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Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Conversations' Top 12 Books for Young Readers in 2015

Conversations Book Club founder Cyrus Webb is committed to encouraging reading among individuals of all ages, and when he finds out about books that are entertaining and deliver powerful messages, he loves to share.

During 2015 he read hundreds of books, and after compiling his list of Top 100 Books for Adults for the year he then set his sight on books he could suggest for young readers and those in the young adult category. "There are lots of books out there," Webb says, "but I wanted to choose 12 books that not just give you something you will enjoy but also give you something you can share with others.

Here are Conversations' Top 12 Books for Young Readers in 2015 
(listed in no particular order)


  1. Princess Lydia and the Fire Breathing Dragon by Denise Byers (DanDeeLion Publishing)
  2. Rumplepimple by Suzanne DeWitt Hall (I Promote Books)
  3. The Haunting of Sunshine Girl by Paige McKenzie (Weinstein Books)
  4. Yard War by Taylor Kitchings (Wendy Lamb Books)
  5. Junior Goes to School by Glenda L. Hunter (unknown)
  6. Traffick by Ellen Hopkins (McElderry Books)
  7. Confessions of an Imaginary Friend by Michelle Cuevas (Dial Books)
  8. I am Lucille Ball by Brad Meltzer (Dial Books)
  9. When My Grammy Forgets, I Remember by Toby Haberkorn (Baypointe Publishers)
  10. All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely (Atheneum)
  11. The Keeper by David Baldacci (Scholastic Press)
  12. Nancy Clancy Soccer Mania by Jane O'Connor (Harper)

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Conversations' Top 100 Adult Books of 2015

Conversations Book Club President and media personality Cyrus Webb is excited to share his Top 100 Adult Books of 2015. The list, compiled from books Webb read between December 2014 and November 2015 are an eclectic mix of non-fiction and fiction by authors that are both recognizable and rising stars in the industry.

"That is what Conversations has done since the listing began," says Webb. "I read authors of all interests and backgrounds and thanks to that I am able to share books that are not just wide-ranging but are written from individuals around the world." Though some of the books listed might have been intended for younger audiences, Webb sees them with great messages for readers of all ages.

Below are the Top 100 Adult Books of 2015, separated into Fiction and Non-Fiction but not listed in any particular order:


Conversations' Top 50 Adult Fiction Books of 2015 (listed in no particular order)

