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Extraordinary New Fiction for Black History Month

Extraordinary New Fiction for Black History Month

Check out these new books by contemporary Black writers to add to your year-round listening!

Playlist Tags: Newtonville Books

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Yonder

A Novel

By Jabari Asim
Narrated by: Joniece Abbott-Pratt, Lamarr Gulley, JD Jackson, Adam Lazarre-White, Imani Jade Powers & Janina Edwards
Length: 8 hours 16 minutes

The Water Dancer meets The Prophets in this spare, gripping, and beautifully rendered novel exploring love and friendship among a group of enslaved Black strivers in the mid-19th century.

They call themselves the Stolen. Their owners call them captives. They are taught their captors’ tongues and their beliefs but they have a language and rituals... Read more »

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Island Queen

A Novel

By Vanessa Riley
Narrated by: Adjoa Andoh
Length: 21 hours 15 minutes

Island Queen

“Both sweeping and intimate, beautiful and painful, this novel based on the life of Dorothy Kirwan Thomas is exquisite. Riley’s research is palpable in the detail of each chapter, and readers will find themselves compulsively turning the pages until the end.”

East City Bookshop image Destinee Hodge, East City Bookshop
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When the Reckoning Comes

A Novel

By LaTanya McQueen
Narrated by: Kara Young
Length: 8 hours 43 minutes

A haunting novel about a black woman who returns to her hometown for a plantation wedding and the horror that ensues as she reconnects with the blood-soaked history of the land and the best friends she left behind.

More than a decade ago, Mira fled her small, segregated hometown in the south to forget. With every mile she traveled, she distanced...

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Caul Baby

A Novel

By Morgan Jerkins
Narrated by: Joniece Abbott-Pratt
Length: 10 hours 52 minutes

Caul Baby

“Mothers and daughters and their fraught relationships are the heart of this novel. Secrets, loss, tragedy, and tradition inextricably bind and trap seven women in ways completely unknown to some and only partially known by others. In modern-day Harlem, as gentrification threatens and changes the landscape, life inside one brownstone continues remarkably unchanged and mostly hidden. Using magical realism and fascinating characters, Jerkins creates an often shadowy world. She masterfully highlights the effects of gentrification, racism and inequality, and abuse, while weaving a mesmerizing story of these mothers and daughters.”

Raven Book Store image Nancy, Raven Book Store
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The Vanishing Half

A Novel

By Brit Bennett
Narrated by: Shayna Small
Length: 11 hours 33 minutes

The Vanishing Half

“Bennett, by far, exceeded by expectations with her second book. It was completely engrossing with intricately woven prose and compelling characterization. One of the best books I read during lockdown.”

A Great Good Place for Books image Zinna, A Great Good Place for Books
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Such a Fun Age

By Kiley Reid
Narrated by: Nicole Lewis
Length: 9 hours 58 minutes

Such a Fun Age

“When I attempted to write a review for Such a Fun Age, I was at a loss for words. How could I encapsulate how Kiley Reid’s startling debut perfectly captured what it means to be a woman? The societal pressure, the self-doubt, the perseverance, the constant comparison — all of it was perfectly represented through Reid’s two wonderfully flawed and captivating leads. Follow Emira and Alix, two women on seemingly incongruous paths who find themselves searching for purpose and an authentic sense of self. Such a Fun Age tackles complex issues — race, gender, economic status, and the intersection of them all — yet remains accessible. You will not want to put this book down; when you do, you’ll be itching to pick it back up again.”

Flyleaf Books image Gennifer Eccles, Flyleaf Books
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Conjure Women

A Novel

By Afia Atakora
Narrated by: Adenrele Ojo
Length: 13 hours 58 minutes

A mother and daughter with a shared talent for healing—and for the conjuring of curses—are at the heart of this dazzling first novel
 
WINNER OF THE SOCIETY OF AMERICAN HISTORIANS PRIZE • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times • NPR • ParadeBook Riot PopMatters

“Lush, irresistible . . . It took me into the hearts of...
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The Death of Vivek Oji

A Novel

By Akwaeke Emezi
Narrated by: Yetide Badaki & Chukwudi Iwuji
Length: 7 hours 38 minutes

If you enjoyed Homegoing, then you’ll love The Death of Vivek Oji.

“I am fairly new to audiobooks because I've found myself to be incredibly picky when it comes to narration. That being said, I couldn't have picked a better book to listen to. Not only is this a beautiful and important story, but the narrators are nothing short of brilliant. I still think about this one often and highly recommend!”

The Yankee Bookshop image Nichole, The Yankee Bookshop
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Party of Two

By Jasmine Guillory
Narrated by: Janina Edwards
Length: 9 hours 25 minutes

A chance meeting with a handsome stranger turns into a whirlwind affair that gets everyone talking in this New York Times bestseller. 

Dating is the last thing on Olivia Monroe’s mind when she moves to LA to start her own law firm. But when she meets a gorgeous man at a hotel bar and they spend the entire night flirting, she discovers too late... Read more »

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Memorial

A Novel

By Bryan Washington
Narrated by: Bryan Washington & Akie Kotabe
Length: 8 hours 19 minutes

Memorial

“Don’t let the simplicity of Washington’s story and prose deceive you. This quiet story of two young gay men at the end of their relationship dives deep into the emotional truths we learn when we allow ourselves to try to fully understand those who surround us.”

