Counting Down the Worst Black Books of the Year

Monday, November 29, 2004

Before I started this log I used to post my top book reviews of the year, but this year...Sad to report I have had a change of heart. This year I will post the worst books reviewed this year in this blog.


Last year a book that I gave the lowest reviews for. Check my site[] to see that one. (I won't name the book for now, but I will have at least ten people ask me.) And to my surprise this book makes the Essence Magazine Best Sellar List for weeks.

I review mostly books written by black authors. I am African American. Because if no other black reviewer will address this issue, I will.

When did we[African American authors] start accepting such shoddy work just because the book sales? There are millions of black market car trunk sellars of music, tv, and books out there that will never grace a store shelf. Yet, we take anything for the sake of popularity and call it great literature. You're jerking my granddaddy's chains, if that's true.

Don't get me wrong. I love hood fiction/baby mama drama fiction/downlow fiction/ whateveryouwanttocalllit fiction, but I want to be able to read it, find a real plot, get to know the characters, and be touched--not pissed off by poor writing skills.

But the thing that burns my hide more than the books making Essence Mag is that some of these authors have the gaul to think that what constitutes a good book is subjunctive as if having a full grasp of the English language doesn't count for anything, as if using an editor, a dictionary, a writing class or two isn't necessary. Maybe that's why the country is spending more money to accomodate those that don't speak English. Because English isn't imperative in America. And according to these horrible books--in Black America--it never has.

So if I want to sit down and enjoy a good read, I better find out if it is written in English or in English as a Second, yet Unknown Language.

And that's a flat out lie.

Too many people have died so that we can learn to read and write, to go to school, and I be dog gone(a little country slang for you) if I let some one dollar word writing hook debase all that our foreparents have fought for.

And as for all the Soldiers keeping it Hood in the books. I feel ya, but a little more English wouldn't hurt.

Check back to my log every day and see what my picks are and if by chance your book makes the list, please contact me I would love to talk to you about your book. Maybe you can explain its merit to me and my audience so that I can reconsider.

If you have some favorite hates, then please email me and I will take a look at it and love to post why you hate a particular book. And if there is a book that I haven't reviewed that you think is fantabulous pass it on.

Running on to see what the end gon' be...

Dee Stewart
The Reaper


living4me said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
living4me said...

that live in the first paragraph should be like

9:13 AM
Dee said...

Thanks for your comment. And I appreciate them. Moreover, I understand your feelings about promoting black authors, as I am an African American who also reviews books written by authors of the African Diaspora. Unfortunately, this year for some reason most of the books that have been dropped at my door have not been quite disappointing. And the few gems that stood out of the crowd received mediocre press and accolades. Because our media institutions would rather promote what sells than what is wonderful.

But I also agree with you about my intent for this blog. At first I thought I should flip the script and highlight the worst books written as we discuss the worst albums recorded and the worst movies made. Yet, as I have taken all these books off my shelves to list them on this blog, I thought about the author who wrote the book. I thought about the guts it took to write something regardless of how horrible. And I applaud the fact that they tried to do something. Yet, I hope that these authors and they no who they are because they have read my review of their books would strive to grow as a writer next year. English composition, contrary to popular belief is vital to this world. As we pass on the next what we write will be left behind. So dear one, I concur with your comment and have changed my mind. I will highlight the best this year, since they didn't receive the press they deserved all year. Thank you for changing my mind.


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8:59 PM

2009 ·Dee Stewart by TNB