  1. "The Wiregrass" by Pam Webber (She Writes Press)
  2. "Rules for Stealing Stars" by Corey Ann Haydu (HarperCollins Publishers)
  3. "Seize The Day" by Curtis Bunn (Strebor Books)
  4. "The Santangelos" by Jackie Collins (St Martin's Press)
  5. "Drained" by Dan O'Brien (Dan O'Brien Presents)
  6. "Food Whore" by Jessica Tom (William Morrow)
  7. "The Secret Chord" by Geraldine Brooks (Viking)
  8. "Through Waters Deeps" by Sarah Sundin (Revell)
  9. "Missing Melissa" by Alretha Thomas (Diverse Arts Collective)
  10. "The Hunted" by Matt De La Pena (Delacorte Press)
  11. "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" by Beth K. Vogt (Simon and Schuster)
  12. "The Sex Girl" by Alice Carbone (Barnacle Book)
  13. "Caged Bird" by Josuanne Denis-Frasier (UrbanEdge Publishing)
  14. "Cookie's Case by Andy Siegel (Open Road)
  15. "Twisted Entrapment" by N'Tyse (Strebor Books)
  16. "Don't Jump" by Vicki Abelson (Random Content)
  17. "Bittersweet Dreams" by V. C. Andrews (Pocket Books)
  18. "South of Everything" by Audrey Taylor Gonzalez (She Writes Press)
  19. "A State of Treason" by David Thomas Roberts (Defiance Press)
  20. "Scared of Beautiful" by Tiffany Campbell (Shaunta Kenerly Presents)
  21. "The Cavendon Women" by Barbara Taylor Bradford (St. Martin's Press)
  22. "The Conciliators " by James J. Kaufman (Downstream Publishing)
  23. "The Rose Society" by Marie Lu (Putnam)
  24. "The Burning Man" by Solange Ritchie (Morgan James)
  25. "When No One Came" by Skyy Banks (Urban Edge Publishing)
  26. "The Inn at Ocean's Edge" by Colleen Coble (Thomas Nelson)
  27. "Wouldn't Change A Thing" by Stacey Campbell (Strebor Books)
  28. "The Terrorist's Holiday" by Andrew Neiderman (Open Road)
  29. "Stand Your Ground" by Victoria Christopher Murray (Touchstone)
  30. "Losing Faith" by Adam Mitzner (Gallery Books)
  31. "Filthy" by Isiko Cooks (Peter Mack Presents)
  32. "Traffick" by Ellen Hopkins (Margaret K. McElderry Books)
  33. "Movie Star by Lizzie Pepper" by Hilary Liftin (Viking)
  34. "Another Way" by Holli Kenley (Loving Healing Press)
  35. "Geronimo Hotshot" by Robert Blake Whitehill (Calaveras Media)
  36. "We All Looked Up" by Tommy Wallach (Simon and Schuster)
  37. "Contract City" by Mark Falkin (Bancroft Press)
  38. "Sky Key" by James Frey (Harper)
  39. "Bad Blood" by Mary Monroe (Dafina Books)
  40. "Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor" by Melanie Dobson (Howard)
  41. "High Society Gangster II" by Thomas Long (Streetwise Publishing)
  42. "Preschooled" by Anna Lefler (Full Fathom Five)
  43. "Bounce" by Noelle August (William Morrow)
  44. "Smoke" by Catherine McKenzie (Lake Union)
  45. "Circled" by Anne McAneny (Farrington Press)
  46. "Pleasantville" by Attica Locke (Harper)
  47. "(Tom Clancy) Under Fire" by Grant Blackwood (Putnam)
  48. "The Light of Hidden Flowers" by Jennifer Handford (Lake Union)
  49. "The Boys in the Boat" by Daniel James Brown (Viking)
  50. "Art in the Blood" by Bonnie Macbird (Collins Crime Club)

