The Unsettled by Ayana Mathis (November 2023)
From the moment Ava Carson and her ten-year-old son, Toussaint, arrive at the Glenn Avenue family shelter in Philadelphia 1985, Ava is already plotting a way out. She is repulsed by the shelter's squalid conditions: their cockroach-infested room, the barely edible food, and the shifty night security guard. She is determined to rescue her son from the perils and indignities of that place, and to save herself from the complicated past that led them there.
The Fraud by Zadie Smith (October 2023)
From acclaimed and bestselling novelist Zadie Smith, a kaleidoscopic work of historical fiction set against the legal trial that divided Victorian England, about who gets to tell their story--and who gets to be believed Based on real historical events, The Fraud is a dazzling novel about truth and fiction, Jamaica and Britain, fraudulence and authenticity and the mystery of "other people."
What Never Happened by Rachel Howzell Hall (August / September 2023)
Colette "Coco" Weber has relocated to her Catalina Island home, where, twenty years before, she was the sole survivor of a deadly home invasion. All Coco wants is to see her aunt Gwen, get as far away from her ex as possible, and get back to her craft--writing obituaries. Thankfully, her college best friend, Maddy, owns the local paper and has a job sure to keep Coco busy, considering the number of elderly folks who are dying on the island. But as Coco learns more about these deaths, she quickly realizes that the circumstances surrounding them are remarkably similar...and not natural. Then Coco receives a sinister threat in the mail: her own obituary. As Coco begins to draw connections between a serial killer's crimes and her own family tragedy, she fears that the secrets on Catalina Island might be too deep to survive. Because whoever is watching her is hell-bent on finally putting her past to rest.
The Attic Child by Lola Jaye (June / July 2023)
Two children trapped in the same attic, almost a century apart, bound by a shared secret. Early 1900s London: Taken from his homeland, twelve-year-old Celestine spends most of the time locked away in the attic of a large house by the sea. The only time Celestine isn't bound by confines of the small space is when he is acting as an unpaid servant to English explorer Sir Richard Babbington, As the years pass, he desperately clings on to memories of his family in Africa, even as he struggles to remember his mother's face, and sometimes his real name
Black Girls Must Have It All by Jayne Allen (April / May 2023)
After a whirlwind year, Tabitha Walker's carefully organized plan to achieve the life she wanted--perfect job, dream husband, and stylish home--has gone off the rails. Her checklist now consists of diapers changed (infinite), showers taken (zero), tears cried (buckets), and hours of sleep (what's that?). Don't get her wrong, Tabby loves her new bundle of joy and motherhood is perhaps the only thing that's consistent for her these days. When the news station announces that they will be hiring outside competitors for the new anchor position, Tabby throws herself into her work. But it's not just maintaining her position as the station's weekend anchor that has her worried. All of her relationships seem to be shifting out of their regular orbits. Best friend Alexis can't manage to strike the right balance in her "refurbished" marriage with Rob, and Laila's gone from being a consistent ride-or-die to a newly minted entrepreneur trying to raise capital for her growing business. And when Marc presents her with an ultimatum about their relationship, coupled with an extended "visit" from his mother, Tabby is forced to take stock of her life and make a new plan for the future.
Ride or Die: A Feminist Manifesto for the Well-Being of Black Women by Shanita Hubbard (March 2023)
A "ride-or-die chick" is a woman who holds down her family and community. She's your girl that you can call up in the middle of the night to bail you out of jail, and you know she'll show up and won't ask any questions. Her ride-or-die trope becomes a problem when she does it indiscriminately. She does anything for her family, friends, and significant other, even at the cost of her own well-being. "No" is not in her vocabulary. Her self-worth is connected to how much labor she can provide for others. She goes above and beyond for everyone in every aspect of her life--work, family, church, even if it's not reciprocated, and doesn't require it to be because she's a "strong Black woman" and everyone's favorite ride-or-die chick. To her, love should be earned, and there's no limit to what she'll do for it. In this book, author, adjunct professor of sociology, and former therapist Shanita Hubbard disrupts the ride-or-die complex and argues that this way of life has left Black women exhausted, overworked, overlooked, and feeling depleted. She suggests that Black women are susceptible to this mentality because it's normalized in our culture. It rings loud in your favorite hip-hop songs, and it even shows up in the most important relationship you will ever have--the one with yourself.
