Conversations Magazine Anniversary Issue 2023

Conversations Magazine Anniversary Issue 2023

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Conversations' Top 20 Books for Young Readers of 2022


Conversations Media Group is proud to share it's choices for Top20 Books for Young Readers of 2022.

Curated by Cyrus Webb, this list continues our commitment to recognizing some of the top books of the year that we believe should be on your reading list.

Conversations' Top 20 Book for Young Readers of 2022 (listed in no particular order)

  1. Marcus Makes It Big by Kevin Hart (Crown)
  2. No Filter and Other Lies by Crystal Maldonado (Holiday House)
  3. The Little Sandals that Could by Tina Siemens (Tina Siemens)
  4. Welcome to the Big Kids Club by Chelsea Clinton (Philomel Books)
  5. Dear Friends by Pops the Club Anthology (Out of the Woods Press)
  6. You Don't Know What War Is by Yeva Skalietska (Union Square & Co.)
  7. Why Not You? by Ciara and Russell Wilson (Random House)
  8. Grateful to be Grace by Maggie Williams (Loving Healing Press)
  9. Girl on Fire by Alicia Keys/ Andrew Weiner (Harper Alley)
  10. Shine On Brown Girl by Lakeasha Williams (OSG Publications)
  11. Always with You, Always with Me by Kelly Rowland and Jessica McKay (Viking)
  12. My Grief Is Like the Ocean by Jessica Biles and Jillian Kelly-Wavering (Loving Healing Press)
  13. Braylen the Bear & Friends: Forever Friends by Dr. Latonya M. Peterson and Manswell T. Peterson (OmegaMan Publishing)
  14. Marvelous Mabel by Crystal Hubbard (Lee & Low Books, Inc.)
  15. Bobby: A Story of Robert F. Kennedy by Deborah Wiles (Scholastic Press)
  16. Sometimes I Grumblesquinch by Rachel Vail (Orchard Books)
  17. Daddies and Daughters Stick Together by Aissatou Balde and Diariatou Sow (Bird Upstairs)
  18. The Islanders: Search for Treasure by Mary Alice Monroe (Aladdin)
  19. Swim Team by Johnnie Christmas (Harper Alley)
  20. Remarkably Ruby by Terri Libenson (Balzer + Bray)

Conversations' Top 40 Non-Fiction Books of 2022


Conversations Media Group is proud to share it's choices for Top 40 Non-Fiction Books of 2022.

Curated by Cyrus Webb, this list continues our commitment to recognizing some of the top books of the year that we believe should be on your reading list.

Conversations' Top 40 Non-Fiction Books of 2022 (listed in no particular order)

