Rose's Booklist Number Ten
91, ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF SOLITUDE by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
"ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF SOLITUDE is the first piece of literature since the Book of Genesis that should be required reading for the entire human race. . . . Mr. Garcia Marquez has done nothing less than to create in the reader a sense of all that is profound, meaningful, and meaningless in life." —William Kennedy, New York Times Book Review
ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF SOLITUDE tells the story of the rise and fall, birth and death of the mythical town of Macondo through the history of the Buendiá family. Inventive, amusing, magnetic, sad and alive with unforgettable men and women—brimming with truth, compassion, and a lyrical magic that strikes the soul—this novel is a masterpiece in the art of fiction.
Garcia Marquez gives us a geneology of characters and namesakes steeped in traditions, spirituality and love. This story, set in Columbia, surpasses culture, race and time, offering universal lessons of love, grace, sacrifice and humanity. You will think about literature differently after reading this novel.
One of the most influential literary works of our time, ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF SOLITUDE remains a dazzling and original achievement by the masterful Gabriel Garcia Marquez, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, for this, LOVE IN THE TIME OF CHOLERA, and his short story collections.
- WILL by Will Smith
The instant #1 New York Times bestseller!
One of the most dynamic and globally recognized entertainment forces of our time opens up fully about his life, in a brave and inspiring book that traces his learning curve to a place where outer success, inner happiness, and human connection are aligned. Along the way, Will tells the story in full of one of the most amazing rides through the worlds of music and film that anyone has ever had.
Will Smith’s transformation from a West Philadelphia kid to one of the biggest rap stars of his era, and then one of the biggest movie stars in Hollywood history, is an epic tale—but it’s only half the story.
Will Smith thought, with good reason, that he had won at life: not only was his own success unparalleled, his whole family was at the pinnacle of the entertainment world. Only they didn't see it that way: they felt more like star performers in his circus, a seven-days-a-week job they hadn't signed up for. It turned out Will Smith's education wasn't nearly over.
This memoir is the product of a profound journey of self-knowledge, a reckoning with all that your will can get you and all that it can leave behind. Written with the help of Mark Manson, author of the multi-million-copy bestseller The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, WILL is the story of how one person mastered his own emotions, written in a way that can help everyone else do the same. Few of us will know the pressure of performing on the world's biggest stages for the highest of stakes, but we can all understand that the fuel that works for one stage of our journey might have to be changed if we want to make it all the way home.
The combination of genuine wisdom of universal value and a life story that is preposterously entertaining, even astonishing, puts WILL the book, like its author, in a category by itself.
“Will Smith isn't holding back in his bravely inspiring new memoir . . . An ultimately heartwarming read, Will provides a humane glimpse of the man behind the actor, producer and musician, as he bares all his insecurities and trauma.” —USA Today
“It's the best memoir I've ever read.” —Oprah Winfrey
- WE ARE NOT LIKE THEM by Christine Pride and Jo Piazza
Told from alternating perspectives, an evocative and riveting novel about the lifelong bond between two women, one Black and one white, whose friendship is indelibly altered by a tragic event—a powerful and poignant exploration of race in America today and its devastating impact on ordinary lives.
Jen and Riley have been best friends since kindergarten. As adults, they remain as close as sisters, though their lives have taken different directions. Jen married young, and after years of trying, is finally pregnant. Riley pursued her childhood dream of becoming a television journalist and is poised to become one of the first Black female anchors of the top news channel in their hometown of Philadelphia.
But the deep bond they share is severely tested when Jen’s husband, a city police officer, is involved in the shooting of an unarmed Black teenager. Six months pregnant, Jen is in free fall as her future, her husband’s freedom, and her friendship with Riley are thrown into uncertainty. Covering this career-making story, Riley wrestles with the implications of this tragic incident for her Black community, her ambitions, and her relationship with her lifelong friend.
Like Tayari Jones’s An American Marriage and Jodi Picoult’s Small Great Things, WE ARE NOT LIKE THEM explores complex questions of race and how they pervade and shape our most intimate spaces in a deeply divided world. But at its heart, it’s a story of enduring friendship—a love that defies the odds even as it faces its most difficult challenges.
