Friday, December 26, 2014

The Best of 2014

2013 was an eventful year in my literary adventures. 2014...not so much.  I did go to two literary events in Charleston: Nina Foxx (which I helped bring to my local library) and Pearl Cleage during the MOJA Festival.  And as of this writing on Christmas Eve, I have only read 35 books, which is low for me.  Somehow, I lost my reading groove this year.  But I was able to select my favorite books of 2014.  So here they are (in no particular order).

Anybody's Daughter: This book was one of my book club selections earlier in the year.  This book about a teen girl who is kidnapped and is forced into the world of sex slavery and trafficking (and the efforts of her uncle and his girlfriend to get her back) was a great read. No wonder it won the NAACP Image Award for Best Fiction of 2013! And it reminded me of the stories I heard about sex trafficking in a conference I was at a few months before I read the book.

The Prodigal Son: This is one of my favorite books from the Curtis Black series! This book about Curtis' sons Matthew (poor, poor Matthew) and Dillon (which I am convinced that's not his son, but that may be addressed in another book) was a great page turner. I can't wait to read the next book of this series that comes out next summer which will feature daughter Alicia (and I hope she goes back to the former drug dealer).

What's Done In The Dark: I should have known something was up when my friend Flash text me and said something to the effect of  "You need to read ReShonda's book. It is so good." Since I was on vacation, I decided to read it. MAN LISTEN. I COULDN'T PUT IT DOWN. ReShonda Tate Billingsley out did herself with this book about a woman who sleeps with her BFF's husband...and he dies of a heart attack!  I later recommended the book to a woman who goes to the same hairdresser as I do.  When I saw her a few weeks later, she told me she had read the book and couldn't put it down either!

An Untamed State: This book was another book club selection, even though I didn't make it to the meeting where the book was discussed (dang flat tire). Even though this book took me a while to read, I was really enthralled with the story about a woman who was kidnapped and held hostage in her father's homeland of Haiti.  I am currently reading author Roxane Gay's book of essays, Bad Feminist.

Big Little Lies: I read Liane Moriarty's last hit, The Husband's Secret, and though it was OK.  But Big Little Lies, which was about three mothers whose kids are in the same Kindergarten class, was really good.  And wait until you find out the big little lie!

The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace:  How can one man was able to survive the streets of Newark, graduate from Yale, and yet died on the same streets?  This is what Jeff Hobbs wanted to find out about his former roommate Robert Peace.  This nonfiction work read like a fiction book and kept my attention the whole time.

And I have a some honorable mentions: A Pinch of Ooh La La, Shake Down the Stars, Redefining Realness, I've Never Been To Vegas, But My Luggage Has, The Single Woman and Cosby: His Life and Times. I read the Cosby biography before the sexual allegations came out (again), but in my honest opinion I believe the author was shut down when he asked Cosby about them (this was an authorized book). Autumn Jackson barely got a page, so you know the allegations wasn't going to be in the book.  It will be interesting to see how the paperback version will reflect recent events.

I don't know what literary events I will be going to in the new year.  Delta will have another national convention in July and there will be another National Book Club Conference in Atlanta in August.   Delta is also doing regional author tours, with the one for my region happening in late January in Raleigh, NC.  I will just play it by ear.  Enjoy the rest of your holiday season and HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

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