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Black Voices Old and New

Celebrate Black voices during Black History Month and beyond with the 100 books in this playlist. From picture books to adult literary fiction and memoir to high fantasy, there's something for everyone in this list.

Playlist Tags: Asbury Book Cooperative genre: Non-Classifiable season: black history month topic: black authors

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Gingerbread

A Novel

By Helen Oyeyemi
Narrated by: Helen Oyeyemi
Length: 7 hours 28 minutes

Gingerbread

“Helen Oyeyemi's beautiful, sweet, almost sing-song voice is the perfect narration for Gingerbread's quirky and magical story. The novel flows like a river, twisting and turning in unexpected but pleasurable ways as we explore Perdita, her mother Harriet, and the mystery of their gingerbread recipe. Taking elements from traditional folk stories and blending them perfectly with modern struggles Helen has created a bedtime story that will fill your day with magic floating just outside your vision and a pull to get back to bed to listen more!”

Books & Company image Genavieve, Books & Company
Audiobook details

Indigo

By Beverly Jenkins
Narrated by: Robin Eller
Length: 13 hours 34 minutes

As a child, Hester Wyatt escaped slavery, but now the dark-skinned beauty is a member of Michigan's Underground Railroad, offering other runaways a chance at the freedom she has learned to love. When one of her fellow conductors brings her an injured man to hide, Hester doesn't hesitate . . . even after she is told about the price on his head.... Read more »

Audiobook details

How to Be an Antiracist

By Ibram X. Kendi
Narrated by: Ibram X. Kendi
Length: 10 hours 43 minutes

How to Be an Antiracist

“Among the multi-faceted array of antiracist literature newly published in the last two years, Ibram X. Kendi’s How To Be an Antiracist stands alone as a definitive source of history and socio-political critique, while offering a new paradigm of thought aimed at paving the way for correcting centuries of social injustice. Hearing this visionary and transformative work in Kendi’s own voice will no doubt bring it all straight into your heart, humanizing his ideas, and firmly setting you on your own path to doing the work of becoming an antiracist.”

Oblong Books image Noelle, Oblong Books
Audiobook details

Freshwater

By Akwaeke Emezi
Narrated by: Akwaeke Emezi
Length: 6 hours 42 minutes

An extraordinary debut novel, Freshwater explores the surreal experience of having a fractured self. It centers around a young Nigerian woman, Ada, who develops separate selves within her as a result of being born "with one foot on the other side." Unsettling, heartwrenching, dark, and powerful, Freshwater is a sharp evocation of a rare way of... Read more »

Audiobook details

Pet

By Akwaeke Emezi
Narrated by: Christopher Myers
Length: 5 hours 32 minutes

National Book Award Finalist

Stonewall Book Award Winner

"[A] beautiful, genre-expanding debut...Pet is a nesting doll of creative possibilities." (The New York Times)

The award-winning, genre-defying novel by the New York Times best-selling author of The Death of Vivek Oji that explores themes of identity and justice and asks: How do you share the... Read more »

Audiobook details

Black Leopard, Red Wolf

The Dark Star Trilogy: Book #1

By Marlon James
Narrated by: Dion Graham
Length: 23 hours 59 minutes

Black Leopard, Red Wolf

“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.”

Bookmarks image Caleb Masters, Bookmarks
Audiobook details

Between the World and Me

By Ta-Nehisi Coates
Narrated by: Ta-Nehisi Coates
Length: 3 hours 35 minutes

#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 »

Audiobook details

Queenie

By Candice Carty-Williams
Narrated by: Shvorne Marks
Length: 9 hours 45 minutes

Queenie

“Positively brilliant. I was completely blown away by this debut, in which 25-year-old Queenie Jenkins is navigating a lot. She recently went on break from a long-term relationship, she can’t seem to find her stride at her job with a national newspaper, and she’s constantly trying to figure out how to navigate the various components of her identity. The biggest question of all: Can’t she be loved just because, without her blackness being seen as exotic or a caveat? Candice Carty-Williams’ debut is a completely fresh voice that shines light on a literary perspective frequently overlooked — that of young, black women. An absolute must-read.”

