Literary Fiction by People of Color discussion

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Favorite Reads 0f 2011

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message 1: by Wilhelmina (last edited Dec 24, 2011 12:46PM) (new)

Wilhelmina Jenkins | 1842 comments Mod
Happy holidays, everyone! 2011 is almost over, so it's a good time to find out which books read this year were your favorites. You can include any books read this year, not just published this year.

Looking over my own lists, it was a good year for me for fiction written by African American women and also for young adult and middle grade books. Here are my favorites:

Favorite Fiction by People of Color Read in 2011:

Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones;

32 Candles by Ernessa T. Carter;

The Taste of Salt by Martha Southgate;

If Sons, Then Heirs by Lorene Cary;

Pym by Mat Johnson;

Black Orchid Blues by Persia Walker;

The Memory of Love by Aminatta Forna;

Evening Is the Whole Day by Preeta Samarasan;

My Soul to Take by Tananarive Due; and

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms & The Broken Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin.

Favorite Nonfiction by an Author of Color Read in 2011:

The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson (Brilliant!)


Favorite Fiction NOT Written by People of Color Read in 2011:

Cloudsplitter by Russell Banks;

Winter's Bone by Daniel Woodrell;

Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin;

The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins; and

the 6th & 7th Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling.

Favorite Middle Grade Literature By People Of Color read in 2011 (and I REALLY loved these books!):

One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia (One of my favorite books ever!);

Ninth Ward by Jewell Parker Rhodes;

Zora and Me by Victoria Bond;

and two of the most spectacular picture books for middle grades and up that I have ever seen:

Never Forgotten by Patricia McKissack

and Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans by Kadir Nelson.

What about you?


message 2: by Renee (new)

Renee (ReneeBergeron) | 74 comments What a lovely idea!

Some of my favorites:

The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man - probably my number one.

Tiny Sunbirds, Far Away

We Need to Talk About Kevin - freakiest book for me!

They Tell Me of a Home

Octavia Butler's Xenogenesis series.

Love Invents Us

My goal was to read 50 books this year. I am right under, at 45.


message 3: by Regina (last edited Dec 24, 2011 03:42PM) (new)

Regina (ReginaR) I am about to start Octavia Butler's Kindred, I cannot wait. And I keep meaning to read One Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, I have heard it is great. These are my favorites by people of color:

Under the Mesquite by Guadalupe Garcia McCall

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz

Angelfall by Susan Ee

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

Under the Mesquite by Guadalupe Garcia McCall The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days #1) by Susan Ee The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie


message 4: by Toni (new)

Toni (mshoni) | 39 comments Here's a link to my blog where I listed my top 20 books read this year...
http://sewtransformed.blogspot.com/20...


message 5: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Weathersby (saraphen) | 229 comments Here's my list:

Favorite Fiction by People of Color

Wading Home by Rosalyn Story

More Than you know by Rosalyn Story

Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones

The Girl who Fell from the Sky by Heidi Durrow

My Soul to Take by Tananarive Due

Shifting through Neutral by Bridgett Davis

Death at the Double Inkwell by Shonell Bacon

We the Animals by Justin Torres

Favorite Non-fiction by People of Color

The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson

(I don't read a lot of non-fiction. Condoleeza Rice's Memoir was just OK.)

Favorite Fiction Not by People of Color

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

State of Wonder by Ann Pachett

Room by Emma Donoghue

Stieg Larsson's Millenium Trilogy (started in 2010)

Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games Trilogy

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern


message 6: by Rebecca (last edited Dec 25, 2011 07:03PM) (new)

Rebecca  | 356 comments Silver Sparrow
A Long Way Gone
Up From Slavery
We the Animals
All different kinds of free


message 8: by Wilhelmina (new)

Wilhelmina Jenkins | 1842 comments Mod
Sarah, I'm so glad that you read Shifting Through Neutral and enjoyed it. It's one of those books that I keep begging people to read.


message 9: by jo (new)

jo | 930 comments that, and Silver Sparrow. except now SS has achieved its own momentum, so you've been a bit less relentless... :)


message 10: by Wilhelmina (new)

Wilhelmina Jenkins | 1842 comments Mod
jo wrote: "that, and Silver Sparrow. except now SS has achieved its own momentum, so you've been a bit less relentless... :)"

SS was a book I had been waiting for for a long time and was thrilled once it was published. STN is one of those beautifully written books published years ago that just fell between the cracks. I made a list of them a while back (Some, like Orange Mint and Honey, have since picked up momentum.)

http://www.goodreads.com/list/show/90...


message 11: by jo (new)

jo | 930 comments hey, Shifting through Neutral is not there! should i put it there?


message 12: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Weathersby (saraphen) | 229 comments jo wrote: "hey, Shifting through Neutral is not there! should i put it there?"

Definitely. And it's listed three ways here:


Shifting Through Neutralby Bridgett M. Davis
Shifting through Neutralby Bridgett Davis
Shifting Through Neutral by Bridgett M. David

I have the second one on my list of books read.


message 13: by Wilhelmina (new)

Wilhelmina Jenkins | 1842 comments Mod
It was there once - how did it disappear? I put it back...


message 14: by William (new)

William (be2lieve) | 693 comments Mod
I returned a book to the library today and lo and behold what is sitting on the withdrawn for sale shelf but Shifting Through Neutral...so Mina, since I parted with the big bucks ($.50) soley on your recommendation for this tome it better be a good read!


message 15: by Linda (new)

Linda Boyd (lboyd5900attnet) | 1 comments Shifting Through Neutral by Bridgett M. Davis sounds really good, I just added it to my TBR....


message 16: by Wilhelmina (new)

Wilhelmina Jenkins | 1842 comments Mod
William wrote: "I returned a book to the library today and lo and behold what is sitting on the withdrawn for sale shelf but Shifting Through Neutral...so Mina, since I parted with the big bucks ($.50) soley on yo..."

