Sunday, December 20, 2015

Books for Christmas 2015!

This year I have written forty-four blogs about books, and I ain’t finished yet......

Last year, my niece, Kayla, thought that it would be a great idea for me to write a blog recommending books that I thought would be great Christmas presents. So, I went through this entire blog and found books that I really, really loved, and I wrote a list of my top ten. (Here is my Books for Christmas 2014 list.)

However, this year, I decided that I would list my top ten books that I read in 2015, and I hope that you will select one or all of them and share them with people whom you love.

My People, my readings this year have been both liberating and stimulating. This highly, racially charged world in which we are currently living in had me frantically reading trying to understand race, myself, and my place in this world. (I am a changed person because of my readings.) 

I definitely read books that spoke to my heart, but I also purposefully read books that created a lot of buzz so that when someone runs across this blog one hundred years from now, he/she can get a feel for the times in which we are living and the impact that the times had on me.

So, here are my TOP 10 Books of 2015:

#10 The Power of the Subconscious Mind by Joseph Murphy! Joseph is proposing that we can use the power of the subconscious mind to heal our bodies and our relationships; attract wealth, success and healthy people into our lives; be young forever; to rest at night; to be happy; to forgive; to remove fear. He is basically proposing what so many other books such as The Power of Intention by Wayne Dyers proposes: "If you change your thoughts, you can change your life.” I have been practicing being very conscious of my thoughts, and it definitely has not been easy, but I know that changing my thoughts has changed my life for the better. (Read about it here.)

#9 Bicycle Love Poems by Nikki Giovanni! If you read this blog often, you know that I love Nikki Giovanni and her writings. This little book of poetry is so delightful and fun to read. I keep this little book near, and when I want to feel love, I read a poem from this book. Everybody needs a book of poetry in his/her house. (Read about it here.)

#8 Sacred Search by Gary Thomas! This is a book that I know that I was led to by God, really! This book helped me to put all of my relationships in perspective, and this is one of those books that I will read and reread and reread. (Read about it here.)

#7 Balm by Dolen Perkins-Valdez! With this novel, one of the themes that Dolen deals with is “Letting go of the s#$t that’s holding us back” as stated by Toni Morrison in Song of Solomon. All three characters had to deal with their past in order to fly. And, once they made peace with their past, everything was all right. This is just a great read! (Read about it here.)

Me and Dolen!
#6 The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill! With this book, Lawrence is able to bring the horrors of slavery alive, and he does it in a way that is engaging and with an incredible storyline. At the time that I read this book, I did not know much about Africans fighting during the American Revolutionary War, and I felt liberated knowing that we have been fighting for our freedom since the day that we were forced here. (Read about it here.)

#5 If Beale Street Could Talk by James Baldwin! I read quite a bit of James Baldwin this year, and my reading of Baldwin has me rethinking my thoughts about race. If Beale Street Could Talk is one of Baldwin’s fictional pieces that left me speechless, and to be honest, quite upset. My people, sometimes we need to be upset, and anything by James Baldwin will rattle you just a bit. (Read about it here.)

#4 Men We Reaped by Jesmyn Ward! This book is Jesmyn’s autobiography that I literally have been thinking about just about everyday since I’ve read it. Her truth is raw and should be read over and over and over. We can not forget the folks who are living in the deep South, and with this book, Jesmyn gives our Southern brothers and sisters voices. (Read about it here.)

Me and Jesmyn

#3 The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace by Jeff Hobbs! Much like Men We Reaped, this is one of those books that I just can not stop thinking about it. I am constantly trying to figure out who failed Robert Peace? (Read about it here.)

#2 Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson! This is not a feel good book at all, but it is one that must be read. Our criminal justice system is being discussed heavily today, and we all need to pay close attention. This is a book that gives great insight into the justice system, but it reads like a novel. You will not be disappointed. (Read about it here.)

Me and Bryan!

#1 Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates! This book has been making headlines this year, and it is not just hype. This is an incredible book that will be around and discussed for years to come. Coates beautifully strings words together, and I couldn’t help but to fall in love with his writing style. As a country, I think that we need to have some honest, raw conversations about race, and this book is honest and raw and should be added to our conversations. When Toni Morrison says that this book is “required reading,” then it is required reading. (Read about it here.)

Now, there are many books that I read and absolutely loved this year that did not make this list, and so I am also highly recommending God Help the Child by Toni Morrison, Land of Love and Drowning by Tiphanie Yanique, Losing My Cool by Thomas Williams, and Nobody Knows My Name by James Baldwin.

Give the gift that keeps on giving: BOOKS!

Happy Holidays and Happy Reading.....

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