“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
Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You
A Remix of the National Book Award-winning Stamped from the Beginning
“What an amazing, passionate and fast-paced take on Kendi’s original Stamped from the Beginning! It takes you on a journey of racist ideas from then to now, the how and why it still lingers on. Reynolds’s engaging way with words will connect with young adults, and everyone else too. This is a book for everyone to read, so that we all can do better in identifying and stamping out racist thoughts.”Anne, Newtonville Books
How the Word Is Passed
A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America
"We need this book." —Ibram X. Kendi, #1 New York Times bestselling author of How to be an Anti-Racist
The Atlantic staff writer and poet Clint Smith's revealing, contemporary portrait of America as a slave owning nation
Beginning in his hometown of New Orleans, Clint Smith leads the reader on an unforgettable tour of monuments and landmarks—those...
Deacon King Kong
“ James McBride has written a masterpiece with Deacon King Kong. The writing is a tapestry of story lines woven together with the skill of a master craftsman. The narrating is in a class by itself. This is absolutely the perfect book to lose yourself in. Straight up 10!”Mary, Anderson's Bookshop
“This is a flippin’ gorgeous book. The writing is exquisite, the story is moving, and the characters are rendered with the skill of a true artist. Can you tell that I enjoyed this? Transcendent Kingdom is about Gifty, a young neuroscientist studying addiction. We come into her story just as she has taken her depressed mother into her care and is wrapping up an experiment. We see how her relationships with her mother, faith, and science have brought her to this point. If you need a book that is heartfelt and honest, read this one.”Izzy, Off the Beaten Path
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
The Haunting of Hill House meets Get Out in this chilling YA psychological thriller and modern take on the classic haunted house story from New York Times bestselling author Tiffany D. Jackson!
Marigold is running from ghosts. The phantoms of her old life keep haunting her, but a move with her newly blended family from their small California...Read more »
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
Ace of Spades
This program includes an author's note read by the author.
Gossip Girl meets Get Out in Ace of Spades, a YA contemporary thriller by debut author Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé about two students, Devon & Chiamaka, and their struggles against an anonymous bully.
All you need to know is . . . I’m here to divide and conquer. Like all great tyrants do....
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
The Nickel Boys (Winner 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction)
“This is the story of boys at a reform school in Florida in the 1960s. Based on the true story of the Dozier School for Boys, and the atrocities that took place there. This isn’t for the faint of heart; the cruelty and violence are terrible. However, Whitehead is a master novelist. The haunting beauty of his prose makes this a must-read. The narrator is split between 2 main characters, Elwood and Turner, and it is through their eyes that we meet the authorities at Nickel, like Spencer, Earl and Hennepin, all terrifying in their own way. And we meet the other boys, like Griff and Harper, each warped by the horrors they see. And each one has a story which Whitehead sometimes delves into, creating complex characters whose actions make sense for who they are. Whitehead elegantly moves the reader from Elwood’s early pre-Nickel days to events, past and present, at the school and into the future where archeologists and reporters have finally uncovered the truth. Beautifully written. Wonderfully read by JD Jackson. Highly recommended.”Kristine, Buttonwood Books and Toys
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 »
An American Memoir
“"I wanted to write a lie," Kiese Laymon says in the opening pages of his brutal, beautiful memoir, Heavy. The book is written in the second person, addressed to his mother, with whom Laymon shares a turbulent, intimate relationship. She feeds his mind with books, but critiques the way Laymon feeds his body as he struggles with his weight. She is his best friend, yet demands excellence through regular beatings. And yet, Laymon's complicated love for his mother is absolute. It is palpable in his voice as he reads the words he wrote for his mother, as he tells you his story of being a black boy, a black man, in Mississippi and America. This is a book that will knock you flat on your back. This is a book that will make you sob in the grocery store. Laymon had me captivated from the very first word he spoke. It was a privilege to listen.”Maggie, Square Books
A Little Devil in America
Notes in Praise of Black Performance
“Using Black performance as a loose organizing principle, Abdurraqib has written a brilliant, expansive, insightful, and personal book. There is something of Montaigne’s penchant for humility and brilliance in equal measure; of Susan Sontag’s use of cultural criticism to understand history and the self; of Zadie Smith’s verbal wizardry, playfulness, and wide-ranging curiosity; and Ross Gay’s sensitivity, sense of beauty and poignancy, and, ultimately, joyfulness. Another gift from this magical writer!”Jeff Deutsch, Seminary Co-op Bookstores
The 1619 Project
A New Origin Story
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.
