Lists and Suggestions
List: Celebrating Black Voices
The Vanishing Half
Bennett, Brit, author.
"The Vignes twin sisters will always be identical. But after growing up together in a small, s... More
"The Vignes twin sisters will always be identical. But after growing up together in a small, southern black community and running away at age sixteen, it's not just the shape of their daily lives that is different as adults, it's everything: their families, their communities, their racial identities. Ten years later, one sister lives with her black daughter in the same southern town she once tried to escape. The other secretly passes for white, and her white husband knows nothing of her past. Still, even separated by so many miles and just as many lies, the fates of the twins remain intertwined. What will happen to the next generation, when their own daughters' storylines intersect? Weaving together multiple strands and generations of this family, from the Deep South to California, from the 1950s to the 1990s, Brit Bennett produces a story that is at once a riveting, emotional family story and a brilliant exploration of the American history of passing. Looking well beyond issues of race, The Vanishing Half considers the lasting influence of the past as it shapes a person's decisions, desires, and expectations, and explores some of the multiple reasons and realms in which people sometimes feel pulled to live as something other than their origins. As with her New York Times-bestselling debut The Mothers, Brit Bennett offers an engrossing page-turner about family and relationships that is immersive and provocative, compassionate and wise"-- Less
Get a Life, Chloe Brown
Hibbert, Talia, author.
Emerging from a life-threatening illness, a fiercely organized but unfulfilled computer geek recrui... More
Emerging from a life-threatening illness, a fiercely organized but unfulfilled computer geek recruits a mysterious artist to help her establish meaning in her life, before finding herself engaged in reckless but thrilling activities. Less
An American Marriage
Jones, Tayari, author.
"Newlyweds Celestial and Roy, the living embodiment of the New South, are settling into the ro... More
"Newlyweds Celestial and Roy, the living embodiment of the New South, are settling into the routine of their life together when Roy is sent to prison for a crime he didn't commit. An insightful look into the lives of people who are bound and separated by forces beyond their control"-- Less
Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood
Noah, Trevor, 1984- author.
Noah's path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show began with a criminal ac... More
Noah's path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show began with a criminal act: his birth. Born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother, at the time such a union was punishable by five years in prison. As he struggles to find himself in a world where he was never supposed to exist, his mother is determined to save her son from the cycle of poverty, violence, and abuse that would ultimately threaten her own life. With an incisive wit and unflinching honesty, Noah weaves together a moving yet funny portrait of a boy making his way through a damaged world in a dangerous time. Less
Dreams From My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance
In this lyrical, unsentimental, and compelling memoir, the son of a black African father and a whit... More
In this lyrical, unsentimental, and compelling memoir, the son of a black African father and a white American mother searches for a workable meaning to his life as a black American. It begins in New York, where Barack Obama learns that his father, a figure he knows more as a myth than as a man, has been killed in a car accident. This sudden death inspires an emotional odyssey, first to a small town in Kansas, from which he retraces the migration of his mother's family to Hawaii, and then to Kenya, where he meets the African side of his family, confronts the bitter truth of his father's life, and at last reconciles his divided inheritance. Less
Adichie, Chimamanda Ngozi, 1977-
"A young woman from Nigeria leaves behind her home and her first love to start a new life in A... More
"A young woman from Nigeria leaves behind her home and her first love to start a new life in America, only to find her dreams are not all she expected"-- Less
How to be an Antiracist
Kendi, Ibram X., author.
"'The only way to undo racism is to consistently identify and describe it -- and then dis... More
"'The only way to undo racism is to consistently identify and describe it -- and then dismantle it.' Ibram X. Kendi's concept of antiracism reenergizes and reshapes the conversation about racial justice in America -- but even more fundamentally, points us toward liberating new ways of thinking about ourselves and each other. In How to Be an Antiracist, Kendi asks us to think about what an antiracist society might look like, and how we can play an active role in building it. In this book, Kendi weaves an electrifying combination of ethics, history, law, and science, bringing it all together with an engaging personal narrative of his own awakening to antiracism. How to Be an Antiracist is an essential work for anyone who wants to go beyond an awareness of racism to the next step: contributing to the formation of a truly just and equitable society." -- Less
My Sister, the Serial Killer
Braithwaite, Oyinkan, author.
"Satire meets slasher in this short, darkly funny hand grenade of a novel about a Nigerian wom... More
"Satire meets slasher in this short, darkly funny hand grenade of a novel about a Nigerian woman whose younger sister has a very inconvenient habit of killing her boyfriends. "Femi makes three, you know. Three and they label you a serial killer." Korede is bitter. How could she not be? Her sister, Ayoola, is many things: the favorite child, the beautiful one, possibly sociopathic. And now Ayoola's third boyfriend in a row is dead. Korede's practicality is the sisters' saving grace. She knows the best solutions for cleaning blood, the trunk of her car is big enough for a body, and she keeps Ayoola from posting pictures of her dinner to Instagram when she should be mourning her "missing" boyfriend. Not that she gets any credit. A kind, handsome doctor at the hospital where Korede works is the bright spot in her life. She dreams of the day when he will realize they're perfect for each other. But one day Ayoola shows up to the hospital uninvited and he takes notice. When he asks Korede for Ayoola's phone number, she must reckon with what her sister has become and what she will do about it. Sharp as nails and full of deadpan wit, Oyinkan Braithwaite has written a deliciously deadly debut that's as fun as it is frightening"-- Less
It's Not All Downhill from Here
McMillan, Terry, author.
