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2011 was a great year for #blacklitchat – we read more great books together and had fun chatting with the authors.

I so appreciate everyone who has joined one of our chats, shared it with followers and helped spread the word about contemporary black literature. I am very thankful for the authors who agree to join us each month and answer as many questions as possible in our one hour.

And #blacklitchat would not have made it into its second year without the enthusiasm, professionalism and partnership of Dee Stewart (@deegospel).

This year we also took #blacklitchat back to Blogalicious. We announced our first chat with Ernessa T. Carter (32 CANDLES) in 2010 after her book was included in the Blogalicious conference (swag) bag. This year we reached out to Algonquin and they graciously added both SILVER SPARROW, by Tayari Jones and A TASTE OF SALT, by Martha Southgate to the bags for all Blogalicious attendees.

Also, we had a few “global” chats with me joining from Asia for 3 months. One of the reasons I wanted to do a literary chat on Twitter is that I knew I couldn’t consistently make it to a face-to-face book club – never imagined how important that would be.

For every #blacklitchat discussion we choose books we recommend, so at the end of the year it’s very hard for me to choose one “best” book. But I always look at best of lists and see if any of the black authors I read made the list. This year, I asked folks on Twitter to share with #blacklitchat their favorite book by a black author. Many people said SILVER SPARROW, by Tayari Jones was their favorite. If you’ve followed me or read this blog for any length of time you know I think she is one of the finest contemporary [no other adjective needed] writers today. And we had a marvelous one-year anniversary #blacklitchat discussion with her in October.

I hope you’ll join us in 2012 for more great reading and discussions. Let us know what you’d like to read this year in the comments.

Here are the titles we discussed and read this year.

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And if you aren’t already reading these authors, here are their web sites or Twitter handles so you can get started (and hopefully buy their books).

www.dolenperkinsvaldez.com (@dolen) – WENCH

www.aminattaforna.com (@aminattaforna) – THE MEMORY OF LOVE

www.heididurrow.com (@heididurrow) – THE GIRL WHO FELL FROM THE SKY

www.lorenecary.org (@lorenecary) – IF SONS THEN HEIRS

www.victorlavalle.com (@victorlavalle) – BIG MACHINE

Jabari Asim (@jabariasim) – A TASTE OF HONEY

www.tayarijones.com (@tayari) – SILVER SPARROW

www.mirandaparker.com (@mirandaparker, @deegospel – my co-moderator for #blacklitchat!) – A GOOD EXCUSE TO BE BAD

TananariveDue.com (@tananarivedue) – MY SOUL TO TAKE

(@ConnieBriscoe) – MONEY CAN’T BUY LOVE

Carleen Brice (@carleenbrice) – IT MIGHT AS WELL BE SPRING, joined by multiple authors from http://www.achapteramonth.com!