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Monday, November 29, 2010

REVIEW: Rico the Seagull, Making the Best out of a Mess by April Mahoney


In 2010 the United States experienced its largest oil spill disaster in our nation's history, and though the oil is no longer flowing into the gulf, the people in the region will be dealing with the after effects for quite some time. When such things happen, it's hard sometimes to put in perspective for children what is going on, and how it affects not just the people but the animals as well.

In author April Mahoney's book RICO THE SEAGULL, MAKING THE BEST OUT OF A MESS, we are able to get a bird's eye view (pun intended) as to how manmade events bring change to all living things. Told in the voice of a young seagull, the reader is able to take in the story, the sadness and joy, and relate it to a child's level so they can appreciate what the moral of the story is.

Now, the book is great for young people, but don't think it should be limited to them. The message is one that adults should pay close attention to as well. We are all in this world together, no matter where we live, what we do or who we are. It is all of our responsibility to make sure that we are looking after one another and that we are mindful of the consequences of our actions.

Rico's journey in life could very easily be any of our journey. I'm sure it is the writer's hope that we all learn to appreciate that fact before it's too late.

NOTE: RICO THE SEAGULL, MAKING THE BEST OUT OF A MESS was chosen as one of Conversations' Top 100 Books of 2010. To see the entire listing, go to www.thebestboookclub.info.

Monday, November 22, 2010

(Sat. Nov. 20, 2010) Three Literary Voices Come Together To Promote Reading In Mississippi


(Saturday, November 20, 2010) Mississippi may be seen as having one of the highest illiteracy rates in the country, but that is being chipped away each and every day by organizations like Conversations Book Club.

Under the leadership of Founder/President Cyrus Webb, Conversations Book Club began in Jackson, MS with only three members at the Medgar Evers Library in November 2006 but is now undesputedly the largest co-ed book club in the country with chapters in Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana and meetings in Tennessee. Now four years young, Conversations is continuing its mission of providing something for everyone.


On Saturday, November 20th, Webb hosted authors Joseph Henderson (I DON'T WANT TO DIE ALL ALONE), Diane Hassan (ANGELS AMONG US...EVEN IN IRAQ) and Tommie Watkins, Jr. (LIVING OUT LOUD) in events for the National Day of Reading in the cities of Jackson and Pearl in Mississippi.

The day began with "Breakfast with Books" where patrons at the Medgar Evers Library in Jackson, MS were treated with refreshments and an opportunity to socialize with the authors.


At the end of the event, author Diane Hassan donated a copy of her book to the library, presenting it to librarian Shirley Simmons.


The next stop was the Pearl Public Library in Pearl, MS. There authors Hassan and Watkins shared information about their books and talked about their individual experiences.


There Hassan donated a book as well, presenting it to the supervisor on duty.


Finally it was on to Appetizers Restaurant in Pearl, MS where the authors talked about their day and shared their plans for the new year.


To date Conversations Book Club has scheduled events for 93 authors since it began in November 2006, with many more already planned for the upcoming months. To stay in touch with Cyrus Webb and the Conversations literary movement, visit www.thebestbookclub.info or contact Webb at cawebb4@juno.com or 601.214.0286.

If you are interested in more information about the authors, you can find it below:

Joseph Henderson --- http://www.joseph-henderson.com
Dr. Diane Hassan --- http://angelsamonguseveniniraq.blogspot.com
Tommie Watkins, Jr. --- http://www.twgllc.biz

Thursday, November 18, 2010

(Sat. Nov. 20, 2010) Three Authors Celebrate Reading In Mississippi

In 2009 ABC News reported that over 30 million Americans ages 16 and up were unable to read or write well. This proves what many have said for some time: Illiteracy is an epidemic that is spreading daily, claiming victims of all ages, nationalities and backgrounds.


Co-ed reading group Conversations Book Club in Mississippi is using this opportunity to encourage reading and discussion by hosting a full day of events centered around the power of books. On Saturday, November 20, 2010, book club President Cyrus Webb welcomes Joseph Henderson (author of I DON'T WANT TO DIE ALL ALONE), Dr. Diane Hassan (author of ANGELS AMONG US...EVEN IN IRAQ) and Tommie Watkins, Jr. (author of LIVING OUT LOUD) to activities in Hinds and Rankin County. Here is the schedule:

* 10-11:30a.m., "Breakfast with Books" at Medgar Evers Library (4215 Medgar Evers Blvd * Jackson, MS) featuring authors Dr. Diane Hassan, Joseph Henderson and Tommie Watkins, Jr.
* 1-3p.m., Meet & Greet at Pearl Public Library (2416 Old Brandon Road * Pearl, MS) featuring authors Dr. Diane Hassan and Tommie Watkins, Jr.
* 6-7:30p.m., Meet & Greet at Appetizers (3000 Hwy 80 E * Pearl, MS) featuring authors Dr. Diane Hassan and Tommie Watkins, Jr.


Since November 2006, Conversations Book Club has hosted over 90 authors in events in the magnolia state to showcase the importance of reading. Those in the Central Mississippi area are encouraged to join in these free events and meet some exciting authors in the process.

All events are free and open to the public, and all authors will have books on hand. For more information, contact Cyrus Webb at cawebb4@juno.com or 601.896.5616.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

(Mon. November 15, 2010) Conversations Book Club Celebrates Its 4-Year Anniversary!


Since its debut on November 2006, Conversations Book Club let it be known that it was going to be a literary force to be reckoned with. Created by radio and tv show host Cyrus Webb of Brandon, Mississippi, the premise of the book club was simple: to get people talking about books.

"I wanted to start a book club that celebrated all kinds of books," says Webb, 35. "I'm not a one-dimensional reader. I like a little bit of everything. That is the kind of reading group I wanted to form."

What started in Jackson, Mississippi with just 3 members has grown to over 100 members in Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana. Conversations Book Club has hosted more authors than any other reading group in the country--- over 90 to date--- and it is the largest co-ed book club in the United States. The group has hosted everyone from New York Times Bestsellers to up-and-coming authors who have self-published their work.

On Monday, November 15, 2010 Cyrus Webb invites the public to celebrate Conversations' 4 year anniversary at the Pearl Public Library (2416 Old Brandon Road) in Pearl, MS.
The event begins at 6p.m., and will include free refreshments as well as information available about what Conversations is doing to encourage reading not just in Mississippi but around the world. Webb is also using the event as a way to officially launch the return of his magazine Conversations.

For more information about the event, contact Cyrus Webb at cawebb4@juno.com or 601.896.5616. You can also visit www.thebestbookclub.info or www.conversationsmag.com.