Review: GuRu by RuPaul

guru_hc

 

GURU, RuPaul. Dey Street Books, $25.99 (208p) ISBN: 9780062862990
Publication date: October 23, 2018

If there is anything RuPaul is more passionate about than being unapologetically fierce, it is probably helping others tap into their fierceness—unapologetically, of course. Now, let’s take it further. It’s great to be fierce and fabulous, but how do you treat others? How do you treat yourself? In his new book, GuRu, RuPaul doesn’t just empower readers to live their best life, he understands that this can effectively be accomplished when people are prompted to take an honest look at themselves and reflect on where their thoughts come from and how much of them are influenced by society. When is the last time you watched, let’s say, a YouTube video and formed your own opinion before looking at the comment section?

GuRu has a plethora of dazzling images that showcase the icon’s versatility in supreme drag queen aesthetics and is an asset to your coffee table. However, it is more than a pretty book with colorful quotes; it is a book that is there whenever you need a reminder that you’re not alone (RuPaul does get personal in the pages), or you need a pick-me-up, and/or a boost of motivation to keep moving forward in life with your head, standards, and heels (if you wear them) high.

Previous book by RuPaul: Workin’ It!: RuPaul’s Guide to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Style (It Books, 2010).

Rating: So Cool

Rating Scale:
Cool: Decent
So Cool: Good
Booking Cool: Excellent
So Booking Cool: Masterpiece

Interview With Artist and M.O.U.N. Records CEO Chas Bronxson!

chas bronxsonWith recent biopics such as The New Edition Story and The Bobby Brown Story and documentaries like Unsung, many have come to understand the unfairness that can come with being a music artist, and M.O.U.N. Records founder and CEO, Chas Bronxson is no exception. In fact, it was the infamous shady contracts that he was offered as a teen that would eventually motivate him to take the independent route. “…I couldn’t get a decent record deal with a major record label, and even independent record label because they always offered a contract that just didn’t seem right,” he told So Booking Cool.

What also fueled him to take matters into his own hands was his protégé, Haley Williams, who he was eager to introduce to the world.  The hard work and determination would pay off. Williams’ heartfelt single “I Miss My Daddy” placed number 14 on the Digital Radio Track’s top 150 this past summer.

In addition to producing talent, M.O.U.N. Records, which is an acronym for Makings Of Unforgettable New Records, is launching a nonprofit organization for youth to learn about and use music and poetry as creative outlets. Bronxson also aims for the program to discuss serious topics such as the importance of fatherhood. “We want to make things really good for the kids coming up, so they’ll have something to look to, an outlet to uplift and express whatever it is that they are dealing with in life, to make things better and get the idea to do their own thing.”

Listen to the full interview, to learn more about Bronxson including the inspiration behind the stage name; his creative approach to his craft; his thoughts on internships; his thoughts on the technological benefits for artists and book lovers; when artists should and should not address rumors; the books and authors who have inspired him; his own forthcoming books; his perspective on singing competition shows, the powerful message of his song “When They’re Gone (An Ode to Michael Jackson)” and its controversial video, and a lot more! For more information, visit https://www.mounrecords.com.

Interview With Literary Agent, Mollie Glick!

mollie glick photoThe love for writing and business is what Mollie Glick cherishes about being an agent. “You know if you’re gonna be an agent if you love the stories, you love the words, and then you also love the entrepreneurial business-building side,” the Creative Artists Agency (CAA) agent told So Booking Cool. Glick, who has adored books since childhood, started out as a literary scout fresh out of college. While the job served its purpose, she ultimately knew she wanted to work directly with writers. Following her tenure at Crown Publishing (Penguin Random House) as an editor, the Brown University graduate eventually transitioned into agenting.

Subtle Art CoverHer seasoned career has seen the success of Mark Manson‘s The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life, which is still sitting comfortably in the top two of the New York Times bestsellers list two years later (90 weeks to be exact); former Vice President Joe Biden‘s memoir, Promise Me, Dad; Priestdaddy by Patricia Lockwood; and Spineless: The Science of Jellyfish and the Art of Growing a Backbone by ocean scientist, Julie Berwald.

Senator Kamala Harris and Valerie Jarrett, former government official, and New York Times bestselling author Ali Benjamin (The Thing About Jellyfish) are among the forthcoming projects Glick is excited about. Listen to the full interview to learn more about these upcoming books, as well as Glick’s insights about publishing, especially agenting and editing, whether or not publishers or agents make more money, more about Manson, her favorite way to discuss new projects, and juicy tidbits!

Interview With Angelo Ellerbee, PR Guru & Author of “The Sense of Success”!

Ang Sweater2Public relations expert Angelo Ellerbee recently visited So Booking Cool in support of his new book The Sense of Success and candle line, Scent of Success, both of which champion the omnipresent phrase: I’m living my best life. “The acceptance of you is success. The movement of you is success. You have to find it in yourself. And sometimes you need to be instructed about how to find the sense of success,” he said.

The Sense of Success is the sophomore release to his debut, Ask Angelo: An Inside Look at the Entertainment Industry From a PR Guru. Though both are self-help books, the heart of the former is for the disadvantaged, especially youth, while the latter angles on artists and performers.

