Saturday, February 24, 2018

Lisa Reads - Black History Month Book Recommendations

In honour of Black History Month, I thought I would put together a list of titles from black authors that I have read over the past few years. Nothing like deciding to do a blog post like this when BHM is already halfway over, and then finally finishing the post on the last weekend of the month. (facepalm). But TBH we should be reading more diverse books all the time, so okay I don't feel bad anymore!

The Broken Earth Series by NK Jemisin // This trilogy blew my damn mind, and is my top fave science fiction series.

Kindred & Lilith's Brood by Octavia E. Butler // Octavia E. Butler is considered a heavyweight in science fiction literature, notwithstanding the fact that she was one of few black woman famous for writing fiction in her time. These two books are completely different in subject matter - time travel back to the antebellum south and future aliens on a devastated Earth - but both show off her flair for writing amazing characters in amazing situations.

Who Fears Death? by Nnedi Okorafor & The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead // These aren't my favourite books on the list, but I think they are important and necessary additions to your reading list if you want to read more diverse books.

Ghost Summer: Stories by Tananarive Due and Devil's Wake Domino Falls by Tananarive Due & Steven Barnes // The only bad thing I have to say about these books is that there aren't more of them! If you like horror, zombies and ghost stories, get on these books! I don't normally read horror, so when I do, it's got to be good. So I am not about to steer you wrong with these books.

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi // This book is on so many "best of" lists I don't know what I could say that hasn't already been said. Each chapter follows a new generation descended from half-sisters, one who was sold into slavery and one who continued to live in Africa.

Americanah bv Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie // You probably recognize this name for her TED Talk that was turned into a book "We Should All Be Feminists", but this sweeping novel by Chimamanda is a fascinating exploration of belonging, and love, and race, and is definitely a story of our time. Told from the perspective of a young Nigerian woman, this book definitely offers something for everyone who has ever been in love.

Difficult Women by Roxane Gay // This collection of short stories is a potent masterpiece about women in all of our perfect imperfections.

I'm Judging You, The Do-Better Manual by Luvvia Ajayi // A big part of this book is about race, but a lot of it is also just common sense stuff - well, stuff that should be common sense - that we need to get called out for when guilty. Her humour is definitely unique, and I did appreciate her straightforward approach to talking about big topics.

Year of Yes: How To Dance It Out, Stand in the Sun, and Be Your Own Person by Shonda Rimes // While I don't watch a lot of TV, I know who Shonda Rimes is, and this is a great memoir/inspirational book. Probably more so if you are a fan!

Life's Work: A Moral Argument for Choice by Dr. Willie Parker // A fresh and unique take on the subject of abortion in America.

March: Book One by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, Nate Powell // If you want to learn more about the beginning of the civil rights movement in America, but don't know where to start, I highly recommend this graphic novel series.

Bound For the Promised Land: Harriet Tubman, Portrait of an American Hero by Kate Clifford // Harriet Tubman's story reads like fiction, thanks to her unfathomable adventures. Another important figure and time in American history. This book was long, but the material isn't boring and the writing is excellent.

As I - every year - recommit to reading more works by people of colour, I can't wait to watch this list grow and grow.


Women Reading Podcast - Episode 37: Black Women Authors

2018 Lisa Reads Booklist
Katisha Smith (Book Riot) - 18 Toni Morrisson Quotes on Love, Race & Literature

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