Conversations Top 50 Adult Non-Fiction Books of 2015 (listed in no particular order)
  1. "Ordinary Light" by Tracy K. Smith (Alfred A. Knopf)
  2. "Great Is the Truth" by Amos Kamil (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
  3. "The Missing Kennedy" by Elizabeth Koehler-Pentacoff (Bancroft Press)
  4. "How to Live An Awesome Life" by Polly Campbell (Viva Editions)
  5. "The Face That Changed It All" by Beverly Johnson (Atria Books)
  6. "The Kindness Diaries" by Leon Logothetis (Reader's Digest)
  7. "Legends: The Best Players, Games, and Teams in Football" by Howard Bryant (Philomel Books)
  8. "Just Show Up" by Kara Tippets w/ Jill Lynn Buteyn (David C. Cook)
  9. "It's Never Too Late" by Chris & Debbie Atkinson (Next Century Publishing)
  10. "Out Of Orange" by Cleary Wolters (Harper One)
  11. "Live More, Work Better" by Gayle Hilgendorff (Bascom Hill)
  12. "Step Out of Your Story" by Kim Schneiderman (New World Library)
  13. "Be the Best You Can Be" by Chicken Soup for the Soul (CSS Publishing)
  14. "Pass It On" by Jim Burns & Jeremy Lee (David C. Cook)
  15. "Creating A Beautiful Mess" by Ann Gadzikowski (Redleaf Press)
  16. "Tweets and Consequences" by Mike Schlossberg (Strategic Media Books)
  17. "Infinite Words" by Zane (Atria Books)
  18. "Master Thieves" by Stephen Kurkjian (Public Affairs Books)
  19. "The Mommie Dearest Diary" by Rutanya Alda (unknown)
  20. "Corruption Officer" by Gary L. Heyward (Atria Books)
  21. "A Splash of Kindness" by John Starley Allen (Cedar Fort)
  22. "Pound for Pound" by Shannon Kopp (William Morrow)
  23. "Eye on the Struggle" by James McGrath Morris (Amistad)
  24. "Be A Good in the World" by Brenda Knight (Viva Editions)
  25. "Pursuing Your Purpose" by Carl Mathis (Unknown)
  26. "Expect A Miracle" by Jenny Long (Sports Illustrated)
  27. "Bouncing Forward" by Michaela Haas (Enliven)
  28. "One Righteous Man" by Arthur Browne (Beacon Press)
  29. "Letters from My Father's Murderer" by Laurie A. Coombs (Kregel)
  30. "One of Everything" by Donna Carol Voss (Vantages Books)
  31. "Elgin Baylor" by Bijan C. Bayne (Rowman & Littlefield)
  32. "Mindfulness A to Z" by Arnie Kozak (Wisdom)
  33. "Tattered and Mended" by Cynthia Ruchti (Abingdon Press)
  34. "My Gift of Now" by Elynne Chaplik-Aleskow (Mill City Press)
  35. "Disagree and Stay in Love" by Liz SuperLibarian (Livre)
  36. "From Chaos to Clarity" by Alex Bratty (Alex Bratty Books)
  37. "Happiness A-Z" by Louise Baxter Harmon (Viva Editions)
  38. "Healing the Writer" by Dan L. Hays (Virtual Book Worm Publishing)
  39. "The Work" by Wes Moore (Spiegel & Grau)
  40. "Find A Way" by Diana Niyad (Knopf)
  41. "Venture Mom" by Holly Hurd (American Management Assoc.)
  42. "Hope and other Luxuries" by Clare B. Dunkle (Chronicle Books)
  43. "The Power of Being Yourself" by Joe Plumeri (Da Capo Press)
  44. "Clearing Clutter" by Alexandra Chauran (Llewellyn Books)
  45. "Three More Words" by Ashley Rhodes Courter (Atheneum)
  46. "Keep A Knockin'" by Charles Connor (Waldorf Publishing)
  47. "Somewhere There Is Still A Sun" by Michael Gruenbaum (Aladdin)
  48. "Walking Out the Other Side" by Alan S. Charles (SJC Publishing)
  49. "Elena Vanishing" by Elena and Clare B. Dunkle (Chronicle Books)
  50. "Not From Here" by Allan G. Johnson (Temple University Press)

Monday, November 9, 2015

Conversations' 25 Most Inspirational Books of 2015

Media Personality, Top 500 Amazon.com Reviewer and Conversations Book Club founder Cyrus Webb is excited to reveal this year's list of Most Inspirational Books.

"There's so much darkness around us," Webb, 40, says. "Through its book club, radio show and the pages of the magazine Conversations is glad to share with the world that there are those who are letting their light shine. This year's book selections are proof that if we don't give up that the best of who we can be is yet ahead."

All of the books selected by Webb are also included on Conversations' Top 100 Books of 2015 that will be released in its entirety on December 1st on www.conversationsbookclub.com and in the Dec./Jan. issue of Conversations Magazine.

Conversations' 25 Most Inspirational Books of 2015 (listed in no particular order)