  1. Finding Me by Viola Davis (Harper One)
  2. Reclaiming Your Community by Marjora Carter (Berret-Koehler Publisher)
  3. The Woman Beyond the Attic: The V. C. Andrews Story by Andrew Neiderman (Gallery Books)
  4. Smart Brevity by Jim VandeHei, Mike Allen and Roy Schwartz (Workman)
  5. Anna by Amy Odell (Gallery Books)
  6. If You Only Knew: Letters From an Immigrant Teacher by Emily Francis (Seidlitz Education)
  7. What Would Gen-Z Do? by John Schlimm (Familius)
  8. Coming Home by Cleon Jones (Triumph)
  9. Brighter By the Day by Robin Roberts (Grand Central Publishing)
  10. Master Your Digital Business Like a Boss by Omegia Keeys (AboutFace Media)
  11. Her Battle. My Lessons. Our Journey. by Shawn C. Mackey, Sr. (Shawn C. Mackey)
  12. Love Me As I Am by Garcelle Beauvais (Amistad)
  13. Illustrated Black History by George McCalman (Harper One)
  14. The Way Up by Errol L. Pierre (Wiley)
  15. Accidental Kindness by Michael Stein, M.D. (UNC Press)
  16. Don't Bump the Record, Kid by Mark Thompson
  17. The Book of Jose by Fat Joe (Roc Lit)
  18. The NBC In Black and White by Ray Scott (Seven Stories Press)
  19. Walking In My Joy (In These Streets) by Jenifer Lewis (Amistad)
  20. Heart of a Warrior by Fa-apepele Hunkin (TC Publishing)
  21. The Indoctrination of Separation by Dennis J. Perkins (Xulon Press)
  22. The Prophetic Lens by Phil Allen, Jr. (Fortress Press)
  23. The Fame Game by Ramon Hervey II (Harper Collins)
  24. Heart Peaces by Tracy Carzell (Tracy Carzell)
  25. Swimming with the Blowfish by Jim Sonefeld (Diversion Books)
  26. The Steal by Mark Bowden and Matthew Teague (Atlantic Monthly Press)
  27. Enough of the Bull$hit! by Zack Teperman (Zack Teperman)
  28. From Scratch by David Moscow and Jon Moscow (Permuted Press)
  29. Caught with My Pants Down by Jim Piddock (DartFrog Books)
  30. Miles to Go by Brennen Matthews (New Mexico Press)
  31. Icons & Instincts by Vincent Paterson (Rare Bird)
  32. Valuable by Forrest Clay-Suggs (AboutFace Media)
  33. Linked by Omar Garriott and Jeremy Schifeling (Workman Publishing)
  34. Being A Black Man...It's Harder than You Think by Toneal M. Jackson (APS Publishing)
  35. Still on Fire by Renee Linnell (Pink Skeleton Publishing)
  36. Still no Word from You by Peter Orner (Catapult)
  37. Uncultured by Daniella Mestyanek Young (St. Martin's Press)
  38. Why Am I So Anxious? by Dr. Tracey Marks (DK Publishing)
  39. My name is Jason. Mine too. by Jason Reynolds and Jason Griffin (Atheneum)
  40. My Wonderful, Wacky Family by Chicken Soup for the Soul (Chicken Soup for the Soul)

Conversations' Top 40 Fiction Books of 2022


Conversations Media Group is proud to share it's choices for Top 40 Fiction Books of 2022.

Curated by Cyrus Webb, this list continues our commitment to recognizing some of the top books of the year that we believe should be on your reading list. 

Conversations' Top 40 Fiction Books of 2022 (listed in no particular order)

  1. The Widow by Kaira Rouda (Thomas & Mercer)
  2. Don't Cry for Me by Daniel Black (Hanover Square Press)
  3. Long Shadows by David Baldacci (Grand Central Publishing)
  4. Good Morning, Love by Ashley M. Coleman (Simon and Schuster)
  5. Next in Line by Jeffrey Archer (Harper Collins)
  6. The Violin Conspiracy by Brendan Slocumb (Anchor Books)
  7. Strangers We Know by Elle Marr (Thomas and Mercer)
  8. The Break by Katie Sise (Little a)
  9. The Eighty-Year-Old Sorority Girls by Robin Benoit (Brown Books)
  10. Blue Like Me by Aaron Philip Clark (Thomas and Mercer)
  11. An International Affair by Iris Bolling (Siri Austin Entertainment)
  12. Life Dust by Pam Webber (She Writes Press)
  13. Blast by Robert Blake Whitehill (Calaveras Media)
  14. The Catch No One Wants by Dr. Velma Bagby (Adoni Publishing)
  15. Daisy by Libby Sternberg (Bancroft Press)
  16. Princess of Wolves by Manswell T. Peterson (Omegaman Publishing)
  17. The Thread Collectors by Shaunna J. Edwards and Alyson Richman (Graydon House)
  18. I Must Betray You by Ruta Sepetys (Philomel)
  19. The Family You Make by Jill Shalvis (William Morrow)
  20. The Light Always Breaks by Angela Jackson-Brown (Harper Collins)
  21. girls in search of cover by Pamela Mariva Mshana (Seven Visions)
  22. One Dead Activist (A David Price Mystery) by Tony Lindsay
  23. He Won't Go by Stacey Covington-Lee (SCL Novel Publications)
  24. Mrs. England by Stacey Halls (Harper Collins)
  25. Later by Colette R. Harrell (International Entertainment, LLC)
  26. Double Exposure by Jeannee Sacker (Ten 16 Press)
  27. They Come at Knight by Yasmin Angoe (Thomas & Mercer)
  28. The Shadow of Memory by Connie Berry (Crooked Lane)
  29. Loyal to a Fault by Omar Scott (Outskirts Press)
  30. Girl, Forgotten by Karin Slaughter (William Morrow)
  31. The Local by Joey Hartstone (Doubleday)
  32. Island Secrets by Nina Foxx (Clever Vixen Media, LLC)
  33. The Rewind by Allison Winn Scotch (Berkley Romance)
  34. The Color of Ice by Barbara Linn Probst (She Writes Press)
  35. Never Meant to Meet You by Alli Frank and Asha Youmans (Montlake)
  36. The Astronaut and the Star by Jen Comfort (Montlake)
  37. She's Up to No Good by Sara Goodman Confino (Lake Union)
  38. Like Me by Hayley Phelan (Lake Union Publishing)
  39. Racing the Light by Robert Crais (Putnam)
  40. Dragon's Eye by Gregor Pratt (St. Armands Press)