In late August 1619, a ship arrived in the British colony of Virginia bearing a cargo of twenty to thirty enslaved people from Africa. Their arrival led to the barbaric and... Read more »
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 »
Amari and the Night Brothers
Supernatural Investigations: Book #1
If you enjoyed The Trials of Apollo, Book One: The Hidden Oracle, then you’ll love Amari and the Night Brothers.
“This book was fun! As a reference point, I would say it's a Spy Kids/Men in Black/Percy Jackson/Harry Potter hybrid but honestly, it's in a class all of it's own. Amari was a wonderful main character. She is super smart and caring and despite the absolute terribleness of her peers, prevails by learning to trust herself and use her talents to stand out. There was lots of blatant and unpunished racism, classism, and and brutal meanness coming from the majority of Amari's classmates, both in the non-supernatural world and in the Bureau. On their first day, all trainees have to touch a magical orb and one of their already present abilities gets magnified and becomes a special ability (ie general luckiness becomes unnatural/always happens luckiness). When Amari is bestowed with an illegal ability, she becomes the target of both racism and a form of intense otherism in the supernatural world. I also loved her friendship with Elsie, who was the last of weredragons (like werewolves but for dragons!) and suffered her own share of bullies and otherism for being a bit dorky and for not having shifted to her dragon form yet. The audiobook edition of this novel was well done. Imani Parks gives a perfect voice to Amari and the other young main characters. This is a great read for juvenile readers (anywhere from advanced an advance 8/9 years to teens) and is fun and exciting for adults as well so would also be a great read-aloud book for guardians with younger readers. I would recommend for avid Percy Jackson and Harry Potter fans, those that enjoy spy or adventure books, and even those who enjoy fairy tale epics.”Kimi, Buttonwood Books and Toys
Read Until You Understand
The Profound Wisdom of Black Life and Literature
A BRILLIANT SCHOLAR IMPARTS THE LESSONS BEQUEATHED BY THE BLACK COMMUNITY AND ITS REMARKABLE ARTISTS AND THINKERS. Farah Jasmine Griffin has taken to her heart the phrase “read until you understand,” a line her father, who died when she was nine, wrote in a note to her. She has made it central to this book about love of the majestic power of... Read more »
The Final Revival of Opal & Nev
A JIMMY FALLON TONIGHT SHOW SUMMER READS SELECTION
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 ESQUIRE AND... Read more »
The New Jim Crow
Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, 10th Anniversary Edition
Seldom does a book have the impact of Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow. Since it was first published in 2010, it has been cited in judicial decisions and has been adopted in campus-wide and community-wide reads; it helped inspire the creation of the Marshall Project and the new $100 million Art for Justice Fund; it has been the winner of... Read more »
A Spy in the Struggle
Success used to be this savvy lawyer’s only rule. But now she’s putting everything on the line to bring a killer corporation to justice. Since childhood, Yolanda Vance has forged her desire to escape poverty into a laser-like focus that took her through prep school and Harvard Law. So when her prestigious New York law firm is raided by the FBI,... Read more »
A Song Below Water
“Tavia and her sister, Effie, are struggling with being themselves in a world where some people are born as mythological beings, like Sirens, Eloko and Gargoyles. Tavia is a Siren, a being that is feared because her Siren voice can be used to control others. In addition, she is Black, adding an additional layer of silencing. She lives in hiding and fear and frequently resorts to sign language when she cannot speak for fear of revealing her Siren voice. Effie is a Ren Faire performer and only feels herself when swimming or being Euphemia the Mer, her mermaid alter ego. At school she hates when attention turns to her and clams up, unable to speak. She is also troubled by secrets in her past, including her absent father. Tavia and Effie are everything to each other, even though they are sisters by circumstance rather than birth, and are able to truly talk to each other. With this support they learn to find and accept their voice and their true selves. The narrator alternates from one sister to the other throughout the book and each chapter has a unique voice and feel. Through a mix of reality and metaphor Bethany C. Morrow is able to tackle, without preaching, issues concerning Black women's voices being silenced.”Caroline R., Blue Willow 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
“Vern is a captivating protagonist from page one: gritty, determined, flawed, clever, and resourceful. The story slowly fills in all the details of a life that wasn’t what it seemed, and offers an ending you can’t predict. Sorrowland is beautiful, ugly, engaging, and awe-inspiring.”Sydne Conant, A Room Of One's Own Bookstore
Their Eyes Were Watching God
“A deeply soulful novel that comprehends love and cruelty, and separates the big people from the small of heart, without ever losing sympathy for those unfortunates who don’t know how to live properly.” —Zadie Smith
One of the most important and enduring books of the twentieth century, Their Eyes Were Watching God brings to life a Southern love...Read more »
Black Boy Joy
17 Stories Celebrating Black Boyhood
Celebrate the joys of Black boyhood with stories from seventeen bestselling, critically acclaimed Black authors--including Jason Reynolds (the Track series), Jerry Craft (New Kid), and Kwame Mbalia (the Tristan Strong series)!
