Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Notables of 2008

Happy New Year! Below are lists of notable black books from 2008 I received via email and that I compiled. I thought instead of linking to each author or to a site like Amazon, I would suggest ordering any book that interests you from an independent book-seller such as Eso Won Books, in Los Angeles. They will ship anywhere in the country, and they're good people.

Bonnie Glover's list:

All or Nothing by Preston Allen (NY Times review)
Trading Dreams at Midnight by Diane McKinney-Whetstone
The Sunday Brunch Diaries by Norma Jarrett
The Right Mistake by Walter Mosley
Midnight: A Gangster's Story by Sister Souljah
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
A Mercy by Toni Morrison

Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
Grace After Midnight by Felicia Pearson
A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah

Doret Canton's list:

Slumberland by Paul Beatty
Trading Dreams at Midnight by Diane McKinney-Whetstone

Definition by Cey Adams

Sunrise over Fallujah by Walter Dean Myers
We are the Ship by Kadir Nelson
Hip Hop Speaks to Children by Nikki Giovanni
After Tupac & D Foster by Jacqueline Woodson

Carleen Brice's list:

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
Taking After Mudear by Tina McElroy Ansa
Say You're One of Them by Uwem Akpan
Passing for Black by Linda Villarosa
Conception by Kalisha Buckhanon
Stand the Storm by Breena Clarke
The Air Between Us by Deborah Johnson
Song Yet Sung by James McBride
Incognegro by Mat Johnson
The Knees of Gullah Island by Dwight Fryer
Going Down South by Bonnie Glover

The Hemingses of Monticello by Annette Gordon Reed (National Book Award winner)
Kinky Gazpacho by Lori Tharps
The House at Sugar Beach by Helene Cooper
Step by Step by Bertie Bowman
Hiding in Hip Hop by Terrance Dean
Black Pain by Terrie Williams
All About Love by Susan L. Taylor
Standing Tall by C. Vivian Stringer
Blood Dazzler by Patricia Smith (finalist for National Book Award)
Acolytes by Nikki Giovanni

What did you think was notable this year? And no need to mention my novel. We'll assume that's been covered enough on this blog. :)


moonrat said...

i just finished ORANGE MINT AND HONEY! awesome. i left it for my mother :)

i was especially pleased with your careful portrayal of the AA lifestyle--i feel like it's a secret club (the club for people with loved ones in AA) and that a lot of our coming to grips with this thing we're not quite allowed to be part of but which we're expected to understand and accept is very, very mysterious.

Carleen Brice said...

Thanks Miss Ratty! Just to clarify for other blog readers, she's referring to AA, the 12-step group, not short for African American.

merc3069 said...

I need to pick up some of the fiction titles, but am pleased to say I already own Annette Gordon Reed's new one (a must since I live so close to Monticello!) and "The House at Sugar Beach";-)
thanks for adding me to your blog roll and the heads up about the new Bertice Berry book!

Carleen Brice said...

That's what I'm here for. :) Let me know if you get Berry's book and what you think of it.

Ali said...

I'm glad you clarified that, Carleen, because even though I'm in the middle of reading Orange Mint and Honey, I was momentarily mystified by Moonrat's comment about the "AA lifestyle." LOL!

campbele said...

have to add just of few of the wonderful YA books from 2008: Aya by Marguerite Abouet; Zahrah the windseeker by Nnedi Okorafor-Mbachu; My Life as a Rhombus by Varian Johnson; Chess Rumble by Jesse Joshua Watson and Ms. Thang by Sonia Hayes.

Shauna Roberts said...

Thanks for the lists of bests.

Anonymous said...

My list was definitely incomplete. I forgot my favorite of 2008: Orange Mint and Honey or -- THE BOOK THAT KEPT ME UP UNTIL I FINISHED!!!

Bonnie J. Glover

bookr794 said...

The African American writer has finally begun to see a light at the end of the tunnel. And it is not just another train coming in the opposite direction! The technology leading the way to self publishing has been both a god-send, and a mixed blessing. We are flooded with books. Now the questions are: Which books about African American Life will forever remind us of who we are, and who we will become? Which books will become like the classics of the Harlem renaissance? Which will guide us? Which will uplift? Which will be passed on to the next generations? I know of one such recently published book, already being embraced even by non-African Americans: Finding Grace on a Less Traveled Road: A Cancer Doctor Reflects on Living and Dying. But this is just one book among many. What books do you think will uplift and inspire like this one? What books really matter to you, and us all?

Claudia said...

So many great recommendations! I recently picked up and thoroughly enjoyed Kevin Young's latest book of poetry, DEAR DARKNESS. And like campbele, I would definitely add Abouet's graphic novel, AYA, to any "best of 2008" list.

Kyra said...

Hello - This is my first time on your blog - will be back! Over Christmas did stop by Eso Won and purchased a book. And, I did enjoy your article in the Washington Post.

Best, Kyra

Yasmin said...

Okay aside from your book my list includes:
Conception by Kalisha Buckhanon
Stand the Storm by Breena Clarke
Going Down South by Bonnie Glover
House on Sugar Beach by Helene Cooper
The Someday List by Stacy Hawkins Adams (2009 release)
Song Yet Sung by James McBride
Hmmm...I'm missing three...let me go and check my list and get back to you. ;)

the prisoner's wife said...

this is just what i needed. i CONSUMED Orange Mint & Honey (in 2 days) and was hungry for more books! (loved the book by the way, i will be sharing it).

happy new year!

Carleen Brice said...

Bonnie, You didn't forget it. I left it off. But thanks!

Thanks Prisoner's Wife!

the prisoner's wife said...


posted a review of your novel on my site. not that you don't have ENOUGH reviews out there, but it's my way to spread the word.