February is Black History Month in the US. Many book recommendation lists for Black History month focus on historical fiction, memoirs, biographies, and books more serious in nature. While I’ve included a few of these into my recommendation list below, I really prefer to promote fiction books by Black authors this month. Books that are simply written by Black authors, have Black main characters, and fall into genres such as mystery, thriller, romance, fantasy and more. I really feel that it’s important to support our POC authors across all genres, more than simply reading more ‘educational’ books.
The Vanishing Half
Brit Bennett has quickly become one of my favorite authors. Her writing transports and in her second novel The Vanishing Half, Bennett mixes a family drama with historical fiction wonderfully.
The Boyfriend Project
Not only does The Boyfriend Project takes place in Austin, but it’s also about women in tech. I’ve said this multiple times but I love a good Texas based story and I LOVEEE books about women kicking butt and taking names. I especially love this when those women are in a Tech role, since I myself am a women in tech. Highly recommend this Romance book by Farrah Rochon and it fits perfectly with the Romance theme for February too!
The Nickel Boys
Based upon true events, at a ‘reform’ school in Florida, The Nickel Boys tells the story of the Dozier Reform School, which finally shut it’s doors after more than a century of abuse. While this is a fictional story, much of the events, names of places, and suffering are true. Colson Whitehead is a masterfully story teller, and even those this particular story is fiction, it reads like a straight true crime book.
Get a Life, Chloe Brown
The Brown Sister’s series by Talia Hibbert is delightfully fun, but the OG is Chloe Brown. Chloe is the cutest geek and once again this is a women who loves tech. If you’ve read Get a Life, Chloe Brown, make sure to check out Take a Hint, Dannie Brown which is out now and be sure to look out for Act Your Age. Eve Brown; which comes out March 9th!
The Water Dancer
A 2020 Let’s Read Rant Repeat Book Club pick, The Water Dancer perfectly meshing magical realism with historical fiction. Paired with plenty of factual incidents, this story weaves the power of song, The Underground Railroad, mysterious powers, and the road to freedom into one beautiful story.
The Broken Earth Trilogy
This one is for my fantasy lovers. The Fifth Season takes place on a planet with a single supercontinent called the Stillness. Every few centuries, its inhabitants endure what they call a “Fifth Season” of catastrophic climate change. If you like Science Fiction mixed with Fantasy, you will love this series. If you’ve read this series before, be sure to check out Jemisin’s newest Urban Fantasy series Great Cities.
The Wedding Date
Filled with plenty of lust and love, The Wedding Date is 1 part hallmark movie & 1 part steamy! Another great romance to sink into during the month of love. Oh, and if you love this book, there are 4 more in the series for you to continue on down the romance reading road.
My Sister the Serial Killer
Do you like murder mysteries? Do you like a bit of comedy? Then this book is perfect for you. This book will have you asking ‘WTF’ and is too short for it’s own good.
Children of Blood and Bone
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired Legacy of Orisha fantasy series. Book 1 & 2 in the series are out now. The date of release for the 3rd book has not been eleases so you have some time to get the first two books in.
A fabulous YA Fantasy & debut from Tracy Deonn! Filled with magic and romance, this is an intense but wonderful story. I personally cannot wait for the next book in the series to hit shelves.
The Girl Who Smiled Beads
I’m not a huge memoir person, but The Girl Who Smiled Beads is such a wonderfully and engagement memoir. Set during the Rwandan Genocide this is the story about survival and you will cry.
The Last Black Unicorn
I think Tiffany Haddish is terribly funny. When she came out with a memoir, I jumped to read it. I actually decided to audiobook this one. Narrated by Haddish herself, this had me in stitches. Highly recommend listening to this one, if you decide to pick it up.
I know there are lots of other great books out there. Even some in my picture for this post that I didn’t list. These are my favorites for various reasons. I also know there are so many books out there I have yet to read such as The Girl with the Louding Voice, so if you have any recommendations for me, leave them in the comments or send me a DM on Instagram @speakingof_books.