February is Black History month, a time to celebrate and educate ourselves on Black heritage, culture, and traditions. And while we should be reading books written by Black authors every month of the year, we wanted to take this opportunity to highlight some of our favourite reads that celebrate Black joy and Black stories.
Luster – Raven Leilani
Edie starts dating a man in an open marriage, but unwittingly finds herself entwined in his family life more than originally planned.
Such a Fun Age – Kiley Reid
A young Black babysitter is wrongfully accused of kidnapping the white child she’s taking care of, and the aftermath unearths potentially life changing secrets.
Patsy – Nicole Dennis-Benn
This book tells the story of a mother who moves to New York in search of a better life and the daughter she left behind in Jamaica.
The Vanishing Half – Brit Bennett
Twin sisters leave their small, southern town at sixteen and eventually go their separate ways – one returning to the town with her daughter, and the other secretly passing as white.
Gingerbread – Helen Oyeyemi
With inspiration from Hansel and Gretel, this is a story about family legacy, grudges, and a gingerbread recipe.
My Sister, The Serial Killer – Otinkan Braithwaite
A dark comedy about a Nigerian woman whose younger sister has a pesky habit of killing her boyfriends.
The Death of Vivek Oji – Akwaeke Emezi
When Vivek Oji’s body is left at his mother’s doorstep, his family investigates to learn what happened and who Vivek was.
The Sellout – Paul Beatty
A satire on race relations in the United States.
Sci-Fi and Fantasy
A Blade so Black – LL McKinney
What if Buffy the Vampire Slayer went to Wonderland instead of Alice, and she was a Black bi girl from Atlanta?
The City We Became – NK Jemison
An incredible urban fantasy in which cities exist as human avatars and must protect their homes from a city-eating alien entity.
Black Leopard, Red Wolf – Marlon James
A renown hunter bands with a group of unusual characters, including a shapeshifter, to find a missing boy in a story that mixes mythology, fantasy, and history
Children of Blood and Bone – Tomi Adeyemi
A young woman must fight against an oppressive monarchy to restore magic in her kingdom before it’s gone for good.
A Princess in Theory – Alyssa Cole
When Nadeli mistakes Prince Thabiso for a pauper, he doesn’t exactly correct her in this mistaken identity rom-com.
Wrapped Up in You – Talia Hibbert
Incredibly famous (and very handsome) actor William Reid goes back to his hometown for Christmas, with one goal in mind: winning the heart of his forever crush Abbie.
The Hate U Give – Angie Thomas
Star Carter’s world is turned upside down when her best friend is shot and killed by a police officer during a traffic stop.
The Black Flamingo – Dean Atta
A coming of age story about the layers of identity told in stunning and powerful verse.
You Should See Me in a Crown – Leah Johnson
Liz’s hopes for leaving her small town ride on her winning the homecoming crown, but what happens when she starts to fall for the competition?
Essay Collections/Short Stories
Difficult Women – Roxane Gay
A collection of short stories that investigate the complex inner lives of women in different circumstances.
Intimations – Zadie Smith
A powerful collection of essays written and published during the first months of lockdown.
Wow, No Thank You – Samantha Irby
A hilarious collection of essays as Samantha Irby adjusts to her new life living in a fixer-upper-house in a red state.