Wednesday, December 29, 2010

10 Best Fiction Books of 2010

As of this writing, I have read 72 books in 2010. This is about 2-4 more books than I did in 2009. Some of my friends say that this is an accomplishment, considering I am six credits shy of my Master's in Library Science, bought a house and moved out of my parents' house, working a full-time job (and for a part of this year, a part-time job on Saturdays), becoming a member of my local library system's board of trustees and being active in Delta.

This year brought us a variety of books that we enjoyed, and some we didn't. We looked forward to some books by authors who had not come out with anything in years, just to be disappointed in the end. We also heard from some promising new authors that gave us some of the best books of 2010. And we also read from favorites that kept us entertained and reminded us why we read their books.

And now, I would like to announce the best fiction books I read in 2010 (in no particular order):

32 Candles by Ernessa T. Carter: As stated before, I loved this book. This was one of the very few books that I could not put down. Then, I recommended it to my book club and they fell in love with it (and we proudly rock our 32 Candles tees we got from Ernessa). Davie's story inspired me to go after my dreams and to believe in yourself. It is a great coming-of-age story with some Molly Ringwald movies sprinkled in it.

Wench by Dolen Perkins-Valdez: This book was getting rave reviews in the blogging world this year, and after reading it, I can see why. The book, which is about four slave women who spent every summer vacationing with their masters, had me hooked and thinking long after I finished.

A Taste of Honey by Jabari Asim: This Essence Book Club Pick (along with 32 Candles) is a book of short stories that were interconnected with each other. It is about neighbors who lived in fictional city in 1968 and the climax of the book leads to Dr. King's assassination. The stories focused on racism, young love, growing up, finding love in an unexpected place, and family.

Substitute Me by Lori L. Tharps: What happens when an African-American nanny enters the home of a young White couple in the early 2000s? You will have to find out with this book. This held my attention way more than that other Black nanny/White people book of the year (and which I admit, I still haven't finished).

Playing The Hand You're Dealt by Trice Hickman: Emily is in love and has been for years. But there's one problem: Emily's in love with her best friend Samantha's father. And did I mention that Sam's parents are still together? This book had a lot of drama to keep me interested.

Torn Between Two Lovers by Carl Weber: I wasn't a reader of Carl's books until earlier this year, when the book club I am in was assigned to read Big Girls Do Cry. The sisters in the story got on my nerves, but I wanted to hear more about their friend Tammy, who was torn between her husband and her lover. I still can't get over that ending! :-)

Jesus Boy by Preston Allen: Elwyn, a teenager and popular piano player at his church, falls for Sister Morrisohn, who is his church sister and 26 years older than him. To me, it fell a little flat at the end, but there are so many twists and turns, you will be calling out Jesus' name several times.

Till You Hear From Me by Pearl Cleage: Remember during the Obama campaign when it seemed like the older and younger generations of African-Americans clashed over leadership? Cleage explores this with her latest book. Ida Dumbar returns home to Atlanta's West End to find her father Horrace (a popular pastor and civil rights leader) in a scandal after he says some bad things about our President (noting about cutting his privates, thank goodness). While that's going on, one of the Dumbar's family friends works to stab them in the back. A very good read that reflects recent times.

Be Careful What You Pray For by Kimberla Lawson Roby: I have been keeping up with Curtis Black and his family for a few years now. This one features Alicia marrying JT Valentine, who wants to be just like Curtis. But I really didn't think anyone could be worst than Curtis, but JT did things in one book that Curtis never did. And that says a lot.

The Summer Before by Ann M. Martin: I know you looked at that link and realized that I put a children's book here. Not only that, it's a Baby Sitters Club book. Well, this book is about what happened the summer before Kristi, Mary Anne, Claudia and Stacey formed BSC. In my tween days, I was in love with the BSC books and would spend my allowance on them. At the time, my mother was a teacher and had access to the book clubs that the publishers would sell and I would get some more books that way. So, this book brought me back to the early 90s when I would find out what was going on in Stoneybrook. And I am still on Team Stacey.

What was your favorite book of 2010? Please feel free to drop me a line! I hope you and yours has a very great new year and here's looking at more books for 2011!


  1. We had a lot of the same books on our top 10 list. 32 Candles was my absolute favorite read of the year.

    I keep seeing people talk about Jesus Boy and I've added it to my TBR list, but I may have to move it up since you've rated it so high.

  2. Great list. 32 Candles was among my top books of 2010.

  3. I have read Wench and Taste of Honey, both which I enjoyed. Perkins-Valdez is coming to Durham, so I want to check out the event. I'm planning on reading 32 Candles soonish. I've read Lori Tharps Kinky Gazpacho but have not read her latest. Great list!

  4. Finally, I see someone who also enjoyed Jesus Boy! I really loved this novel by Preston Allen. One of my favorite authors is James Baldwin, and there were some aspects of Jesus Boy that reminded me of Go Tell It on the Mountain. Unfortunately, this book has not gotten much recognition on book blogs, however I hope more people will read it.