shayyoungbloodI recently contacted a few authors that I’m fond of to pose three simple questions. A couple had their assistants reply back that they were too busy for such nonsense, but I’m appreciative to the authors who took a pause for little people like me. Shay Youngblood is one such author. So, if you’re looking for books to add to this year’s TBR or 100 Book Challenge, maybe you’ll consider her suggestions.

SY’s 2012 Memorable Reads: Happily writing and digitizing my out of print books for the last few months has made it challenging for me to engage in reading orgies with wild abandon, but in 2012 my most memorable reads were Dear Life: Stories by Alice Munro, The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson and many books on the subject of Japanese architecture (which features in my next book).

dearlifemunro  warmthofothersuns dreaminginfrench

smittenkitchen thebigseahughes theireyeswerewatching

SY’s 2013 Reading List: Dreaming in French: The Paris Years of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy, Susan Sontag and Angela Davis by Alice Yaeger Kaplan and The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by Deb Perelman.

SY’s Overall Recommendations: Every year I re-read The Big Sea by Langston Hughes, Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston, Toni Morrison and a few paragraphs of Faulkner to remind me of the power and grace of language and why I write my own stories.

And speaking of Shay Youngblood, her book Big Mama Stories turns 25 this year. In celebration of this occasion, the book is available on Amazon Kindle for free until January 6th. Enjoy and happy reading, y’all!