Our May Guest Editor Kwana Jackson let us in on the book she loves and is looking forward to reading next. Find out what the author of Real Men Knit reads in her spare time.

“Favorite books of all time… this is always a dreaded question for me, and I think most writers because who wants to answer it wrong and then get that judgey, writerly stare from across the interwebs? But okay, I’ll give it a go. Just know these are the books I’m thinking of as I type now, I’m sure there are more and I’ll what to change and add as soon as I press send.”

The Color Purple by Alice Walker

“Because it’s brilliant. I can still remember the feeling of being in Celie’s skin as I read it. I felt her pain and way too brief moments of joy. Not to mention the overwhelming desire I had to hurt Mister. To this day I still would not have had the restraint that Celie had when it came to Mister. Oh, I still get mad. Whew.”

Mama by Terry McMillan

“I remember reading this book and it hit me so personally. I immediately wanted to know the author and how could she write so lovingly in a world that felt like mine. It was a book that made me feel thankful for it being written. So thank you, Ms. Terry McMillan.”

The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

“When I think about The Poisonwood Bible, I can never forget the physical reactions I had while reading it. How the author made me feel the heat of the sun as well as the humidity, so much so where it felt like I was sweating along with the characters or imagining there were ants on my legs and swiping at them as I was reading. All the while loving the descriptions of the landscapes and thinking I wanted to be there.”

Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding

“Bridget for me is a character that I immediately loved and connected to. The fact that she had this running monologue in her head and took us along for the ride made me feel like telling a story in that way was something I could possibly do. She didn’t hold back on her fears or her flaws or try and sugarcoat how she saw other people which I found so refreshing. That book gave me so much joy. And also there was Mark Darcy.”

Anything by Jackie Collins

“Growing up, my mother was a huge Jackie Collins fan and since I was a notorious book nabber (this is how a girl becomes a lover of romance by age 11 or12), I became a fan of Ms. Collins, too. My favorite character was Lucky Santangelo. I loved Lucky from her wild child debut in Chances all the way through her being a grown mother in Goddess of Vengeance. If there was a cool friend in my head that I wanted to hang out and grow up with, it would have been Lucky.”

What Kwana’s Reading Next:

“I’ve been under deadline with finishing the follow up to Real Men Knit so my reading TBR pile is just about toppling over. But here are just a few that I’m excited about getting to:”

It’s Not All Downhill from Here by Terry McMillan

“As I said before I’ve been a fan of Terry McMillian for forever and anxiously await each of her releases. I know this will be another winner.”

Heart and Seoul by Jen Frederick

“Those that follow me on social media know I’m a huge K-Drama fan and when I heard this book from Jen Fedrick likened to a k-drama I was immediately in. Then when I read the emotional blurb and saw the main character is a Korean adoptee (the brothers in Real Men Knit are all adopted) well it went high on my TBR list.”

How to Fail at Flirting by Denise Williams

“This has been on my buzz list for a while and I cannot wait to read it. I love the idea of heroine stepping out of her comfort zone and then life turning upside down.”

Recipe For Persuasion by Sonali Dev

“I adore Sonali Dev’s voice. Her gorgeous way of storytelling always takes me away. I’m really excited for this one!”

A Duke, the Lady, and a Baby by Vanessa Riley

“I’m a huge historical romance fan and love regencies. Vanessa Riley is a smart and witty author who writes beautiful romances that are full of emotion and the diversity you don’t see enough of IMO in historicals. I can’t wait to sink into this one.”

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