Friday, January 20, 2006

The Lit List

My reading list is always long, and the pile of books by my bed is always growing. But a few good ones right now on the list are:

Counting Raindrops Through A Stained Glass Window by Cherlyn Michaels

The gist: Imagine you've got a good man wanting to commit to you in every way, but your fears of the marriage label and fears that relationships eventually go sour make you a little shy about making a commitment.

Counting Raindrops came out last fall and has been getting some good press lately. Most recently it got a mention and a good review in the February 2006 issue of Essence Magazine.

The Good Wife Strikes Back by Elizabeth Buchan

The gist: Imagine you've put your life on hold to be the good wife of a politician. You smile. You support. You mother. You run the ship behind the scenes. But twenty years into the marriage, you start to wonder what you've put on hold.

I read Buchan's Revenge of the Middle Aged Woman over holidays, which I enjoyed a lot.

Baby Brother's Blues by Pearl Cleage

It's coming in March, and so I haven't actually read it yet... though Tayari Jones has and gives a great review about it. It's a continuation of Some Things I Never Thought I'd Do, a novel I read over holiday as well. Hard to say what all it's about, but the neighborhood is like the main character... and Blue Hamilton and Regina Burns are united by their desire to make/keep the neighborhood a flourishing, cultural, family place. Ooooh, it's sooooo good. So glad we get to see Blue and Regina again. What I like about Pearl Cleage's work is that it centers on regular, everyday black people you'd find in your neighborhood -- they work, they marry, they take care of their families and neighbors, they care about social issues like racism, sexism, classism, heterosexism... and the stories usually take place in Atlanta. And the writing is just everything and at a level I aspire to reach... Okay, enough gushing about Pearl Cleage books.

Finally, Randy Boyd sent me a copy of his newest, Walt Loves The Bearcat, which looks like a good read. It's HUGE, as I humorously commented to him. Like, over 700 pages huge. But if you're into sports, and sometimes have fantasies of meeting and dating your favorite athletes (u-hem, cough cough), this might be a novel for you.

That's all for now. Yeah, it's a lot of reading. Still writing. But also looking forward to Miss America pageant on Saturday (I'm a pageant lover, I admit!!!) in it's Las Vegas debut and CMT debut.


Brown Braided Woman said...

Fred! Please add to your list Drinking Coffee Elsewhere by ZZ Packer. Or am I the only one in the universe that hasn't been awed by her writing. This is a collection of short stories, not a bad one in the bunch. The writing is strong from start to finish. I am eagerly awaiting the novel!

Frederick Smith said...

Oh yeah. That ZZ Packer story collection is no joke. I love it too.

The story collection by Dana Johnson, Break Any Woman Down, is great too. I really dig the Dana Johnson collection.