Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Summer books! Suggestions from Ernessa T. Carter

Black is Beautiful -- Especially on Vacation

So before I get into my summer reading list, let's get this out of the way: My own novel, 32 CANDLES, is now out in paperback. If you haven't read it yet, please pick up a copy from Amazon, Target, or your local bookstore. If you've already read it in hardcover, pick up the paperback for a friend. And fellow library lovers, if you checked it out, do consider picking up a copy for your bookshelf. After all, it has a yellow cover and it's a known fact that yellow looks fantastic on any kind of bookshelf. Just click on the book cover to buy the book at Amazon.

And one more plug, I'm running all sorts of neat contests over at 32CANDLES.com, so definitely pay me a visit -- but not until after you read this my list of books I want to read on my summer vacay. Because let's face it, books are best enjoyed on vacation.

IF SONS, THEN HEIRS by Lorene Carey. Maybe I'm in the minority here, but there's just something about reading a really deep book by the pool or ocean. I just adore it. The last time I went to Hawaii, I read FREEDOM by Jonathan Franzen, and for my upcoming Hawaii jaunt, I'm getting a copy of IF SONS, THEN HEIRS. I don't know much about this book, because I'm a terrible avoider of spoilers (read: ridiculous nerd), but a lot of intelligent people whose opinions I respect have recommended it highly, so it's coming along to the beach with me.

2. KINKY GAZPACHO by Lori Tharps. Now being in an IR myself, I'm a big fan of hearing about other people's IR relationships -- especially my fellow black women's. So this memoir of Lori Tharps's travels in Spain, which include falling in love with her Spanish husband and, I'm sure, many lessons learned, is right up my alley. Weirdly enough, GAZPACHO has been on my TBR list for three or four years now. But having read (and loved) SUBSTITUTE ME last year, I'm determined that Tharps's memoir will come off my TBR list this summer.

3. SILVER SPARROW by Tayari Jones. This is another deep read, but I do know what it's about -- a man with two families and two daughters, one of which knows about the other, but not vice versa. I've been following this book's progress on Tayari's blog, and I'm seriously foaming at the mouth to read it. I'm pretty shocked that I was able to hold out until my vacation to read it.

4. JUST WANNA TESTIFY by Pearl Cleage. You know what I just really love? When authors continue to step up their game and keep it fresh and creative. From what I can tell, Cleage's latest novel involves our old friend Blue Hamilton from previous novels and .... wait for it ... sexy black female vampires. Yes, vampires! I always enjoy a Pearl Cleage book and I really can't wait to read this one. Way to mix it up!

5. THE BROKEN KINGDOMS by N.K. Jemison. There is so little black sci-fi or fantasy out these days. It seriously makes this sci-fi nerd so sad. Luckily, we have Jemison to keep the fantasy flame alive. THE HUNDRED THOUSAND KINGDOMS, The first installment of this trilogy, was wildly sexy and inventive. I'm looking forward to diving even further into the enthralling world Jemison has set up in the second installment.

So that's what I plan to read on my upcoming summer vacation. How about you? Living in California as I do, I'm always looking for a good beach read, so do sound off in the comments.

Ernessa T. Carter
Author, Blogger, Totally Fierce Nerd



Tea said...

Happy to say I've read Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones. Want to read badly If Sons, Then, Heirs by Lorene Carey.

Tea said...

Enjoyed your reviews.

Carleen Brice said...

Ernessa, If Sons Then Heirs is actually an easy read. While the subject matter is meaty, it's not disturbing or so complex it makes your head hurt. It's a lovely family story with a lot of humor.

Amy said...

Great list of books! I really loved Silver Sparrow and am planning on reading 32 Candles soon. If Sons, Then Heirs is also high on my wish list. The rest sound good too, thanks.

Doret said...

Just finished a great debut called Minding Ben by Victoria Brown. The main character moves from Trinidad to U.S. when she's 16.

If Son Then Heirs was very good. And I highly recommend PYM by Johnson if you haven't read it already

Spike Hara \(´▽`)ノ said...

The cover pic for '32 Candles' is ace!

Ernessa T. Carter said...

Thanks @Tea, @Amy, and @JaPulp!

@Carleen Ooh, really? Now I'm super-intrigued...

@Doret How did I not know/hear about MINDING BEN??? It's definitely going on the TBR.

Ernessa T. Carter said...

Oh, and thanks again, Carleen for letting me talk even more than I usually do about books. Seriously, I could go on ALL DAY.

MsALWalker said...

I enjoyed both If Sons and Silver Sparrow. Very relevant books that I think you'll enjoy. I'm cracking open Pearl Cleage's nes one next. Thanks for the recommends!

Anonymous said...

Tayari Jones, author of silver Sparrow will be on the Diane Reehm show today - 6/6 at 10 a.m.: http://thedianerehmshow.org/shows/2011-07-06/tayari-jones-silver-sparrow

You can live stream it. I'm really excited. Such a great coup.

Tere Kirkland said...

Loved 32 Candles! Thanks to Doret for the recommendation. Thumbed through Silver Sparrow at ALA and was wowed by the writing!