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Terri Schlichenmeyer

Stories by Terri

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Truevine: Two Brothers, a Kidnapping, and a Mother’s Quest: A True Story of the Jim Crow South

The clowns at your job dominate Ring Number One. Ring Number Two features The Juggler (you) and your checkbook, schedule, chore list, and family obligations. And in Ring Number Three, there’s a wild combination of the other two. Run away and join the circus? Yeah, that’s already happened but in the new book “Truevine” by Beth Macy, it was far from voluntary.

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Another Day in the Death of America: A Chronicle of Ten Short Lives

Today was an ordinary day. It had its ups and downs; pleasant surprises came between the mundane and the irritating and you’ll look back at it tomorrow with clarity, perhaps, but its details will be sketchy in a decade. It was an ordinary day which, says Gary Younge, also means an average of seven kids in the U.S. lost their lives to a bullet. In “Another Day in the Death of America,” he explains.

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Darktown

Someone always has to be first. That can be a good thing, or a bad one. Good, if it’s a cafeteria, supermarket queue, electronics store, or conga line; better, if free samples are involved. Bad, in experiments, taste-testing, first-on- last-off and, as in the new novel “Darktown” by Thomas Mullen, first in a dangerous new job.

Elizabeth and Michael

You never have to explain yourself when you’re together; everything said (and unsaid) is understood. There may be many years between you, but it doesn’t matter. There may be differences in background, but no worries. Nothing keeps you apart, and in the new book “Elizabeth and Michael” by Donald Bogle, that might be because you have everything in common.

Elizabeth and Michael

You never have to explain yourself when you’re together; everything said (and unsaid) is understood. There may be many years between you, but it doesn’t matter. There may be differences in background, but no worries. Nothing keeps you apart, and in the new book “Elizabeth and Michael” by Donald Bogle, that might be because you have everything in common.

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The Full Tank Life

At the end of the day, you’re out of gas. There’s nothing left in your reserves, not a drop. You’re done, wondering if this is as far as you’ll ever go but somehow open to new suggestions. So read “The Full Tank Life” by Ben Tankard. It might just rev your engine again.

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Writings on the Wall: Searching for a New Equality Beyond Black and White

There’s no magic wand to change the things that’ve been on your mind lately: social issues, inequality, poverty, politics, apathy, violence. Those ills didn’t arrive quick and they won’t leave quick but, says Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, they can be repaired.

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Brave Like Me

Never be afraid of…. Your Mommy and Daddy have taught you that. Never be afraid of spiders, big animals, lightning, or loud noises. Always be brave, they say, and so you are – and in the new book “Brave Like Me” by Barbara Kerley, you’ll see how that courage you’ve got helps them, too.

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The Education of Kevin Powell

By Kevin Powell

You never knew what you didn’t have. There were times in your childhood when cereal was supper because there was nothing else. When birthday toys seemed gently pre-loved, hand-me-downs were new to you, and you were none the wiser.

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'I Almost Forgot about You'

In every love life, there’s always “the one that got away.” He got away because you were both too young, too scared, too broke, or too different.

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“83 Minutes: The Doctor, the Damage, and the Shocking Death of Michael Jackson”

An accident, a murder, a surprise can happen in an instant that can seem like a lifetime. It doesn’t take very long – or does it? The odd thing about time is that it’s shapeable, as you’ll see in the new book “83 Minutes: The Doctor, the Damage, and the Shocking Death of Michael Jackson” by Matt Richards and Mark Langthorne.

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I Almost Forgot about You

In every love life, there’s always The One That Got Away. He got away because you were both too young, too scared, too broke, or too different. Things were said that couldn’t be unsaid, done that shouldn’t have been done. It just didn’t work out then, but now…? In the new novel, “I Almost Forgot about You” by Terry McMillan, he’ll never get away twice.

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Running with the Champ

Two heads are better than one. Another body can make work lighter, both in mood and in task. A partner can support you, encourage you, inspire you, and sympathize with you. You solve easier with another mind on the problem.

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Chasing Perfection

Is there anything better in basketball? It’s sheer poetry, absolute magic, and your team can’t do it enough – especially when it happens from the three-point line. In the new book “Chasing Perfection” by Andy Glockner, you’ll see how science is trying to ensure that it does, as much as possible.

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“The Parker Sisters: A Border Kidnapping”

Your neighbors said they’d keep an eye on your house for you this summer. They’d get the mail in, and grab the newspaper while you were on vacation. They’d do everything for you – and, as in the new book “The Parker Sisters” by Lucy Maddox, you should be glad if they watch your children, too.

