The Book Buzzlist: Black Books That Make Great Mother’s Day Presents

Books have been my friends forever my giggle inducers, my tear-jerkers, my travel partners, my comforters. My bookshelves are full of my friends lovely reminders of great stories told, and authors who’ve inspired. Truly, if you want to make me smile? Hand me a book. I’ll bet you, too, that there are plenty other moms who feel the same way and would really appreciate some good reading for Mother’s Day. *insert conspiratorial whisper here* And if one of the books below happens to come with a certificate promising her three hours a week of uninterrupted time to actually crack the book open and take in the beauty of its words? SCORE! Go ahead order one (or all!) of these books for your honey/homegirls/girlfriends/self! (And remember: For every book purchased on, a book will be donated to a child who doesn’t have one so double score!)


1. Best African American Fiction, by editors Gerald Early, Nikki Giovanni

Bursting with energy and innovation, the second volume in the annual anthology collects the year’s best short storiesby African American authors. Dealing with all aspects of life from the pain of war to the warmth of family, the superb tales in Best African American Fiction 2010 are a tribute to the stunning imaginations thriving in today’s African-American literary community chosen by guest editor Nikki Giovanni.

2. Life Is Short But Wide, by J. California Cooper

Cooper’s characteristic motherly wit carries an appealing raft of characters through a world tougher than it is tender, but touched with beauty and wisdom.

3. The Collected Autobiographies of Maya Angelou, by Maya Angelou

Superbly told, with the poet’s gift for language and observation, Angelou’s autobiography of her childhood in Arkansas a world of which most Americans are ignorant. Six works, including I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and All God's Children Need Travelin' Shoes, together in one book.

4. Angel on My Shoulder: An Autobiography, by Natalie Cole

Born to legendary Nat King Cole in the halcyon days of the 1950s, Natalie Cole grew up to become a versatile singer with Grammy Award status. But that success came with a price, where she was dragged down by depression and drugs.

5. Sweet Summer: Growing Up With and Without My Dad, by Bebe Moore Campbell

This acclaimed memoir by Bebe Moore Campbell, the bestselling author of Brothers and Sisters and Singing in the Comeback Choir, recalls the sweet summers spent with her father — an extraordinary man of dreams and inspiration — in the American South of the 1960s…

6. True You: A Journey to Finding and Loving Yourself, by Janet Jackson

One of the greatest entertainers of our time, Janet Jackson, opens up about her struggles with food, body image, and relationships. Janet Jackson emerged from the shadows of an already famous family to become one of the most beloved, recognizable, and influential performers in the world. But at what cost?

The North Paran Book Buzzlist is a weekly feature produced by that gives readers an entertaining digest of the most fascinating books that are being talked about by the black community today.

Remember: For every book you purchase at, a new book will be given to a child in need!


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Denene Millner

Mom. NY Times bestselling author. Pop culture ninja. Unapologetic lover of shoes, bacon and babies. Nice with the verbs. Founder of the top black parenting website, MyBrownBaby.

One Comment

  1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, wisdom and resources with us all! I hope you have a Happy and Blessed Mother’s Day. I can’t wait to get those latest works of J. California Cooper and and my beloved poet, Ms. Giovanni!

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