If you asked me what my favorite book was, or even what my top 5 favorite books were, a pained expression akin to what might happen if you asked me pick a favorite child (I have 3 children) might cross my face. I would briefly consider whether the entire Harry Potter series could count for one of my 5 favorites (though I am partial to Prisoner of Azkaban and Half-Blood Prince) and then struggle with how to fit the library of books I feel I can not live without into the other four entries.
However, if you asked me about my favorite writers, that would be far more simple. The spot for my favorite writer of all time is a tie between two Black women.
Octavia Butler and Toni Morrison.
Rounding out my top 5 would be JK Rowling (of course), John Irving, Edwidge Danticat and Shakespeare.
I recognize that there are actually six authors on that list, but I'm taking some liberties because Butler and Morrison occupy the top spot together.
In any case, given that I already read Butler's Parable of the Sower on a yearly basis, Fledgling whenever whenever the mood strikes me, and stories from Bloodchild as occasional bedtime stories, I decided I wanted to do something to honor my love of Toni Morrison. I wrote down all of her books in my notebook, and as soon as I realized there were 12 of them, I decided I would do a Year of Toni Morrison.
Aside from the first selection, I am reading the books in the order they were published.
July - Playing the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination
August - The Bluest Eye
September - Sula
October - Song of Solomon
November - Tar Baby
December - Beloved
January - Jazz
February - Paradise
March - Love
April - A Mercy
May - Home
June - God Help the Child
I was also really excited that July marked the second half of the year, because it seemed like a best starting point for a year-long project aside from January. If you'd like to join me, you can search #yearoftonimorrison on Instagram, and feel free to post your own entries using the hashtag as well.