Discovering Must-Read Books by Black Authors
Welcome to my Black History Month reading inspiration list, where I’ve handpicked a selection of books I’m interested in reading; written by black women that will appeal to all readers who are interested in exploring the literary talent of black authors. From workbooks and word puzzles to rom-coms, mysteries, and thrillers, there’s something for everyone on this list.
Whether you’re looking for a new book to read for yourself or a thoughtful gift, you’ll find it here. I believe that supporting black authors is an important way to celebrate Black History Month, and I’m excited to share these books with you. So, let’s dive in and discover the wealth of literary talent among black women authors.
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1. Everybody Ain’t Your Friend
Everybody Ain’t Your Friend is an urban romance thriller written by Tanisha Stewart. This novel tells the story of a young woman who becomes caught up in the dangerous world of street politics, love, and betrayal. The protagonist must navigate through the complex web of relationships and trust in order to survive and find true love. The book is a gripping and suspenseful read that explores themes of loyalty, ambition, and the lengths one will go to for love.
2. Honey and Spice: A Novel
Honey and Spice is a romantic comedy novel written by Bolu Babalola. The book tells the story of Kiki Banjo, a radio host who becomes involved in a fake relationship with Malakai Korede to salvage their reputations and save their futures. As they spend more time together, Kiki starts to question her own beliefs about love and relationships. The book is a funny and sparkling debut novel with delicious tension and romantic intrigue that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
3. Seven Days in June
Seven Days in June is a romantic novel written by Tia Williams. The book tells the story of Eva Mercy, a single mom and bestselling erotica writer, who reconnects with Shane Hall. A reclusive and enigmatic award-winning novelist, after 15 years. The two have a history together, and when they meet unexpectedly, they discover that they’ve been secretly communicating through their books. Over the course of seven days, Eva and Shane rekindle their relationship, but Eva is wary of the man who broke her heart. The book is a funny, romantic, and sexy story of two writers discovering their second chance at love.
4. The Bridal Suite
The Bridal Suite is a novel written by Rochelle Alers. The book tells the story of a group of friends who gather at a luxurious bridal salon to pick out their wedding gowns. Each of the friends is at a different stage in her life and relationship. They all share a deep bond and support each other through the ups and downs of love and marriage. The novel explores themes of friendship, love, and the search for happiness. The Bridal Suite is a heartwarming and uplifting story. Perfect for those who enjoy contemporary fiction and romantic comedies.
5. The Vanishing Half
The Vanishing Half is a novel written by Brit Bennett. The book tells the story of identical twin sisters, who grow up in a small, southern black community and then take very different paths in life. One sister stays in the community and marries a black man, while the other passes as white and moves to the North with her white husband. The novel explores themes of identity, race, family, and the cost of passing. The Vanishing Half is a powerful and thought-provoking novel that delves into the complex realities of race and identity in America. It’s a must-read for readers who enjoy literary fiction and historical fiction.
6. When No One Is Watching
When No One Is Watching is a thriller novel written by Alyssa Cole. The book tells the story of Sydney Green, a Brooklyn resident who becomes increasingly concerned about the changes happening in her neighborhood. She starts to suspect that her neighbors are disappearing as a result of gentrification and teams up with a new arrival to the block, Theo, to uncover the truth. Together they dig deep into the history of their community and uncover a dangerous conspiracy. The novel explores themes of gentrification, trust, and paranoia. It’s a gripping thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat and make you question what is real and what is not.
7. Bet on It
Bet on It is a romance novel by Jodie Slaughter. The book tells the story of Aja Owens and Walker Abbott, two people who meet by chance in a supermarket and bond over bingo. They form an unlikely connection but are hesitant to pursue it due to their personal circumstances. Despite their efforts to keep things casual, their feelings for each other grow stronger. The novel explores themes of love, commitment, and the unexpected twists and turns of life. Bet on It is a heart-stoppingly fun and emotional romance.
8. Double the Lies (An Annalee Spain Mystery)
Double the Lies is a mystery novel written by Patricia Raybon. It’s the second installment of a critically acclaimed mystery series. The book tells the story of Annalee Spain, an amateur detective, who finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation when her fancy lace handkerchief is found next to the body of a young woman’s murdered husband. She becomes the number one suspect and her boyfriend Jack Blake, who is a pastor goes missing.
With just days to solve the murder, Annalee races against the clock to find the real killer before she is framed for the crime. The novel explores themes of love, family secrets, politics, the dangers of racism, and Klan-run police in the 1920s.
