Tag Archives: Non-Fiction

Marion’s Favorites: Marion’s Favorite Reads of 2020

2020 is mercifully coming to a close, and it has been probably one of the most challenging years that I can remember.  A global pandemic.  A contentious American presidential election.  Big time celebrity deaths. So on and so on.  Reading has been choppy.  However, I read fifty books this year.  Here are my favorite reads of 2020 (click on the link to read the full review):

  1. Eva Luna by Isabel Allende: The story of Eva Luna, a dazzling storyteller, that chronicles her journey in an unnamed South American country and reveals a fascinating life.  A great escape read for these times.
  2. Alburquerque by Rudolfo Anaya: This is the late Rudolfo Anaya’s (Rest In Love) wonderful tribute to his hometown (A city I lived in for 5 years) and the dynamics of its tri-cultural heritage: Hispanic, Native American, & Anglo.  Readers know Anaya for his modern classic Bless Me Ultima.  However, I believe Alburquerque should be read as well.
  3. Face of An Angel by Denise Chavez: This fictional memoir of Soveida Dosamantes, a waitress at El Farol Restaurant in the sleepy, southern New Mexican town of Agua Oscura, is a touching tale that captures a slice of an American tale that rarely gets told.
  4. Woven in Moonlight by Isabel Ibanez: An excellent YA fantasy novel that draws inspiration from Bolivian politics, history, and mythology.  I really enjoyed reading this one and looking forward to the upcoming sequel, Written in Starlight.
  5. The Ancient Child by N. Scott Momaday: This is a coming-of-age story of Locke Setman, a Kiowa man that was raised away from the reservation. He is drawn back to the reservation and his life changes unpredictably.
  6. The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa: I read this one for Women In Translation month back in August. A surprising story about the connection between a housekeeper and an eccentric professor.
  7. The Spectator Bird by Wallace Stegner: I have finally read a Wallace Stegner novel!  He had been on my list for a while to read. This one is considered a minor novel in his body of work.  But the story of literary agent Joe Allison’s past comes to life when he receives a postcard from Denmark.
  8. White Pages by Ran Walker: This is the story of novelist Kamal Jackson as he reaches a crossroads in his career. He attempts to publish his latest novel but as a white man from Mississippi instead of who he is a black man from Brooklyn.  Walker provides a sharp commentary on the Big 5 publishing industry and how it affects black writers.
  9. My Life with Earth, Wind, Fire by Maurice White: Earth, Wind, & Fire is one of my favorite musical groups and reading about bandleader Maurice White’s life and how he put the group together was fascinating.  A must for EWF fans!
  10. Black Fortunes by Shomari Wills: My non-fiction book of the year.  Wills tells the story of six black millionaires of the pre-civil rights era and how they could become wealthy and navigate the blatant racism of the day.  This book should be taught in high schools and colleges throughout America.

Those are my favorite reads of the year!  Looking forward to a better year in 2021.

Book Review 133: Permission Marketing by Seth Godin

“The marketer is not in control, the consumer is. And the consumer is selfish. Consumers care very little about you, your company, your products, your career, or your family. They’re not likely to spend time trying to discover how you can help them solve their problems. The heart of Permission Marketing is giving the stranger… Continue Reading

Book Review 125: Estate Planning for Authors by M.L. Buchman

Estate Planning is a topic that many people dislike to talk (or even think) about.  That includes the writer of this blog post.  However, Estate Planning is an essential element for personal finances and especially for creative types (like yours truly). I recently heard M.L. Buchman on the Creative Penn Podcast (highly recommended for authors)… Continue Reading

Book Review 82: The Introvert Entrepreneur by Beth Buelow

Introvert Entrepreneur seems like an oxymoronic term.  Can an introvert really be an entrepreneur?  Well, Beth Buelow makes an excellent case for it in her book titled with the same term. I heard about Beth Buelow from one of my favorite podcasts, The Creative Penn, when she was interviewed by Author-Entrepreneur Joanna Penn. That interview… Continue Reading

Book Review 70: For Love or Money by Susan Kaye Quinn

“Writing challenges me to discover who I am. Publishing challenges me to remember it.” “You have to work like crazy, be smart, somehow invest every particle of emotion into the book itself, but then fling it out in the world and be ruthlessly pragmatic about how to sell it.” Those two quotes (of many that… Continue Reading

Book Review 58: Discoverability by Kristine Kathryn Rusch

The Indie Publishing movement of the past half-dozen years has changed the course of the publishing industry. Publishing books have become a lot easier thanks to eBooks, Amazon, and other Print-on-Demand (POD) publishers.  Would-be-novelists (like myself) that have tried to break into Traditional publishing have finally found an avenue to get their works out to… Continue Reading

Book Review 45: All God’s Children & Blue Suede Shoes by Ken Myers

What is pop culture? That’s the one question I’ve always wanted to get a definitive answer to in all of my adult life. Well, I believe I have found a book that attempts to give me that answer. All God’s Children & Blue Suede Shoes by Ken Myers explores the relationship between Christians and Popular Culture.… Continue Reading