There’s a #blackoutbestsellerlist challenge going around social media this week, encouraging people to purchase 2 books written by Black authors between 6/14 and 6/20 – in hopes of flooding next week’s best sellers list with Black names. An avid fan of anything book related + supporting underrepresented voices, I already placed my Bookshop order: Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid and The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett (#readwomen). In case you’re looking for a good buy, these are my favorites from the past few years!
- Homegoing, Yaa Gyasi | I was hard-core obsessed with this book for a good 6 months (you can ask my friends) – and I stand by it. It’s one of the best novels I’ve ever read. The entire concept blows my mind, the execution of it is beautiful. Gyasi is able to give characters depth in a few pages that will stay with you forever.
- Americanah, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (really, anything by Adiche – Half of a Yellow Sun is also fantasitc) | In case you have never heard me mention my crazy girl crush on Chimamanda Adichie, OH MY GOSH. LISTEN TO HER TED TALK. READ ALL HER BOOKS. READ THEM AGAIN. NEVER STOP. The end.
- An American Marriage, Tayari Jones | I didn’t expect to enjoy this one as much as a I did. The story was riveting, and the writing was stunning.
- The Hate U Give, Angie Thomas | This YA novel reads like a movie (in the best way) – and then was made into a pretty decent movie (they’re never as good as the book).
- The Underground Railroad, Colson Whitehead | This book is a little gut wrenching at times (because, America), but phenomenally written. I didn’t want it to end.
- What It Means when a Man Falls from the Sky, Lesley Nneka Arimah | I am typically not a fan of short stories but I LOVED THESE. So much. Such beautiful writing, such interesting plots.
- I’m Still Here, Austin Channing Brown | Apparently this book is impossible to get right now, because Reese Witherspoon just picked it for her monthly book club (GET. IT., AUSTIN!) – but you can listen right away on audio book! I read it 2 years ago, and am considering giving it a listen, too.
- Bad Feminist, Roxane Gay | I read this a few years ago, and I still think about some of the essays. Gay is also a great Twitter follow.
- Born A Crime, Trevor Noah | I just listened to this on audio book, and I expected the book to be great – but Trevor read it himself and it’s phenomenal.
- Becoming, Michelle Obama | I hate to ruin the ending, but Michelle will break your heart at the very end and say she has no interest in running for office. But the entire book will make you wish she was our next president.
- Between the World and Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates | If you haven’t picked this one up yet, it’s short & poignant. Ta-Nehisi is one of my all time favorite thinkers (listen to ANY podcast he is on!).