There is just something about opening a book for the first time, diving in, and becoming immersed in an entirely different world that the author created. Books are so important. Books tell stories that enrich our lives, regardless of if they’re fiction or non-fiction. They help us get through hard times, they give us characters to relate to, they teach us things we wouldn’t otherwise know.
Books give us the opportunity to step into someone else’s shoes. And, for just a moment of time, know how the other half lives. We learn from books and therefore we grow from reading. And that is what this list of books written by celebrated black authors will help you do. It will help you gain perspective and grow. Enjoy.
10 novels by black authors that will leave you with questions and understanding.
$10.23 at the time of publication
Two half-sisters, two different life paths, and the stories they left behind. The story of Homegoing is a #1 Best Seller by author Yaa Gyasi. Readers say this novel is the reason they love to read and that it left them with so many thoughts, even forcing them to pause while reading to shed a tear.
$13.48 at the time of publication
A memoir by author Roxane Gay, that has been hailed as “searingly honest” by Amazon, this book details Gay’s relationship with “food, weight, self-image, and learning how to feed your hunger while taking care of yourself.” Readers say you must get a copy of this book that is unforgettable, fierce, and unparalleled.
$17.79 at the time of publication
A New York Times Bestseller, a National Book Award Winner, a Pulitzer Prize Finalist and so much more, Between the World and Me by author Ta-Nehisi Coates is a bold exploration of America’s racial history, according to the Rolling Stone. Other readers say it was one of the most challenging books they’ve ever read in a good way. And it’s a book that everyone needs to read.
$7.30 at the time of publication
This book may have been written years ago, but people are just now appreciating all that it has to offer, a strong black female protagonist, a love story, and noted wit! Readers say there is a reason this book is called a perfect classic and that author Zora Neale Hurston was a woman ahead of her time.
$20.34 at the time of publication
Fellow author John Green calls The Hate U Give “stunning” while fellow readers agree with that statement. People have called these books very appropriate during this current time, especially and a great read, especially for young adults! Both books by author Angie Thomas are told through the eyes of black teen girls and touch on the societal issues that they face.
$23.96 at the time of publication
A Promised Land is an autobiography written by the 44th President of the United States Barack Obama. According to Amazon, it’s a “riveting, deeply personal account of history in the making—from the president who inspired us to believe in the power of democracy.”
$9.67 at the time of publication
For her debut novel, author Kiley Reid knocked it out of the park with Such a Fun Age. It’s one of my top favorite books I read in 2020 and Elle, Vogue, NPR and many more publications agreed when they named it a Best Book of the Year! This book looks at race, privilege, and the relationships a young black babysitter finds herself in. As fellow readers explained they couldn’t put it down, calling it engaging, important, and refreshing.
$17.99 at the time of publication
Even readers who are not fans of fantasy novels thoroughly enjoy and recommend this book by author Marlon James. James created a world not unlike Game of Thrones that has been deemed as complex, amazing, and stunning. It has also been described as dark at times. According to Time, it’s one of 100 best fantasy books of all time.
$16.19 at the time of publication
This book is a collection of essays by young black writers that was curated by the founder of the Well-Read Black Girl book club, Glory Edim, Amazon reports. Readers call it a great book and a great way to truly feel what it is like to be in these essay writers’ shoes.
Let us know which book or books you ended up diving into! It’s been reported that the movie rights to Black Leopard, Red Wolf have been purchased by beloved actor Michael B. Jordan, so it might be interesting to start there and work your way through the list! I always love getting to the book before the movie comes out!
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Sara Vallone has been a writer and editor for the last four and a half years. A graduate of Ohio University, she enjoys celebrity news, sports, and articles that enhance people’s lives.
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