  1. FIND A WAY by Diana Nyad (Knoff)
  2. THE WORK by Wes Moore (Spiegel & Grau)
  3. BE A GOOD IN THE WORLD by Brenda Knight (Viva Editions)
  4. THREE MORE WORDS by Ashley Rhodes-Courter (Atheneum)
  5. CLEARING CLUTTER by Alexandra Chauran (Llewellyn)
  6. LIVE MORE, WORK BETTER by Gayle Hilgendorff (Bascom Hill)
  7. STEP OUT OF YOUR STORY by Kim Schneiderman (New World Library)
  8. HOW TO LIVE AN AWESOME LIFE by Polly Campbell (Viva Editions)
  9. MINDFULNESS A TO Z by Arnie Kozak (Wisdom)
  10. ELGIN BAYLOR by Bijan C. Bayne (Rowman & Littlefield)
  11. DISAGREE AND STAY IN LOVE by Liz Super Librarian (Livre Publishing)
  12. MY GIFT OF NOW by Elynne Chaplik-Aleskow (Mill City Press)
  13. BE THE BEST YOU CAN BE (Chicken Soup for the Soul) 
  14. TATTERED AND MENDED by Cynthia Ruchti (Abingdon Press)
  15. THE POWER OF BEING YOURSELF by Joe Plumeri (Da Capo Press)
  16. ONE OF EVERYTHING by Donna Carol Voss (Vantages Books)
  17. LETTERS FROM MY FATHER'S MURDERER by Laurie A. Coombs (Kregel)
  18. ONE RIGHTEOUS MAN by Arthur Browne (Beacon Press)
  19. BOUNCING FORWARD by Michaela Haas (Enliven/Atria)
  20. EXPECT A MIRACLE by Jenny Long (Sports Illustrated Books)
  21. PURSUING YOUR PURPOSE by Carl Mathis (Unknown)
  22. THE BOYS IN THE BOAT by Daniel James Brown (Viking)
  23. HEALING THE WRITER by Dan L. Hays (Virtual Book Worm Publishing)
  24. HAPPINESS A-Z by Louise Baxter Harmon (Viva Editions)
  25. FROM CHAOS TO CLARITY by Alex Bratty (Sojourn Publishing)

Sunday, August 23, 2015

REVIEW: The Face That Changed It All by Beverly Johnson

by Cyrus Webb

Many of us know Beverly Johnson because of the headlines, the face and the fame she has acquired over the years, but few of us really know the woman behind it all---and the story as to how she became to be the woman the world now recognizes. That is until now.

This year Beverly Johnson (along with acclaimed writer Allison Samuels) gives us THE FACE THAT CHANGED IT ALL (available August 25, 2015). It's a look not only at the success that Beverly has achieved but the price that has come along with her life both publicly and privately.

For me the book is full of revelations that I was completely unaware of. We learn about her childhood, growing up in a time when the world was changing and being in a home where those changes weren't always understood and dealt with. We're able to learn of the strong work ethic of her father and what that taught Beverly about achieving things for herself.

Some recognize Beverly instantly for being the first African-American woman on the cover of Vogue---and that is indeed a major accomplishment. In the book, however, we are also able to take the road that would lead her to fame, one hard-fought situation at a time. Regardless of what we might believe Beverly allows us to know that being in the public life is not all fun, games and parties. It's a daily struggle that can make or break you. In the chapter SEX, DRUGS, AND ROCK AND ROLL she shares this: "What was clear was that the fashion industry had the potential to crush even the best and strongest of us. Your life was not your own... It sounds fun, and it can be for a time, but it can also emotionally stunt you, leaving you ill-equipped to face the future."

Fame didn't come easy for Beverly. She talks about in the book about the lack of places for women of color not just in modeling but acting, and how it was another one of the things that many women had to contend with. Ironically this is a conversation that continues to our day. It's just one of the comparisons you will see as you are looking at her path then and the path of other models and actresses now.

We also see the journey that Beverly had to travel when it came to her family, namely her marriage and kids. This was something I knew NOTHING about before reading the book, but it once again reminds us that no matter who you are we all have to deal with the troubles that life throws our way. What matters is what you are able to learn and how much you are able to grow moving forward.

Regardless of what your profession or what you think you know about the celebrity life or even more specifically Beverly Johnson, this book is definitely well worth your time. It allows you to see the woman in her totality: flaws and all, and I think it will motivate you to not just be your best but to bring your best to everything you do.

Follow Beverly on Twitter at @beverlyjohnson1. You can pre-order the book THE FACE THAT CHANGED IT ALL on Amazon.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Academy and Grammy award-winning author/filmmaker William Joyce talks BILLY'S BOOGER

Cyrus Webb, President of Conversations Book Club and host of Conversations LIVE talks with author/filmmaker William Joyce about his extraordinary life and what it's been like to share it with others.