I'll split the $.50 with you if you don't think that it is a beautifully written book!


message 17: by Karen (new)

Karen | 16 comments This year's favorite reads

Fiction ...
Acacia The War with the Mein (Acacia, #1) by David Anthony Durham The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka Caleb's Crossing by Geraldine Brooks A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1) by George R.R. Martin The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms (The Inheritance Trilogy, #1) by N.K. Jemisin The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey by Walter Mosley Pym by Mat Johnson Room by Emma Donoghue Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser

Non-Fiction ...
Disintegration The Splintering of Black America by Eugene Robinson High on the Hog by Jessica B. Harris Radioactive Marie and Pierre Curie by Lauren Redniss The Warmth of Other Suns The Epic Story of America's Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson Whatever It Takes Geoffrey Canada's Quest to Change Harlem and America by Paul Tough

Children's / Young Adult Fiction ...
Akata Witch (Akata Witch, #1) by Nnedi Okorafor Beauty Queens by Libba Bray Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver The Book Thief by Markus Zusak The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart Guardian by Julius Lester Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai Lips Touch Three Times by Laini Taylor The Chaos (Numbers, #2) by Rachel Ward One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia


message 18: by Regina (new)

Regina (ReginaR) Karen, you read a book about one of my favorite non-profits, Whatever It Takes: Geoffrey Canada's Quest to Change Harlem and America -- an amazing amazing story. I heard it on NPR a few years back and was really amazed at the work he has done -- and the method applied.


message 19: by Karen (new)

Karen | 16 comments Last year I was working with a group that was trying to replicate some of Canada's work. The work was exciting and incredibly challenging. The book was inspirational! I had the pleasure of meeting the author at a panel discussion this past spring.


message 20: by Beverly (new)

Beverly | 1104 comments Mod
I read a lot of books this year (202) so it was very hard to limit to a top 10 for fiction (as I am mainly a fiction reader). The books listed are in no special order.

Fiction
Salvage the Bones – Jesmyn Ward
The Devotion of Suspect X – Keigo Higashino
Pym – Mat Johnson
The Story of Beautiful Girl – Rachel Simon
Akata Witch – Nnedi Okorafor
Oil on Water – Helon Habila
Pao – Kerry Young
The Personal History of Rachel Dupree – Ann Weisgarber
We the Animals – Justin Torres
Turn of Mind – Alice LaPlante
The Buddha in the Attic – Julia Otsuka
The Language of Flowers – Vanessa Diffenbaugh
When She Woke – Hillary Jordan
Partitions – Amit Majmudar
Catfish Alley – Lynne Bryant
Please Look After Mom – Kyung-Sook Shin
Sister – Rosamund Lupton

Non-Fiction
Create Dangerously – Edwidge Danticat
The Tiger – John Vaillant
America Uprising – Daniel Rasmussen
Cleopatra – Stacy Schiff
Andrew Johnson – Annette Gordon-Reed
The Hemingses of Monticello – Annette Gordon-Reed
Elizabeth and Hazel: Two Women of Little Rock – David Margolick
King Peggy – Peggielene Bartels


message 21: by Dusky Literati (new)

Dusky Literati (duskyliterati) | 9 comments Here are my favorites in various categories:

Black Authors (rated 5 and 4.5):
Act of Grace by Karen Simpson (debut author that just didn't have any promotion but it was an awesome read)
Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward
Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor
If Sons, Then Heirs by Lorene Cary
Wild Seed by Octavia E. Butler
White Egrets by Derek Walcott (poetry)
The Word: Black Writers Talk About the Transformative Power of Reading and Writing by Marita Golden (non-fiction)
Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority by Tom Burrell (non-fiction)
Incognegro SC by Mat Johnson (graphic novel)
Skin, Inc.: Identity Repair Poems by Thomas Sayers Ellis (poetry)
Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self by Danielle Evans (short stories)
Zora and Me by Victoria Bond (YA)
Body and Soul: The Black Panther Party and the Fight against Medical Discrimination by Alondra Nelson (non-fiction)

Non-Black Authors:
The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov (tr. Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky)
The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
The Feast of the Goat by Mario Vargas Llosa
The Room by Emma Donoghue
Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson (non-fiction/bio)
Washington: A Life by Ron Chernow (non-fiction/bio)


message 22: by Alfred (new)

Alfred (Pharaoh-Buddha) | 5 comments Hello everyone. I'm new to the group but too tired to say more than this right now.

I've read many books this year, though many were re-reads of old favorites that I won't mention here. but the most impressive First time read for the year was Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor

Okorafor made something fresh for the American market and relevant to both the fantasy and speculative sci-fi genres. I highly recommend it to anyone who hasn't read it yet. She will not disappoint.


message 23: by Wilhelmina (new)

Wilhelmina Jenkins | 1842 comments Mod
Welcome, Alfred! We had a good discussion here about Who Fears Death back in September, 2010. We keep all of our discussions open, so if you want to add any of your thoughts about this book, we will welcome them.

http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/3...


message 24: by Alfred (new)

Alfred (Pharaoh-Buddha) | 5 comments Thank you. And I will check that out. I'm glad I found your group; already I've learned about Tananarive Due and Steven Barnes(who I didn't know was a nubian writer! This is what social networking should be about.


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Books mentioned in this topic

Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter (other topics)
Cloudsplitter (other topics)
32 Candles (other topics)
Never Forgotten (other topics)
The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms (other topics)
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Authors mentioned in this topic

Rita Williams-Garcia (other topics)
Aminatta Forna (other topics)
Daniel Woodrell (other topics)
Jewell Parker Rhodes (other topics)
J.K. Rowling (other topics)
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