Winter Book Club: Black Authors

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

The days are getting shorter and I may or may not have conquered all of Netflix and HBO Max before December, which means it's book time. Let's make sure supporting Black authors stays a priority (because if you just did the reading in Summer 2020 and then resumed your regular reading list it was virtue signaling). I try to order from my local Black-owned bookstore (Mahogany Books for me), I'm linking to the Amazon listings as a reference. 

Pro tip: check out e-books and audiobooks (fo FREE) from your library. Mine uses the Libby app and is SO easy to use, and my woke librarians post BLM reading lists.


Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi: Oprah's book of the year (and we know O does not miss) is the story of two half sisters born in Ghana who were given two very different paths follows their families through 300 years of generations and I could not put it down. 

Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams: Named to NPR's best books of 2019 and TIME's 100 best books of the year, this book has been described as Bridget Jones meets Americanah and follows a young woman as she navigates decisions and tries to figure out what she's doing.

An American Marriage by Tayari JonesA newlywed couple is torn apart by circumstances neither could have imagined. Never have I loved AND hated characters so much in one read. This one is heavy, definitely not a vacation read but a must-read. TIME, NPR, and Oprah all have it on their 2018 book of the year lists.

My Sister the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite: Betches calls this a mix between Sharp Objects and Dexter which is really all I need to know to put this book on the top of my to-read list. 

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: Another one I finished in 3 days. Chimamanda's story of race identity in America is so, so good. If you're craving more Chimamanda after this one get Half a Yellow Sun next.

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett: This New York Times #1 Best-Seller is my favorite book I've read this year. The story of Black twin sisters, one who goes on to pass as white and one who does not. 

Ordinary Light: A Memoir by Tracy K. Smith: A coming of age story that explores the meaning of home and the bond between mother and daughter with the backdrop of race.

Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid: I am on the hold list for this NYT best-seller about a white blogger who calls the family's Black babysitter in the midst of a family crisis. 

When No One Is Watching by Alyssa Cole: I love a mystery/thriller and this NYT best-seller comes recommended by Grace so it's at the top of my winter reading list. This book about a gentrifying Brooklyn neighborhood that may not be what it seems is said to have Rear Window and Get Out vibes.

Ties That Tether by Jane Igharo: Forbidden romance, love story, cultural identity, yes please.

The Playbook Series by Alexa Martin (starting with book #1 Intercepted): The author is married to an NFL player and uses her experience to craft this series about dating and football. NPR named the first and second books in the series best books of 2018 and 2019. 

Educate Yourself

Again, if your learning stopped when the protests and social media quieted down, you were virtue signaling. The more we know the more we understand the issues and solutions. Let's commit to getting through these during the winter months. These books can be heavy, so I read them in conjunction with a lighter book.

White Rage by Carole Anderson: Ok when I ordered this one I thought it would be about how angry white allies fought the system (because I'm used to books being written to make me feel good #whiteprivilege), but this is quite the opposite. I learned so much about American history, the barriers white people put in the way of progress, and the ripple effects this had. Interesting how history repeats itself...

Me and White Supremacy by Layla Saad: This daily study book requires about 15 mins/day and is REQUIRED no matter how much work you've done. I just wrapped week two and have learned a lot.

How to be an Anti-Racist by Ibram X. Kendi: Great read, not necessarily for beginners. This one really opened my eyes to everywhere that racism exists and my role in fixing.

Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? And Other Questions About Race by Beverly Daniel Tatum: So many of y'all recommended this book about racial identities and the US divide, currently in my audiobook queue! 

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