Ten Books I Loved But Never Reviewed

August 11, 2020


Welcome to another TTT, hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl! This week's topic challenged us to find 10 books that we've read, but haven't reviewed. I thought this topic would be a lot harder than it was, but all I had to do was look at my bookshelves. Do you know how many books are on there I've never reviewed? I really need to get on that!

So here goes...

The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

Goodreads * Amazon


Pecola Breedlove, a young black girl, prays every day for beauty. Mocked by other children for the dark skin, curly hair, and brown eyes that set her apart, she yearns for normalcy, for the blond hair and blue eyes that she believes will allow her to finally fit in. Yet as her dream grows more fervent, her life slowly starts to disintegrate in the face of adversity and strife. A powerful examination of our obsession with beauty and conformity, Toni Morrison’s virtuosic first novel asks powerful questions about race, class, and gender with the subtlety and grace that have always characterized her writing.
I've read all of her books, but for some reason, this is the one I always think about. And the one I'm always recommending.

The Coldest Winter Ever by Sister Soulja

Goodreads * Amazon


I came busting into the world during one of New York's worst snowstorms, so my mother named me Winter.

Ghetto-born, Winter is the young, wealthy daughter of a prominent Brooklyn drug-dealing family. Quick-witted, sexy, and business-minded, she knows and loves the streets like the curves of her own body. But when a cold Winter wind blows her life in a direction she doesn't want to go, her street smarts and seductive skills are put to the test of a lifetime. Unwilling to lose, this ghetto girl will do anything to stay on top.
I remember my sister buying me a copy of this book and telling me I HAD to read it. Read it and didn't regret it. Then patiently waited for its sequels and have everything sitting pretty on my shelves.

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

Goodreads * Amazon


Fair and long-legged, independent and articulate, Janie Crawford sets out to be her own person -- no mean feat for a black woman in the '30s. Janie's quest for identity takes her through three marriages and into a journey back to her roots.
One year, I asked everyone to buy me books or gift cards for my birthday and I was gifted this book. I remember thinking it would probably be a boring, dry read. I didn't expect that I'd be able to relate so well to the heroine. Great book!

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

Goodreads * Amazon


Scottish Highlands, 1945. Claire Randall, a former British combat nurse, is just back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon when she walks through a standing stone in one of the ancient circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach—an “outlander”—in a Scotland torn by war and raiding clans in the year of Our Lord . . . 1743.

Claire is catapulted into the intrigues of a world that threatens her life, and may shatter her heart. Marooned amid danger, passion, and violence, Claire learns her only chance of safety lies in Jamie Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior. What begins in compulsion becomes urgent need, and Claire finds herself torn between two very different men, in two irreconcilable lives.
It was 2002 and I was heavily pregnant and on bed rest. I was bored! And then my cousin-in-law gave me a set of time travel romance books and I was transported by Claire and Jamie's story. Transported! I still think it's hilarious that I have never watched an episode of the show. I'm not even interested in it. I just don't want to spoil the magic I found in the books.

The Color Purple by Alice Walker

Goodreads * Amazon


A powerful cultural touchstone of modern American literature, The Color Purple depicts the lives of African American women in early twentieth-century rural Georgia. Separated as girls, sisters Celie and Nettie sustain their loyalty to and hope in each other across time, distance and silence. Through a series of letters spanning twenty years, first from Celie to God, then the sisters to each other despite the unknown, the novel draws readers into its rich and memorable portrayals of Celie, Nettie, Shug Avery and Sofia and their experience. The Color Purple broke the silence around domestic and sexual abuse, narrating the lives of women through their pain and struggle, companionship and growth, resilience and bravery. Deeply compassionate and beautifully imagined, Alice Walker's epic carries readers on a spirit-affirming journey towards redemption and love.
In high school, we read this book for Black History Month and it bothered me that it wasn't part of the regular curriculum. It tackles topics that effect people of all cultures. Ah well, I'm not getting on a soapbox right now. This story was, is, and will remain relevant.

The Surgeon by Tess Gerritsen

Goodreads * Amazon


IN BOSTON, THERE'S A KILLER ON THE LOOSE...