Named a Most Anticipated Book of Fall by People, Essence, New York Post, PopSugar, New York Newsday, Entertainment Weekly, Town & Country, Bustle, Fortune, and Book Riot and named a Best Book Pick of 2021 by Harper’s Bazaar and Real Simple.
- THE STAFFORD BROTHERS SERIES by Chicki Brown
As I approach 100 book recommendations, I'm supporting fellow authors I've met online. Meet Chicki Brown, a contemporary romance novelist who is about to publish her 20th book. Though she didn't start writing until she was 50, many of her books evolve around young Black women looking for love.
The Stafford brothers were born into a close-knit family, raised, and educated among Atlanta’s elite. But the six sons of one of Atlanta’s most successful doctors don’t always walk in their father’s footsteps. Charles, Jesse, Nick and Vic, Jr. followed the medical path. Marc and Greg took different routes. The brothers have challenges to face, secrets to keep, and stories to tell.
The Stafford Brothers series is romance/women’s fiction, but at the core it is a family series. Beyond the romance, it deals with the relationships between brothers, between father and sons, and between mother and sons.
"That series originally started as a standalone book about Marc Stafford who is a fitness trainer and raw vegan proponent. As I outlined the story, I asked myself the necessary character questions, and realized Marc’s backstory had to do with his relationship with his father. While I constructed that, the other family members made an appearance, so I decided to turn it into a series with each book featuring a different brother. The series takes place in Atlanta, Las Vegas, and Nigeria and since each of the brothers has distinct issues, it was easy to keep it fresh."
The week it was featured, I highlighted one of the Stafford Brothers books each day.
- THE WARMTH OF OTHER SUNS by Isabel Wilkerson
NATIONAL BEST SELLER • NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD WINNER • NAMED ONE OF TIME’S TEN BEST NONFICTION BOOKS OF THE DECADE AND ONE OF BUZZFEED’S BEST BOOKS OF THE DECADE
In this beautifully written masterwork, Pulitzer Prize–winning author Isabel Wilkerson chronicles one of the great untold stories of American history: the decades-long migration of black citizens who fled the South for northern and western cities, in search of a better life. From 1915 to 1970, this exodus of almost six million people changed the face of America. Wilkerson compares this epic migration to the migrations of other peoples in history. She interviewed more than a thousand people, and gained access to new data and official records, to write this definitive and vividly dramatic account of how these American journeys unfolded, altering our cities, our country, and ourselves.
With stunning historical detail, Wilkerson tells this story through the lives of three unique individuals: Ida Mae Gladney, who in 1937 left sharecropping and prejudice in Mississippi for Chicago, where she achieved quiet blue-collar success and, in old age, voted for Barack Obama when he ran for an Illinois Senate seat; sharp and quick-tempered George Starling, who in 1945 fled Florida for Harlem, where he endangered his job fighting for civil rights, saw his family fall, and finally found peace in God; and Robert Foster, who left Louisiana in 1953 to pursue a medical career, and became the personal physician to Ray Charles, which allowed him to purchase a grand home where he often threw exuberant parties.
Wilkerson brilliantly captures their first treacherous and exhausting cross-country trips by car and train and their new lives in colonies that grew into ghettos, as well as how they changed these cities with southern food, faith, and culture and improved them with discipline, drive, and hard work. Both a riveting microcosm and a major assessment, THE WARMTH OF OTHER SUNS is a bold, remarkable, and riveting work, a superb account of an “unrecognized immigration” within our own land. Through the breadth of its narrative, the beauty of the writing, the depth of its research, and the fullness of the people and lives portrayed herein, this book is destined to become a classic.
“A brilliant and stirring epic . . . Ms. Wilkerson does for the Great Migration what John Steinbeck did for the Okies in his fiction masterpiece, The Grapes of Wrath. she humanizes history, giving it emotional and psychological depth.”—John Stauffer, The Wall Street Journal
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New Yorker • The Washington Post • The Economist • Boston Globe • San Francisco Chronicle • Chicago Tribune • Entertainment Weekly • Philadelphia Inquirer • The Guardian • The Seattle Times • St. Louis Post-Dispatch • The Christian Science Monitor; The New York Times •USA Today• O:: The Oprah Magazine • Publishers Weekly • Salon • Newsday •The Daily Beast
- MEDICAL APARTHEID by Harriet Washington
NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD WINNER • The first full history of Black America’s shocking mistreatment as unwilling and unwitting experimental subjects at the hands of the medical establishment.
