Thursday, March 19, 2009

Books On My . . . Waiting To Be Read List . . .

Yes, I'm still here (smile). At the moment, I'm tied up with a few other projects. I'm so tied up, I don't even have time to read . . . well, not for leisure, anyway. The other day I was reviewing the list I maintain on my "Goodreads" bookshelf and wishing I could dive into a few of the titles. I'm not really sure where I'd start first, but the following are some of the top selections on my "waiting to be read list" and where appropriate, why the books are on my list.

1) Before I Forget (by Leonard Pitts) Just last week I read a review of this one and said, "Hmm, sounds like a winner." From what I understand it's about a man who has just learned he's in the early stages of Alzheimers and who decides to take his troubled son to meet his father (the boy's grandfather) who is dying from cancer.

2) They Tell Me of a Home (by Daniel Black) I read a quote by this author a day or two ago and it piqued my interest about his work.

3) Shifting Through Neutral (by Bridgett Davis) I've had this book on my shelves for a while. Recently, I bumped it up on my "waiting to be read" list after I spoke with the author's mother-in-law (smile). The mother-in-law is a member of the Beachwood, OH book club who recently read and discussed my novel.

4) The Black Girl Next Door: A Memoir (by Jennifer Baszile) Having experienced being the only African American in a number of different school and social settings, throughout my childhood and teens, I figured I might be able to relate to some of Ms. Baszile experiences.

5) Act Like A Lady, Think Like a Man: What Men Really Think About Love, Relationships, Intimacy and Commitment (by Steve Harvey) When I first heard about this book, I wasn't terribly interested. But when I actually heard a few of Mr. Harvey's opinions and observations, I changed my mind. He made more than a few good points, so I'm willing to hear him out.

6) Ralph Ellison: A Biography (Arnold Rampersad) I've had this book for a while and I'm looking forward to reading it, but I just haven't had the time. Several years ago, I bought, read and enjoyed the two volumes Mr. Rampersad wrote on the life and times of Langston Hughes.

7) A Mercy & Tar Baby (by Toni Morrison) For those who don't know, these are two separate titles by the author, Toni Morrison. A Mercy is her latest and Tar Baby is the only other fiction title by Morrison I haven't attempted/or found time to read, as of yet. I do own both of these books and hope to read one, if not both before the end of the year.

8) The Healing (by Gayl Jones) It's been years since I read anything by Gayl Jones. I must admit, in the past, I found her a difficult read (intensity-wise) But a couple of weeks ago, I read an old NY Times newspaper article about her that made me want to revist her work. A couple of my writing pals had good things to say about The Healing, so I figured I'd give it a try.

9) Fearless Jones, The Man In My Basement and The Right Mistake: The Further Philosophical Investigations of Socrates Fortlow (by Walter Mosley) I've read most of Mosley's "Easy Rawlins" mysteries. But Mr. Mosley has a written a number of books I haven't read. The aforementioned are three I hope to find time for this year.

10) Reel to Real: Race, Sex and Class at the Movies & Rock My Soul: Black People and Self-Esteem (by bell hooks) I used to read a lot of bell's work. In recent years, I've fallen shamefully behind (smile).

11) Sexual Healing (by Jill Nelson) I've enjoyed Ms. Nelson's work in the past and I've been meaning to read this for some time.

12) When Chickenheads Come Home To Roost: My Life as A Hip Hop Feminist (by Joan Morgan) Yes, this is another one that's been out forever that I should have read years ago, but haven't. In case you haven't figured it out, I'm something of a "Hip Hop Feminist" myself (smile).

13) The Coldest Winter Ever (by Sister Souljah) Everybody and their mama has read this book. But to be honest, I never had a real desire to read it until the last couple of years or so. I do own a copy, so maybe one day soon . . .

Okay, there are plenty of others, but I think I'll stop there. So, does my list look anything like you thought it might? What, if anything do you think it says about me? (smile)

If you've read any of the titles on my list, feel free to share your impressions of the book. If you haven't read any of the titles on my list, perhaps you could share some of the books on your "waiting to be read" list.


Sharon J said...

That Leonard Pitts book looks good. Maybe, it could be a possible topic for an East View Book discussion. You'll love the "Coldest Winter Ever" and "Chickenheads."

I would like to read the sequel to Coldest, it's titled "Midnight."

I would like to re-visit a few books that I had false starts reading: "I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings" by Maya Angelou, "Lies My Teacher Told Me" by James Loewen and "The Pridge of Carthage," a novel about Hannibal by David Anthony Durham.

Lori said...

Hey Sharon,
I think BEFORE I FORGET would make an excellent choice for East View's Book Club. MIDNIGHT is also on my waiting to be read list, but it's so thick and I've read so many less than favorable reviews . . .

I can't believe you've never finished I KNOW WHY THE CAGED BIRD SINGS (smile). I'd also like to read the novel about Hannibal written by David Anthony Durham, but it's another one of those big a$$ books (LOL).

I'm not sure so I'm ready to delve into another "big" book after having recently finished Stephen Carter's THE EMPEROR OF OCEAN PARK. While I enjoyed it, boy, did it take a lot out of me! (smile)

Michelle said...

I know what you mean about being too busy to read! I just heard Paule Marshall speak on NPR about her just-released memoir: Triangular Road. It sounded very interesting, and is on my own list.
FYI: We're coming to Charlotte the weekend of April 18/19 for Art & Soul of South End....see you there?

pjazzypar said...

Hi Lori, I am lovin the list, with the exception of "Tar Baby". I tried to read that book back in the 90's and just couldn't get through it. You talked about your opinion being politically incorrect in your earlier "Book/Movie" post and I probably shouldn't say it, but I am just not a fan of Toni Morrison's work.

Lori said...

@ Michelle,
You know, I don't think I've ever read any Paule Marshall. For shame, right (smile). We'll see about the Soul of South Charlotte. If I've wrapped up all of my projects, I'll be there. If not, well, I'll catch you next time (smile)

@ PJazzy,
What! No love for Ms. Morrison? Well, she's not an easy read. But try THE BLUEST EYE or SULA, if you haven't already. Those are two of my Morrison favs.