How the Word Is Passed
A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America
Instant #1 New York Times bestseller
Longlisted for the 2021 National Book Award for Nonfiction
Beginning in his hometown of New Orleans, Clint Smith leads the reader on an unforgettable tour of monuments and landmarks—those that are honest about the past and those that are not—that offer an intergenerational story of how slavery has been central...
“Colson Whitehead's Harlem Shuffle is a historical fiction mystery set in 1960s Harlem. A furniture salesman playing both sides, Ray occasionally gets rid of his cousin Freddie's stolen goods. When Freddie involves him in a heist that goes south, Ray's life turns upside down. Harlem Shuffle. shows the changing landscape of Harlem with a side of gangsters, extortion, crooked cops, and the everyday struggle of a Black business owner. This book is suspenseful and funny but also examines race and power in the ways Whitehead writes so masterfully.”Rachel, Avid Bookshop
The 1619 Project
A New Origin Story
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A dramatic expansion of a groundbreaking work of journalism, The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story offers a profoundly revealing vision of the American past and present.
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The Washington Post • NPR • Marie Claire
In late August 1619, a ship arrived in the British colony of... Read more »
The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois
An Oprah’s Book Club Novel
“This is the best book I’ve read this year. An ambitious debut novel tracing the history of one family against the backdrop of American history and showing the stories that are remembered and the ones that are forgotten.”Benedict Tanter, Main Point Books
The Personal Librarian
“I dearly loved this historical fiction based on the life of J.P. Morgan's personal librarian. My favorite combination of entertaining and educational!”Elizabeth Barnhill, Fabled Bookshop & Café
“I adore our former president and I miss him. Yet I cannot help but be ecstatic that Michelle is coming out with a book about her own life so that I can learn more about this powerful, intelligent, and singularly awesome woman. Barack would be the first to say that his wife is a superstar, and I can’t wait to get my hands on Becoming to read about her in her own words.”Jax, Bookshop Santa Cruz
The Other Black Girl
“This is the tale of two Black women co-workers in the cutthroat publishing industry trying to determine if they are friends or enemies. A literary fiction tale with a side of suspense, this expertly woven critique on society is bound to keep readers on the edge of their seats.”Kirsten Wilson, The Snail on the Wall
The Warmth of Other Suns
The Epic Story of America's Great Migration
“I'm sorry I hadn't gotten to this sooner. Wilkerson pulls together so much of what I already knew about the US but not necessarily why... a great audiobook, too.”Jamie, Flyleaf Books
“Luster is a hand grenade disguised as a coming of age novel. It's everything you want in a bildungsroman -- it's intimate, funny, and daring -- but in Raven Leilani's skilled hands it is also volatile and complex, a profound meditation on the intersection of race and loneliness, a thorny examination of sexuality and trauma, of power and privilege, and the subtle interplay between all of the above. It's also so absorbing and compelling that it's hard not to read it in one sitting. With 4 months to go, this is my favorite book published in 2020 so far.”Rachel, The Book Table
Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You
A Remix of the National Book Award-winning Stamped from the Beginning
“Inspiring the next generation of antiracists, Jason Reynolds’ remix of Ibram X. Kendi’s Stamped From the Beginning is outstanding. This accessible book for young readers is read in Reynolds’ laid back voice, with transitions between chapters delightfully filled with hip hop. Reynolds’ voice also shines through in the text, which he adapts to be not a “history book” (even though it has history in it) but a book about our present. He acknowledges that talking about race and privilege is uncomfortable, but guides readers through mindful breathing to get through it, because it’s important.”Mary, Raven Book Store
“At once gritty and graphic, tender and heart wrenching, Razorblade Tears is the story of two fathers hardened by life circumstances and their respective prejudices who seek vengeance against those who killed their gay sons. The audio was perfection. We NEED this novel to be on the big screen, with Denzel Washington playing Ike. ”Jessica, Main Street Books Davidson
"Ashley C. Ford brings listeners into her life in this outstanding coming-of-age story...Listeners will cheer as Ford attends college and weep as she visits her father in prison, and when he is finally released." -- AudioFile Magazine, Earphones Award winner
This program is read by the author, and includes a bonus conversation between the author...
