Dear Friends and Fellow Readers:
I write to share my 2016 favorite fiction book suggestions in honor of my deceased mother, Ilza Berry Williams.* Past selections can be seen on the following website: www.ilzaslist.com
2016 provided many, many interesting books. So my wife Lita is recommending 10 books instead of her usual five. I retaliated by adding three more to my list. We actually had some overlap.
Ilza's Picks 2016
Lalita's Top Picks
2016 may have provided a lot of interesting books but many still left me somewhat wanting. The books were well written, had tension, and featured intriguing characters. But many didn’t tell a compelling story, which is one of my main criteria. I saw the play Hamilton and just saw the film adaptation of Fences. So I know the arts are continuing to produce compelling stories. I challenge fiction to return to the same. Lita cautions me to remember that writing is harder than it looks.
I will commend 2016 fiction for its subject diversity. Slavery is being readdressed and cultural works from India, China and Africa abound. Untold history and diverse cultures are also among my main criteria.
So in honor again of my mother, please visit the website and provide me with your favorites and any comments on ours.
Barry Lawson Williams
* My mother, Ilza Berry Williams, was a New York City schoolteacher. She taught reading, then all subjects to special needs students, and then English as a second language to Spanish speaking students. She became a principal, and then the Deputy School System Administrator before retiring. She managed to read a book the day before she passed.
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