to actually open a bookstore. I feel grateful that I’ve been able to do that.”

Congratulations to Mullen, and to all of Chicago’s literary and artistic denizens!

Written by By Dan Sheehan – Source LitHub

Correction: A previous version of this post stated incorrectly that Semicolon is the first black woman-owned bookstore in Chicago. Desiree Sanders’ Afrocentric Bookstore, which operated for almost twenty years and closed in 2008, was in fact the city’s first, and Mrs. Toneal M. Jackson’s APS Books & More Bookstore was in business in Chicago from 2015 to June 2019. 

Book Select: King of the Cats

Before Barack Obama, Colin Powell, and Martin Luther King, Jr., there was Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. — the most celebrated and controversial black politician of his generation. An astute businessman known as “Mr. Civil Rights,” he represented Harlem for twenty-four years in the House of Representatives. He was a man of the cloth and a civil rights leader, but Powell’s reputation for flamboyance, arrogance, and womanizing made him his own worst enemy. In this towering and definitive biography, acclaimed journalist Wil Haygood paints a vivid portrait of one of black America’s most memorable dignitaries.