9. The House of Eve
The House of Eve is a historical fiction novel written by Sadeqa Johnson. The book tells the story of two women living in different times and places, Ruby Pearsall in 1950s Philadelphia, and Eleanor Quarles in Washington D.C, but both stories are connected in the end. Ruby, a teenager, is determined to break free from her mother’s past and poverty and become the first in her family to attend college.
Eleanor, an ambitious young woman, arrives in Washington D.C with secrets and when she meets William Pride at Howard University, they fall in love. But Eleanor struggles to fit into his wealthy family and decides to have a baby to finally feel at home. The novel explores themes of love, family, class, and the obstacles that women face in the quest for a better life. The House of Eve is a moving and powerful story that will give you a glimpse into the lives of black women during the 1950s.
10. Like a Sister
Like a Sister is a thriller novel. A young woman who becomes determined to find justice for her half-sister’s death. Despite the authorities and media declaring it an overdose. Lena, a Columbia grad student, is convinced that something is wrong with the facts of the case and sets out to uncover the truth, even if it means risking her own safety and uncovering her family’s dark secrets. The novel is set to be released on February 7, 2023.
11. The Things We Bring to the Table
The Things We Bring To the Table is a thrilling novel about a woman named Cree. She finds herself trapped in a parallel world. After her diamond-in-the-ruff beauty and wealth love story with her husband falls apart.
As she struggles to navigate this new world and its dangers, she must also navigate the steamy affair. She finds herself in the parallel-world version of her husband. She must learn to trust herself and the people around her in order to find a way back home. All while discovering the truth behind her sudden departure from her own world.
Fledgling is a science fiction novel that follows the story of an amnesiac girl who discovers that she is actually a genetically modified vampire, 53 years old. As she struggles to remember her past and the events that led to her current situation, she is also forced to confront the fact that there are those who want to harm her and those she cares for.
The novel explores themes of identity, memory, and survival as the protagonist navigates her new reality and fights to save herself and those around her. The novel is written by Octavia Butler and explores the complexities of race, gender, and vampirism through the experiences of the protagonist.
13. Anywhere You Run
In Anywhere you Run, two sisters, Violet and Marigold, are forced to flee their hometown of Jackson, Mississippi in the summer of 1964 after the murder of a white man in the midst of the Civil Rights Movement. Violet, who is 21, finds herself in trouble after killing the man who brutally attacked her and must run to escape Jim Crow justice. She ends up hiding in the small town of Chillicothe, Georgia, unaware of the danger that may be closer than she thinks.
This novel explores themes of race, justice, and the lengths people will go to protect their secrets and themselves.
14. Stuff Black Folks Talk About
The Stuff Black Folks Talk About is a word search puzzle book a collection of word search puzzles. Designed to bring back fond memories of the conversations that take place among black folks. The puzzles in this book are filled with words and phrases that reflect the joy and merriment of conversations between black folks.
Token is a novel written by Beverly Kendall. Kennedy Mitchell was promoted to a corporate boardroom two years ago in the name of diversity. Tired of being the only Black woman in the room. Kennedy and her best friend founded Token, a boutique PR agency that helps “diversity-challenged” companies and celebrities. With Token in high demand, Kennedy quickly discovers there’s a lot of on-the-job learning and some messes are not so easily fixed.
The novel explores themes of diversity, relationships, and the challenges of navigating the corporate world as a Black woman. It’s a story of ambition, resilience, and the power of representation. I’m really interested in reading this one.
16. 30-Day Bible Study for Black Women
This 30-day bible study is a great way for black women to begin or continue their journey with Jesus Christ. Each day will focus on a new theme that can be found in the bible. Read each bible study reading once daily to become the faithful woman you aspire to be. Inside this bible study are daily bible readings, a prayer of the day, and workbook questions.
17. Hold You Down
I am currently reading this one and so far it has really grasped my attention. I’m looking forward to hearing the rest of the story on audible. The book is set in New York City in the late 1980s and early 1990s. It tells the story of Mercy and Lenox Howard, two sisters who have always only had each other. Growing up in Harlem, they’ve had to rely on each other to survive. They are now young mothers raising their two sons, who are more like brothers than cousins. Mercy is a hospital administrator, trying to make ends meet. Lenox is the wild child who’s looking for success and power.
The novel explores themes of family, love, and the impact of one’s choices on the lives of others. Hold You Down is a moving and powerful story. It resonates with those who enjoy family dramas and stories set in the inner city.
Join the Discussion: Share Your Must-Reads by Black Authors for Black History Month
With Black History Month just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to pick up some of these must-read books. I’m personally looking forward to diving into these stories. What books are you inspired to read during Black History Month? Let us know in the comments below!
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Ty for sharing. It’s so nice to discover the creative and wonderful talents that we share.
You’re welcome, thank you for coming by!