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Here you will find book reviews written by Durham County Library adults!

Madam C.J. Walker, Pioneer Business Woman

Sarah was born on December 23, 1867 in Delta, Louisiana on a large cotton plantation that she worked with her parents, Owen & Minerva Breedlove with four brothers and a sister. Blacks were not allowed to go to school during that time. Her mother died in 1873 and her father died in 1875. Sarah went to live with her sister Louvenia and her husband Jesse Powell. When she turned 11, they moved to Vicksburg Mississippi where she worked as a washer woman and gave all her earnings to the Powells each week. At age 14, Sarah married Moses McWilliams and had a baby girl named Lelia and he died 3 years later. Sarah and her baby moved to St. Louis, Missouri where she earned a $1.50 a day washing clothes. On Sunday she attended St. Paul African Methodist Church and learned of a school for African Americans and sent her daughter there. Sarah met and married John Davis. Lelia went to Knoxville College in Tennessee in 1902 and Sarah went to night school. Sarah met a hairdresser named Annie Pope-Turnbo who sold shampoo and other hair products that she made. Sarah began to work for Ms. Annie selling her products door to door making more money than washing clothes for people.
In a dream, a man told Sarah the ingredients for a special hair treatment that worked. She called it “Wonderful Hair Grower”. It was sold in tins with her name on it and her picture. Sarah Walker and Charles Joseph married in 1906. Sarah became known as Madam C.J. Walker. Walker moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1908 and opened a training school called “Lelia College” that trained hundreds of women how to be hairdressers and Walkers agents. The class was offered through the mail too for those who could not come. In 1910, Walker moved to Indianapolis, Indiana where she opened another training school. In 1912 Walker divorced her husband and Lelia adopted a 13 year old girl named Fairy Mae Bryant. Walker moved to New York City in 1916 to Harlem. Walker had the Lelia College on the bottom floor of her house and lived upstairs. In 1917, Walker had heart problems. At the age of 51, on May 25, 1919 Walker died. In 1985, the company was sold.

How to Get Rich When you Ain’t Got Nothing, The African American Guide to Gaining and Building Wealth

Create a detailed budget that shows how much money is coming in and where the money is going. Make a list of all bills that is due and how much they are. It is good to pay yourself first and then pay your bills. It is important to do comparison shopping so the money saved can be used for investments. When doing home improvements, do your research on the contractor first. Find a number of reputable, proficient and experienced contractors in the type of work you need done. To be financed by a bank there has to be 3 detailed bids from the contractor. For major jobs have a lawyer review the contract before you sign. To be an entrepreneur, you can buy an existing business, buy a franchise, or create your own business. The Federal Small Business Administration has many programs to assist you. SBA has a program called SCORE, which is Service Corps of Retired Executives that serve as consultants at little or no cost to help you with growing your business. When it comes to life insurance, the policy should be large enough to cover 7 or 10 times your annual income. At the back of the book is the appendix that list the employment office for each state in appendix C. In appendix D, the site for state government jobs for each state. In appendix F, is the Small Business Administration office that is closest to you. In appendix G, is the list for National Headquarters of Minority Business Development Agency in various states. When investing in stocks or bonds it is important to diversify. In appendix H, is the list of some of the major fund families.

Praise Him Anyhow

This book was talking about Carmella children Joy and Dontae . Joy is still upset about her mother and father divorce that she took law in her own hands and she did what her step father told her to do was finish law school and she did and when she did she got a case so she could be in the same court room with her father to tell him how she felt about him leaving her mother .

The Supremes: A Saga of Motown Dreams, Success & Betrayal

This novel is the first comprehensive biography of the most successful female group of all time. They paved the way for all great girl groups of today, including a lot of the turmoil and trials. Diana, Mary and Flo were the single most biggest acts of the 1960s in America. The hits are countless, memories many and they shall go down in history.

Approaching God

This book is one of god and how he is many things he is in our lives. Those thing that are touch in this book are god as a friend, father, mother ,artist , healer and guide. Each one of these section elaborates on what it mean for god to be each one of these roles in our lives. This book was a good way to work through, trying to figure out what god is to you.

Avengers vs. X-Men Avengers Academy

It was tense when the Avengers and X-Men drop off a few students and a prisoner, Sebastian Shaw, to keep safe. There were boiling tempers and some hostility in the school toward the other group. Their distrust of each other causes them to fight, at which point the Avengers and X-men blow off steam. That happens after a breakout. They were kids and could fight well, but they made a discovery that shocks the X-Men and Avengers. That led to some problems about the discovery and things get worse when Emma Frost pays a visit to the school. The real shock comes at the end of the book. It is a good read. It has a few surprises in it along with the fate of the school too.


The book is a collection of poems, many about the fragility of life. I especially liked “For C.”, a poem about long-lasting love which “has the quality of something made, / Like a good fiddle, like the rose’s scent, / Like a rose window or the firmament.” The linking of rose’s scent and rose window, two very different things with the same word, is something that Wilbur does a lot of in his poems. The translations are less fun.

Batman Detective Comics Vol. 4 the Wrath

This book is a must read for Bat fans. It has what they would expect in a Batman novel. The Batman has to go up against a really powerful crime boss, shadow assassin, bat-like creatures, and a man with a grudges against the police department. He does good work taking them down some. The last one makes you wonder if Batman turns his hatred for crime into a weapon and does to them what they have done to others. Will he still be a good man or not? It is worth a look to see the difference between the Batman we know and the one who could come to be.

The Lost Painting

An excellent read for art enthusiasts and mystery lovers. It reads almost like fiction in that the plot is always twisting and changing, leaving the reader guessing and eager to finish it. The book spends little time on the look of the painting, which was delightful because no one is interested in the beautiful words to describe the painting. I would recommend it.

Girl in the Road

This brilliantly creative evocation of a dystopian future will challenge your assumptions and open your mind. The two protagonists are both engaged in parallel quests, tied together by history and symbology, both characters driven by longing, loss, and the search for justice. Byrne’s compelling, hallucinatory narrative of a trans-oceanic trek across an undulating, energy-producing mechanical snake, is in itself worth the price of admission.

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