A killer who targets lone women, who breaks into their apartments and performs terrifying ritualistic acts of torture on them before finishing them off. His surgical skills lead police to suspect he is a physician - a physician who, instead of saving lives, takes them.

But as homicide detective Thomas Moore and his partner Jane Rizzoli begin their investigation, they make a startling discovery. Closely linked to these killings is Catherine Cordell, a beautiful doctor with a mysterious past. Two years ago she was subjected to a horrifying rape and shot her attacker dead.

Now the man she believes she killed seems to be stalking her once again, and this time he knows exactly where to find her...
I've read a lot of books by this author that I didn't ever review. A lot. I've got so many of her books on my shelves and although it's been a while since I've read anything from her, I know that I would continue to enjoy her work. Her stories gave me the creeps!

Hood Rat by K'wan

Goodreads * Amazon


Hood Rat (n.): A woman of questionable repute, one who has been known to "get around" in the 'hood.

Yoshi is young, fine, and larcenous. She lives her life playing on men's hearts as well as their pockets. She learns the hard way that all that glitters isn't gold. Billy, a former high school basketball star, is at the end of her rope with the opposite sex. To her, all men are dogs, so she secretly seeks comfort in the arms of women, until she meets a man who makes her reevaluate her feelings. Reese is an around-the-way chick, trying to keep up with the Joneses. There's a revolving door on her bedroom as she tries to find the love she always felt was missing. Her promiscuity leaves her pregnant from a one-night stand and Reese is faced with the task of breaking an age-old cycle, passed down from mother to daughter in her family, and standing on her own. Rhonda is twenty-something with three kids, by three men, and riding the system all the way to the bank. To her, work is a dirty word; between the multiple checks she gets from the government, and the games she plays with men, she's living the life of a ghetto superstar. The game soon turns ugly when one of her "sponsors" snaps and decides to get some payback.
I was walking by an indie book store and saw this book in the window. Never heard of the author but something about the cover drew me. I went in, bought it, read it, loved it. Then proceeded to buy everything this author ever wrote. I've read many urban fiction books by many urban fiction writers and K'wan is one of the finest.

White Lines by Tracy Brown

Goodreads * Amazon


Jada left home at the age of sixteen, running from her own demons and the horrors of physical abuse inflicted by her mother's boyfriend. She partied hard, and life seemed good when she was with Born, the neighborhood kingpin whose name was synonymous with money, power, and respect. But all his love couldn't save her from a crack addiction. Jada goes from crack addict and prostitute to survivor and back again before she finds the strength to live for herself and come out on top. And her stormy romance with one of the fiercest hustlers on the streets makes White Lines one of the most unforgettable urban loves stories of the year.
I just remember crying a lot when I read this book. I don't really cry so I remember most of the times I do and this book gave me a ton of feels.

The Last Street Novel by Omar Tyree

Goodreads * Amazon


The Philadelphia-born author, who jumpstarted the urban fiction craze more than a dozen years ago with Flyy Girl, presents the riveting new tale of Shareef Crawford, a celebrated writer of romantic fiction, who leaves his sunny mansion in South Florida and returns to his Harlem roots to pen a true crime book that may just end his life.

Craving more respect for his craft as a writer, particularly from his peer group of urban men, Shareef allows an enticing female fan to pitch him a no-holds-barred tell-all about an imprisoned Harlem gangster who admires Shareef’s writing. With insane courage and an iron will, Shareef, the street-smart intellectual, finally gets a chance to write something more edgy and noteworthy.

However, the Harlem streets he returns to in 2006 have changed, and the stakes of survival are higher now than they’ve ever been. Amid the rise of high-priced condominiums, a changing population, young criminals gunning to make names for themselves, and old criminals fighting to become legitimate businessmen, Shareef finds himself caught in a real-life thriller where past foes become friends, and trusted friends become dangerous foes. Nevertheless, the Harlem legend is hell-bent to do anything he can to gain the respect on the streets that his career as a writer of women’s fiction has failed to give him.
It's an urban fiction novel about a fictional urban fiction writer. Of course I loved it!

