Author Simbi Animashaun
Empowered & Inspired Book Lovers
Empowered & Inspired Book Lovers
Welcome! Established in December 2021, Empowered & Inspired Book Lovers aims to provide a space where like-minded women can bond, feel comfortable expressing themselves (without judgment), and empower and inspire each other through books, wine, and good conversations. At every meeting, we also discuss important topics, such as starting businesses, generational wealth, fitness goals, mental health, growth mindsets, accounting, trying new things and places, etc. This book club consists of a diverse group of intellectual, educated, and driven black female leaders! We are all motivated to empower, inspire, and lead change in today's society!
Meetings will take place on the 3rd Sunday in January, March, May, July, September, & November.
*Note: Beginning December 2022, there will be annual membership dues. It is $120 per year, which covers hosting book club meetings. Contact Simbi Animashaun if you need to set up a payment plan. Annual membership dues must be paid by January 1 via Zelle (216-264-9529) or PayPal.
2022-2023 Book Club Selections
2022-2023 Book Club Selections
Austin Channing Brown’s first encounter with a racialized America came at age seven, when she discovered her parents named her Austin to deceive future employers into thinking she was a white man. Growing up in majority-white schools and churches, Austin writes, “I had to learn what it means to love blackness,” a journey that led to a lifetime spent navigating America’s racial divide as a writer, speaker, and expert helping organizations practice genuine inclusion.
In a time when nearly every institution (schools, churches, universities, businesses) claims to value diversity in its mission statement, Austin writes in breathtaking detail about her journey to self-worth and the pitfalls that kill our attempts at racial justice. Her stories bear witness to the complexity of America’s social fabric—from Black Cleveland neighborhoods to private schools in the middle-class suburbs, from prison walls to the boardrooms at majority-white organizations.
For readers who have engaged with America’s legacy on race through the writing of Ta-Nehisi Coates and Michael Eric Dyson, I’m Still Here is an illuminating look at how white, middle-class, Evangelicalism has participated in an era of rising racial hostility, inviting the reader to confront apathy, recognize God’s ongoing work in the world, and discover how blackness—if we let it—can save us all.
“[Cupcake] Brown’s confessional . . . memoir is one you can’t
easily put down. Her life is nothing short of a miracle.”—Chicago
The No. 1 Sunday Times bestselling true story of Cupcake
Brown: orphan, runaway, addict, a child turning tricks on the
street until one morning on her journey through hell she woke
up and knew she had to change her life or die. This is the
heart-wrenching true story of a girl named Cupcake Brown.
There are shelves of memoirs about overcoming the death of a parent, childhood abuse, rape, drug addiction, miscarriage, alcoholism, hustling, gang banging, near-death injuries, drug dealing, prostitution, and homelessness. Cupcake Brown survived all these things before she’d even turned twenty. And that’s when things got interesting.
Orphaned by the death of her mother and left in the hands of a sadistic foster parent, young Cupcake Brown learned to survive by turning tricks, downing hard liquor, and ingesting every drug she could find while hitchhiking up and down the California coast. She stumbled into gang banging, drug dealing, hustling, prostitution, theft, and, eventually, the best scam of all: a series of 9-to-5 jobs.
A Piece of Cake is unlike any memoir you’ll ever read. Moving in its frankness, this is the most satisfying, startlingly funny, and genuinely affecting tour through hell you’ll ever take.
DATE SMARTER, MAKE BETTER DECISIONS IN LOVE, AND ACHIEVE THE RELATIONSHIP YOU DESERVE… IT ALL STARTS WITH NOT SETTLING!
By day, Faith Jenkins is the host of the nationally syndicated TV show Divorce Court; by night, she’s a happily married newlywed who navigated these dating streets for years before learning how to attract the love of her dreams. When she turned 35 without a wedding ring in sight, like most women, she started getting tons of questions about not being married. But she made a decision: I. Will. Not. Settle.
As an attorney and arbitrator, Faith has presided over hundreds of cases, and has helped couples avoid and resolve a wealth of drama. And she’s seen it all! In Sis, Don’t Settle, she’s gathered an arsenal of love, wisdom and advice for women on how to play it smart.
Modern culture would have women believe they can’t have it all—and be smart, successful, strong women with authentic love to boot. Wrong. Told in her signature style—sometimes salty and sometimes sweet—Faith provides real solutions that will teach you how to thrive in relationships while avoiding common missteps and pitfalls. She delivers it straight, with no chaser, to show us how to level up, and reminds you that how you live single will set the tone for your success in relationships.
Smart, illuminating, and, often laugh-out-loud funny, Sis, Don’t Settle is the essential playbook that will help you build your confidence, generate better results in love, and land a high-value relationship once and for all.
Whether you’re single, divorced, or in a situationship, Sis, Don’t Settle reveals the direction and guidance you need to navigate love and take back your power.
ANTICIPATED BOOK • A MARIE CLAIRE MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK
“It’s clear from the first page that Davis is going to serve a more intimate, unpolished account than is typical of the average (often ghost-written) celebrity memoir; Finding Me reads like Davis is sitting you down for a one-on-one conversation about her life, warts and all.”—USA Today
“[A] fulfilling narrative of struggle and success.... Her gorgeous storytelling will inspire anyone wishing to shed old labels." —Los Angeles Times
In my book, you will meet a little girl named Viola who ran from her past until she made a life-changing decision to stop running forever.