The_Sense_of_Success_Cover_for_Kindle sm

Throughout his career of nearly 50 years, Ellerbee has  represented and/or managed the likes of Michael Jackson, James Mtume, Dionne Warick, Shabba Ranks, Mary J. Blige, DMX, and Alicia Keys just to name a few. He also served as the Senior Vice President of Publicity at Island Def Jam Records. His company Double XXposure Media Relations was the first and probably only black-owned public relations firm to be located in Midtown Manhattan. Dubbed the “Henry Higgins of Hip Hop” by the New York Times, Double XXposure remains a respected company for talent, not just regarding publicity, but in artist development as well.

Also a community activist, another reason Ellerbee wrote and published The Sense of Success because he feels strongly about guiding people of color. “I just believe that my people deserve to have the right to understand that they are successful. I just need for them to open their eyes and dig deep down inside and find out where their success is. And if I have to be that person that shines that candle so they can see, and feel, and understand where the sense of the fragrance of success is coming from internally, let it be,” the New Jersey native said.

Listen to the full interview to learn more about Ellerbee, his activism, the film-adaptation of his compelling life story, his views on navigating publicity for troubled clients, his humble beginnings, his wisdom, his upcoming college tour dates, and more! Fore more information visit the following websites: http://www.dxxnyc.com/home and https://www.ellerbeeelegance.com/home.

Interview with Diann Valentine, Author of “Going The Distance For Love”!

DIANN VALENTINE
Photo by Robert Ector

Love and relationship expert, television personality, entrepreneur, speaker, publisher, and author, Dianne Valentine recently appeared on So Booking Cool in support of her debut book, Going The Distance For Love: 22 Tips On Handling Your Issues and Finding Love…Wherever It May Be. As someone who informs that she has been in love with love since she was seven-years-old, this is an endeavor close to her heart, no pun intended. The book was composed of her and her friends’ personal experiences, a process Valentine described as a “lethargic” in having to think back on her life. However, she used these real stories to provide the lessons learned, and more importantly, to help women realize they are not alone.

“…Even experts and authors kind of create this picture that they have it all figured out and that they’re perfect; and the reality is I am an expert because I’ve lived it, and I’ve seen it, and I’ve experienced it, and I’ve studied it over the course of my entire career. I didn’t wake up yesterday and say ‘oh, I’m a love expert.’ I’ve been with women in love for over twenty-five years,” said the wedding planner and interior designer. Women have appreciated the knowledge, experience, and candor she demonstrates in Going The Distance for Love.

Listen to our full interview with Valentine to learn more about her insights on love, relationships, and being single (including their respective misconceptions), some of her past dating blues, why she thinks black women should consider dating in Rome, her response to our suggestion of her writing a romance a novel, and more! For more information, visit Valentine’s official website.

Interview With Teri Coaxum, Author of Peaceful Pondering: A Busy Woman’s Guide to Inner Peace!

TERITeri Coaxum, professor, business coach, and founder and CEO of Coaxum Connects wrote her debut book Peaceful Pondering: A Busy Woman’s Guide to Inner Peace in hopes that people will allow themselves to become a priority in their lives. “The book is about finding that off button,” the motivational speaker told So Booking Cool. The self-help guide, published by Xlibris, discusses the important distinction between integration and balance when it comes to leading a peaceful life–something Coaxum has learned from her  own amazing and loaded career.

In 2004, Coaxum became the first African American woman Deputy State Director for Senator Chuck Schumer. Prior to this role, she was the Project Manager of Community Relations for the former Brooklyn District Attorney, Charles Hynes. She would eventually become the Regional Advocate for the Office of Advocacy’s Region II during Barack Obama‘s presidency, in which she served in the Small Business Community. Coaxum reveals she manifested working for the Obama Administration and put it into her vision book (not board!)

Image result for peaceful pondering   The New York-based educator (John Jay, Metropolitan, and Medgar Evers) also discusses mentors and sponsors, and networking vs. social climbing and opportunists, all of which she says can be distinguished by nurtured relationships. She also mentions some of her favorite self-transformation books, including those she has recommended to her students. Check out the full heartfelt interview above!

A Review: “Perfect is Boring” by Tyra Banks and Carolyn London

TYRAAPERFECT IS BORING: 10 THINGS MY CRAZY, FIERCE MAMA TAUGHT ME ABOUT BEAUTY, BOOTY, AND BEING A BOSS, Tyra Banks and Carolyn London. TarcherPerigee, $27.00 (320p) ISBN-13: 978-014313230
Publication date: April 3, 2018

Tyra Banks and her mother, Carolyn London, have created a resonant Girl’s girl (and guys, too, they don’t discriminate) self-help memoir in Perfect is Boring: 10 Things My Crazy, Fierce Mama Taught Me About Beauty, Booty, And Being a Boss. The candid and humorous mother and daughter guide embodies the young female experience with topics from from menstruation, dating, sex, and career to (of course) beauty and body image. “I think that in the future, the most prized looks will be the flawsome ones (flaws + awesome ones), not the perfect ones,” Banks writes.