Black boy joy is…
Picking out a fresh first-day-of-school outfit.
Saving the universe in an epic intergalactic... Read more »
Nervous Conditions: Book #1
The groundbreaking first novel in Tsitsi Dangarembga’s award-winning trilogy, Nervous Conditions won the Commonwealth Writers Prize and has been “hailed as one of the 20th century’s most significant works of African literature” (The New York Times). Two decades before Zimbabwe would win independence and ended white minority rule,... Read more »
Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?
And Other Conversations About Race
The classic, New York Times-bestselling book on the psychology of racism that shows us how to talk about race in America.
Walk into any racially mixed high school and you will see Black, White, and Latino youth clustered in their own groups. Is this self-segregation a problem to address or a coping strategy? How can we get past our reluctance to... Read more »
The Hate U Give
“This bestselling, powerful young adult novel about social justice and one teen girl's effort to fight for what is right, will leave you breathless. The narration by Bahni Turpin is hands down the best I've ever heard. This is such an important book it should be required reading for life in general. Or listening. Definitely listening.”Kristen, Tattered Cover
The Secret Lives of Church Ladies
If you enjoyed Milk Blood Heat, then you’ll love The Secret Lives of Church Ladies.
“A slim, sensual, and often sapphic collection of stories about women, relationships, and the church. Whether the tension breaks in laughter or tears, it will keep you neglecting real life in leu of listening. You will fall in love with these women. It's remarkable with Philyaw has accomplished in such a short little book. It's incredible.”Conner, BookBar
The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls
“For lovers of An American Marriage comes a thoughtful debut about family, secrets, and the damage one’s choices can cause to those you love. Told from many perspectives within one complex family, this novel tugged at me from all angles. I found myself understanding and empathizing with all the characters at different times, even though their choices and the consequences of those choices were vastly in contrast to one another. A very strong debut.”Jamie Southern, Bookmarks
The Black Kids
“As someone who was just a little older than the novel's main character when the Rodney King riots happened, I'm impressed by the many layers here. Hammonds Reed gets the details of the time just right, and Ashley Bennett is a very well-drawn character. It was fascinating to consider her thoughts and feelings set against the present circumstances we find ourselves in. I think adults and teens alike will find this a stirring novel filled with lessons we can all learn from.”Erin, Queen Anne Book Company
Black Leopard, Red Wolf
The Dark Star Trilogy: Book #1
“Black Leopard, Red Wolf is fantastically queer, black, and confounding! It is an enticing read, filled with love, sex, betrayal, and truths that are not so true.”Dartricia, @dartricia_
“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
Two Brothers, a Kidnapping, and a Mother's Quest: A True Story of the Jim Crow South
If you enjoyed American Heiress, then you’ll love Truevine.
“Kidnapped and closeted, eventually carousing across the countryside, Patty Hearst caused a media sensation throughout the 1970's with her radical rebirth as a criminal in the Symbionese Liberation Army. In an era of insanity, Hearst captured the heart of a nation with her plight, pleading for a pardon from prosecution and from two presidents. Author Jeffrey Toobin recreates the events and actions of Hearst during her 19 months as "Tania," a gun-toting urban guerrilla. Was she a victim of circumstance, a brain-washed, betrayed heiress or did she embrace the excitement away from her everyday existence? Take an eye-opening ride through history to see how clearly the Hearst's re-wrote the only acceptable ending of Tania's tale to be a happily-ever- after one.”Kristin, McLean & Eakin Booksellers
The Fire Next Time
At once a powerful evocation of his early life in Harlem and a disturbing examination of the consequences of racial injustice to both the individual and the body politic, James Baldwin galvanized the nation in the early days of the civil rights movement with his eloquent manifesto. The Fire Next Time stands as one of the essential works of our...Read more »
“This was quite the stunning debut - I loved the meta quality of the narration and the overall lyrical writing style. A powerful and commanding story! ”Lauren, Curious Iguana
Song of Solomon
An official Oprah Winfrey’s “The Books That Help Me Through” selection
With this brilliantly imagined New York Times bestselling novel, Toni Morrison transfigures the coming-of-age story as audaciously as Saul Bellow or Gabriel García Márquez.