This is my story, from a crumbling apartment in Central Falls, Rhode Island, to the stage in New York City, and beyond. This is the path I took to finding my purpose but also my voice in a world that didn’t always see me.
As I wrote Finding Me, my eyes were open to the truth of how our stories are often not given close examination. We are forced to reinvent them to fit into a crazy, competitive, judgmental world. So I wrote this for anyone running through life untethered, desperate and clawing their way through murky memories, trying to get to some form of self-love. For anyone who needs reminding that a life worth living can only be born from radical honesty and the courage to shed facades and be . . . you.
Finding Me is a deep reflection, a promise, and a love letter of sorts to self. My hope is that my story will inspire you to light up your own life with creative expression and rediscover who you were before the world put a label on you. You can change my font, size, line height, color, and more by highlighting part of me and selecting the options from the toolbar.
In a life filled with meaning and accomplishment, Michelle Obama has emerged as one of the most iconic and compelling women of our era. As First Lady of the United States of America—the first African American to serve in that role—she helped create the most welcoming and inclusive White House in history, while also establishing herself as a powerful advocate for women and girls in the U.S. and around the world, dramatically changing the ways that families pursue healthier and more active lives, and standing with her husband as he led America through some of its most harrowing moments. Along the way, she showed us a few dance moves, crushed Carpool Karaoke, and raised two down-to-earth daughters under an unforgiving media glare.
In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her—from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it—in her own words and on her own terms. Warm, wise, and revelatory, Becoming is the deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations—and whose story inspires us to do the same.
Reading Discussion Guide
Use the questions to guide your reading. We will discuss them during our book club meeting.
In the little city of Flint, MI, the good die young and the people left standing are the grimiest of characters. With reign over the city’s drug trade, Benjamin Atkins made sure that his precious daughter, Raven, was secluded from the grit that the city had to offer. But when Raven’s young heart gets claimed by Mizan, a stick-up kid in search of a come-up, there’s nothing Benjamin can do about losing her to the streets. She chooses love over loyalty and runs off with Mizan, but her new role as wifey soon proves to be more than she can handle.
Puppy love always feels right, but things turn stale, and she soon finds that everyone she loves has disappeared. All she has is Mizan, but when hugs and kisses turn to bloody lips and black eyes, she realizes that Mizan is not who she thought he was.
Raven becomes desperate for a way out, but this time, Daddy can’t save her. Every time she finds the courage to leave, fear convinces her to stay. Like a moth to a flame, Raven is drawn to Mizan, even though she knows he’ll be the death of her. When the hood life she chose becomes unbearable and the only way out is in a coffin, what will she do?
Ethic has power, but love has always been evasive. After ordering the hit that mistakenly killed the love of his life, Ethic is haunted with guilt and he refuses to love again. Focused on being a better man and keeping his family safe, he is raising three children, one of which is a defiant teenaged girl, Morgan. No matter how hard he tries to keep Morgan away from the streets, she is determined to defy him. When Morgan finds herself in a vulnerable position, Ethic is pulled back into the deadly game where he was once king. In this explosive spin-off to Ashley Antoinette's, Moth to a Flame, you will fall in love with Ezra Okafor aka Ethic as he gambles on love and in the streets, in hopes that this time he will win.
Love should burn slowly, but with Ezra "Ethic" Okafor it is always fleeting. After an accidental killing affects Alani, the woman he loves, she thinks he's a monster. Separated by tragedy, the pair endure a loss like nothing they have ever felt and their connection is impossible to repair.
Ethic is reduced to misery and raising his children alone once again. With Morgan in the throes of a passionate love affair and Bella in need of guidance that he can't provide, Ethic is in turmoil. He's failing as a man and the fingerprint he is leaving on the world is a bloody one.
In this second installment of this epic love story, Ashley Antoinette taps into the soul of her readers as she explores the limits of love and forgiveness. Is anything truly unforgivable? Or is Ethic the one man who can love a woman back from the edge of madness.
Healing requires separation. When Ethic discovers malice in a woman he thought was perfect, he walks away from their love. Keeping his family safe is his main priority and falling for Alani Lenika Hill is dangerous. The history of their love haunts him however, and getting over her isn't easy.
Alani has beguiled his two youngest children and they crave her presence as much as Ethic. They want a mother. He wants a woman, but with ghosts and lies between them the couple is forced apart yet again.
With love comes pain and Ethic feels all of it. He can't focus on anything and while he is distracted by heartbreak, his eldest daughter, Morgan is caught up in a deceptive affair. With bad boy Messiah, pledging allegiance to Morgan she is willing to defy everything and anyone to keep his love forever.
This story is a soul-stirring journey of love, loss, and forgiveness. Will Ethic finally receive everything he deserves? Or will karma circle back for him and destroy him for good?
After facing his biggest sin, Ethic finds forgiveness within the love of his life. Alani is the woman he’s been searching for his entire existence but loving her comes with a price…his soul…she wants his soul…When Alani tells Ethic she can’t be with a man who doesn’t believe in God, Ethic must face his only fear, trusting something he can’t see.
With Alani’s heart in his hands and his soul in hers, they must try to piece together a life where love and forgiveness outweigh the burden of pain they have placed on one another. Will they be able to survive their past demons and grow their once in a lifetime love or will lack of faith end them for good?