The May/June issue of Books & Culture inspired me for today’s post: The Top 10 Books which have influenced my view of the world outside of The Holy Bible.
Mine are below. Invite you to add your 10 Books to your own blog or Facebook Note. Leave the link here or @ me on Facebook or reply to me here use the Twitter hashtag : #bookenz
- Alice Walker The Color Purple. I was in the fifth grade when I read this novel. I read it so many times my grandmother took me to the movies to see it. This was the first time I found a character I could identify with…Sophia. She made me feel beautiful and desired. Oprah Winfrey’s portrayal overjoyed me.
- Terry McMillan Disappearing Acts. I was in college when I became inspired by Terry McMillan’s books. It was the first book that I read that spoke to me in a language I understood about situations specific to professional, contemporary African-American women. It was like the evolution of the girlfriend book club movement because of this books, as well as Waiting To Exhale and How Stella Got Her Groove Back.
- Amy Tan Joy Luck Club. The Joy Luck Club was a paradigm shift on storytelling aesthetics for me. Beautiful prose. The fusion of poetry and masterful storytelling…I ate this book up over and over again. I also realized that regardless of ethnicity, if the story has universal themes and the characters are easy to love a book can become a bestseller.
- Chuck Palahniuk Fight Club. I read this book before it became a Brad Pitt eye-candy flick and loved it. A romance from a guy’s point of view. Punched plot, minimalist prose, nonlinear story arc, the tricks grabbed my attention and the fast pace kept me turning pages all night. I took his year long writing workshop afterward and wear my hand beaded necklace he gave me when I write. Sweet man.
- Toni Morrison Beloved. I have been a fan of Morrison’s run on, dripping with Faulkner sentences since highschool. But this book haunted me. It helped me understand what my ancestors went through, in order to survive in this world. It spoke of the Black Psyche, Spiritualism, mental illness that mirrored the real nightmares of my own childhood.
- Thomas Hardy Tess of the d’Ubervilles. Between 15 and 16 you could find me between the covers of a Thomas Hardy novel. Tess affected me the most.
- Marilynn Robinson Gilead. Piggybacking on Tess I discovered that I have a penchant for pastoral novels. What sets Gilead apart for me is that it was written a few years ago. Nowadays we’re told that readers like shorter prose, shorter chapters, larger than life characters and sex. Gilead, his Pulitzer Prize winning fictional memoir tugged my heart at the first line and wouldn’t let go. I’m still affected by this book’s powerful simplicity and theological themes.
- Tosca Lee Demon: A Memoir. Christian Fiction has come a long way from prairie romance novels. However, Tosca raises the bar. My hats are off to her. Cinematic, rich setting, relevant dialogue, pitch perfect. This book is the type of writing I strive for myself.
- Walter Mosley Devil in a Blue Dress. My name is Dee Stewart and I am an Easy Rawlin’s Addict. This is the only series i follow because I have a crush on the main character. LOL. Then Carl Franklin had the nerve to cast Denzel Washington as Easy. So not fair. Now I can’t picture the book with out that Denzel swaggered strut and stare. So unfair.
- Nancy Drew Mysteries. A childhood thing I can’t explain.