A guide to black films, reviews and resources.

Oprah Winfrey's Recommended Books!



Selected Titles Reviewed
by
Janet Singleton

Special to Blackflix.com


To order any book, just click on the title or cover picture.

 

WHITE OLEANDER
by Janet Fitch.

ORIGINAL, POWERFUL, ELOQUENT

     Vivid language and unique -- if not always likable -- characters are two of this novel's
many triumphs. The book's Ingrid isn't just another bad parent anymore than Caligula
was just another politician. Her maniacal narcissism leads to an imaginative murder,
sending her to jail. And her daughter, the story's vulnerable heroine, is hurled into
a gauntlet of foster homes which are part circus, part hell.

 

THE READER
by Bernhard Schlink.

A TOUCHING, DISTURBING, SEXY QUICK READ

     Young love is a many-splendored thing IF the one you adore isn't unmasked as a war
criminal with a past that shocks the world. This sensual book begins with an affair
between a 15-year-old boy and a 36-year-old woman. But it goes beyond sex and
into the intimate territory of dangerous secrets. It will challenge your sense of right
and wrong and make you ask yourself what choice would you make, if made to
choose between your own life and a stranger's.

 

JEWEL
by Bret Lott.

MOVING, MEMORABLE, RADIANT

     When a child is born with Down's Syndrome is 1943, her mother Jewel has no
place to turn but inside herself. She's determined to stand by daughter even though
it seems the earth has been pulled up from underneath her. In this book where
responsibilities are taken to heart and the heart is a durable master, an extraordinary
mother and daughter union traverses the decades.

 

BREATH, EYES, MEMORY
by Danticat Edwidge.

BRILLIANT, SHOCKING, PROFOUND

     A traumatic sexual ritual casts a crippling shadow over an adolescent girl's life.
Young wonder Danticat Edwidge has written a book about how mother-daughter
and male-female relationships intersect, and how pain is handed down through
the generations. This anatomy of a tragedy is spellbinding.

 

THE DEEP END OF THE OCEAN
by Jacquelyn Mitchard

SUSPENSEFUL, POWERFUL PAGE-TURNER

     In the short moments a mother's back is turned, a little boy seems to disappear
into the depths of nothingness. The mother's fear as searchers continue to return
with empty hands is rendered so palpably, the reader can feel it. Years pass and the
question arises: Would finding him now be more devastating than losing him? In
this book, hard situations have no easy solutions.

 

MOTHER OF PEARL
by Melinda Haynes

COMPASSIONATE, BRILLIANT, A REVELATION

     The heart is a lonely hunter in Melinda Haynes' freshman masterpiece, Mother
of Pearl. Comparisons to the Carson McCullers' classic are merited by this southern
tale of people searching for love and connection. Protagonist Even* Grade is the
resourceful product of a hard-knock life and, though fictional, stands out on the
page as vividly as the sturdy young real-life hero of Angela's Ashes.

*This is not a typo. The name actually is "Even." People in this book have
strange names. Another character is called Valuable Korner.

 

PARADISE
by Toni Morrison

SCARY, WONDERFUL, UNFORGETTABLE

     Nobel Prize winner, Toni Morrison weaves a tale about a town named Ruby
and the terrible violence that bleeds from it when men decide it's being threatened.
This novel operates on at least two levels. It can be read for enlightenment, sheer
entertainment or both.

 

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