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“The Invisibles: The Untold Story of African American Slaves in The White House”

If the walls could talk, imagine what they’d say. They’d reminisce about family meals, holidays, celebrations and romance, take sides in arguments, and watch children grow.

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“Before I Forget”

You can’t remember what you came into the room for. That happens with disturbing frequency. Forgetting your glasses, losing your keys, it really bothers you because you’re not sure if it’s a normal part of aging or something else.

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“Best Friends Forever”

You’d do almost anything for your best friend. You’d take a bullet, take her in, or take her anywhere she needed to go. You keep her kids and her confidences. And, as in the new novel, “Best Friends Forever” by Kimberla Lawson Roby, she’d do the same for you. Probably.

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“Firefight: The Century-Long Battle to Integrate New York’s Bravest”

By Ginger Adams Otis

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire seem so cozy.

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Buffalo Soldiers: Heroes of the American West

Your family is filled with people to whom you look up. There’s Grandpa, who served in the war. Grandma, who raised many children with little money. Your uncle, another veteran overseas; and both your parents, who keep you fed and safe. You look up to all of them but imagine how high you’d have to look if they were on horseback, and then read “Buffalo Soldiers: Heroes of the American West” by Brynn Baker.

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The Jemima Code: Two Centuries of African American Cookbooks

You woke up this morning with a craving. So is breakfast time too early to think about dinner? Is it bad to want to sneak home for lunch, just to make your favorite comfort food? No, because nothing else tastes good when you’re hankering for something specific.

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Naughtier than Nice

You have to tell somebody. There’s a secret inside you, one you’ve been keeping far too long and you’re about to burst. You need to talk about it. You need some advice, some perspective. As in the new novel “Naughtier than Nice” by Eric Jerome Dickey, if you don’t talk about this issue soon, it could be the death of you.

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‘What Color is Your Hoodie? Essays on Black Gay Identity”

By Jarrett Neal

Some days, it seems as though you have super powers.

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“Little Shaq” by Shaquille O’Neal

For almost every day of your life, someone’s reminded you to share. Usually, it’s about sharing your toys but that’s not all. You share games, the sofa, your ideas, snacks, and any chore that needs four hands.

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Destiny: Step into Your Purpose

Around work, you’ve gotten a reputation as the go-to person for certain things. Everybody has a talent; yours happens to be on the job. People know you’re good, they utilize your ability, and you don’t mind. It’s not a big deal to you, but could there be more to it? T.D. Jakes thinks so, and in his new book “Destiny: Step into Your Purpose,” he shows how your talents may reveal a new path.

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“Mama’s Boy”

You think about it all the time. The child making headlines in the news could be yours. He could be the kid wrapped up in trouble he never meant to have, the one whose name is known for the wrong reasons. And what would you do? You’ve thought about it, and in the new novel “Mama’s Boy” by ReShonda Tate Billingsley, two mothers act.

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“Something Must Be Done about Prince Edward County”

by Kristen Green

The color pencils are sharp, lined up like fence posts in their unscuffed box. So are the crayons, the pens all wear caps, and notebook covers are free of doodling.

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Only the Strong

Never underestimate yourself. You can carry the weight of ten worlds on your shoulders, and still have time to do your job. You can lift spirits, move mountains, and haul out in a hot minute. You have more power deep inside you than you realize – but, as in the new novel, “Only the Strong” by Jabari Asim, you still have weaknesses.

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Spectacle

The animals look a little restless. Maybe they’re hungry, bored, or tired of being watched. They seem angry. Observing these creatures caged, it’s easy to believe that wild animals shouldn’t be penned like this – and in the new book “Spectacle: The Astonishing Life of Ota Benga” by Pamela Newkirk, neither should humans.

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“Twisted: My Dreadlock Chronicles”

The path to something important is never straight. You may take that first step forward… then backward, decide one way, then another, changing your mind like you change clothes. Knowing your desires will eventually get you there, yes, but you might flirt with the idea awhile before you take the leap. For author Bert Ashe, a new look on his head sat in his head for years.

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“Pardon My Hearse”

The job you were hired to do and the job you do today sure are different. The Old You, in fact, would only barely recognize the way things are done in the modern workplace: you’ve welcomed revolving competition, new technology, and alternate methods as they’ve arrived. For Allan Abbott & Gregory Abbott, that’s especially true but in their new book, “Pardon My Hearse,” they offer snapshots of the ways we’ve departed.

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The Red Bicycle

Last years’ swimsuit is way too small for you now. You’ve outgrown most of your summer clothes, in fact, and you’ve given them away; you can’t wear them anymore, so someone else may as well use them. But clothing isn’t the only thing you can hand-me-down. In the new book “The Red Bicycle” by Jude Isabella, illustrated by Simone Shin, one boy’s outgrown bike becomes another child’s treasure.

