Literary Fiction by People of Color discussion

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Favorite for 2017/Most anticipated for 2018

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message 1: by Wilhelmina (new)

Wilhelmina Jenkins | 2049 comments 2017 is coming to a close. What was your favorite read of 2017? What book are you looking forward to the most in 2018?

For me, my favorite this year was The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin. It was a brilliant ending to an amazing trilogy. A close second was Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward. It broke all of my rules about what I avoid in novels - ghosts, mistreated children, etc. - but her writing gets me every time.

Anyone who has known me for a while can guess that the book that I can hardly wait to read next year is An American Marriage by Tayari Jones. I've been a fan of Tayari's since her first book. I have heard that she's having a book reading here in Atlanta when the book is released in February, along with another favorite, Pearl Cleage. I an really hoping to be well enough to go!


message 2: by Mocha Girl (new)

Mocha Girl (mochagirl) | 211 comments Re: The Most Anticipated....both Tayari and Bernice asked for support; so I volunteered to moderate the discussion (for my local book club ) An American Marriage in March and Praise Song for the Butterflies in August.


message 3: by Aleatha (new)

Aleatha Terrell | 12 comments A book reading with Tayari Jones and Pearl Cleage sounds like heaven! I would be fan girling the entire time. I've been seeing people get advanced copies of An American Marriage, and I'm highkey jealous. I'm also a fan of Kiese Laymon so I'm looking forward to his memoir, Heavy.

In 2017 I was just grateful to return to reading as a hobby, so I don't have one favorite. Off the top of my head, I loved Dont Call Us Dead by Danez Smith (it tugged at my heartstrings/ played with my emotions in a good way; made me remember the power of poetry) and The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin (I loved the queer relationships in this book; I enjoyed the twist)


message 4: by Mocha Girl (new)

Mocha Girl (mochagirl) | 211 comments Since you both mentioned N.K. Jemisin - I enjoyed W. Kamau Bell's book this year and learned that he and Jemisin are cousins. (Call me Late Kate - I didn't know that). He reflected on their "awkwardness" and creativity as kids whenever he'd visit Mobile, AL in the summers. Talent runs in the family!


message 5: by Radhika (new)

Radhika I must be the only one who dislikes NK Jemisin's books with a passion! My favorite book this year was Half of a Yellow Sun .

Looking forward to Train to Pakistan next year.


message 6: by Beverly (new)

Beverly | 2880 comments Mod
Here are a couple of books that I am anticipating in 2018:

Down the River unto the Sea: Detective, Heal Thyself by Walter Mosley

The Parking Lot Attendant by Nafkote Tamirat

Speak No Evil: A Novel by Uzodinma Iweala

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi

Happiness by Aminatta Forna

Heads of the Colored People: Stories by Nafissa Thompson-Spires

I have not yet done my best of the year list and I know that I am anticipating some other books but need to find my lists/sticky notes in my messy office.


message 7: by Wilhelmina (new)

Wilhelmina Jenkins | 2049 comments Beverly wrote: "Here are a couple of books that I am anticipating in 2018:

Down the River unto the Sea: Detective, Heal Thyself by Walter Mosley

[book:The Parking Lot Attendant|316..."


I'm excited about the new Mosley book too!


message 8: by Monica (last edited Dec 22, 2017 01:43PM) (new)

Monica (monicae) | 475 comments My favorite books published in 2016-2017 by poc are: What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky, Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body and Augustown.

My favorite books by poc (which in this case also happen to be my favorite books) read in 2017 are: Welcome to Braggsville and The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration.

This year I read 23 books written in 2016-2017. That's over 1/3 of the books I've read this year. It's very unusual to have read so many "fresh" books. Most of them have been really good and I'm happy to have been able to ride the current wave of enthusiasm for a change ;-) . Thanks Overdrive!!


message 9: by Aubrey (new)

Aubrey (korrick) My favorite books read this year that were written by people of color were Black Reconstruction, Maru, and Black Boy. I'm hoping to read The Journey to the West in 2018.


message 10: by Ming (last edited Dec 29, 2017 09:31AM) (new)

Ming | 154 comments Beverly wrote: "...I know that I am anticipating some other books but need to find my lists/sticky notes..."

Beverly, your anticipated literary reads for readers of color 2018 is one of my most anticipated reads for now. It is a "go-to" to learn of great titles. What a resource!

My favorite reads of 2017 are Augustown and The Golden Legend.

And I'd add Swimmer Among the Stars: Stories, Deceit and Other Possibilities, and Little Fires Everywhere. It's been a very good year for reading authors of color and especially Asian American authors.


message 11: by Beverly (new)

Beverly | 2880 comments Mod
Ming wrote: "Beverly wrote: "...I know that I am anticipating some other books but need to find my lists/sticky notes..."

Beverly, your anticipated literary reads for readers of color 2018 is one of my most an..."


Hi Ming - I have not done a list for 2018 yet but there are several good lists out have been posted. I am so behind this year and with all the diverse lists out there I am probably not going to do one. :)

Yes, it has been a good year Asian American authors.

I am reading The Golden Legend.


message 13: by ColumbusReads (new)

ColumbusReads (coltrane01) | 3771 comments Mod
Ok, not just a single book but if forced to pick your top 3 of that fiction list could you?

And I would also put Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body as one of my top NF. This book was much better than I expected and will likely re-read and purchase at some point.


message 14: by Nakia (last edited Dec 28, 2017 09:18PM) (new)

Nakia My favorite books published in 2017 were:
1. What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky by Lesley Nneka Arimah
2. The Wide Circumference of Love by Marita Golden
3. Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

My favorite reads this year that were published prior to 2017:
1. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
2. The Birds of Opulence by Crystal Wilkinson
3. The Sisterhood of Blackberry Corner by Andrea Smith

In addition to the previously mentioned An American Marriage by Tayari Jones, I'm looking forward to reading
1. Heads of the Colored People by Nafissa Thompson-Spires
2. How to Love a Jamaican by Alexia Arthurs
3. So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
4. Black Ink: Literary Legends on the Peril, Power, and Pleasure of Reading and Writing edited by Stephanie Stokes Oliver

I am mostly looking forward to non-fiction or short story collections in 2018, which is a surprise, because I prefer fiction and I'm not a big short story fan. There just haven't been many novels slated for 2018 that have caught my eye.


message 15: by Beverly (new)

Beverly | 2880 comments Mod
Nakia wrote: "My favorite books published in 2017 were:
1.
What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky
by Lesley Nneka Arimah
2.
The Wide Circumference of Love
by Marita Golden
3.
Little Fires Everywh..."


Nice list!

I need to sit down and read - What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky - everyone I know that has read it has loved it. (sigh)


message 16: by Beverly (new)

Beverly | 2880 comments Mod
Columbus wrote: "Ok, not just a single book but if forced to pick your top 3 of that fiction list could you?

And I would also put Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body as one of my top NF. This book was mu..."


So you want me to choose which of my children I like the best? :)

Okay - here are my top three:

Foreign Soil
Exit West
Sing, Unburied, Sing


message 17: by Mocha Girl (new)

Mocha Girl (mochagirl) | 211 comments I'm listening to it now and really enjoying the stories (read in the author's voice).


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