The Other Woman by Eric Jerome Dickey

Goodreads * Amazon


Eric Jerome Dickey strides boldly over the minefield that is modern marriage. The central couple's biggest challenge is timing: He works days; she works nights. Instead of growing together, they're rapidly drifting apart, coexisting on stolen phone calls from work, punctuated by occasional bedroom encounters that leave them both feeling even emptier and more alone. When she finds out about his affair-and starts her own-the delicate fabric of their marriage is torn irrevocably asunder. Or is it? In Dickey's expert hands, what begins as a seemingly unforgivable betrayal segues into the sexy and searing story of a man and a woman at a pivotal turning point in their relationship. Only time will tell whether they'll let it all go...or can hold on to the love that drew them together in the first place.
Punched me in the feels, like all of EJD books do.

Have you read any of these? What books would make it to your list? If you've got a TTT, leave a link to it below so I can check out your post too!
Happy Reading xo

26 comments

  1. I really should read Outlander one day! I have only heard good things :D I love that cover for Their Eyes Were Watching God too, it's a beauty!

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    1. The Outlander series is amazing! I cried and cried and cried from sadness and joy.
      And the cover for Their Eyes Were Watching God is a revamped one and it is gorgeous!

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  2. Seeing these old favorites reminds me that sometimes the best books aren't the latest and greatest.

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    1. Thanks! That's what I was going for. There are a ton of newer books I haven't reviewed since I didn't start reviewing until the last few years of reading, but I wanted to dig a little. And since these books were already sitting on my shelves, it was a lot easier to come up with a list :)

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  3. The Bluest Eye was such a thought provoking read. Great choice there, and thanks for stopping by.

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  4. Great list! I love the film adaptation of The Color Purple but I haven't read the book yet--that's something I'm hoping to rectify very soon.

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  5. It's funny, I'm the exact opposite to you when it comes to Outlander, I love the show, but have never read the books, they're a little long for me, and I tend to prefer romance on screen to in books.
    My TTT: https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2020/08/11/top-ten-tuesday-276/

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  6. I really liked Their Eyes Were Watching God.

    Here is our Top Ten Tuesday.

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  7. I really need to read a Toni Morrison book! I've seen them everywhere but I'm not sure where to start.

    Vee_Bookish

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    1. Any book of hers is a great place. My first was Beloved (which is also a movie) and I went from there.

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  8. Outlander is one of those where I actually preferred the tv series adaptation. Then again, I've only read the first book in the series.

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    1. I can see how that would happen. If you ever read the other books, let me know!

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  9. Thanks for sharing your list, the only one I’ve read is Outlander but it was back when it was called Cross Stitch, I never got any further in to the series but it’s a well loved series, the bus tour for the tv show passes through my town!

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    1. That's pretty cool about the tour coming through! I really enjoyed the books from the series, but then again, I had nothing else to do but be pregnant and read.

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  10. Bed rest sounds like the perfect time to read Outlander! I have always meant to read it, but am afraid of the time commitment. I think I could read it if I was stuck in bed. That's actually how I ended up reading Harry Potter in a way. I had just had a c-section and read them on the couch in a few weeks. It's amazing what you can get read when you're not supposed to be doing anything else.

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    1. Right?! So you know exactly how it was. Not that I want to be sick or anything, but I'd love a chance to have some uninterrupted reading time :)

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  11. Outlander is such a great series. I have a HARD time reviewing those books. I was trying to review Outlander for sooo long. I just ended up deleting the draft months later. It's so hard to get my thoughts in a review when it comes to great books.

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    1. Same. At one point, I tried to write one and failed terribly. I'll leave this series' glowing reviews to the experts I guess :)

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  12. The Bluest Eye definitely sounds likes a must-read! Fantastic list.

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  13. I'm afraid I haven't read any of these, Natalie. In fact most of them I haven't heard of (except Highlander and The Colour Purple of course), so this topic has been perfect to give them more of shout out! Happy reading to you too! 😃

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    1. Thanks Jessica!
      There were a ton of more recent books I could have highlighted, but I really thought showing these ones would give them a chance to shine.
      Happy reading!

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