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Finding Samuel Lowe

Your last family reunion was a big one. It was fun, too, and eye-opening. You hadn’t really stopped to think about how many people are related to you until you saw aunts you hadn’t seen in decades and met cousins you didn’t even know you had.

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“Infinite Words” by Zane

Sometimes, you feel like a boiling pot. That’s because you’ve been cooking a story up and it bubbles and rolls just below the surface of your mind, waiting to burst forth into a bestseller for an eager audience. It’s always been your dream to be a famous author – and that could happen, but there’s work to do first. “Infinite Words” by Zane can get you started.

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“Explore the Cosmos like Neil deGrasse Tyson”

Would you look at that. Actually, probably, you already have. You’re one of the most observant people you know, never missing a thing, always noticing. You make a great witness because you see everything. And in the new book “One Night” by Eric Jerome Dickey, you see two people about to make a mistake.

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“One Night”

Would you look at that. Actually, probably, you already have. You’re one of the most observant people you know, never missing a thing, always noticing. You make a great witness because you see everything. And in the new book “One Night” by Eric Jerome Dickey, you see two people about to make a mistake.

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"Reach"

Where do you go from here? You’ve been looking at your life and everything around you, and that’s the question you’ve been asking: what next? What will you do with the rest of your days? In the new book “Reach,” edited by Ben Jealous and Trabian Shorters, foreword by Russell Simmons, you may find some guidance.

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‘Supersurvivors’

By David B. Feldman, Ph.D & Lee Daniel Kravetz

You’re not sure if you’ll ever recover.

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‘Getting Waisted: A Survival Guide to Being Fat in a Society That Loves Thin’

By Monica Parker

Up and down. Up and down. When your children were infants, you did it for them all night. You do it now with the remote, clicking through when you’re looking for something good on TV. You’re up and down while cleaning, working, exercising, and weighing yourself—and on that note, if the latest diet doesn’t work, maybe the next one will.

‘Recognition’

By O.H. Bennett

What you wouldn’t give to spend one more day.

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‘The Man from Essence: Creating a Magazine for Black Women’

By Edward Lewis with Audrey Edwards; foreword by Camille O. Cosby

It’s never been done before. It’s never been tried. Maybe it’s never been thought of, either, but that hasn’t stopped you. Once a valid idea pops into your head, it’s not long before the idea becomes more.

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‘The Prodigal Son’

by Kimberla Lawson Roby

Mom always liked you better.

‘The Wealth Choice: Success Secrets of Black Millionaires’

By Dennis Kimbro

Your wallet is almost totally empty.

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“I Am Pilgrim: A Thriller”

By Terry Hayes

You wish you’d never done it.

‘1954: The Year Willie Mays and the First Generation of Black Superstars Changed Major League Baseball Forever’

By Bill Madden

You know the rules. Each base must be touched, each ball hit within bounds - or so you hope. No spitballs, corked bats, pine tar, or steroids. Four bases to run. Three strikes, you’re out.

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‘Debbie Doesn’t Do It Anymore’

by Walter Mosley

You need to change things up. A new sense of style is called-for, a new job, new digs, maybe a new outlook on everything. Out with the old, in with the new, different, exciting.

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‘Black and White: The Way I See It’

by Richard Williams with Bart Davis

Everything can change in an instant. That’s how it goes: one minute, you’re on a good path and the next minute, you’re heading in another direction. The game-changer might be something small, something you never noticed before—or, as you’ll see in Black and White: The Way I See It by Richard Williams (with Bart Davis), (c.2014, Atria, $25.00 / $28.99 Canada, 304 pages) it could be something huge.

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‘Postcards from Cookie’

Among the usual fliers, bills, and donation requests in the mail last week, there was something you haven’t seen in ages: Someone sent you a greeting card.

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‘Things I Should Have Told My Daughter: Lies, Lessons & Love Affairs’

By Pearl Cleage

Dear Diary… You’ve written that many times in your life. Little hurts, schoolgirl crushes, firsts, lasts, and thoughts. It’s all written in your journal so you’d see where you came from and where you’re going.

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‘Handbook for an Unpredictable Life’

By Rosie Perez

You hated your tin grin, but that wasn’t as demoralizing as acne, which was nothing compared to hormones, which wasn’t as annoying as untamable hair, which was minimal compared to your teenage self-esteem—which hovered around 5 on a 1-to-50 scale. Still, you overcame, lived through it, and here you are. And in the new book Handbook for an Unpredictable Life by Rosie Perez, (c.2014, Crown Archetype, $26.00 / $30.00 Canada, 322 pages) you’ll read about another survivor.

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