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

Black Friday and Glenville

Love and Death in Brooklyn Posted by Hello

Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, my daughter and I put on our shoppers best and headed to Discover Mills Books-A-Million to meet my newest writing cronie, Glenville Lovell. Glenville was in town promoting his second novel in his Detective Blade's Overstreet series, LOVE and DEATH in BROOKLYN. I am awaiting some picks to include in the event. Needless to say my daughter, Selah, got to choose the winner of Glenville's Holiday Basket. She was thrilled. I had a great time and learned a lot about Glenville and a lot about book signings. Check in tomorrow and I will tell you a little bit of both.

2009 ·Dee Stewart by TNB