Lists · recommendations

12 Books I Love by Black Women

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Hello lovelies! How are you? I hope you had a lovely weekend! I really wanted to do a post in honor of Black History Month today, so I decided to make it a celebration of some amazing black female authors I’ve enjoyed reading and their wonderful books.

YA

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American Street by Ibi Zoboi

American Street is a beautifully written and powerful story about a girl who emigrates from Haiti to America with her mother to start a new life closer to their family. But when her mother’s detained she’s left to navigate her new reality including her loud, American cousins, the gritty street of Detroit and the complete foreignness of American culture alone.

The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

The Sun Is Also a Star is a sweet love story about two very different teens: Natasha believes in science and facts, Daniels believes in fate and love. When a chance meeting on a New York street leads to them spending one memorable day together, they’re both surprised by what happens.

Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor

Akata Witch is a magical story set in Nigeria about a Nigerian girl with albinism, who discovers she has magical powers. Along with her new friends she’s initiated into the Leopard society, a secret world that exists alongside our own – with it’s own culture, traditions and education system.

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Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

Children of Blood and Bone is an epic African inspired fantasy novel set in a kingdom where magic’s banned. It follows a girl who lost her mother the night magic disappeared on her quest to bring magic back, with the help of some unlikely allies.

Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert

Little & Lion is a coming of age story about a girl who’s back in LA after spending a year at boarding school on the East Coast. But coming home’s not always easy. Her brother was recently diagnosed with Bipolar 2, she’s questioning her sexuality, crushing on a new girl in her friend group and catching feelings for a childhood friend.
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

The Hate U Give is already a modern YA classic about race and racism in America. It follows 16 year old Starr, who witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood  friend at the hands of a white police officer and becomes involved in the Black Lives Matter movement in the aftermath.

ADULT

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Sassafrass, Cypress & Indigo by Ntozake Shange

Sassafrass, Cypress & Indigo is a hidden gem about three black sisters, a dancer, a weaver and the youngest – a girl with too much South in her. They come of age in Charleston with a single mother and move on to L.A and New York to pursue careers as artists and romantic relationships.

The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin

The Fifth Season is set in a post-apocalyptic world where environmental disasters happen at irregular intervals and some people have powers that give them some control over these events. We follow three black female characters with such powers on their journey through a shattered world.

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

Their Eyes Were Watching God is a classic for a reason. It’s a beautiful and lyrical coming of age story about a black woman who grows up in West-Florida, all her complicated love affairs and her journey of self-discovery.

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A Duke by Default by Alyssa Cole

A Duke by Default is a sweet and sexy romance novel set in Scotland, about a New York socialite who becomes an apprentice sword-maker. She discovers that her new boss, a gruff Scotsman, is actually a duke and offers to help him navigate the posh world of the aristocracy.

The Mothers by Brit Bennett

The Mothers is a brilliant novel which follows three black teens, two girls and one boy, on their coming of age journey. It explores the friendship and romantic entanglements that develop between them and explores the way the decisions they make as teens still affect their adult lives.

Sula by Toni Morrison

Sula is a powerful classic about two black heroines from a small town in Ohio, who grow up to live very different lives: Nel stays in the small Ohio town, marries and raises a family and Sula goes to college and submerges herself in city life.

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Have you read any of these books? What did you think of them? What’s your favorite book by a black female author? I’d love to get your recommendations!

36 thoughts on “12 Books I Love by Black Women

  1. What an amazing list of books!! I haven’t read anything by Nnedi Okorafor yet, but several of her books are on my tbr! And I need to read The Sun Is Also a Star before the movie comes out. Toni Morrison is one of my favorite authors that I had to read for school – I’ll never forget reading Beloved and being blown away by it. And THUG is ALWAYS an amazing book! 😀

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    1. Thank you so much! Nnedi Okorafor’s one of my favorite authors. I’ve really enjoyed everything I’ve read by her so far, I hope you will too 😊 I look forward to reading more Toni Morrison and Beloved is high on my list!

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  2. THUG will always remain one of the standout books of 2018 for me but unfortunately I didn’t finish CoBaB which is a shame because I genuinely wanted to love it. I haven’t read any Toni Morrison and feel like I need to rectify that in my life and I actually won a book subscription and the first book was The Fifth Season so that’s still pending!

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  3. Great post! I’ve not read any of these, but I do have to say that all of them sound intriguing. I’m hoping to read Children of Blood and Bone and The Hate U Give soon. I’ve heard so many amazing things about them that I’ve gotten caught up in the hype!

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  4. Another great list. Absolutely adored Akata Witch. I think Nnedi Okorafor is amazing. Jemisin too, although I wasn’t over the moon about The Fifth Season I’ve since read her short story collection How Long ‘til Black Future Month? And thought it was incredible. I definitely want to check out more from her.

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    1. Thank you so much! Nnedi Okorafor’s one of my favorite authors! I’ve only read Jemisin so far, but I’m excited to try more. I’ve been meaning to read more short fiction, so I’ll add How Long ‘til Black Future Month? to my TBR. Thanks for the recommendation! 😊

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      1. I hope you love it. I thought it truly showcased her versatility and talent as a writer. The whole time I was reading it I was convinced I’d somehow read The Fifth Season wrong since I didn’t love that one as much as everyone else.

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