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C and Z Reads and Reviews - May 2020

Hello Readers, it's May and I'm so thrilled to be writing my first book review of 2020 for you! I love reading, I love sharing what I read, and this "C And Z Reads and Reviews" blog is how I communicate the way books speak to me. Maybe you're not much of a reader. It's okay, my husband isn't one to sit down and read a book from beginning to end, unless it a Game Informer magazine, or he's getting paid to do it! Even still, my husband knows just as much about the books I read as I do, because I fill him in on what's between the lines and he doesn't mind being a part of my experience! Are you ready to participate in my passion? Here it is:


The Keys by DJ Khaled is truly a reflection of the image on the cover. The lion is a symbol that portrays the level of success that DJ Khaled, a famed Disc Jockey, songwriter, producer, husband, and father figure, says he's obtained. In his journey to maintain his position as a King, in an industry that has the makings of a operating very much like a wild kingdom, DJ Khaled represents the key, that rules the jungle around him. This book is filled with golden keys, for any up and coming music mogul, businessman or businesswoman, to grasp and use to access doors that DJ Khaled has epically left open. DJ Khaled is definitely someone who has made a name for himself, among other notable names that are mentioned and referenced, as major keys in his story, including those who have been his biggest supporters. I appreciate this memoir, with much respect to how DJ Khaled rose in his rise to being more than fame.

Billionaire Branding by T. Brookshire Harris was not what I expected from the title, being what drew me in to reading the e-book version of this, on Kindle. I was looking for a lot more substance than what was offered by the author. It could be that because I am a "Hip-Hop Head", someone who studies and follows the lifestyles of those who are considered legends in Hip-Hop and have built themselves up, with respect to the music industry, I wasn't surprised by anything that I read. Of course, I believe in the success stories behind Jay-Z, P-Diddy, and Dr. Dre, but I live to read books written by each, from autobiographical standpoints. My greatest takeaway from Billionaire Branding, are the facts. Fact is, music is it's own brand, worth billions, depending on how an artist chooses to advertise, market, and promote himself or herself. There are secrets worth mentioning from this book, but I would prefer to let you read for yourself, and allow these masterminds and their priceless blueprints to speak for themselves. 

Nipsey Hussle: The Secret Biography by JJ Vance in memory of the life of Nipsey Hussle (Aug 15, 1985 - Mar 31, 2019). I surprised myself when I read this book, because Nipsey Hussle was a famous rap artist, but he was not someone whose career I was familiar with, before finding out he died from gunshot wounds to his head. The outcry from those who knew Nipsey, his family, friends, significant others, the music industry, and the Crenshaw, Los Angeles community at large, was extremely compelling. The life of Nipsey was so influential, I found myself witnessing the celebration of his homegoing, as it was broadcasted on various television channels and streaming sites. As much as I love music, I hadn't come across any of his music, but since his passing, I enjoy living vicariously through his last album, "Victory Lap", with my favorite song being, "Grinding All My Life". This book serves as a biographical remembrance of Nipsey and it speaks well in giving credit where it's due, as it gives life.

Surrender to Your Purpose by Rabboni Selah I had the pleasure of constructively reading during the design process. Yes, I helped to create this book, from the front cover to the back cover, including the editing and copyrighting of the contents inside. This book delivers enlightening encounters, from a man who shares his remarkable journey of learning to master himself in servanthood, while helping others master themselves (myself included), to sowing his royal oats in Africa, where he was dignified as a King among the descendants of his ancestors. Surrender to Your Purpose, personifies what it truly means to submit to your highest calling in life. If you don't know who you are, Rabboni is here to teach you, "You cannot proceed until you know who you are! A Masterpiece!". Rabboni is a gifted writer of many books and poetry, a lively public speaker, and creator of, "The 10 Principles of the Masters Concept."

The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates is one of those books I just can't seem to say enough about! The more I read, the more I became the characters in this fantastical story. This is one of the few stories I've read that I genuinely wanted to come to life because the imagination of Ta-Nehisi Coates, consumed my thoughts, chapter to chapter. While it is an enchanting story that returned me to the roots of slavery, Coates took every opportunity to move my thoughts beyond what could have been to what could be possible. I reveled in a storyline filled with more ingenuity than I knew what to do with, as I turned each page to discover what the captivating images on the front and back of the book were really saying to me, in conjunction with the title. The Water Dancer is a magical read and I couldn't wait to get my hands on it, thanks to the recommendation of Oprah's Book Club, this is a story I won't ever forget.

Powershift by Daymond John is a must-read, for entrepreneurs! Daymond John revisits his entrepreneurial journey, to give us his best advice and suggestions from others, who have also achieved success by failing through the challenging ways of business. It's easy to feel powerless, at a time when we are all being challenged with adjusting to the whole economy being shut-down, because of COVID-19, a.k.a., the coronavirus. Without warning, we are being forced to shift from what we knew as "normal" life to the most uncertain ways of living and breathing. If you are struggling to shift with this new world of mass unemployment and wearing masks while conducting business, this book if for you! As an entrepreneur, Daymond is one of my go-to sources for business and marketing tips. I have honestly learned a lot from the entrepreneurship of Daymond. Powershift is a great guide to handling changes in business better and I didn't just buy the e-book for myself, I sent a hardcover copy to one of my client's.  

A Different Breed of Brother by N.K. Stephens is a most colorful story, from the perspectives of four black men, with totally different view points on how and who to date. The author carefully details the careless choices that these four men choose to make, with no respect and very little regard for the people each of them has relations with, and there are many. As a woman, I found myself relating to the inconsiderate ways that many of the women in the story were treated by these brothers, but I appreciate the honesty from N.K. Stephens, for telling it like it is. From the moment I began reading this book, I saw the storyline as one that I would love to watch on a movie screen or as some form of a television show. It's not boring at all! The best part of the whole book is the bet that one of the brothers makes with the other three brothers, before his wedding. That bet becomes the straw that breaks a brothers back and gives us women a bit of get back, to be respected as more than a lay on our backs. A Different Breed of Brother is an intimate read, rated R, for mature readers only.

Thank you! for checking out the books I've selected to enrich, empower, and entertain my thoughts this year, I appreciate any feedback you may have, especially if you've read any or all of these books in this month's review. I would love to discuss your take in the comment section below! Are there any books by you or other author's that you would like me to read and review? Leave me a comment below and I will feature your book suggestion in my blog!

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