I briefly cracked The Twelve Tribes of Hattie on my way back to Texas from the East Coast and promptly had five other books to read for freelance assignments, so I haven't gone back to it yet. I know a couple of people were excited about it, and I noticed Isabel Wilkerson's review of it in the New York Times Book Review.
The Root compiled 8 of Mathis' favorite books, which includes Toni Morrison's Beloved and James Baldwin's The Fire Next Time, along with some great titles from black poets like Rita Dove.
She says that Beloved is necessary to return to and, while I'm not actually a big fan of re-reading works, I can see what she means. I don't return to Toni Morrison's work often because it's dense and challenging - along with the fact that I'm reading new work and writing some at the same time. But I'm also not a big fan of re-reading books.
I wonder about the benefit of writers returning to their favorites, though. I've heard that it helps them with structure in their own work, depending on what they're working on. Because Zora Neale Hurston's birthday was this week, I was thinking of cracking open Their Eyes Were Watching God again. Maybe I'll get to that sometime in February.