“This book is haunting in the best possible way. I felt so keenly for Yetu, for the Wajinru and their histories, it gave me chills. Daveed Dig's narration was a well-matched piece in an already incredible project. I'm so glad this little novella came to be written so that I might share it.”Jane, Rediscovered Books
Deacon King Kong
“An amazing cast of characters and compelling storyline coupled with fantastic dialogue delivers a dynamic novel. One one level this is a great story, but on so many other levels it touches on the Great Migration and class and society - and also how regular folks cross many divides to simply just support each other through life. A great audiobook as well.”Jamie, Flyleaf Books
Four Hundred Souls
A Community History of African America, 1619-2019
“An absolutely stunning history of African America for people who do not normally read history. Compiled of short stories, essays, and poems, it is perfect for someone who is intimidated by lists of names and dates. Each individual voice stands on its own but together they truly make a 'choir' that flows together beautifully. This is a one-of-a-kind history that is essential reading for everyone.”Tia, Quail Ridge Books
Hell of a Book
***2021 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD WINNER***
***THE NATIONAL BESTSELLER***
Winner of the 2021 Sir Walter Raleigh Award for Fiction
Long-listed for the 2022 Carnegie Medal Fiction, the 2021 Joyce Carol Oates Prize, and the 2021 Aspen Words Literary Prize
A Read With Jenna Today Show Book Club Pick!
An Ebony Magazine Publishing Book Club Pick!
One of... Read more »
Stamped from the Beginning: A Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America
WINNER OF THE 2016 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FOR NONFICTION
A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER IN RACE AND CIVIL RIGHTS
FINALIST FOR THE 2016 NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FOR NONFICTION
THE MOST AMBITIOUS BOOK OF 2016 —The Washington Post
A BOSTON GLOBE BEST BOOK OF 2016
A WASHINGTON POST NOTABLE BOOK OF 2016
A CHICAGO REVIEW OF BOOKS BEST NONFICTION BOOK OF... Read more »
The Office of Historical Corrections
A Novella and Stories
“I have been holding my breath for Danielle Evans’ next book of short stories since Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self, and The Office of Historical Corrections was worth the wait. She delivers the same great storytelling, insight, and sharp cultural commentary. Her touch on themes usually associated with older people, such as redemption, reconciliation, and propitiation, moved me. I read the whole collection in two days.”Miesha Headen, Loganberry Books
The Nickel Boys (Winner 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction)
“Well written and informative book based on the real story of a reform school in Florida that operated for over one hundred years. The novel is rich in detail and plot twists and has a surprise gut wrenching ending. ”Mollie, HearthFire Books and Treats
“Gifty immigrated from Ghana, grew up in Alabama, and is working on a PhD in neuroscience at Stanford, where she experiments with mice. She has always felt she wasn’t cool enough or white enough, and tries to prove her value through her brilliance. She tells her raw and powerful story of racism, addiction, mental illness, and especially faith and prayer, all while trying hard to mend a complicated relationship with her mother. This second novel from the author of the award-winning novel Homegoing is compelling and so, so beautifully written.”Sally Weitzen, Wellesley Books
A Memoir of Surviving Boarding School
A sharp-witted and deeply insightful look into the storied world of elite prep schools from the first African-American legacy student to graduate from The Taft School.
Early on in Kendra James’ professional life, she began to feel like she was selling a lie. As an admissions officer specializing in diversity recruitment for independent prep... Read more »
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
Maya Angelou’s debut memoir is a modern American classic beloved worldwide. Her life story is told in the documentary film And Still I Rise, as seen on PBS’s American Masters.
Here is a book as joyous and painful, as mysterious and memorable, as childhood itself. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings captures the longing of lonely children, the brute... Read more »
How Beautiful We Were
A fearless young woman from a small African village starts a revolution against an American oil company in this sweeping, inspiring novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Behold the Dreamers.
ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: The New York Times, People • ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: The New York Times Book Review, The... Read more »
Girl, Woman, Other
“The twelve Black British women who are the central characters in Bernardine Evaristo's GIRL, WOMAN, OTHER are so vastly different that when their connections are slowly revealed, like a spider web you didn't see until the light hits it just so, you'll settle in and become entranced. I loved this deep dive into a part of British culture that isn't often depicted. The form is unusual but once you give yourself over to it, you'll see why it works. I particularly loved the last part of the book which reminded me of enjoying a long leisurely meal and still leaving room for the perfect dessert. The ending was terribly satisfying. Highly recommend.”Rachel, Avid Bookshop
The Water Dancer (Oprah's Book Club)
“Ta-Nehisi Coates understands something big and he understands it better than anyone else right now. The Water Dancer led me on a journey up and down the landscape of American slavery with a narrative that feels like The Book of Exodus meets, well, Ta-Nehisi Coates. Over 400 pages I have cried, I have laughed, I have been educated, and I have been enlightened. Coates writes with an honesty that can only come from a sublime, even spiritual, understanding of the souls of the white man and the black man in America. Written with poignancy and humanity, The Water Dancer left me stunned but clear-headed, like I had just been woken up from a deep, dream-filled sleep.”Norris Rettiger, Lemuria Bookstore
Yinka, Where Is Your Huzband?
