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Audio: book always make a great gift. Here are a few picks for the approaching holidays--Mother's and Father's Day. (audio).

Sally Hemings: An American Scandal-The Struggle to Tell the Controversial True Story Written and read by Tina Andrews Malibu Press Audio Books, April 2002 $18.95, ISBN 0-970-12957-2 5 CDs, 5 hours 51 minutes

Andrews narrates a passionate account of one of the most controversial affairs in American history. She opens by leading listeners through a detailed personal history of how the television project came to be, including intriguing details from the extensive research that she conducted. The story shifts to the story of America's third president, Thomas Jefferson, and his intimate life with Sally Hemings, a slave he owned. Her narrative voice is perfect for the reading--which is factual and to the point.

Andrews' screenplay, which is also included in the audio book series, is enjoyable. An important story, the CD is ideal for history buffs, or anyone interested in the Sally Hemings-Thomas Jefferson story.

Finding Fish by Antwone Quenton Fisher Read by Alton Fitzgerald White HarperAudio, January 2001 $25.00, ISBN 0-694-52511-1 4 cassettes, 6 hours

White takes listeners from tears to laughter, as he brings life to each character in Antwone Quenton Fisher's stunning autobiography Finding Fish. The CD describes the foster care system that Fisher grew up in, and the adverse effect it can have on a child. Finding Fish is a remarkably well-written, and poignant tale of how one man overcame hardships. You'll hug your children after listening to Fisher's story.

Acts of Faith: Daily Meditations for People of Color Written and read by Iyanla Vanzant Simon & Schuster Sound Ideas $12.00, ISBN 0-671-54913-8 1 cassette, 90 minutes $18.00, ISBN 0-743-50403-8, 2 CDs

Vanzant is energetic, vigorous and spirited as she floats over the pages of her inspirational book, in which she reveals the daily stress endured by people of color with great sensitivity and understanding. This timeless collection of daily meditations would make a perfect Mother's Day gift that will last throughout the year.

River, Cross My Heart Written and read by Breena Clarke Time Warner Audio Books, January 2000 $29.98, ISBN 1-570-42958-8 6 cassettes, 9 hours

With a tinge of mystery and sorrow, Clarke does a wonderful job narrating her debut novel. Set in 1925 in Georgetown, she reveals the many mysteries of the African Americans living on the shores of the Potomac River. When listening to Clarke, listeners experience the love, pain, intimate friendships and will-to-survive of the story's main character, Johnnie Mae.

Tar Baby by Toni Morrison; read by Lynne Thigpen Recorded Books, LLC, $42.95 9 cassettes, 12 hours

Thigpen's well-known voice (Ella Farmer in The District TV series) will have your rapt attention as she narrates Toni Morrison's beautiful and powerful story. Thigpen's dramatic voice insinuates the subtle conflicts as Morrison's novel probes the relationships between blacks and whites, men and women, set on a Caribbean island. Tar Baby is magnificent novel, and a must listen for Morrison fans.

A Long Way From Home by Connie Briscoe Read by Peter Francis James Recorded Books LLC $44.95 10 cassettes, 14 hours

Peter Francis James' reassuring voice turns A Long Way From Home into a marvel of language and imagery. He recounts the joys, pains and triumphs of three generations of African-American women living in Virginia from the antebellum period until after the Civil War. Briscoe's novel embraces the sadness of separation, moments of joy and the frustrations of not having control over your own destiny.

In My Father's House by Ernest J. Gaines Read by Peter Francis James 6 cassettes, 8 hours. Recorded Books, LLC.

Peter Francis James' voice embraces this story of a once powerful southern minister and civil rights leader, Philip Martin, who has gained respect and power in this small, urban community of St. Adrienne, near Baton Rouge. James, an imaginative narrator, conjures up a congregation of distinctive voices that range from the rolling resonance of the powerful preacher to the hopeless mumbling of his despairing fate.

Between Lovers by Eric Jerome Dickey Read by Richard Allen Penguin Audio Books, 4 cassettes, 6 hours

Allen's narration of all the characters in this story about difficult relationships is wonderfully entertaining and sexy. Broken hearts, a menage a trois and jealousy find their way into this story from the ever-popular Dickey. The language is highly provocative and suggestive--as is his writing--revealing the pain, confusion and anger of each character. The story is fast-paced and easy to listen to if you are not too put off by the racy language. Between Lovers is a great story for your next road trip.
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Author:Roby, Cynthia
Publication:Black Issues Book Review
Article Type:Book Review
Date:May 1, 2002
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