Tattered Cover image Jeremy, Tattered Cover
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The Office of Historical Corrections

A Novella and Stories

By Danielle Evans
Narrated by: Joniece Abbott-Pratt, Nicole Lewis, Brittany Pressley, Shayna Small, January LaVoy, Adenrele Ojo & Janina Edwards
Length: 7 hours 13 minutes

The Office of Historical Corrections

“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.”

Loganberry Books image Miesha Headen, Loganberry Books
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The Ones Who Don't Say They Love You

Stories

By Maurice Carlos Ruffin
Narrated by: Adam Alexi-Malle & Asia Rainey
Length: 4 hours 40 minutes

NEW YORK TIMES EDITORS’ CHOICE • 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
 
SHORTLISTED FOR THE ERNEST J. GAINES AWARD • LONGLISTED FOR THE STORY PRIZE • ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR—Garden & Gun, Electric Lit •... Read more »

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Harlem Shuffle

A Novel

By Colson Whitehead
Narrated by: Dion Graham
Length: 10 hours 35 minutes

Harlem Shuffle

“A wonderful evocation of a time and place, which is not to say it doesn't have the tension of a crime thriller. It's fun to ride along with Ray, who may be more than a little bent, but will likely become your favorite furniture salesman, nevertheless.”

Books & Books @ The Studios of Key West image Robin, Books & Books @ The Studios of Key West
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The Mothers

A Novel

By Brit Bennett
Narrated by: Adenrele Ojo
Length: 9 hours 54 minutes

The Mothers

“The 'mothers' of this book's title refers to the gaggle of elderly churchgoing women who comment on the congregation around them, especially the trio of Nadia, Luke, and Aubrey. But The Mothers is about more than that -- it refers to the concept of motherhood, whether biological, lost, aborted, adoptive, or conflicted. The three young people at the heart of this story are all flawed, but their portrayals are realistic and they are easy for readers to support. This is a book about salvation -- not the spiritual salvation that the gossiping, but well-intentioned mothers seek, but the kind that comes with self-acceptance and growth. The Mothers is an honest, modern, and triumphant book.”

Women & Children First image Jamie Thomas, Women & Children First
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Girl, Woman, Other

By Bernardine Evaristo
Narrated by: Anna-Maria Nabirye
Length: 11 hours 6 minutes

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.”

Avid Bookshop image Rachel, Avid Bookshop
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The Fall of Saints

By Wanjiku wa Ngugi
Narrated by: Robin Miles
Length: 8 hours 16 minutes

In this stunning debut novel, a Kenyan expat living the American dream with her husband and adopted son soon finds it marred by child trafficking, scandal, and a problematic past. Mugure and Zack seem to have the picture-perfect family: a young, healthy son, a beautiful home in Riverdale, New York, and a bright future. But one night, as Mugure... Read more »

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Palmares

By Gayl Jones
Narrated by: Soneela Nankani
Length: 22 hours 39 minutes

2022 Pulitzer Prize Finalist in Fiction

A NPR BOOKS WE LOVE 2021 Selection

A New York Times “Biggest New Books Coming Out in September” Selection · A New York Times Book Review Editors Choice Pick · A Guardian “50 Biggest Books of Autumn 2021” Selection · An Esquire “Best Books of Fall 2021” Selection · A Buzzfeed “Best Books Coming Out This Fall”... Read more »

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Black Girls Must Die Exhausted

A Novel
Black Girls Must Die Exhausted: Book #1

By Jayne Allen
Narrated by: Marcella Cox
Length: 9 hours 52 minutes

“It’s a good thing that this is only the first book of a trilogy, because after getting to know Tabitha, you won’t want to leave her at the end. . . . Written intimately as if you’re peering into the mind of a close friend, this book is a true testament to the stresses on women today and how great girlfriends (and grandmothers) are often the key...

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Monster in the Middle

A Novel

By Tiphanie Yanique
Narrated by: Tiphanie Yanique, Oceana James, Karen Murray, Ronald Peet & George Silcott Jr.
Length: 10 hours 2 minutes

Reveals on every page how love can persevere and take shape over time and space.”—Boston Globe

"Transporting and deeply emotional.”Glamour


One of the most inventive and talented stylists of her generation.” Vulture

From the award-winning author of Land of Love and Drowning, an electric new novel that maps the emotional inheritance of one...
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Hell of a Book

A Novel

By Jason Mott
Narrated by: JD Jackson & Ronald Peet
Length: 9 hours 39 minutes

***2021 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD WINNER***

***THE NATIONAL BESTSELLER***

Winner of the 2021 Sir Walter Raleigh Award for Fiction, Joyce Carol Oates Literary Prize Finalist, 2022 Chautauqua Prize Finalist, Willie Morris Award for Southern Writing Shortlist, and the 2021 Aspen Words Literary Prize shortlist

A Read With Jenna Today Show Book Club Pick!

An... Read more »

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