If there is anything to redeem this crappy year it might just be books. (Yes, it’s come to this, but us book lovers don’t mind!)
As the temperatures turn a bit colder, cozy up with one of these reads by Black authors, who are either revealing more about themselves in page-turning memoirs or giving us soul-stirring poetry.
If you’re homeschooling your kids for the first time this year, there’s even a picture book on our list that is sure to keep their attention. Or perhaps you need a young adult novel for your little one who’s not so little (or for yourself. Who are you kidding?)
Feeling litty? Check out these 14 books by Black authors below:
When No One Is Watching: A Thriller – September 1
If you loved Get Out, you'll love this new thriller by Alyssa Cole. When a Brooklyn woman is frustrated by gentrification, she decides to launch a walking tour. That's when she bumps into her neighbor, Theo.
Punching the Air – September 1
Best-selling author Ibi Zoboi and one of The Exonerated Five, Yusef Salaam, have produced this illustrated young adult novel about a teen who's wrongfully convicted of a crime he didn't commit. Pulling from Dr. Salaam's own experience, this novel speaks on the dangers of mass incarceration and institutional racism.
Transcendent Kingdom - September 1
In her follow up to Homegoing, Yaa Gyasi takes readers on a journey about faith, science, addiction and loss. The story picks up as a sixth-year PhD candidate is caring for her suicidal mother after losing her brother to an overdose.
I Am Every Good Thing – September 1
If you're looking for a children's picture book to inspire your child, especially your Black son, grab the latest from Derrick Barnes and Gordon C. James.
The Selected Works of Audre Lorde – September 8
Who better to select the best of Audre Lorde than her modern day acolyte, Roxane Gay. In this collection, the Bad Feminist author uncovers and reminds us of some of Lorde's best prose and poetry.
Grown – September 15
Award-winning author Tiffany D. Jackson has given us a mystery in the form of her latest book. Aspiring singer Enchanted Jones meets an R&B singer, Korey, at an audition. But after she wakes up with literal blood on her hands, she (along with the rest of the world) is wondering, who killed Korey?!
We're Better Than This – September 22
Congressman Elijah E. Cummings penned this call to action before his death last October. In this memoir, he imagines a world rooted in justice.
The Meaning of Mariah Carey - September 29
Mariah Carey fans don't care what we say, they're going to run to pick up her memoir anyway. And while the singer is opening up about moments in her life, one of the best parts is that she tapped former ESSENCE editor Michaela Angela Davis to help her pen this tome.
Dear Justyce – September 29
In Nic Stone’s highly-anticipated sequel to Dear Martin, we meet Quan, an incarcerated teen who pens letters to Justyce about what he's dealing with in the juvenile detention system.
Burning Sugar – September 29
In this acclaimed debut, activist and poet Cicely Belle Blain weaves in how colonialism has affected the Black body and led to racism, anti-Blackness and systemic oppression.
Let Love Rule – October 6
"The book is about the first 25 years of my life, culminating in the release of my first album [in 1989]," Lenny Kravitz said when he announced his memoir. And in case you're wondering, because we were, the book will also touch on his six-year marriage to actress Lisa Bonet, whom he wed in 1987. It will also detail his parents' lives as his father Sy was a new producer and his mother, Roxie Roker, was an actress. Let Love Rule will also take fans inside his New York City childhood.
Ring Shout – October 13
What happens when you mix fantasy with the Ku Klux Klan? You get award-winning author P. Djèlí Clark's latest historic novella that reimagines what happens after the world sees racist film, The Birth Of A Nation.
After the Rain – October 13
If you love following Alex Elle on social media, this guide (which is part memoir) will lead you down a path of meditation, healing and inward reflection.
This Is Your Time - November 10
Civil rights activist and icon Ruby Bridges has penned her first book in 20 years, inspired by the nation's recent activism. The woman who helped desegregate schools at the age of six, said in a statement: "Having spent years speaking to young people about racism, I felt compelled to say something, and after careful consideration, I decided a letter to my young people was the way."