The two also discuss his new book BILLY'S BOOGER and what it's been like to see the response to such a personal story.

Listen to the conversation here:



Read Webb's review of the book on Amazon here: http://www.amazon.com/review/R27ILZ9LGC6A27/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B00O6604KU

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Conversations Book Club's Top 10 Fiction Summer Reads 2015




Conversations Book Club's Top 10 Fiction Summer Reads, 2015

(listed in no particular order)
  1. Pleasantville by Attica Locke (Harper)
  2. The Cavendon Women by Barbara Taylor Bradford (St. Martin's Press)
  3. Bad Blood by Mary Monroe (Dafina Books)
  4. The Santangelos by Jackie Collins (St. Martin's Press)
  5. Tap Rack Bang by Robert Blake Whitehill (Calaveras Media)
  6. Contract City by Mark Falkin (Bancroft Press)
  7. For the Love of a Man by Melissa Cobb (Vicious Ink Publications)
  8. Cookie's Case by Andy Siegel (Open Road)
  9. Missing Melissa by Alretha Thomas (Diverse Arts Collective)
  10. A Killer Retreat by Tracy Weber (Midnight Ink)




Conversations Book Club's Top 10 summer nonfiction reads 2015





Conversations Book Club's Top 10 Summer Non-Fiction Reads ~ 2015 (listed in no particular order)



  1. The Kindness Diaries by Leon Logothetis (Reader's Digest)
  2. One Righteous Man by Arthur Browne (Beacon Press)
  3. Out Of Orange by Cleary Wolters (Harper One)
  4. Corruption Officer by Gary L. Heyward (Atria Books)
  5. Commit To Win by Heidi Reeder (Plume)
  6. Be the Best You Can Be (Chicken Soup for the Soul)
  7. The Purpose Principles by Jake Ducey (Tarcher)
  8. Elena Vanishing by Elena and Clare B. Dunkle (Chronicle Books)
  9. Hope and Other Luxuries by Clare B. Dunkle (Chronicle Books)
  10. 10 Habits of Truly Optimistic People by David Mezzapelle (Viva Editions)












Conversations Book Club host "Summer Reading at Subway" in Brandon, MS

In an effort to encourage reading throughout the summer months, Conversations Book Club President Cyrus Webb of Brandon, MS has teamed up with Subway Restaurant (220 E Government St) in Brandon, MS to host "Summer Reading at Subway" during the month of June.

Joining Webb during the month of June will be fellow Mississippi children's book authors Glenda L. Hunter of Clinton, MS and Stephanie Mitchell of Jackson, MS.

The first 3 Saturdays in June (June 6,13,20) from 9-10a.m. the authors will be not just sharing great books but encouraging their creativity as well with coloring and activity sheets.

On Sat. June 6th Webb will be reading 3 books that he co-wrote: A.J. and the Talent Show, Standria's Big Dream and Marv's Healthy Choice. (each book is great for kids up to age 10)

On Sat. June 13th Glenda L. Hunter will be hosting a free writing workshop for ages 7-12, showing them how they can take their ideas to print.

On Sat. June 20th Stephanie Mitchell will be reading her book Bella's Dancing Lesson. (great for kids up to age 10)

Admission to each week's event is free, however, attendees are invited to take advantage of the great food specials at Subway, including their kid's menu.

For more details about "Summer Reading at Subway" contact Cyrus Webb at cawebb4@juno.com or 601.896.5616. You can also visit www.conversationsbookclub.com.


Sunday, May 17, 2015

REVIEW: One Righteous Man by Arthur Browne

"I am coming to believe that nothing can go farther to destroy race prejudice than the recognition of the Negro as a creator and contributor to American civilization." ~ James Weldon Johnson from ONE RIGHTEOUS MAN

This book is one of those rare finds that not only educates you about the past but gives you hope for the future.

