Five-Carat Soul (Riverhead Books) by James McBride was one of President Obama’s favorite books from 2017. I enjoyed it, too, and included it in my book recommendations on WBRC Fox 6 in December.
This is the first new fiction from McBride since his National Book Award-winning historical novel, The Good Lord Bird, which was about John Brown’s unsuccessful raid on Harpers Ferry.
Five-Carat Soul is a collection of never-before-published short stories about race and identity and history and understanding. Fans will recognize McBride’s insightful, humorous style and his ability to create remarkably lifelike characters.
These stories are all over the place. Consider the antiques dealer who discovers a legendary toy commissioned by General Robert E. Lee in the home of a black minister in Queens. In another story, an American president gets inspiration from a conversation he overhears in a stable. Then there are the highly entertaining stories from members of The Five-Carat Soul Bottom Bone Band. McBride was at The Alabama Booksmith in Birmingham not long ago. You might still find some signed first editions there of this book or McBride’s Kill ‘Em and Leave: Searching for the Real James Brown and the American Soul or The Color of Water or The Good Lord Bird.
I link to Amazon to show you exactly what book I’m talking about but I love to shop locally at Church Street Coffee and Books, The Alabama Booksmith, Little Professor Book Center or visit my local library.