On Twitter and Instagram, @melanatedreader challenged people to read 20 books by Black women in 2022. She collaborated with @danzibooks to create a cute little template to keep track. I readily and easily accepted. I kinda cheated. Memoirs and books written by Black women have a gravitational pull on me. Of the 47 books I completed in 2022, 32 were by Black women.
I was working at Borders (moment of silence for my favorite former workplace) twenty years ago when Zadie Smith’s debut novel White Teeth was flying off the shelves.
#BlackLoveBooks Challenge Day 16: Interracial Love Despite all the accolades and praise that surrounded Whatever Happened to Interracial Love? prior to its release, I’m somewhat embarrassed to admit I had never heard of Kathleen Collins. An artist of many facets, she was a playwright, filmmaker, and writer. She was one of the first black women to ever direct a major film. Collins died of cancer at the age of 46 in 1988. She left behind a trove of unfinished work. Among […]
#BlackLoveBooks Challenge Day 15: Nonfiction Love Story History often relegates Coretta Scott King to the background story of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Yes, she was his widow and mother of his four children, but she was also an activist and feminist in her own right. She founded the King Center for Nonviolent Social Change, lobbied for Dr. King’s birthday to be declared a national holiday, and helped Nelson Mandela get elected president after being released from prison. From Amazon: Coretta’s […]
#BlackLoveBooks Challenge Day 14: Fiction Love Story “Magic and myth–fiction as we call it” is how Tiphanie Yanique refers to her novel Land of Love and Drowning in her Author’s Note at the end of the book. The novel is loosely based on her own family’s history in her native land of St. Thomas, one of the U.S. Virgin Islands. The novel begins in the early 1900s when the Danish West Indies become the U.S. Virgin Islands. With the backdrop […]
#BlackLoveBooks Challenge Day 13: Mystery Walter Mosley is well-known for his Easy Rawlins mystery series, but The Man in My Basement is a standalone mystery novel. Thirty-something Charles Dodd-Blakely is a heavy drinker, unemployed and after missing several mortgage payments, is in danger of losing the Long Island, New York, house that he lives in and has been in his family for generations. One day Anniston Bennet, a white man in his late fifties, offers Blakely $50,000 to rent out his […]
#BlackLoveBooks Challenge Day 12: LGBTQ: a book written by or about LGBTQ community I can’t say much about I Can’t Date Jesus: Love, Sex, Family, Race and Other Reasons I’ve Put My Faith in Beyoncé. It’s a recent purchase and still on my TBR list. I kept hearing good things about it, so I had to get it. With such an interesting title, I know the book is bound to be humorous. It’s compared to Phoebe Johnson’s You Can’t Touch My […]
#BlackLoveBooks Challenge Day 11: Inspirational: a book that encourages you to love I worked at Borders Bookstore during the early 2000s. Back then, among some of the books flying off the shelves were Harry Potter, Oprah Book Club selections, and any author who had been a guest on Oprah’s show, including Dr. Phil and Iyanla Vanzant. Being an ignorant and arrogant 20-something-year old, I didn’t read, nor did I think I needed to read Vanzant’s In the Meantime, One Day […]
#BlackLoveBooks Challenge Day 10: Cover Love: Beautiful cover and beautiful love story My rinky dink camera phone doesn’t do it justice, but the jacket cover of Tayari Jones‘ An American Marriage is absolutely stunning and gorgeous. Designed by Jaya Miceli, it has a simple graphic of a many-branched tree with the rich topaz background color that makes the whole thing pop. The matching marketing bookmark that I got months before the book’s release was so beautiful added it to my […]