"After a sudden change of plans, a remarkable woman and her loyal group of friends try to figu... More
"After a sudden change of plans, a remarkable woman and her loyal group of friends try to figure out what she's going to do with the rest of her life--from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of How Stella Got Her Groove Back and Waiting to Exhale Loretha Curry's life is full. A little crowded sometimes, but full indeed. On the eve of her sixty-eighth birthday, she has a booming beauty supply empire, a gaggle of lifelong friends, and a husband who's still got moves that surprise. True, she's carrying a few more pounds than she should be, but she's not one of those women who thinks her best days are behind her, and she's determined to prove her mother, her twin sister, and everyone else with that outdated view of aging wrong--it's not all downhill from here. But when an unexpected loss turns her world upside down, Loretha will have to summon all her strength, resourcefulness, and determination to keep on thriving, pursue joy, heal old wounds, and chart new paths. With a little help from her friends, of course"-- Less
Black Leopard, Red Wolf
James, Marlon, 1970- author.
"Tracker is known far and wide for his skills as a hunter: 'He has a nose,' people s... More
"Tracker is known far and wide for his skills as a hunter: 'He has a nose,' people say. Engaged to track down a mysterious boy who disappeared three years earlier, Tracker breaks his own rule of always working alone when he finds himself part of a group that comes together to search for the boy. The band is a hodgepodge, full of unusual characters with secrets of their own, including a shape-shifting man-animal known as Leopard. As Tracker follows the boy's scent--from one ancient city to another; into dense forests and across deep rivers--he and the band are set upon by creatures intent on destroying them. As he struggles to survive, Tracker starts to wonder: Who, really, is this boy? Why has he been missing for so long? Why do so many people want to keep Tracker from finding him? And perhaps the most important questions of all: Who is telling the truth, and who is lying?"-- Less
Such a Fun Age
Reid, Kiley, author.
Alix Chamberlain is a woman who gets what she wants and has made a living, with her confidence-driv... More
Alix Chamberlain is a woman who gets what she wants and has made a living, with her confidence-driven brand, showing other women how to do the same. So she is shocked when her babysitter, Emira Tucker, is confronted while watching the Chamberlains' toddler one night, walking the aisles of their local high-end supermarket. The store's security guard, seeing a young black woman out late with a white child, accuses Emira of kidnapping two-year-old Briar. A small crowd gathers, a bystander films everything, and Emira is furious and humiliated. Alix resolves to make things right. But Emira herself is aimless, broke, and wary of Alix's desire to help. At twenty-five, she is about to lose her health insurance and has no idea what to do with her life. When the video of Emira unearths someone from Alix's past, both women find themselves on a crash course that will upend everything they think they know about themselves, and each other. With empathy and piercing social commentary, Such a Fun Age explores the stickiness of transactional relationships, what it means to make someone "family," the complicated reality of being a grown up, and the consequences of doing the right thing for the wrong reason. Less
Behold the Dreamers
Mbue, Imbolo, author.
In the fall of 2007, Jende Jonga, a Cameroonian immigrant living in Harlem, lands a job as a chauff... More
In the fall of 2007, Jende Jonga, a Cameroonian immigrant living in Harlem, lands a job as a chauffeur for Clark Edwards, a senior executive at Lehman Brothers. Their situation only improves when Jende's wife Neni is hired as household help. But in the course of their work, Jende and Neni begin to witness infidelities, skirmishes, and family secrets. Then, with the 2008 collapse of Lehman Brothers, a tragedy changes all four lives forever, and the Jongas must decide whether to continue fighting to stay in a recession-ravaged America or give up and return home to Cameroon. Less
Rafe: A Buff Male Nanny
Weatherspoon, Rebekah, author.
"After a nasty divorce and a thousand mile move, Dr. Sloan Copeland and her twin daughters are... More
"After a nasty divorce and a thousand mile move, Dr. Sloan Copeland and her twin daughters are finally getting the hang of their new life in Los Angeles. When their live-in nanny bails with no warning, Sloan is left scrambling to find a competent caretaker to wrangle her smart, sensitive girls. Nothing less will do. Enter Rafe Whitcomb. He's all of those things, not to mention good-natured and one heck of a whiz in the kitchen. He's also tall, and handsome, and bearded, and ripped, and tatted, wrist to neck. It doesn't take long for the Copelands to invite Rafe into their home. Just as quickly, both Sloan and Rafe find themselves succumbing to a heady mutual attraction, neither of them wants to deny. With every minute they spend under the same roof, this working mom can't help but wonder if Rafe can handle all her needs?"-- Less
How to Love a Jamaican: Stories
Arthurs, Alexia, author.