The Women Could Fly by Megan Giddings(January / February 2023)
Reminiscent of the works of Margaret Atwood, Shirley Jackson, and Octavia Butler, a biting social commentary from the acclaimed author of Lakewood that speaks to our times—a piercing dystopian novel about the unbreakable bond between a young woman and her mysterious mother, set in a world in which witches are real and single women are closely monitored. Danielle Prescod grew up Black in an elite and overwhelmingly white community, her identity made more invisible by the whitewashed movies, television, magazines, and books she and her classmates voraciously consumed. Danielle took her cue from the world around her and aspired to shrink her identity into that box, setting increasingly poisonous goals. She started painful and damaging chemical hair treatments in elementary school, began depriving herself of food when puberty hit, and tried to control her image through the most unimpeachable, impeccable fashion choices.
Token Black Girl by Danielle Prescod (November / December 2022)
Racial identity, pop culture, and delusions of perfection collide in an eye-opening and refreshingly frank memoir by fashion and beauty insider Danielle Prescod. Danielle Prescod grew up Black in an elite and overwhelmingly white community, her identity made more invisible by the whitewashed movies, television, magazines, and books she and her classmates voraciously consumed. Danielle took her cue from the world around her and aspired to shrink her identity into that box, setting increasingly poisonous goals. She started painful and damaging chemical hair treatments in elementary school, began depriving herself of food when puberty hit, and tried to control her image through the most unimpeachable, impeccable fashion choices.
The Black Girl's Guide to Financial Freedom by Paris Woods (October 2022)
Are you tired of spinning your wheels following financial advice that leaves you feeling broker than before? Are you pulling your hair out trying to follow the complicated instructions offered by the gurus? In The Black Girl's Guide to Financial Freedom, Paris Woods takes the guesswork out of wealth-building and presents a plan that anyone can follow.
Nightcrawling by Leila Mottley (August/September 2022)
Kiara and her brother, Marcus, are scraping by in an East Oakland apartment complex optimistically called the Regal-Hi. Both have dropped out of high school, their family fractured by death and prison But while Marcus clings to his dream of rap stardom, Kiara hunts for work to pay their rent—which has more than doubled—and to keep the nine-year-old boy next door, abandoned by his mother, safe and fed. One night, what begins as a drunken misunderstanding with a stranger turns into the job Kiara never imagined wanting but now desperately needs: nightcrawling. Her world breaks open even further when her name surfaces in an investigation that exposes her as a key witness in a massive scandal within the Oakland Police Department.
You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty by Akwaeke Emezi (June/July 2022)
It’s been five years since the accident that killed the love of her life and she’s almost a new person now—an artist with her own studio and sharing a brownstone apartment with her ride-or-die best friend, Joy, who insists it’s time for Feyi to ease back into the dating scene. Feyi isn’t ready for anything serious, but a steamy encounter at a rooftop party cascades into a whirlwind summer she could have never imagined: a luxury trip to a tropical island, decadent meals in the glamorous home of a celebrity chef, and a major curator who wants to launch her art career.
Memphis by Tara M. Stringfellow (April / May 2022)
Summer 1995: Ten-year-old Joan, her mother, and her younger sister flee her father’s explosive temper and seek refuge at her mother’s ancestral home in Memphis. This is not the first time violence has altered the course of the family’s trajectory. Half a century earlier, Joan’s grandfather built this majestic house in the historic Black neighborhood of Douglass—only to be lynched days after becoming the first Black detective in the city. Joan tries to settle into her new life, but family secrets cast a longer shadow than any of them expected.
Black Cake by Charmaine Wilkerson (February / March 2022)
In present-day California, Eleanor Bennett’s death leaves behind a puzzling inheritance for her two children, Byron and Benny: a traditional Caribbean black cake, made from a family recipe with a long history, and a voice recording. In her message, Eleanor shares a tumultuous story about a headstrong young swimmer who escapes her island home under suspicion of murder. The heartbreaking tale Eleanor unfolds, the secrets she still holds back, and the mystery of a long-lost child, challenge everything the siblings thought they knew about their lineage, and themselves.
If Someone Says "You Complete Me," RUN!: Whoopi's Big Book of Relationships by Whoopi Goldberg (January 2022)
Whoopi Goldberg has been an electrifying, envelope-pushing public figure of many stripes: acclaimed actor, comedienne, singer, songwriter, author, political activist and talk show host. Now, Whoopi will speak openly about why marriage isn't for everyone, how being alone can be satisfying, and how what's most important is understanding who you are and what makes you happy. Wise, funny, and conversation-starting, Whoopi's message is sure to resonate with the millions of people who struggle with relationships every day.
