If you’re anything like me, this holiday season you are about to be booked and busy. If you’re really like me, you’ll be so wrapped up in holiday shopping, cooking and indulging in eggnog that you’ll stumble upon New Year’s and throw together a resolution. Most years I mentally create New Year’s resolutions in my head on December 31st and barely hold myself accountable. Last year I promised myself I would read a new book each month. As the year closes, I’ve successful read…maybe 2?
Therefore, I’m getting a head start on the whole resolution thing and helping those of you who are committed to expanding your literature collection.
An American Marriage by Tayari Jones.
Aside from the rest of these books, I am telling you this is THEE BEST BOOK I’VE EVER READ. There’s a reason that this book was at the front of every Barnes & Noble and made it’s way onto all of the book club lists, it’s phe-no-me-nal! As a fiction lover, I’m typically drawn to books with an African-American protagonist that’s on a quest for love or some version of it. This book features both of those things, but tells an unconventional story with dramatic, heart-breaking elements.
I’m not one to get emotional over fiction, but this book had me sobbing. Why? Because although this is a fictional account of an African-American man who was wrongfully imprisoned, this book is someone’s reality.
Becoming by Michelle Obama.
This has almost become a cliché on book lists, but it’s one of those books everyone should read, male or female. A few weeks ago as I boarded a plane back home, the flight attendant asked me what I thought of the book and Michelle as a whole. It was a loaded question, because she’s my QUEEN and I could go on for hours about how I stan. But, to keep the conversation brief, I responded “I like her. She has a really good story” to which the flight attendant leaned in, lowered her voice (as black women so eloquently do) and said “You don’t think she’s boring?”
I’m sharing this because when you read this book, please realize this isn’t a Zane tale. You will not get the juicy details of the presidential bedroom, which I personally am thankful for. This isn’t an exposé. It’s a narrative. As you read this book you feel like you genuinely can become anything that you want, a vibe I think we can all use going into the new year.
Who Asked You? by Terry McMillian.
Now if you are looking for Zane level drama, this book is for you. Out of obligation to recognize my favorite author, I had to throw a McMillian on here. The story follows a mother, Betty Jean, whose adult children are pushing her to an early grave similar to Big Mama’s from Soul Food. BJ’s kids are probably more triflin’ though.
If you’re already bored with this season of Housewives of Atlanta, I suggest picking up this book. It’s a quick read and will absolutely provide you with the mess you need.
What We Lose by Zinzi Clemmons.
Another book that’s different from my usual favorites. I found this book after reading an excerpt on Buzzfeed which led me to believe that this book was a coming-to-age story about a Black girl in Boston who felt like her blackness put her on the outskirts her society. The story follows the protagonist from high school to her twenties where she navigates assimilating with immigrant parents.
This book covers themes involving friendship, culture, dating and grieving and manages to read more as a poem than a novel. What We Lose is another quick read and appeals to everyone despite your age, race or gender. Like me, I’m confident that you’ll end up taking away a lot more than expected from this one.
Bonus: The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates.
This book is next on my list and I haven’t actually read it yet, but Ta-Nehisi Coates is one of the most gifted writers since James Baldwin, in my opinion. I learned this by reading Between the World and Me by Coates right after finishing The Fire Next Time.
If you have any other book suggestions, please drop them in the comments below!