I got a couple of e-mails asking me what books would I recommend they get for other people for the holidays.
It's hard. I'm friends with many writers, and never want to slight anyone.
And, asking about which books I like is like asking someone if they want a Pomegranate or Lemon Drop martini. They're all good, just depends on the flavor you want.
This year, I've highlighted a number of books that I've read. Usually, that means it's something I would pass along. Some of those have included books by Tayari Jones, Denise Hamilton, Kerry Madden, Pearl Cleage, Darrious Hilmon, and others. Many, many others...
Regarding books related to the black gay and lesbian community, I would definitely say pick up Beyond The Down Low by Keith Boykin. But there are a number of great writers and friends I've made this year while out touring for Down For Whatever. There is indeed a "Renaissance" happening, and black LGBT fiction is coming from all over the country. Check out this list on Amazon, highlighting black gay and lesbian focused literature, by T. Kelley. It's really good, comprehensive and can help with your book-buying decisions. It includes books by folks like Keith, Rashid Darden, Alphonso Morgan, Trent Jackson, and Dayne Avery, and many many others.
Other than that, if you're unsure of specific books to buy, store gift certificates are excellent for the reader in your life. And... especially those certificates from your local, independent booksellers. We gotta help keep them in business, you know?
What books will you be buying for folks this holiday season? Or asking for on your holiday wish list?