From the era of slavery to the present day, starting with the earliest encounters between Black Americans and Western medical researchers and the racist pseudoscience that resulted, MEDICAL APARTHEID details the ways both slaves and freedmen were used in hospitals for experiments conducted without their knowledge—a tradition that continues today within some black populations.
It reveals how Blacks have historically been prey to grave-robbing as well as unauthorized autopsies and dissections. Moving into the twentieth century, it shows how the pseudoscience of eugenics and social Darwinism was used to justify experimental exploitation and shoddy medical treatment of Blacks. Shocking new details about the government’s notorious Tuskegee experiment are revealed, as are similar, less-well-known medical atrocities conducted by the government, the armed forces, prisons, and private institutions.
The product of years of prodigious research into medical journals and experimental reports long undisturbed, MEDICAL APARTHEID reveals the hidden underbelly of scientific research and makes possible, for the first time, an understanding of the roots of the African American health deficit. At last, it provides the fullest possible context for comprehending the behavioral fallout that has caused Black Americans to view researchers—and indeed the whole medical establishment—with such deep distrust.
"[Washington] has unearthed a shocking amount of information and shaped it into a riveting, carefully documented book." —New York Times
National Book Critics Circle Award Winner • PEN/Oakland Award Winner • BCALA Nonfiction Award Winner • Gustavus Meyers Award Winner
97. THE IMMORTAL LIFE OF HENRIETTA LACKS by Rebecca Skloot
Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells—taken without her knowledge—became one of the most important tools in medicine: The first “immortal” human cells grown in culture, which are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than sixty years. HeLa cells were vital for developing the polio vaccine; uncovered secrets of cancer, viruses, and the atom bomb’s effects; helped lead to important advances like in vitro fertilization, cloning, and gene mapping; and have been bought and sold by the billions. Yet Henrietta Lacks remains virtually unknown, buried in an unmarked grave.
Henrietta’s family did not learn of her “immortality” until more than twenty years after her death, when scientists investigating HeLa began using her husband and children in research without informed consent. And though the cells had launched a multimillion-dollar industry that sells human biological materials, her family never saw any of the profits. As Rebecca Skloot so brilliantly shows, the story of the Lacks family—past and present—is inextricably connected to the dark history of experimentation on African Americans, the birth of bioethics, and the legal battles over whether we control the stuff we are made of.
Over the decade it took to uncover this story, Rebecca became enmeshed in the lives of the Lacks family—especially Henrietta’s daughter Deborah. Deborah was consumed with questions: Had scientists cloned her mother? Had they killed her to harvest her cells? And if her mother was so important to medicine, why couldn’t her children afford health insurance?
Intimate in feeling, astonishing in scope, and impossible to put down, THE IMMORTAL LIFE OF HENRIETTA LACKS captures the beauty and drama of scientific discovery, as well as its human consequences.
Named one of the best books of the year (2010) by The New York Times Book Review • Entertainment Weekly • O: The Oprah Magazine • NPR • Financial Times • New York • Independent (U.K.) • Times (U.K.) • Publishers Weekly • Library Journal • Kirkus Reviews • Booklist • Globe and Mail
NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE FROM HBO® STARRING OPRAH WINFREY AND ROSE BYRNE • ONE OF THE “MOST INFLUENTIAL” (CNN), “DEFINING” (LITHUB), AND “BEST” (THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER) BOOKS OF THE DECADE • ONE OF ESSENCE’S 50 MOST IMPACTFUL BLACK BOOKS OF THE PAST 50 YEARS • WINNER OF THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE HEARTLAND PRIZE FOR NONFICTION
- THE PERSONAL LIBRARIAN by M. Benedict and V.C. Murray
A remarkable novel about J. P. Morgan’s personal librarian, Belle da Costa Greene, the Black American woman who was forced to hide her true identity and pass as white in order to leave a lasting legacy that enriched our nation, from New York Times bestselling authors Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray.
