Monday, December 13, 2010

Ernessa T. Carter recommends books for everybody on your list

Or at least a good chuck of the people on your list. Ernessa is the author of the novel 32 CANDLES, which I would recommend for sisters, bffs, and anyone who hearts funny romantic reads. Read below and leave Ernessa a note and maybe you'll win a signed copy of one of my favorite books of 2010!




Here are her suggestions:


Oh, I just heart books to death, and I’ve felt especially lucky this year, because so many awesome books have come out. Here’s my gift suggestion list -- and make sure to click on the links to read my book reviews for all but one of these suggestions from earlier in the year:


For the young woman, feminist or literate sci-fi nerd on your list: WHO FEARS DEATH by Nnedi Okorafor was not only my favorite book of the year, but also my favorite main character of the year. This book has it all: an intriguing future landscape, a powerful and fierce lead, and an epic love story. If it were up to me, this book would be added to the high school canon. But sadly, more girls will be encouraged to read LORD OF THE FLIES than this book which actually portrays young black women in a complex and powerful way. So if you know any teenagers whose parents won’t freak out about them reading a book with sex in it, please do them the favor of gifting them with this stunning novel.


For the academic on your list: I’ve been telling everybody that WENCH by Dolen Perkins-Valdez needs to be on college syllabi across the nation. It’s a amazing feat of historical fiction: well-written, suspenseful, and a page-turner. Seriously, when was the last time you just couldn’t put down a piece of historical fiction?



For the person who’s always complaining that books about Africa are too heavy:Actually that person would be me, so how pleased was I to find AYA by Marguerite Abouet and Clement Oubrerie, a graphic novel, about three young girls living, learning, and loving in a 1970s-era Ivory Coast town? Along with BAYOU by Jeremy Love and INCONEGRO by Mat Johnson, I think this forms a triumvirate of black graphic novel must-haves.



For the mom or dad on your list: I found that the non-fiction COME TO WIN by Venus Williams and Kelly E. Carter, inspired me to be both a better person and a better parent. This book is basically a collection of essays in which successful people (Jack Welch, Bill Clinton, Condoleeza Rice, Vera Wang, Phil Knight, and Denzel Washington are just a few of the “names” in this book) talk about how playing sports shaped their future career wins.  It’s a fascinating collection and best read slowly in my opinion.


For your BFF mom friend: I’ve been suggesting that no working mom read SUBSTITUTE ME  by Lori Tharps alone as it will only frustrate you if you don't have someone to talk with about it immediately after finish it. This is a compelling read for working moms and a real conversation-starter. So do yourself a favor. Get a copy for you and your BFF mom friend, read it at the same time, then book a lunch date to discuss it.


So those are my book recs for the holiday season. Let me know which books you’re giving away as gifts this year



Happy Holidays and Happy Reading!

etc

16 comments:

Kwana said...

Thanks for these suggestions! I'm loving the sound of Wench.

wdjenkins1 said...

Great list, Ernessa! This was really a banner year for African American women authors!

Katrina Spencer said...

Let my sister "borrow" Wench and she has yet to return it. But if I had to give anyone a book this year, I would gift Substitute Me or The Other Sister by Cheri Paris Edwards.

rhapsodyinbooks said...

What a great list! I actually forgot about Bayou, but you're so right - even without the story, I just love those drawings! And I haven't read Who Fears Death and Substitute Me, but I'm thoroughly intrigued now. I especially love books that you're forced to INSIST someone else reads because you HAVE to discuss it immediately! Thanks for the great ideas!

evelyn.n.alfred said...

I need to get all of your graphic novel recommendations. I have all the others.

Ernessa from 32 Candles.com said...

@Kwana You're going to LOVE Wench

@wdjenkins It really was. I feel so lucky to be included in the list.

@rhapsodyinbooks I'm a huge fan of discussion books myself. I was having breakfast w/ a friend the other day and we got all excited, b/c we had read many of the same books this year and could discuss them together. That's just the best.

@Katrina ...which reminds me I need to give my sister her copy of GLORIOUS back...

@Evelyn -- you especially are going to adore these graphic novels. I think they're really great for the poetically-minded

Ernessa from 32 Candles.com said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Debbie Rigaud said...

Oooo! WHO FEARS DEATH sounds amazing. That's def going on the shopping list. Thanks for sharing!

lifelearner said...

I love this recommended book list. I've started on 32 candles and I'm loving it thus far. I have read Wench and Substitute Me...definitely good book club reads.

Dominique Nicole said...

Ernessa, such a wonderful list! I've recommended these books to friends and acquaintances this past year too.

And, your comment about Perkins-Valdez's Wench is one that I've advocated as well; in a recent review, I compared Wench to the female-authored slave narrative greats, Harriet Jacobs and Harriet Wilson. Needless to say, I plan on teaching Wench to college students in the near future. Thank you for your words.

Kelly E. Carter said...

What a great list Ernessa! Wench was so powerful and your book such a delight that I HOPE there is a sequel. I bought President Obama's "Of Thee I Sing" for my nephew, who had a birthday yesterday. Happy you've provided some adult titles I was unaware of. Thanks for including my book with Venus. Thrilled that you found it useful as a parent.

Rachel E Pollock said...

I pretty much want to read every single one of these. Some i'd heard about but others are totally new to me! Thanks for the great suggestions!

Shauna Roberts said...

Great suggestions! I had never heard of Who Fears Death, but I just ordered it.

Although I usually give lots of books as presents, this year I'm giving only one, to my husband. I went to Istanbul and am giving handcrafts from Turkey as gifts instead of books.

tericarter said...

I've been putting off WENCH. Yet another reminder to pick it up and read!

I know this old-school these days, but I just finished listening to Toni Morrison read BELOVED on my iPod. For the 2nd time. If you have not had this pleasure, you're missing something magical.

Dolen Perkins-Valdez said...

Ernessa, you are so kind to mention my book. Especially since 32 CANDLES rocked!! I still tell everybody about your book and how I couldn't stop reading it. I just wish you were here to sign the copy I'm giving to my sister for Christmas...

Melissa said...

"Substitute Me" was a great read. I'm going to give a copy to a friend of mine.

I've been wanting to read "Wench" for a while now, and "Who Fears Death" sounds fabulous!