What Arthur Brown has done in sharing the journey of Samuel Battle and the other brave men and women like him that dared to bring about change is remind us that with hard work, dedication and perseverance anything is possible. I can honestly say that I had never heard of Battle before, but his willingness to put himself out there for the common good is something I can definitely draw strength and courage from. He wasn't looking for the attention or the pat on the back. He just wanted to do his part. That is what makes his story and so many like him so important. They just wanted to do what they felt like was their right to do.

Even when he was faced with outright persecution and even betrayal, that didn't stop Battle from trying to move forward. He lived in interesting times, as we do today. There were those who were walking around living a lie by "passing" for white so they wouldn't have to deal with the challenges that were plaguing people of color. Individuals like Battle didn't have that option, and he was willing to keep pushing forward in spite of the obstacles.

This book reminds us that one person can make a difference and inspire others towards their own greatness, but it must begin somewhere.

ONE RIGHTEOUS MAN officially release on June 30th. Pre-order it on Amazon here.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

(Sat. April 18, 2015) Conversations Book Club Presents..."Lunch with Mississippi Authors"

Conversations Book Club cordially invites you to have lunch with Mississippi authors Glenda L. Hunter (IT FINALLY HAPPENED), Stephanie Mitchell (BELLA'S DANCING LESSON), Stanley Clark (STANDRIA'S BIG DREAM) and Cyrus Webb (A.J. AND THE TALENT SHOW, AUBREY'S WORLD) on Sat. April 18, 2015 beginning @ 1p.m. at Brandon Pizza Hut (1651 W Government Cove, Brandon, MS).

Each author will have books available for only $10 each as well as free coloring sheets and activity sheets for the kids to take home! The FIRST 10 in attendance get free pizza and drinks courtesy of Conversations Book Club so arrive early.

For more information contact Conversations Book Club President Cyrus Webb at cawebb4@juno.com or 601.896.5616. You can also visit www.conversationsbookclub.com.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Three Mississippi Authors Come Together to Promote Reading in Pearl, Sat. April 4th

Conversations Book Club will be hosting events for Mississippi authors Cyrus Webb, Stanley Clark and Stephanie Mitchell in Rankin County Saturday, April 4th geared towards encouraging reading and sharing valuable lessons.

It all begins at 9a.m. at Subway Restaurant inside the Pearl Wal-Mart (5520 Highway 80 E, Pearl, MS),with "Breakfast with Bella". There Webb and Mitchell will be signing and discussing their book BELLA'S DANCING LESSON that encourages kids to not allow a mistake or fall to stop them from pursuing their goals and dreams.

Then from 1-3p.m. Webb, Mitchell and Clark will be at the Pearl Public Library (2416 Old Brandon Road * Pearl, MS). Webb will be signing BELLA'S DANCING LESSON with Mitchell as well as his own books AUBREY'S WORLD, the inspirational book WORDS I CHOOSE TO LIVE BY and A.J. AND THE TALENT SHOW (that he co-wrote with author Herschel Dixon of KY) and STANDRIA'S BIG DREAM that he co-wrote with Clark.

Both events are free and open to the public, however, books will be available for purchasing at both events.

For more information contact Cyrus Webb at cawebb4@juno.com or 601.896.5616. You can also visit www.conversationsbookclub.com.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Conversations Book Club President Cyrus Webb interviewed, Sat. Feb. 21st

Conversations Book Club President Cyrus Webb is accustomed to hosting authors in events. On Sat. Feb. 21st, however, he was behind the author table at the Pearl Public Library in Pearl, MS signing his books WORDS I CHOOSE TO LIVE BY and his new children's book A.J. AND THE TALENT SHOW. MS' ABC affiliate 16 WAPT News came out and interviewed Webb about the event:









Tuesday, January 27, 2015

"Get Your Read On" Lyric Video (Promoting Literacy)

Written by Herschel Dixon and Cyrus Webb (and performed by Chris Ervin aka DJ Down South) this is the theme song for The Reading Den literacy campaign. Download the song for free at www.thereadingden.com.