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

With LONG DAYS, SHORT YEARS Andrew Bomback looks at the history and unknowns of parenting

As someone who doesn't have children of my own but has grown up around lots of children, Andrew Bomback's BOOK LONG DAYS, SHORT YEARS is a welcome read. I love how he is able to take a look at the history of parenting, the challenges and unknowns that parents deal with along with his own adventures as a parent.

The book shows how the ideals of the time or of some can shape the way we see our child and ourselves. It also calls into question I think the idea of being busy all the time not necessarily being the best strategy when we are putting the child and their welfare front and center. 

It's informative, fun and definitely gives you much food for thought as to how personal parenting can be. That is why I think it's a book that parents and those around children will definitely find enjoyable. 

Thursday, April 7, 2022

Paulette Harper: Using Her God-Given Gifts to Help Others Answer the Call

by Cyrus Webb

For years bestselling author Paulette Harper has been able to use her God-given abilities to inspire and empower individuals around the world. I've had the opportunity to interview her several times on our various platforms, and each time she shows not just appreciation for her gifts but the joy she feels in being able to help others.

With several projects going on in 2022---including her own podcast---Paulette shows the importance of rising up and answering the call each and every day.

 Paulette, when did you know that part of your mission was to inspire others?

My mission to inspire others came years before I started writing books. My first mandate is to preach, so sharing an impactful message has been in me. Writing to inspire others is something God has equipped me with because of the things I have experienced in life. Those experiences have shaped, developed, and caused me to use my gifts beyond the four walls of the church. 

 Books are just one way you have reached your audience. Did you always know that being an author was something you were meant to do?

 No. I didn’t get the nudge to write my first book until I was going through one of the worse times in my life — a divorce. I had no idea that writing books would be the vehicle God would use to redirect my life, expand my reach, and allow me to make a greater impact on those I’m assigned to.

Along your journey you have produced collaborative projects with other authors. Where did that desire come from to help share the stories of others?

After I published a few solo projects, I got the idea to ask other writers to join me as in co-authoring my first book collaboration. I knew there were other aspiring authors, who for whatever reason, were sitting on the sidelines wanting to write, but needed the push. It started with seven women who had powerful stories to share and voices that needed to be unmuted. Over the years, I’ve published five best selling anthologies creating 80 best-selling authors.

 That's amazing! Your newest project that you’re gathering stories for is I SURVIVED THE STORM (Turning Adversities Into Triumph). Tell us about it?