A Deadly Scoop by Abby Collette (November/December 2021)
Recent MBA grad Bronwyn Crewse has just taken over her family's ice cream shop in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, and she's going back to basics. Win is renovating Crewse Creamery to restore its former glory, and filling the menu with delicious, homemade ice cream flavors—many from her grandmother’s original recipes. But unexpected construction delays mean she misses the summer season, and the shop has a literal cold opening: the day she opens her doors an early first snow descends on the village and keeps the customers away.
In Every Mirror She's Black by Lolá Ákínmádé Åkerström (October 2021)
Three Black women are linked in unexpected ways to the same influential white man in Stockholm as they build their new lives in the most open society run by the most private people. Successful marketing executive Kemi Adeyemi is lured from the U.S. to Sweden by Jonny von Lundin, CEO of the nation's largest marketing firm, to help fix a PR fiasco involving a racially tone-deaf campaign. A killer at work but a failure in love, Kemi's move is a last-ditch effort to reclaim her social life.When Shane and Eva meet unexpectedly at a literary event, sparks fly, raising not only their buried traumas, but the eyebrows of the Black literati. What no one knows is that fifteen years earlier, teenage Eva and Shane spent one crazy, torrid week madly in love. While they may be pretending not to know each other, they can't deny their chemistry—or the fact that they've been secretly writing to each other in their books through the years.
Seven Days in June by Tia Williams (August/September 2021)
Eva Mercy is a single mom and bestselling erotica writer who is feeling pressed from all sides. Shane Hall is a reclusive, enigmatic, award‑winning novelist, who, to everyone's surprise, shows up in New York. When Shane and Eva meet unexpectedly at a literary event, sparks fly, raising not only their buried traumas, but the eyebrows of the Black literati. What no one knows is that fifteen years earlier, teenage Eva and Shane spent one crazy, torrid week madly in love. While they may be pretending not to know each other, they can't deny their chemistry—or the fact that they've been secretly writing to each other in their books through the years.
When No One Is Watching: A Thriller by Alyssa Cole (July 2021)
Rear Window meets Get Out in this gripping thriller from a critically acclaimed and New York Times Notable author, in which the gentrification of a Brooklyn neighborhood takes on a sinister new meaning. Sydney Green is Brooklyn born and raised, but her beloved neighborhood seems to change every time she blinks. Condos are sprouting like weeds, FOR SALE signs are popping up overnight, and the neighbors she’s known all her life are disappearing. To hold onto her community’s past and present, Sydney channels her frustration into a walking tour and finds an unlikely and unwanted assistant in one of the new arrivals to the block—her neighbor Theo.
The Other Wife by Zakiya Dalila Harris (June 2021)
Twenty-six-year-old editorial assistant Nella Rogers is tired of being the only Black employee at Wagner Books. Fed up with the isolation and microaggressions, she’s thrilled when Harlem-born and bred Hazel starts working in the cubicle beside hers. They’ve only just started comparing natural hair care regimens, though, when a string of uncomfortable events elevates Hazel to Office Darling, and Nella is left in the dust.
Yellow Wife by Sadeqa Johnson (April/May 2021)
Born on a plantation in Charles City, Virginia, Pheby Delores Brown has lived a relatively sheltered life. Shielded by her mother’s position as the estate’s medicine woman and cherished by the Master’s sister, she is set apart from the others on the plantation, belonging to neither world.
This Close to Okay by Leesa Cross-Smith (February/March 2021)
On a rainy October night in Kentucky, recently divorced therapist Tallie Clark is on her way home from work when she spots a man precariously standing at the edge of a bridge. Without a second thought, Tallie pulls over and jumps out of the car into the pouring rain. She convinces the man to join her for a cup of coffee, and he eventually agrees to come back to her house, where he finally shares his name: Emmett.
The Mothers by Brit Bennett (January 2021)
Set within a contemporary black community in Southern California, Brit Bennett's mesmerizing first novel is an emotionally perceptive story about community, love, and ambition. It begins with a secret.
Luster by Raven Leilani (November/December 2020)
Irresistibly unruly and strikingly beautiful, razor-sharp and slyly comic, sexually charged and utterly absorbing, Raven Leilani’s Luster is a portrait of a young woman trying to make sense of her life―her hunger, her anger―in a tumultuous era. It is also a haunting, aching description of how hard it is to believe in your own talent, and the unexpected influences that bring us into ourselves along the way.
The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi (OCTOBER 2020)
One afternoon, in a town in southeastern Nigeria, a mother opens her front door to discover her son’s body, wrapped in colorful fabric, at her feet. What follows is the tumultuous, heart-wrenching story of one family’s struggle to understand a child whose spirit is both gentle and mysterious.
Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson (SEPTEMBER 2020)
Moving forward and backward in time, Jacqueline Woodson's taut and powerful new novel uncovers the role that history and community have played in the experiences, decisions, and relationships of these families, and in the life of the new child.
My Sister, The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite (AUGUST 2020)
Korede’s sister Ayoola is many things: the favorite child, the beautiful one, possibly sociopathic. And now Ayoola’s third boyfriend in a row is dead, stabbed through the heart with Ayoola’s knife. Korede’s practicality is the sisters’ saving grace. She knows the best solutions for cleaning blood (bleach, bleach, and more bleach), the best way to move a body (wrap it in sheets like a mummy), and she keeps Ayoola from posting pictures to Instagram when she should be mourning her “missing” boyfriend. Not that she gets any credit. Korede has long been in love with a kind, handsome doctor at the hospital where she works. She dreams of the day when he will realize that she’s exactly what he needs. But when he asks Korede for Ayoola’s phone number, she must reckon with what her sister has become and how far she’s willing to go to protect her.
Hood Feminism by Mikki Kendall (MAY 2020)
Mikki Kendall takes aim at the legitimacy of the modern feminist movement arguing that it has chronically failed to address the needs of all but a few women. Drawing on her own experiences with hunger, violence, and hypersexualization, along with incisive commentary on politics, pop culture, the stigma of mental health, and more, Hood Feminism delivers an irrefutable indictment of a movement in flux. An unforgettable debut, Kendall has written a ferocious clarion call to all would-be feminists to live out the true mandate of the movement in thought and in deed.
Lakewood by Megan Giddings (JULY 2020)
Provocative and thrilling, Lakewood is a breathtaking novel that takes an unflinching look at the moral dilemmas many working-class families face, and the horror that has been forced on black bodies in the name of science.
The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett (JUNE 2020)
The Vignes twin sisters will always be identical. But after growing up together in a small, southern black community and running away at age sixteen, it's not just the shape of their daily lives that is different as adults, it's everything: their families, their communities, their racial identities. Many years later, one sister lives with her black daughter in the same southern town she once tried to escape. The other secretly passes for white, and her white husband knows nothing of her past. Still, even separated by so many miles and just as many lies, the fates of the twins remain intertwined. What will happen to the next generation, when their own daughters' storylines intersect?
I Almost Forgot About You by Terry McMillan (JANUARY 2020)
In I Almost Forgot About You, Dr. Georgia Young's wonderful life—great friends, family, and successful career—aren't enough to keep her from feeling stuck and restless. When she decides to make some major changes in her life, including quitting her job as an optometrist and moving house, she finds herself on a wild journey that may or may not include a second chance at love. Georgia’s bravery reminds us that it’s never too late to become the person you want to be, and that taking chances, with your life and your heart, are always worthwhile.
Small Doses by Amanda Seales (DECEMBER 2020)
This volume of essays, axioms, original illustrations, and photos provides Seales’s trademark “self-help from the hip” style of commentary, fueled by ideology formed from her own victories, struggles, research, mistakes, risks, and pay-offs. Unapologetic, fiercely funny, and searingly honest, Small Doses engages, empowers, and enlightens readers on how to find their truths while still finding the funny!
Such A Fun Age by Kiley Reid (APRIL 2020)
With empathy and piercing social commentary, Such a Fun Age explores the stickiness of transactional relationships, what it means to make someone "family," and the complicated reality of being a grown up. It is a searing debut for our times.
Black Girls Must Die Exhausted And Baby Makes Two by Jayne Allen (FEBRUARY 2020)
"Black girls must die exhausted" is a phrase that Tabitha Walker knows all too well. After diving headfirst into the world of 'single mothers by choice'--Tabitha is exhausted. And that's before her boss at the local news station starts getting complaints about Tabitha wearing her natural hair on-air. When an unexpected turn of events draws Marc--her on and off-again ex-boyfriend--back into her world with surprising demands and the situation at work begins to threaten both her livelihood and her identity, she must make some tough decisions about her future. It takes a village to raise a child, and Tabitha knows she is going to need the support. With the fierce encouragement of Ms. Gretchen, her grandmother's best friend, the counsel of her closest friends Laila and Alexis, and the calming presence of Andouele, her doula, she must find the strength to navigate the path to motherhood on her own terms. Can Tabitha harness the bravery and self-love she'll need to keep "the village" intact, find her voice at work, and handle Marc once and for all before it's time for the baby to arrive?
