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My 2016 Top 10 Favorite Books

I’ve decided to post my favorites list for two reasons.

1) With five days remaining ‘til Christmas, I know someone is looking for that last minute meaningful, priceless gift to purchase, that won’t put a real dent in the wallet. Posting this list just might help that desperate shopper.

2) I’m also antsy about sharing this list because ‘all-be-dog-gonnit’ if I didn’t I happen to read a post on FACEBOOK about an author proclaiming to write something like 57…or it could’ve been 75,000 words in…get this…24 hours! The most I’ve ever written (towards a book in this given time frame), was 10,000 words. Naturally it makes sense to take on this dare 😳 …hopefully, as a Christmas gift to myself 🙃.  After all, I still have 6 books to finish, thus is what prompted me to post my favorite’s list earlier than usual.

My top 10 favorite books read this year all share two core characteristics. Each I read from page one until the end, and all made me physically feel better. However, what makes these books stand out above others read this year is the ease of recommending them to other readers more likely to share similar experiences reading them.

And So it Goes: Kurt Vonnegut: A Life by Charles J. Shields by far was the best book read this year. There’s been a lot of talk about Stephen King’s book on writing, when all the way around this biography on Vonnegut’s avant-garde trysts of life experiences, and writing motivators and motivations, really spoke to me. (Personal interest/Amazon purchase).

90 Minutes in Heaven: A True Story of Death and Life by Don Piper is a memoir that grabbed me at page one. While I’ve heard ministers admit not having the answers to every question about spirituality, I’m among laypersons who believe salvation is one of the very basic concepts every minister has fully grasped. Not that they all have, but we believe they all have; the cornerstone of what makes this surreal memoir a must read. (Personal interest/Library purchase).

Every Little Step: My Story by Bobby Brown allured me from front to back. For about a week there was a joke around our house. ‘Oh, she’s up there with Bobby Brown!’ I wholly fell in step with the heartfelt ‘tell it like it was’ familial testimonies from Bobby and his family about his life and professional musical career. (Reader recommendation/Amazon purchase).

Eye to the Sky: Storytelling on the Edge of Magic by Bobby Norfolk still has me crying laughing about Bobby’s trip to Temple University to join a Black Panther rally. Anyone interested in reading a professional storyteller spinning their magic, this is the book for sure. Solid good stories galore. (LinkedIn recommendation/Amazon purchase).

A Hand to Guide Me by Denzel Washington also is a very comforting book. Aside from Denzel's testimony, there was Clinton’s Uncle Buddy, Mellancamp, General Wesley Clark, Holly Robinson Peete, Toni Morrison, John Singleton, Colin Powell and a number of other guiding testaments that won me over in this generous charitable collection. (Personal interest/Library purchase).

Taimak, The Last Dragon by Taimak Guarriello delivers an organized unpretentious memoir of ‘The Last Dragon’s’ rise to film. It’s always a treat to learn about the paths…and detours… that lead professionals to golden nuggets along their journeys. (Review request/Amazon purchase).

Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America by Barbara Ehrenreich is one of the books where despite how a reader might feel about the content, the writing is hard to turn away from. I simply couldn’t close this quadrilateral digest of Barbara’s expose on low wage workers and workplaces in America. (Personal interest/Library purchase).

Tiger Woods: The Making of a Champion by Tim Rosaforte reveals interesting noteworthy highlights of Tiger’s professional golf career. Warmed my heart to the core reading about Tiger’s best friend—his father, and renewed my respect for golf. (Personal interest/Library purchase).

A Mysterious Life and Calling: From Slavery to Ministry in South Carolina by Charlotte S. Riley, and edited by Crystal J. Lucky, is a rare special spoil indeed. This critically analyzed work dating to the civil war era exudes a high brow class of literature very easy on the eyes. Eloquent and genuinely relatable, I was charmed by the personal reflections recording historical ministry events. (Peer recommendation/Amazon purchase).

Poison Ivy by Kathryn White earns respect for its fast-paced straightforward storytelling written by an independent author greatly admired for her steadfast dedication to entertain readers, particularly in this novel, but in many others as well. (Personal interest/Amazon purchase).

Disclaimer: Oh, by the way (btw)... I'm going for writing 50K within 24 hours.


  1. This is an excellent list and one that I am definitely going to pass on to a few readers! I've put down a couple of titles to read in 2017.

    Thank you also for including Poison Ivy on your list--a very pleasant surprise :)

    1. Happy New Year, Kathryn! I have a lot of admiration for what you do; the focus and dedication you give to the lit world, which of course includes your stories too. This is a really good list. Thanks for sharing it.


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