 These are raw, authentic, and candid stories from men and women who were stretched, pressed, and crushed but realized they had to options: death or survival. They chose surviving. This sure to be bestselling masterpiece will be released in July 2022.

  How has the accomplishment of being a bestselling author and helping others accomplish that achievement impacted you?

Becoming a bestseller multiple times has been very rewarding. Along with the implied impact to readers, it also indicates that readers know the stories I publish are empowering, life-changing and worth their time to read. I believe in offering others the opportunity to experience the transformation of becoming a best-selling author. I take pride in wanting those who partner with me to have an amazing experience of knowing what it really means to become an author, and how to live in that moment when their dreams become reality.

 For those looking to be a part of future projects what should they do?

    Those looking for more information on my next book collaborations can sign up on my waitlist

What is your advice for aspiring authors and writers?

                I’ll give three pieces of advice for aspiring authors.

                1. I would highly recommend to those who are aspiring to become authors to be patient    with the process of becoming well known. Connecting with your audience and  branding yourself will take time. Especially for new writers the market is flooded with books for readers to choose from so by keeping this in mind you must be able to patiently   wait your time to shine.

                 2. Promote, promote, promote. I would suggest they start early. Start creating the buzz     about   your book months in advance. Look on the internet for ways to reach your readers, having a web site designed, flyers and if one can afford it, hire someone as a     publicist.

                 3. And promote some more.  I can’t stress that enough. Your book/books will stay alive if you keep them in front of your audience. No one is best suited than you to promote and market your products. If writing is your passion, you will continue promoting and marketing your books even when it appears like no one is buying.

  Great advice indeed. Tell us, Paulette, what’s next for you?

                I’ll be launching One Story University. One Story University is an online school that provides nonfiction aspiring authors with a step-by-step process on how to write    and publish their self- help, how to, and personal story books in 90 days.

 How can we keep connected with you online?


 Business website: Write Now Virtual Book Tours





Monday, February 14, 2022

[REVIEW] Want to really make the difference in your community? Akbar Cook shows how to FOCUS ON THE LOVE


In the world we live in it is easy to have a title. We hear about people in leadership positions all the time, but are they really leaders Do they really have what it takes to motivate, inspire and push others to be their best selves? That is what Akbar Cook talks about in his book FOCUS ON THE LOVE.

Giving real examples, including that of his own, he shows us what it takes to TRULY be a leader, not in word but in deed. We have to understand the needs of those we work with and do our part to encourage them to see their own worth and value. Cook has been able to do this in the kids and community activities he has been a part of, but it has been reinforced by the words and deeds of others, too.

This book is great for those who are either already taking the lead in some form or want to see what it takes to be effective. The big takeaway for me is that love has to be the force behind all that we do. That will keep us focused and determined to not just win for ourselves but enjoy the satisfaction of raising up other winners and leaders.

Get your copy of FOCUS ON THE LOVE on Amazon

Friday, February 4, 2022

[BOOKS WE LOVE] Conversations' Top 100 Books of 2021


During 2021 there were hundreds of books that Conversations Media Group founder Cyrus Webb was able to read and enjoy throughout the year, but this list represents the books he couldn't get enough of that he wanted to share with the world. 

Introducing Conversations' Top 100 Books of 2021!

Top Non-Fiction Books of 2021 (Listed in no particular order) 