“So modern and fresh. I adore Yinka.” —Emily Henry, #1 New York Times bestselling author of People We Meet on Vacation
“Feel good, funny, and clever.” –Josie Silver, New York Times bestselling author of One Day in December
Meet Yinka: a thirty-something, Oxford-educated, British Nigerian woman with a well-paid job, good friends, and a mother whose... Read more »
From the acclaimed Nobel Prize winner: Two girls who grow up to become women. Two friends who become something worse than enemies. This brilliantly imagined novel brings us the story of Nel Wright and Sula Peace, who meet as children in the small town of Medallion, Ohio.
Nel and Sula's devotion is fierce enough to withstand bullies and the... Read more »
A Little Devil in America
Notes in Praise of Black Performance
“Hanif Abdurraqib's exploration of Black performance in America is a cultural keystone that is chillingly relevant. Whether discussing the fact that a knowing look or advice on a route from a cashier is a form of a living Green Book that still exists because there are places Black people are not safe, to the origin of the card game spades or the difference between showing out or showing off, at the heart A Little Devil in America circles back to the fact that Black Americans have been forced to survive in places there were not welcome. The section on Black funerals pierced my heart. This book needs to be read, taught, underlined and discussed.”Rachel , Avid Bookshop
“Whoa. This is hardcore awesome. I hate to use popular books to compare, but it definitely is Ready Player One meets Hate U Give. And my favorite thing, there isn’t a specific heavy-handed message (at least in my opinion) which is the reason I don’t read too many popular books like this one. It asked some hard questions and left some of the decisions about the ‘correct’ answers for your own pondering. And the Libro.fm narration is great! A handful of narrators that made it feel rounded out and enthusiastic.”Leah, Bright Side Bookshop
Black Leopard, Red Wolf
The Dark Star Trilogy: Book #1
“Marlon James’ Black Leopard, Red Wolf is a shot across the bow of fantasy literature: bold, fresh, and filled with brutal wonder and endless imagination. James’tale set in a fantastical ancient Africa follows a hunter known only as Tracker as he trails the scent of a lost boy, meeting a shape-shifting leopard along the way. At turns hallucinatory, dreamlike, and nightmarish, Black Leopard, Red Wolf’s world envelops the reader in its stink, grime, sweat, and blood. Never has a magical world felt quite so otherworldly and yet frighteningly tactile at the same time. This is literary fantasy as you’ve never encountered it before and a truly original tale of love, loss, power, and identity.”Caleb Masters, Bookmarks
An Abolitionist's Handbook
12 Steps to Changing Yourself and the World
The audiobook features an introduction written and read by Prentis Hemphill as well as an exclusive bonus conversation with the author and adrienne maree brown.
In AN ABOLITIONIST’S HANDBOOK, Cullors charts a framework for how everyday activists can effectively fight for an abolitionist present and future. Filled with relatable pedagogy on the...
All That She Carried
The Journey of Ashley's Sack, a Black Family Keepsake
NATIONAL BOOK AWARD WINNER • A renowned historian traces the life of a single object handed down through three generations of Black women to craft an extraordinary testament to people who are left out of the archives.
KIRKUS PRIZE FINALIST • LONGLISTED FOR THE PEN/JOHN KENNETH GALBRAITH AWARD • ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: The... Read more »
His Truth Is Marching On
John Lewis and the Power of Hope
“Meacham's latest is a fascinating deep dive on John Lewis's formative years getting into good trouble as a civil rights activist in the 1960s. Anecdotes are pulled from both historical documentation and directly from interviews with Lewis himself. Narrator JD Jackson does a fantastic job, adding cadence for different speakers without a hint of caricature. Lewis's strong sense of justice and freedom, most often driven by faith, are on full display in this must-listen.”Amber, Quail Ridge Books
The first science fiction written by a Black woman, Kindred has become a cornerstone of Black American literature. This combination of slave memoir, fantasy, and historical fiction is a novel of rich literary complexity. Having just celebrated her 26th birthday in 1976 California, Dana, an African-American woman, is suddenly and inexplicably... Read more »
Between the World and Me
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NATIONAL BOOK AWARD WINNER • NAMED ONE OF TIME’S TEN BEST NONFICTION BOOKS OF THE DECADE • PULITZER PRIZE FINALIST • NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FINALIST • ONE OF OPRAH’S “BOOKS THAT HELP ME THROUGH” • NOW AN HBO ORIGINAL SPECIAL EVENT
Hailed by Toni Morrison as “required reading,” a bold and personal... Read more »
The Final Revival of Opal & Nev
An electrifying novel about the meteoric rise of an iconic interracial rock duo in the 1970s, their sensational breakup, and the dark secrets unearthed when they try to reunite decades later for one last tour.
