Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.
When I started looking through my books to see which ones to qualify for this post, I couldn’t believe some of the gems I’ve neglected to read! I’ve included 11 books instead of 10 but a couple were too close to call.
I started several of these books but didn’t finish. I’ll try to get through four* of them during Black History Month. Looks like you get a sneak peek at some of the reviews that may be coming!
In no particular order, here are The Top Ten Books That Have Been On My Shelf For The Longest But I've Never Read:
Gonna Lay Down My Burdens by Mary Monroe
In the sweltering little town of Belle Helene, Alabama, Carmen Taylor keeps her weaknesses, her frustrations, and her sorrows to herself. She's too busy dealing with the dramas of troubled friends like Desiree Lucienne, the petite, pampered daughter of a doctor who tries to beat the wildness out of her. But that doesn't stop Desiree from trawling for men, and trying to drag Carmen along.
A Girl Called Boy by Belinda Hurmence
*Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin
John Howard Griffin, the author and main character of "Black Like Me", is a middle-aged white man living in Mansfield, Texas in 1959. Deeply committed to the cause of racial justice and frustrated by his inability as a white man to understand the black experience, Griffin decides to take a radical step: he decides to undergo medical treatment to change the color of his skin and temporarily become a black man.
*The Souls of Black Folk by W.E.B. Dubois
Drawn from many previously published essays, Du Bois' work reveals the way in which America was reconstructing and redefining itself as a country and culture in the wake of the Civil War forty years prior.
Roots by Alex Haley
It begins with a birth in an African village in 1750; it ends seven generations later at the Arkansas funeral of a black professor whose children are a teacher, a Navy architect, an assistant director of the U.S. Information Agency and an author.
*Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
The narrator of the novel describes growing up in a black community in the South, attending a Negro college from which he is expelled, moving to New York and becoming the chief spokesman of the Harlem branch of "the Brotherhood", and retreating amid violence and confusion to the basement lair of the Invisible Man he imagines himself to be.
*Tar Baby by Toni Morrison
Jadine Childs is a black fashion model with a white patron, a white boyfriend, and a coat made out of ninety perfect sealskins. Son is a black fugitive who embodies everything she loathes and desires. As Morrison follows their affair, which plays out from the Caribbean to Manhattan and the deep South, she charts all the nuances of obligation and betrayal between blacks and whites, masters and servants, and men and women.
Black Folktales by Julius Lester
Twelve remarkable folktales, culled from the black experience in Africa and America, are freshly retold in the thoroughly original voice of Julius Lester. Arranged by topic — Origins, Love, Heroes, and People — the tales combine universal themes and uncanny wisdom.Many of the stories were passed down by slaves.
The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren
"The Purpose-Driven Life" is a manifesto for Christian living in the 21st century...a lifestyle based on eternal purposes, not cultural values. Using biblical stories and letting the Bible speak for itself, Warren clearly explains God’s five purposes for each of us.
The PACT by Sampson Davis, George Jenkins and Rameck Hunt
They grew up on the streets of Newark, facing city life's temptations, pitfalls, even jail. But one day these three young men made a pact. They promised each other they would all become doctors, and stick it out together through the long, difficult journey to attain that dream. Sampson Davis, George Jenkins, and Rameck Hunt are not only friends to this day-they are all doctors.
Not A Day Goes By by E. Lynn Harris
John “Basil” Henderson has always played the field, both as a professional football player and as an equal opportunity lover. After retiring his jersey for a career as a sports agent, the dashing playboy is surprising everyone—including himself—by deciding to settle down and commit to his new love, Yancey Harrington Braxton.
As an aside, I’ve had several new additions within the past week or so. Here are the four that I received most recently:
Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder
This powerful and inspiring book shows how one person can make a difference, as Kidder tells the true story of a gifted man who is in love with the world and has set out to do all he can to cure it.
The End of Poverty by Jefferey D Sachs
This landmark exploration of prosperity and poverty distills the life work of an economist Time calls one of the world’s 100 most influential people. Sachs’s aim is nothing less than to deliver a big picture of how societies emerge from poverty. To do so he takes readers in his footsteps, explaining his work in Bolivia, Russia, India, China, and Africa, while offering an integrated set of solutions for the interwoven economic, political, environmental, and social problems that challenge the poorest countries.
I Didn’t Ask to Be Born: (But I'm Glad I Was) by Bill Cosby
In this hilarious new collection of observations, Cosby brings us more of his wonderful and wacky insights into the human condition that are sure to become classics. In the tradition of Fat Albert, Cosby introduces a host of new characters, including Peanut Armhouse and Old Mother Harold.
The Vase with the Many Coloured Marbles by Jacob Singer
This book is divided into two parts. Book 1 is about Emily Kleintjies, born into a Cape Coloured family in Cape Town. She decides to jump the racial barrier of apartheid, and changes her name to Emma Kline. The second book is about her daughter, Marla O'Neil, who was raised as white. The book shows the tragedy of South Africa during the Verwoerd apartheid era, and the sadness that comes with jumping the racial barrier.
Have you read any of these? Would you suggest I move it closer to the top or bottom of my to be read list?
Are there any that you'd want to see a review on sooner rather than later?