The Source of Self Regard by Toni Morrison (NOVEMBER 2019)
An essential collection from an essential writer, The Source of Self-Regard shines with the literary elegance, intellectual prowess, spiritual depth, and moral compass that have made Toni Morrison our most cherished and enduring voice.
Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams (AUGUST 2019)
Queenie Jenkins is a twenty-five-year-old Jamaican British woman living in London, straddling two cultures and slotting neatly into neither. She works at a national newspaper, where she’s constantly forced to compare herself to her white middle class peers. After a messy break up from her long-term white boyfriend, Queenie seeks comfort in all the wrong places…including several hazardous men who do a good job of occupying brain space and a bad job of affirming self-worth.
Black Girls Must Die Exhausted by Jayne Allen (JULY 2019)
“Black girls must die exhausted” is something that 33-year-old Tabitha Walker has heard her grandmother say before. Of course, her grandmother (who happens to be white) was referring to the 1950’s and what she observed in the nascent times of civil rights. With a coveted position as a local news reporter, Marc-- a “paper-perfect” boyfriend, and a standing Saturday morning appointment with a reliable hairstylist, Tabitha never imagined how this phrase could apply to her as a black girl in contemporary times – until everything changed.An unexpected doctor’s diagnosis awakens Tabitha to an unperceived culprit, threatening the one thing that has always mattered most - having a family of her own. With the help of her best friends, the irreverent and headstrong Laila and Alexis, the former “Sexy Lexi," Tabitha must explore the reaches of modern medicine and test the limits of her relationships to beat the ticking clock on her dreams of becoming a wife and mother.She must leverage the power of laughter, love, and courageous self-care to bring a healing stronger than she ever imagined - before the phrase “black girls must die exhausted” takes on a new and unwanted meaning in her own life
The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls by Anissa Gray (JUNE 2019)
The Butler family has had their share of trials—as sisters Althea, Viola, and Lillian can attest—but nothing prepared them for the literal trial that will upend their lives. Althea, the eldest sister and substitute matriarch, is a force to be reckoned with and her younger sisters have alternately appreciated and chafed at her strong will. They are as stunned as the rest of the small community when she and her husband, Proctor, are arrested, and in a heartbeat the family goes from one of the most respected in town to utter disgrace. The worst part is, not even her sisters are sure exactly what happened.
Everything's Trash But It's Okay by Phoebe Robinson (MAY 2019)
Written in her trademark unfiltered and witty style, Robinson's latest collection is a call to arms. Outfitted with on-point pop culture references, these essays tackle a wide range of topics: giving feminism a tough-love talk on intersectionality, telling society's beauty standards to kick rocks, and calling foul on our culture's obsession with work
The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas (APRIL 2019)
Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.
Becoming by Michelle Obama (FEBRUARY 2019)
Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her—from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it—in her own words and on her own terms. Warm, wise, and revelatory, Becoming is the deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations—and whose story inspires us to do the same.
Shifting: The Double Lives of Black Women in America by Charisse Jones (JANUARY 2019)
Based on the African American Women's Voices Project, Shifting reveals that a large number of African American women feel pressure to com-promise their true selves as they navigate America's racial and gender bigotry. Black women "shift" by altering the expectations they have for themselves or their outer appearance. They modify their speech. They shift "White" as they head to work in the morning and "Black" as they come back home each night. They shift inward, internalizing the searing pain of the negative stereotypes that they encounter daily. And sometimes they shift by fighting back. With deeply moving interviews, poignantly revealed on each page, Shifting is a much-needed, clear, and comprehensive portrait of the reality of African American women's lives today.
An American Marriage by Tayari Jones (DECEMBER 2019)
This stirring love story is a profoundly insightful look into the hearts and minds of three people who are at once bound and separated by forces beyond their control. An American Marriage is a masterpiece of storytelling, an intimate look deep into the souls of people who must reckon with the past while moving forward—with hope and pain—into the future.
Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower by Brittney Cooper (NOVEMBER 2018)
Eloquent rage keeps us all honest and accountable. It reminds women that they don’t have to settle for less. When Cooper learned of her grandmother's eloquent rage about love, sex, and marriage in an epic and hilarious front-porch confrontation, her life was changed. And it took another intervention, this time staged by one of her homegirls, to turn Brittney into the fierce feminist she is today.
This Will Be My Undoing: Living at the Intersection of Black, Female, and Feminist in (White) America by Morgan Jerkins (October 2018)
In This Will Be My Undoing, Jerkins becomes both narrator and subject to expose the social, cultural, and historical story of black female oppression that influences the black community as well as the white, male-dominated world at large.