In her twenties, Belle da Costa Greene is hired by J. P. Morgan to curate a collection of rare manuscripts, books, and artwork for his newly built Pierpont Morgan Library. Belle becomes a fixture in New York City society and one of the most powerful people in the art and book world, known for her impeccable taste and shrewd negotiating for critical works as she helps create a world-class collection.
But Belle has a secret, one she must protect at all costs. She was born not Belle da Costa Greene but Belle Marion Greener. She is the daughter of Richard Greener, the first Black graduate of Harvard and a well-known advocate for equality. Belle’s complexion isn’t dark because of her alleged Portuguese heritage that lets her pass as white—her complexion is dark because she is African American.
THE PERSONAL LIBRARIAN tells the story of an extraordinary woman, famous for her intellect, style, and wit, and shares the lengths she must go to—for the protection of her family and her legacy—to preserve her carefully crafted white identity in the racist world in which she lives.
The Instant New York Times Bestseller! A Good Morning America* Book Club Pick!
Named one of the Best Books of the Year by The Washington Post
“Historical fiction at its best!
99. THE LOVE SONGS OF W.E.B. DUBOIS by Honoree Fanonne Jeffers
The 2020 NAACP Image Award-winning poet makes her fiction debut with this National Book Award-longlisted, magisterial epic—an intimate yet sweeping novel with all the luminescence and force of Homegoing; Sing, Unburied, Sing; and The Water Dancer—that chronicles the journey of one American family, from the centuries of the colonial slave trade through the Civil War to our own tumultuous era.
The great scholar, W. E. B. Du Bois, once wrote about the problem of race in America, and what he called “Double Consciousness,” a sensitivity that every African American possesses in order to survive. Since childhood, Ailey Pearl Garfield has understood Du Bois’s words all too well. Bearing the names of two formidable Black Americans—the revered choreographer Alvin Ailey and her great grandmother Pearl, the descendant of enslaved Georgians and tenant farmers—Ailey carries Du Bois’s Problem on her shoulders.
Ailey is reared in the north in the City but spends summers in the small Georgia town of Chicasetta, where her mother’s family has lived since their ancestors arrived from Africa in bondage. From an early age, Ailey fights a battle for belonging that’s made all the more difficult by a hovering trauma, as well as the whispers of women—her mother, Belle, her sister, Lydia, and a maternal line reaching back two centuries—that urge Ailey to succeed in their stead.
To come to terms with her own identity, Ailey embarks on a journey through her family’s past, uncovering the shocking tales of generations of ancestors—Indigenous, Black, and white—in the deep South. In doing so Ailey must learn to embrace her full heritage, a legacy of oppression and resistance, bondage and independence, cruelty and resilience that is the story—and the song—of America itself.
A New York Times Notable Book of the Year • A Washington Post 10 Best Books of the Year • A Oprah Daily Top 20 Books of the Year • A BookPage Best Fiction Book of the Year • A Booklist 10 Best First Novels of the Year • A Kirkus 100 Best Novels of the Year • A Parade Pick • A Chicago Public Library Top 10 Best Books of the Year
"Epic…. I was just enraptured by the lineage and the story of this modern African-American family…. A combination of historical and modern story—I’ve never read anything quite like it. It just consumed me." —Oprah Winfrey, Oprah Book Club Pick
- MONDAY MORNING BLUES by Ernestine Rose
MONDAY MORNING BLUES is the story of Val and Jeff, who face one of marriage's toughest challenges, infidelity. Caught up in the routine of working and raising a family, they, like many couples, lose sight of each other and become victims of the temptation and advice of others. This is a realistic romance, closer to home than many of us are willing to admit. There are no thugs, no drugs, no guns, and no murders, just a really good story about two people who really love each other. Add to the mix a pair of precocious children, a crazy friend and an outrageous Bible-toting in-law, and you will find yourself rooting for the sanctity of the home front. When tragedy strikes, the parents must put aside their differences and put the needs of their children first. But the bigger danger looms with the extended family and the workplace when secrets come out.
This is a book that true romantics can fall in love with and be inspired by to renew their own relationships. Guided by days-of-the-week chapter headings, and the assumption from the first chapter that bad things happen on Mondays, MONDAY MORNING BLUES will convince you to take a second look at how your week is going.