Friday, July 27, 2007

July 27, 2007: What's Next on The Book Squad: Revisiting Our Past

It's deja vu all over again on The Book Squad today. We're ending the month of Jult by checking in with past guests to see what they've been doing.

First up is John Callahan, from our Writing While Dead show. He returns to further discuss the process of resurrecting Ralph Ellison's novel Juneteenth -- from a manuscript allegedly destroyed by fire in 1967, to having it grace the world's bookshelves decades later. He'll also share with us his latest, A Man You Could Love, in which he poses the question: Can politics be an expression of love? Let's as the latest iteration of the Sharks and The Jets here in D.C.

Remember Jason Miccolo Johnson, the author of Soul Sanctuary, his photographic essay of the Black Church? He'd been a guest on our Spirituality show. A Washington DC resident, Miccolo Johnson has photographed the African Methodist Episcopal Church in an official capacity for a quarter of a century. He'll chat with us about what he's got percolating.

And you can't forget Karen Rose Smith from our Valentine's Day show. She has written fifty-nine romance novels. Her latest, The Bracelet, is #60. She'll be talking about the book and the miraculous feat of writing sixty romance novels.

Plus there's more Wendy's World.

So join us on today at noon. Hey... haven't I seen you before?

Friday, July 20, 2007

July 20, 2007: What's Next on The Book Squad -- Potpourri!

Which is French for "Today's show has no central theme!"

Jamie Malanowski is first up to fill us in on his latest, The Coup, his delicious new satire about a conspiracy to execute a power grab for the White House. Yes, it's fiction. He's the managing editor Playboy magazine. A member of the original staff of Spy, where he worked seven years, he has also been an editor at Time and Esquire, and has written for The New Yorker, The New York Times, Vanity Fair, The Washington Monthly, and many other publications.

Those still recovering from the fatty July 4th meal will appreciate the next guest. Medical journalist and heat attack survivor Robert E. Kowalski joins us to discuss his latest health book The Blood Pressure Cure: 8 Weeks to Lower Blood Pressure without Prescription Drugs. In addition to having written several bestselling books, he has published The Diet-Heart Newsletter for twenty years, maintains his Web site, averages twelve media interviews monthly, and is launching an alliance with to be their provider of heart health information.

Friend of The Book Squad (FOTBS) and Borders District Manager Juliana Wood tells us what Borders stores in the region are doing to celebrate the arrival of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

Plus there's Wendy's World!

Come join us at As always, we're keeping your seat warm for you.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

July 17, 2007: OMG! I’m Totally Hooked on MySpace!

The title of this missive might seem, as Hilary Duff might say, “So yesterday,” but I’m a chronic late adopter. Hang on to your hats, ladies and gentlemen – I STILL don’t have an iPod. Not even the starter cheaper Nano. This is why I’m so surprised that I have a monkey on my back. Its name? MySpace.

I became aware of the whole MySpace phenomenon in the summer of 2005 as a blip on my radar screen, when I’d read that acquisitive media Pac Man Rupert Murdoch had bought the company. Then I’d heard about the viruses and child safety issues. But that still didn’t stop the young ‘uns in my life from raving about this thing called MySpace. So I went up to late on Friday, May 19, 2006, and at 12:15 am on Saturday, May 20, posted my first (and only, as it turns out) blog entry.

There it sat. For months and months. I think I had five friends at first, one being the ubiquitous Tom (Who is that guy, and why did he want to be my first friend?).

Suddenly, though, as time passed, I started getting all of these friend requests in my e-mail inbox. I was intrigued. I think the first author who’d sent me a friend request and a comment was Yasmin Shiraz. This opened the portal into my desire to become friends with my fellow authors and other sojourners through publishing.

Leaping from page to page, I discovered a wealth of people on MySpace that I’d always wanted to meet but had no idea of how to go about it. Like, for instance, my idols Jennifer Weiner and Rebecca Walker. Next, a host of authors on the Black Expressions list serve ( sent out a blanket request for friends. I picked some up there. Along the way, I learned how to post and send comments, how to IM people, how to add new friends, and how to put music on my page. I still don’t have a cool layout or video, though. I may need the hand puppets to explain that. If any of you know how, please, by all means, hook a sistah up.

So, I’ve been on MySpace for a little over a year now. I’ve shot out friend requests and got a surprising number of them back. Oprah, the Dalai Lama, Nelson Mandela, Jimmy Carter, Barack Obama, and Margaret Cho are friends. So are Russell Simmons and John Legend. I won’t delude myself that they’re really “friends,” that they’re dying for my bulletins on who’s appearing next on The Book Squad. However, some of you, my Black Bloggers are friends with whom I’ve had actual interaction – like Gwyneth Bolton, a.Kai, and Monica Jackson. I go in the Pending Requests folder and see who’s agreed to be my friend. I’m still waiting on Mariah and LL, among others, to accept my invitation. Of course, you have the odd horny toad who wants to hook up, who didn’t read the Here For: Networking, Friends part of Wendy Coakley-Thompson’s Details. But I remain undeterred. The anticipation is like Christmas. No wonder Dave Itzkoff, in a June 2006 Playboy article, in discussing his experiences on MySpace, called it “cybercrack” (See

To date, I have 183 friends, and I’m looking for more. If you’re on MySpace and would like to be my friend, here’s the link to my profile:
I’ll be waiting…

Friday, July 13, 2007

On Today's Book Squad

This week, The Book Squad features authors of debut novels.

First up, Savannah J. Frierson joins us to discuss her first born Being Plumville, a story of interracial love and friendship down south. Frierson is a recent graduate of Harvard University who concentrated in African and African-American Studies and English. Frierson won the Dorothy Hicks Lee Prize for her creative thesis on African-American literature. She is originally from Blythewood, South Carolina, and now lives in Somerville, Massachusetts.

Local D.C.-area author Shauna Seliy is also in the house with us. Her novel When We Get There, which received a starred review from Booklist (that's a good thing, people) explores one boy's coming-of-age over the course of a long, eventful, brutally cold winter.

There's also Wendy's World, Around Town, and Karyn chats her experiences with reality TV on The Ultimate Author.
So join us on today at noon on If it's your first time, we'll be gentle...