Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Top 10 reasons white people should read books by black people

10. You'll know what the cool kids are reading every month, not just February.
9. Two words: Blair Underwood.
8. Seriously, haven't you read enough Philip Roth? Jewish guy obsessed with sex and death. Oy! Enough already.
7. Halle Berry's making a movie of Nappily Ever After. You know you should read the book first.
6. You already like our music, dances, food, fashion and films.
5. Didn't you resolve to try new things this year?
4. In October, Nikki Giovanni told me this was the best book of 2008 (so far).
3. Paraphrasing President-Elect Obama, we’re not black states of fiction and white states of fiction. We’re the United States of fiction.
2. We read your books.

And, finally, the number one reason white people should read books by black people:

Lots of them are really good.


Claudia said...

LOL @ "We read your books."

I love the sense of humor that you bring to this challenge!

Lisa said...

I've got a post on this whole project coming up soon, but I'll share one of my favorite reasons for reading books by black authors. It's a little like eavesdropping at times. I love reading books by black (or middle eastern, Asian or Latino authors) and a character has a thought or makes a comment about white people that he or she wouldn't make in front of white characters. It's a chance to be part of those kitchen table conversations that we'd never get to hear. These little gems give me something to think about and often they're just laugh out loud funny. It's amazing what goes on in all of our heads and the beauty of all fiction is that we get to peek into the thoughts of all kinds of other people. So ta da. There you have it. My guilty pleasure in reading authors of other cultures is having the chance to hear what the characters are thinking about me...you know, because it's all about me :)

Shauna Roberts said...

Thanks for the tip about James McBride's new book. I found The Color Of Water fascinating, so I'd like to try his fiction. I particularly like that it's historical fiction. I read very few books set in modern times, and most black authors who aren't fantasy writers seem to write contemporary books.

That would be an interesting topic for a future post: historical fiction by black writers.

Tyhitia Green said...

Too funny, and yet true. Growing up, I loved horror, and most of the horror at that time was written by older, White men. Completely opposite of me. But I loved theor work anyway, and I don't understand why that isn't being reciprocated widely. :-)

Judy Merrill Larsen said...

"We're not black states of fiction or white states of fiction"--I LOVE that, Carleen! You rock.

Every Monday I'm posting on buying books for holiday gifts this year--yesterday I included a link to your dandy new blog, and next week I'll be plugging indie bookstores. We're all in this together.

Maybe some year we can celebrate (to paraphrase Obama again) "mutt fiction"!

Moanerplicity said...

Wow! The places you stumble upon with a click or two of a mouse. I really have want applaud you for this blog. I mean, not just this entry alone, but the entire idea of the blog itself. Wow! Just Wow!

It's mad witty, and yet educational.


Snatch Joy (& good books)!

L.M. Ross, Author

Moanerplicity said...

Sorry for the typo. When I'm excited, my fingers stutter!

I meant for my sentence to read:

I really WANT TO applaud you for this blog.


L.M. Ross

Carleen Brice said...

Claudia, we can either laugh or cry about it. Right now, I'm choosing to laugh.

Lisa, Actually that was one of my original top 10, but it got bumped. :) Glad to see it brought back up. I think it's important to learn about other cultures and other people.

Shauna, YOU are the reason I'm looking for guest bloggers! LOL! I won't be able to keep up with you!

DH, I used to love me some Stephen King when I was in high school. That man got me through 10th grade!

Judy, Thanks again! Now what would mutt fiction be? Maybe all fiction?

Moanerplicity, Thanks for stopping by and for leaving a comment! Joy and good books to you too!

One Heart Dancing said...

Several years ago my sister was diagnosed with breast cancer. At her five-year anniversary, the whole family gathered in Denver for a celebration of life.

Carleen walked into our mostly white midst and read two essays from her anthology of essays on aging by black women, Age Ain't Nothin but a Number. We all hung on the truth of every word; it bound us together.

Years later, it remains a highlight of my family's shared story.

A Paperback Writer said...

Hey, I just picked up Joplin's Ghost at the library today! I read your mention of it a few days ago and requested it. I'm excited to read it; it looks good.

Sustenance Scout said...

So much to enjoy in this list, Carleen!! You're on a roll! K.

Doret said...

Looking forward to seeing Nappily Ever After on the big screen its a fun series

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Esther said...

What a great list. I'm a big Philip Roth fan, so I laughed heartily at No. 8. You're so right!

Anonymous said...

On the advice of a woman in my writing group, Karen Simpson, I went to your blog and watched your video last week.

I was a little offended by #8. "Oy! Enough already." After listening to your video in which you rightly makes it clear that it is thoroughly obnoxious when white people imitate Black English, it seemed a little ironic to mock Jewish-English dialect on the same blog.

This week, it seems like your blog proceeding well with your lists of
Black novelists. The best MO is to promote your own rather than put others down.

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