A GOOD MORNING AMERICA BUZZ PICK
NAMED A BEST BOOK OF 2021 BY BARACK OBAMA * THE WASHINGTON POST * NPR * ESQUIRE * ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY *... Read more »
“Onyebuchi sets fire to the boundary between fiction and reality, and brings a crumbling city and an all too plausible future to vibrant life. Riveting, disturbing, and rendered in masterful detail.”—Leigh Bardugo
In his adult novel debut, Hugo, Nebula, Locus, and NAACP Image Award finalist and ALA Alex and New England Book Award winner Tochi...
So You Want to Talk about Race
A current, constructive, and actionable exploration of today’s racial landscape, offering straightforward clarity that readers of all races need to contribute to the dismantling of the racial divide
In So You Want to Talk about Race, editor-at-large of the Establishment Ijeoma Oluo offers a contemporary, accessible take on the racial landscape in...Read more »
A Daughter's Memoir
“Natasha Trethewey was 19 when her mother was murdered by her stepfather in 1985. For decades, she hid the event, and memories of her mother, in the recesses of her mind while she went on to win a Pulitzer Prize and become the Poet Laureate of the United States. Now, decades later, she opens herself up to her past to produce a harrowing yet beautiful memorial.”Mike , Northshire Bookstore
We Are Not Like Them
A GOOD MORNING AMERICA BOOK CLUB PICK
Named a Best Book Pick of 2021 by Harper’s Bazaar and Real Simple
Named a Most Anticipated Book of Fall by People, Essence, New York Post, PopSugar, New York Newsday, Entertainment Weekly, Town & Country, Bustle, Fortune, and Book Riot
Told from alternating perspectives, an evocative and riveting novel... Read more »
The Secret Lives of Church Ladies
“Having grown up in a Mississippi Southern Baptist church, it wasn't until I was a teenager that I saw the secret double lives of some of us. Rebelling against the submit to authority messages on Saturday night, but sitting pious and submissive come Sunday morning services was de rigueur. Deesha Philyaw's book The Secret Lives of Church Ladies gives voice to secret lives that I know for sure are lived and true. The need for acceptance, for absolution, for grace is ever-present in familiar relationships as well as those in the church. These short stories are divine.”Rachel, Avid Bookshop
All the Lonely People
“For fans of Fredrick Backman's Ove, All the Lonely People is all that and MORE. Hubert Bird is cantankerous, opinionated, and lonely. But Hubert has created a whole complicated imaginary life so that his daughter will not worry about him after the death of his wife. On weekly phone calls, he builds the house of cards and she inhabits it. Until one day...she decides to visit and Hubert has a problem. Hubert's journey is heartfelt and engaging. Incredibly human, charming, sweet, touching, and a reminder to enjoy what we have.”Rebecca, Rediscovered Books
First published in 1929, Passing is a remarkable exploration of the shifting racial and sexual boundaries in America. Larsen, a premier writer of the Harlem Renaissance, captures the rewards and dangers faced by two negro women who pass for white in a deeply segregated world. Read more »
Weaving together American history, dramatic family chronicle, and searing episodes of memoir, Annette Gordon-Reed’s On Juneteenth provides a historian’s view of the nation’s long road to Juneteenth, recounting both its origins in Texas and the enormous hardships that African-Americans have endured in the century since, from Reconstruction... Read more »
Call Us What We Carry
The instant #1 New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestseller
The breakout poetry collection by #1 New York Times bestselling author and presidential inaugural poet Amanda Gorman
Formerly titled The Hill We Climb and Other Poems, the luminous poetry collection by #1 New York Times bestselling author and presidential inaugural poet... Read more »
You Don’t Know Us Negroes and Other Essays
Introduction by New York Times bestselling author Henry Louis Gates Jr.
Spanning more than 35 years of work, the first comprehensive collection of essays, criticism, and articles by the legendary author of the Harlem Renaissance, Zora Neale Hurston, showcasing the evolution of her distinctive style as an archivist and author.
“One of the greatest...Read more »
“This was excellent on so many levels. It's been comped as a Bridget Jones + Americanah. But, I think that description does all three books a disservice. Queenie does have some LOL moments but it's has many more serious moments and issues. I listened to this and much of the listen, I was stressed as AF for Queenie. I listened to her make terrible decisions and choices and I listened to her hit rock bottom. And, the whole time, I was rooting for her to just get better. There are so many intersections of race, harassment, coming of age and friendships that it made it a satisfying read. And, just as important, the reader was FANTASTIC.”Audrey, Belmont Books
Milk Blood Heat
“Milk Blood Heat grabbed me and wouldn’t let go. The prose blisters with a beauty so raw and intense it borders on horrifying. With widely differing characters, voices, and settings, each story makes its own unique contribution to the collection, yet each propels the reader onward in turn. Dantiel W. Moniz is a jaw-dropping new star on the literary stage.”Audrey Beatty, River Bend Bookshop