  1. Just As I Am by Cicely Tyson  (Harper Collins)
  2. These Walls Between Us by Wendy Sanford (She Writes Press)
  3. Into the Deep by Robert D. Ballard (National Geographic) 
  4. Will by Will Smith with Mark Manson (Penguin Press)
  5. Leonard, Marianne, and ME by Judy Scott (Backbeat Books)
  6. Influence and Impact by Bill Berman and George Bradt (Wiley)
  7. Resilient Heart by Ruby C. Wight (Best Seller Publishing)
  8. Stronger by Cindy McCain (Crown Forum)
  9. Pops by Craig Melvin (William Morrow)
  10. What Happened to You? by Bruce D. Perry and Oprah Winfrey (Flatiron Books)
  11. Finding Forward by Jeffrey Morse (Brown Books)
  12. The Water Defenders by Robin Broad and John Cavanagh (Beacon Press)
  13. Transformation by Dr. Teresa A. Smith (DQ Consulting, LLC)
  14. Standing Upright in an Upside Down World by Dennis J.Perkins (Xulon Press)
  15. Uncle John's Hindsight Is 20/20 (Portable Press)
  16. Extraordinary Awakenings by Steve Taylor (New World Library)
  17. Identity Shift by Anthony Trucks (Lifestyle Entrepreneurs Press)
  18. A Necessary Explosion by Dan Burns (Chicago Arts Press)
  19. The Burning Light of Two Stars by Laura Davis (Girl Friday Books)
  20. Big Brain, Little Brain by Kevin Thomas McCarney (O'Connell House) 
  21. The Marathon Don't Stop by Rob Kenner (Atria Books) 
  22. Checking In by Michelle Williams (Thomas Nelson)
  23. Feeding the Soul by Tabitha Brown (William Morrow)
  24. Permission Granted by Regina Louise (New World Library)
  25. The Joy of Being Selfish by Michelle Elman (Welbeck Publishing)
  26. The Demon In Disguise by Ashley Elliott (Koehler Books)
  27. Every Day Is a Field Trip by Jay Hummer (Sparkling Day Press)
  28. Committed by Paolina Milana (She Writes Press)
  29. No Spring Chicken by Francine Falk-Allen (She Writes Press)
  30. Unstoppable by Joshua M. Greene (Insight Editions)
  31. Where Tomorrows Aren't Promised by Carmelo Anthony with D.Watkins (Gallery Books)
  32. Blind Pony with Samantha Hart (Wild Bill Publications)
  33. The Division of Light and Power by Dennis J. Kucinich (Finney Avenue Books)
  34. Dance Your Dance by Laurieann Gibson (Thomas Nelson)
  35. My West Side Story by George Chakiris (Lyons Press)
  36. The Beauty of Living Twice by Sharon Stone (Alfred A. Knopf)
  37. The Redemption of Bobby Love by Bobby an Cheryl Love (Mariner Books)
  38. The Everyday Leader by Hema Crockett and Michael Crockett (Morgan James Publishing)
  39. Hadassah by Hadassah Lieberman (Brandeis University Press)
  40. You Will Never Be Normal by Catherine Klatzker (Stillhouse Press)
  41. Life Free by DeVon Franklin (William Morrow)
  42. Sinatra and Me by Tony Oppedisano (Scribner)
  43. Content, Inc. by Joe Pulizzi (McGraw Hill)
  44. Involuntary Exit by Robin Merle (She Writes Press)
  45. Red Cape Rescue by Darcy Eikenberg (Page Two

Top Fiction Books of 2021 (Listed in no particular order)