The model recalls the time she advised a fellow contestant on America’s Next Top Model to minimize her gap, a decision the executive regrets today. She also divulges her own share of criticism she’s faced throughout and even prior to her modeling career.

Surprisingly, Banks was a bully and was eventually bullied herself. Her mean-girl behavior and awkward stage were both short-lived, and helped inspire Banks to become an active supporter of other girls. Before launching her then talk show, Banks and London had a camp devoted to helping and empowering young women.

Perfect is Boring also reveals the supermodel’s self-described misguided attempt at a singing career (did you know she’s collaborated with Kobe Bryant and Pharrell Williams?) before realizing it was not her calling. Throughout the pages, Banks and London possess an entertaining and we’re-rooting-for-you way of dropping both wisdom and laugh-out-loud admissions, but the dynamic of the book that especially shines is the beautiful bond between mother and daughter.

Every Day I’m Hustling by Vivica A. Fox Review

vivicaaa EVERY DAY I’M HUSTLING, Vivica A. Fox. St. Martin’s Press, $26.99 (288p) ISBN-13: 978-1250134455
Publication date: April 3, 2018

Actress, producer, television host, entrepreneur, and now author, Vivica A. Fox, has penned a riveting memoir-inspiration based on her various life experiences turned life lessons from on and off the screen. Themes of family, relationships, beauty and fashion, and ageism are discussed, and, yes, the book does address her relationship with Curtis Jackson, aka 50 Cent (as well as Celebrity Apprentice, which of course, comes with discussing President Trump and his family), but the most resounding aspect of the book is Fox’s overall sheer commitment to helping the reader.

She provides lists of tips and examples of how to be successful personally and professionally, without sounding preachy or arrogant, but instead projecting honesty and confidence. The book also manages to capture how personable she is—Fox will have you thinking she is a friend in your head, and her tone is perfectly woven into the pages. This feels like such a complete memoir; it reads true and heartfelt; and none of the pages are filler. She even creatively includes her favorite things, like specific things she carries in her pocketbooks, and the songs she listens to to motivate her. There is very little she does not discuss.

Let me tell you a secret,” Fox writes. “When I was a little girl growing up in Indianapolis, no one could say “Vivica”…I was so sensitive about my name that I made it easy for everyone else, going by a shortening of my middle name….In life sometimes we run away from the things that make us unique.”

When Fox moved to California to pursue modeling (while working and going to school), she’d carry around a portfolio just in case she ran into someone of note—you know the saying, you never know who you may run into, so always be prepared. Well, one day she gets approached by a film producer and even though the exchange had nothing to do with modeling, she recognized the potential. She saw it as an opportunity. This moment arguably highlights her hustler’s mentality even then as just a teenager. It was this same drive that would lead to Fox producing her own projects, performing in theaters, launching her own hair line, being smart enough to capitalize off the reality TV craze, and even looking for ways to find a career based on another passion of hers, sports.

At one point, Fox considered quitting show business when she saw a decline in movie role offers and being considered “too old” for most, however, she managed to pick herself back up and take matters into her own hands. It can be said that her perseverance led to her snagging a role on the hit show Empire, the sequel to Independence Day, writing her very own book and her newly announced endeavor, talk show host. Full of heart, personality, and inspiration, Every Day I’m Hustling will appeal to people younger and older than Fox.

Comparative Titles: Black Privilege: Opportunity Comes to Those Who Create It by Charlamagne Tha God; How to be a Bawse: A Guide to Conquering Life by Lilly Singh

Honorable mentions: I Don’t Belong to You: Quiet the Noise and Find Your Voice by Keke Palmer and Mother of Black Hollywood by Jenifer Lewis

Interview With Tony Forte, Partner of the Angela Yee Book Club!

angela.png

On Wednesday, August 30, the Angela Yee Book Club: Kickin’ It From the Stoop will host its fifth meeting at its home location, the WOODstack Ivy, a sportswear store in Brooklyn, New York. Tony Forte, Vice President of Sales and Marketing /GMM at the WOODstack company, talked to So Booking Cool about his partnership with Yee, one of the radio personalities on the nationally syndicated show, The Breakfast Club.

The forthcoming title to be discussed at the club is Bed-Stuy is Burning by Brian Platzer. Platzer, who is also an English teacher, tackles issues like gentrification and race in his novel, a conversation Forte says will be interesting and enlightening. Platzer will be in attendance to discuss his book with Yee and Tasha Hilton, who works as the Digital Marketing Manager at Atria (Simon and Schuster).

https://soundcloud.com/jewel-be/interview-with-tony-forte-co-partner-of-the-angela-yee-book-club

The book club, which occurs monthly, has previously discussed the following Atria titles, including The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl by Issa Rae; Life’s Work: A Moral Argument for Choice by Dr. Willie Parker; I Can’t Make This Up: Life Lessons by Kevin Hart; and Surpassing Certainty by writer, television host, and transgender activist Janet Mock.

Press play to learn more about how the book club started, the book selection process, why the club is important to Forte and his aspirations for it. Visit the official website http://kickinitfromthestoop.com/  for additional information.