“Ladies First: Revelations of a Strong Woman” by Queen Latifah

In her first book, rap star-turned-actress Queen Latifah, candidly writes about her steady rise to fame, her close-knit family and and how she treated her grief with alcohol and drugs after her brother died in a motorcycle accident. At 173 very short pages (the type is huge and the margins generous), readers are entertained and, to a certain extent, enlightened. But they never get the feeling that they have gotten to know the artist.

Queen Latifah: Another jewel for her crown

At 19, Queen Latifah was the first female solo rapper to have a major label record deal. Four years later, she had crossed over into acting with roles in Spike Lee’s “Jungle Fever” and her own Fox sitcom, “Living Single.”