  1. Sissie Klein Is Completely Normal by Kris Clink (Spark Press)
  2. Under Color of Law by Aaron Philip Clark (Thomas and Mercer/ Amazon Publishing)
  3. As the Wicked Watch by Tamron Hall (William Morrow/Harper Collins)
  4. In  All Good Faith by Liza Nash Taylor (Blackstone Publishing)
  5. The Seer by Eva Shaw (Torchflame Books)
  6. Kill All Your Darlings by David Bell (Berkley/Penguin Random House)
  7. The Society of Intellectual Beings by Iris Bolling (Siri Austin Entertainment)
  8. If the Shoe Fits by Julie Murphy (Hyperion Avenue)
  9. The Shadow Box by Luanne Rice (Thomas and Mercer/Amazon Publishing)
  10. The Personal Librarian by Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray (Berkley/Penguin Random House)
  11. Chess Not Checkers by Tony Lindsay (Golden Butterfly Publishing)
  12. Don't Make Me Turn This Life Around by Camille Pagan (Lake Union)
  13. Hello, Rest of My Life by Rick Lenz (Chromodroid Press)
  14. See Jane Snap by Bethany Crandell (Montlake/ Amazon Publishing)
  15. Infinite Stars: Chronicles, Book Two by Joe Pranaitis (Joe Pranaitis)
  16. The Receptionist by Kate Myles (Thomas and Mercer/Amazon Publishing)
  17. Upstate Hustle by Tasha Goins (Tasha Goins Publications)
  18. A Gambling Man by David Baldacci (Grand Central Publishing) 
  19. Island Queen by Vanessa Riley (William Morrow/Harper Collins)
  20. A Final Call by Eliot Parker (Publisher Page/Headline Books)
  21. The Secret Keeper of Jaipur by Alka Joshi (Mira Books)
  22. The Reluctant King by K'Wan (Akashic Books)
  23. False Witness by Karin Slaughter (William Morrow/Harper Collins) 
  24. A House Full of Windsor by Kristin Contino (Wyatt-MacKenzie Publishing)
  25. The Dead Husband by Carter Wilson (Poisoned Pen Press)
  26. Last Girl Ghosted by Lisa  Unger (Park Row Books)
  27. Wolf Point by Ian K.Smith (Thomas and Mercer/ Amazon Publishing)
  28. Choose Me by Tess Gerritsen and Gary Braver (Thomas and Mercer/Amazon Publishing)
  29. One of the Good Ones by Maika Moulite and Maritza Moulite (Ink Yard Press)
  30. Lies We Bury by Elle Marr (Thomas and Mercer/Amazon Publishing)
  31. Love for Beginners by Jill Shalvis (William Morrow/Harper Collins)
  32. Her Name Is Knight by Yasmin Angoe (Thomas and Mercer/Amazon Publishing)
  33. Until We Are Lost by Leslie Archer (Lake Union)
  34. Truth Is In the House by Michael J. Coffino (Koehler Books)
  35. The Umbrella Lady by V. C. Andrews (Gallery Books)
  36. Catch Us When We Fall by Juliette Fay (William Morrow/Harper Collins)
  37. A Past that Breathes by Noel A. Obiora (Rare Bird Books)
  38. The Social Graces by Renee Rosen (Berkley)
  39. The Fastest Way to Fall by Denise Williams ( Berkley)
  40. The Seven Day Switch by Kelly Harms (Lake Union)
  41. The Love Con by Seressia Glass (Berkley)
  42. The Good Lie by A. R. Torre (Thomas and Mercer/Amazon Publishing)
  43. Little Pieces of Me by Alison Hammer (William Morrow/Harper Collins)
  44. Lie, Lie Again by Stacy Wise (Lake Union)
  45. Love Scenes by Bridget Morrissey (Berkley)

Top Books for Young Readers (Listed in no particular order)

  1. Our Table by Peter H. Reynolds (Orchard Books)
  2. Shady Baby by Gabrielle Union-Wade and Dwyane Wade, Jr. (Harper Collins Children)
  3. What the Road Said by Cleo Wade (Feiwel and Friends)
  4. Hello, Cruel Heart by Maureen Johnson (DisneyPress)
  5. Marcus Makes A Movie by Kevin Hart (Crown Books for Young Readers)
  6. Being Clem by Lesa Cline-Ransome (Holiday House)
  7. Simon B. Rhymin' by Dwayne Reed (Little, Brown)
  8. Tristan Strong Keeps Punching by Kwame Mbalia (Disney Hyperion)
  9. Forgiveness: The Story of Eva Kor, Survivor of the Auschwitz Twin Experiments by Joe Lee (Red Lightning Books)
  10. Rosie Loves Jack by Mel Darbon (Peachtree Publishing)