James McBride

James McBride is an award-winning writer and musician. He is best known for his memoir 'The Color of Water: A Black Man's Tribute to His White Mother,' which was a New York Times bestseller and won several awards. McBride's work often explores themes of identity, race, and family. He has also written novels, such as 'The Good Lord Bird,' which won the National Book Award for Fiction, and works as a saxophonist and composer.


This list of books are ONLY the books that have been ranked on the lists that are aggregated on this site. This is not a comprehensive list of all books by this author.

  1. 1. The Color of Water: A Black Man's Tribute to His White Mother

    This book is a moving memoir that tells the story of a biracial man raised in a housing project in Brooklyn by his white, Jewish mother. The narrative alternates between the author's perspective and his mother's, providing a nuanced view of issues related to race, religion, and identity. The author's mother, a Polish immigrant, married a black man in the 1940s and raised twelve children in the midst of poverty and racial tension. Despite the hardships, she instilled in her children the importance of education and self-reliance. The book is a tribute to the strength, resilience, and love of this remarkable woman.

    The 1406th Greatest Book of All Time
  2. 2. Deacon King Kong

    "Deacon King Kong" by James McBride is a novel set in 1969 Brooklyn, where a drunken Deacon Sportcoat shoots a drug dealer named Deems Clemens in the courtyard of the Cause Houses housing project. The shooting sets off a chain of events that brings together a cast of characters from the neighborhood, including a young drug dealer, a church-going widow, a corrupt cop, and a group of elderly church women. Through their perspectives, McBride explores themes of race, religion, and community in a vibrant and humorous tale.

    The 5489th Greatest Book of All Time
  3. 3. The Good Lord Bird: A Novel

    The novel is a fictional account of the life of notorious abolitionist John Brown, told from the perspective of a young, freed slave named Henry Shackleford. Disguised as a girl for his own safety, Henry becomes a member of Brown's motley family of abolitionist soldiers, and finds himself in the historic 1859 raid on the U.S. Armory at Harpers Ferry. The book blends historical facts with imaginative storytelling, providing a humorous yet poignant exploration of race, religion, and identity in America.

    The 6880th Greatest Book of All Time