4 Books by Black Authors to Add to Your Reading List

4 Books by Black Authors featured by top BIPOC blogger, Alicia Tenise

Black History Month might be coming to an end next week, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t keep learning those important history lessons that weren’t taught in school or supporting Black creators.

Did you know that in the U.S., roughly 6% of books are written by Black authors? This summer, I’ll be joining the small percentage of Black authors in the industry when my lifestyle guide comes out — I hope to fill you in with more details about my book as soon as I get the green light from my publisher.

In the meantime, I’ve spent most of the past couple of years reading a variety of titles from Black authors, and I wanted to share some of my favorite books that you can enjoy during Black History Month and beyond.

4 Books by Black Authors featured by top BIPOC blogger, Alicia Tenise

4 Books by Black Authors on Amazon

Ace of Spades

I brought this book to Cancun for vacation last month, and I read this in 2.5 days. I could not put it down, and it was anything but predictable! The twists, the drama…it was all too good!

Ace of Spades is a great YA title that felt like Gossip Girl meets Pretty Little Liars meets Get Out. I cannot believe how young the author is: Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé is exceptionally talented and wrote her debut novel as a college student. I can’t wait to see more work from her, and I think she’s an author to watch.

 

The Vanishing Half

The Vanishing Half tells the story of two identical twins who run away from home at the age of sixteen, who end up growing apart and leading completely different lives. For me, this book started a bit slow, but trust me: you’ll want to power through the first couple of chapters.

I love how this book tackled the issues of race, bigotry, and belonging, as these sisters ultimately rejected their upbringing and went off to carve their own identities. As an adult, it makes you think: what happens when you move on from your hometown to reinvent yourself? And how will those choices trickle down within your family?

 
 
 

Becoming

Dear Barack: I’m very sorry, but: I liked Michelle’s memoir more. 

In all seriousness, if for some reason you haven’t read Becoming yet, it’s a must-read. It’s a beautiful, honest, and humbling story of the First Lady that’s sure to inspire you when you need it the most. Michelle Obama has had an extraordinary life and is incredibly brilliant, but I love how this memoir makes her seem more down-to-earth and relatable. I don’t listen to too many audiobooks, but after reading Mrs. Obama’s memoir, I had to turn around and listen to it again on Audible (it is completely worth it — something about her voice is just so comforting!)

 

The Hate U Give

The Hate U Give came out several years ago and even has been adapted into a movie, but for some reason, it didn’t really get on my radar until June of 2020.

This book follows a Black teen who is caught between two worlds: her elitist prep school and the low-income neighborhood she resides in. Starr witnesses the death of one of her best friends at the hands of the police and is caught in the aftermath. I struggled mentally during the George Floyd protests, and I cried while reading this (and have re-read it a few times). It’s an excellent, gut-wrenching story that is a must-read.

 

What about you? Which are your favorite books by Black authors? Let me know in the comments below!

Top Photos by Tom McGovern

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4 Comments

  1. Christine wrote:

    Thank you for the recs! Ace of Spades is the only one of these I haven’t read – it’s on my to-read list!

    Do you ever read romance? I love Jasmine Guillory’s books (starting with The Wedding Date).

    I read a lot of fantasy and highly recommend (if you’re into the genre) The Gilded Ones, The Rage of Dragons, A Song of Wraiths and Ruin, and Children of Blood and Bone. Or anything by N.K. Jemisin or Nnedi Okorafor.

    Posted 2.22.22 Reply
    • Alicia wrote:

      Oooh I don’t read romance too often, but I’m also not opposed to it either! Adding the Wedding Date to my list!

      Posted 2.24.22 Reply
    • Abby wrote:

      I know I’m not Alicia but thank you for these recs! I’ve read all of the above and I’m always looking for more.

      Posted 2.24.22 Reply
  2. Katherine wrote:

    Thanks for the excellent recommendations! I hadn’t yet read Ace of Spades, so I picked it up based on your recommendation and could not put it down! I don’t usually read YA but this was riveting (and terrifying!)

    Posted 5.16.22 Reply