Sweeping from close-knit island communities to the streets of New York City and midwestern universi... More
Sweeping from close-knit island communities to the streets of New York City and midwestern university towns, these eleven stories form a portrait of a nation, a people, and a way of life. In "Light-Skinned Girls and Kelly Rowlands," an NYU student befriends a fellow Jamaican whose privileged West Coast upbringing has blinded her to the hard realities of race. In "Mash Up Love," a twin's chance sighting of his estranged brother--the prodigal son of the family--stirs up unresolved feelings of resentment. In "Bad Behavior," a couple leave their wild teenage daughter with her grandmother in Jamaica, hoping the old ways will straighten her out. In "Mermaid River," a Jamaican teenage boy is reunited with his mother in New York after eight years apart. In "The Ghost of Jia Yi," a recently murdered student haunts a despairing Jamaican athlete recruited to an Iowa college. And in "Shirley from a Small Place," a world-famous pop star retreats to her mother's big new house in Jamaica, which still holds the power to restore something vital. Less
The Cutting Season
When the dead body of a young woman is found on the grounds of Belle Vie, the estate's manager... More
When the dead body of a young woman is found on the grounds of Belle Vie, the estate's manager, Caren Gray, launches her own investigation into Belle Vie's history, which leads her to a centuries old mystery involving the plantation's slave quarters--and her own past. Less
Everything Inside: Stories
Danticat, Edwidge, 1969- author.
From the best-selling author of Claire of the Sea Light and Brother, I'm Dying, a long-awaited... More
From the best-selling author of Claire of the Sea Light and Brother, I'm Dying, a long-awaited return to fiction: a gorgeous collection of stories about community, family and love; about the forces that pull us together or drive us apart--a book rich with vividly imagined characters, hard-won wisdom, and humanity. In these eight stories by widely acclaimed, prizewinning author Danticat--some of which have appeared The New Yorker--a romance unexpectedly sparks between two wounded friends; a marriage ends for what seems like noble reasons, but leads to irreparable consequences; a young woman holds on to an impossible dream, even as she fights for her life, two lovers reunite after the biggest tragedy in their country and in their lives. Vividly set in places from Miami to Port-au-Prince to a small unnamed country in the Caribbean and beyond, these beautiful and moving stories showcase one of the world's most renowned voices at her absolute best. Less
Dennis-Benn, Nicole, author.
A Jamaican woman leaves her daughter behind to immigrate to New York, where the happier life she ex... More
A Jamaican woman leaves her daughter behind to immigrate to New York, where the happier life she expected is difficult to find as an undocumented worker -- Less
Cosby, S. A., author.
"A gritty, voice-driven thriller about a former getaway driver who thought he had escaped the ... More
"A gritty, voice-driven thriller about a former getaway driver who thought he had escaped the criminal life who is pulled back in by race, poverty, and his own former life of crime. Beauregard "Bug" Montage is a man with many different titles: husband, father, friend, honest car mechanic. But before he gave it up, Bug used to be known from the hills of North Carolina to the beaches of Florida as the best Wheel Man on the East Coast. After a series of financial calamities, Bug feels he has no choice but to take one final job as the getaway driver for a daring diamond heist that could solve all his money troubles and allow him to go straight once and for all. Like "Ocean's Eleven" meets "Drive" (but with a mostly black cast of characters), Blacktop Wasteland is a searing, operatic story of sons living up (or down) to their fathers; of a heist gone sideways; of a man ground down by economic desperation; of fast cars and daring chases and identity and love"-- Less
Carty-Williams, Candice, 1989- author.
Queenie Jenkins is a 25-year-old Jamaican British woman living in London, straddling two cultures a... More
Queenie Jenkins is a 25-year-old Jamaican British woman living in London, straddling two cultures and slotting neatly into neither. She works at a national newspaper, where she's constantly forced to compare herself to her white middle class peers. After a messy break up from her long-term white boyfriend, Queenie seeks comfort in all the wrong places . . . including several hazardous men who do a good job of occupying brain space and a bad job of affirming self-worth. As Queenie careens from one questionable decision to another, she finds herself wondering, 'What are you doing? Why are you doing it? Who do you want to be?' -- all of the questions today's woman must face in a world trying to answer them for her. Less
We Need New Names
Bulawayo, NoViolet, author.
Follows ten-year-old Zimbabwe native, Darling, as she escapes the closed schools and paramilitary p... More
Follows ten-year-old Zimbabwe native, Darling, as she escapes the closed schools and paramilitary police control of her homeland in search of opportunity and freedom with an aunt in America. Less