Milkman Dead was born shortly after a neighborhood eccentric hurled himself off a rooftop in a vain... Read more »
The Ones Who Don't Say They Love You
A collection of raucous stories that offer a “vibrant and true mosaic” (The New York Times) of New Orleans, from the critically acclaimed author of We Cast a Shadow
“Every sentence is both something that makes you want to laugh in a gut-wrenching way and threatens to break your heart in a way that you did not anticipate.”—Robert Jones, Jr.,... Read more »
Red at the Bone
“Although you can read Jacqueline Woodson’s newest novel over the course of one evening, there is nothing breezy about the richness of its story, nothing short about the depth of its characters, nothing quick about the way this book stays with you after you finish reading. Told through five distinct voices, Red at the Bone tracks an African-American family through time and place as an unexpected pregnancy upends and reshapes family and class expectations as well as individual trajectories. Ultimately, the novel is about legacy in every sense of the word. And since Woodson’s writing packs the emotional punch of an epic in a novella number of pages, the legacy of her book is to be read over and over and over again.”Kelly Brown, Magic City Books
Ain't I a Woman
Black Women and Feminism 2nd Edition
A classic work of feminist scholarship, Ain't I a Woman has become a must–read for all those interested in the nature of black womanhood. Examining the impact of sexism on black women during slavery, the devaluation of black womanhood, black male sexism, racism among feminists, and the black woman's involvement with feminism, Hooks attempts to... Read more »
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Nic Stone comes a challenging and heartwarming coming-of-age story about a softball player looking to prove herself on and off the field.
Shenice Lockwood, captain of the Fulton Firebirds, is hyper-focused when she steps up to the plate. Nothing can stop her from leading her team to the U12 fast-pitch... Read more »
Now an HBO® series from J.J. Abrams (executive producer of Westworld), Misha Green (creator of Underground), and Jordan Peele (director of Get Out and Us), this brilliant and imaginative novel by critically acclaimed author Matt Ruff makes visceral the terrors of Jim Crow America, melding historical fiction, pulp noir, and Lovecraftian...Read more »
The Underground Railroad
Galardonada con el Premio Pulitzer 2017 y con el National Book Award, El ferrocarril subterráneo ha sido el acontecimiento literario del año en Estados Unidos.
Colson Whitehead es uno de los pocos escritores que ha conseguido ambos premios por el mismo libro. Con El ferrocarril subterráneo entra a formar parte del grupo de grandes nombres...Read more »
A Bustle “Most Anticipated Books of September 2021” Selection · An Esquire “Best Books of Fall 2021” Selection · A LitHub “22 Novels You Need to Read This Fall” Selection · A Kirkus Reviews “16 Best Books to Read in September” Selection · A Buzzfeed “Best Books Coming Out This Fall” Selection · A New York Times “Best Books Coming Out in... Read more »
Agricultural Resistance and the Black Freedom Movement
In May 1967, internationally renowned activist Fannie Lou Hamer purchased forty acres of land in the Mississippi Delta, launching the Freedom Farms Cooperative (FFC). A community-based rural and economic development project, FFC would grow to over 600 acres, offering a means for local sharecroppers, tenant farmers, and domestic workers to pursue... Read more »
An American Marriage
“Tayari Jones comes in fierce with An American Marriage. Delving into the lives of the newly married Roy and Celestial, this is a novel that pulls no punches from beginning to end. I won't ruin the surprise, but they're hit with a harrowing event that will define not only their relationship, but each of their lives, forever. Writing with an intensity and pace worthy of Donna Tartt, Jones yanks us into her characters' lives with a grip that never lets up. I cannot wait to put this in people's hands!”Angela Spring, Duende District
Playing In The Dark
Whiteness and the Literary Imagination
An immensely persuasive work of literary criticism that opens a new chapter in the American dialogue on race—and promises to change the way we read American literature.
Morrison shows how much the themes of freedom and individualism, manhood and innocence, depended on the existence of a black population that was manifestly unfree--and that came... Read more »
The Hill We Climb
An Inaugural Poem for the Country
Amanda Gorman’s powerful and historic poem “The Hill We Climb,” read at President Joe Biden’s inauguration
“Deeply rousing and uplifting.” —Vogue
On January 20, 2021, Amanda Gorman became the sixth and youngest poet to deliver a poetry reading at a presidential inauguration. Taking the stage after the 46th... Read more »