2019 looks to be another exciting year for new releases from black women authors so there is absolutely no excuse to have a reading list that isn’t diverse, regardless of your preferred genre. From literary fiction and YA to essays on the state of women’s bodies and rape culture, here are ten books just from the first half of the year alone that you don’t want to miss.
On the Come Up by Angie Thomas
From the bestselling author of The Hate U Give comes the story of a sixteen-year-old aspiring rapper with a legacy to live up to and more riding on her success than she ever imagined.
The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls by Anissa Gray
When eldest sister Althea is jailed along with her husband, the younger sisters she raised against all odds must now take care of Althea’s teenage daughters, forcing each of them to come to terms with the complex relationships that bind them together.
Thick: And Other Essays by Tressie McMillan Cottom
Tressie McMillian Cottom is a smart, clever writer and this is a collection of smart, clever essays on her experience and analysis of the politics of being a black woman and society’s treatment of black women—in particular, black women’s bodies.
Gingerbread by Helen Oyeyemi
The archetypes of fairy tales and family narratives are woven into this story of Londoners Harriet and her daughter Perdita, who bake their famous gingerbread using a recipe from Harriet’s homeland—a place never seen but long-held in Perdita’s imagination.
They All Fall Down by Rachel Howzell Hall
Seven strangers; a surprise invitation to a private tropical island and a murder. This fresh, modern retelling of the Agatha Christie classic, And Then There Were None, is a nail-biting thriller in its own right.
The Old Drift by Namwali Serpell
Beginning at the turn of the last century, this generational story of three families living through the colonization of Zambia, to the present and beyond. A rich, quietly beautiful debut novel.
American Spy by Lauren Wilkinson
In the heart of the Cold War, FBI agent Marie Mitchell is assigned to a task force aimed at undermining the communist government in Burkina Faso and taking down its president, Thomas Sankara. But in the course of her work, Marie becomes closer to Thomas than she ever imagined she would.
The Truths We Hold by Kamala Harris
Part political manifesto, part memoir, this look at Harris’ life from her childhood as the daughter of immigrants in Oakland to her powerful presence as a black woman in Washington, gives readers insight into Senator Harris’ early experiences and sheds light on the motivations behind her work and aspirations.
Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams
Queenie works at a national newspaper full of white middle-class people, has just broken up with her boyfriend and is currently looking for love in all the wrong places. It’s going to take a lot of soul-searching to get through this quarter-life crisis.