East City Bookshop image Destinee Hodge, East City Bookshop
Audiobook details

The City We Became

A Novel
The Great Cities Trilogy: Book #1

By N. K. Jemisin
Narrated by: Robin Miles
Length: 16 hours 12 minutes

The City We Became

“I love N.K. Jemisin’s books, I love New York City, and I love this book about the soul and personification of New York. The City We Became might just be my favorite book to be published in 2020. This story is filled with tension, humor, and great characters, with a guest appearance near and dear to me. While this book is the beginning of a trilogy, it is completely satisfying as a stand-alone novel. Read it and be happy.”

Powell's Books image Doug Chase, Powell's Books
Audiobook details

Happily Ever Afters

By Elise Bryant
Narrated by: Jordan Cobb
Length: 10 hours 18 minutes

Jane the Virgin meets To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before in this charming debut romantic comedy filled with Black Girl Magic. Perfect for fans of Mary H. K. Choi and Nicola Yoon, with crossover appeal for readers of Jasmine Guillory and Talia Hibbert romances.

Sixteen-year-old Tessa Johnson has never felt like the protagonist in her own life.... Read more »

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The Poet X

By Elizabeth Acevedo
Narrated by: Elizabeth Acevedo
Length: 3 hours 30 minutes

The Poet X

“The Poet X is written and narrated by Elizabeth Acevedo. It is a novel made up of poems by a teenager, Xiomara Batista, growing up in Harlem. Acevedo's narration is wonderful and brings the story to life. Xiomara's dad is MIA even though he lives at home; her mother is extremely religious and pushes her faith onto her daughter; her twin brother is quiet and also working through his own feelings; she starts her first relationship with a guy; and all the time Xiomara is told what she can and cannot do, gets accosted by men, has to defend herself because no one else will, is questioning God and has no one to open up to. She releases her pent of feelings in a notebook. It isn't until her new English teacher introduces her to spoken poetry that she realizes that is what she is meant to be: a poet. This is a lovely story of a young, misunderstood girl, coming of age and showing the world that she is worth it. Great for adults who enjoyed Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson and extremely relevant literature for the #metoo movement.”

M. Judson Booksellers image Kelly, M. Judson Booksellers
Audiobook details

Real Life

A Novel

By Brandon Taylor
Narrated by: Kevin R. Free
Length: 9 hours 25 minutes

A FINALIST for the Booker Prize, the National Book Critics Circle John Leonard Prize, the VCU/Cabell First Novelist Prize, the Lambda Literary Award, the NYPL Young Lions Award, and the Edmund White Debut Fiction Award 
 
“A blistering coming of age story” —O: The Oprah Magazine


Named a Best Book of the Year by The New York TimesThe Washington... Read more »

Audiobook details

The Water Dancer (Oprah's Book Club)

A Novel

By Ta-Nehisi Coates
Narrated by: Joe Morton
Length: 14 hours 14 minutes

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 image Norris Rettiger, Lemuria Bookstore
Audiobook details

Long Way Down

By Jason Reynolds
Narrated by: Jason Reynolds
Length: 1 hours 43 minutes

Long Way Down

“One of the best parts of listening to this audiobook was getting to hear Jason Reynolds breathe further life into the heartbreaking words he wrote. I don't doubt the emotion would have been evident in the text, but as he said in the interview at the end of the audio, only he knew the right beats in order to make sure his message wasn't lost. I highly recommend listening if you get a chance. ”

Rediscovered Books image Dany, Rediscovered Books
Audiobook details

Brown Girl Dreaming

By Jacqueline Woodson
Narrated by: Jacqueline Woodson
Length: 3 hours 54 minutes

New York Times bestseller and National Book Award winner

Jacqueline Woodson, the acclaimed author of Another Brooklyn, tells the moving story of her childhood in mesmerizing verse. 
 
Raised in South Carolina and New York, Woodson always felt halfway home in each place. In vivid poems, she shares what it was like to grow up as an African... Read more »

Audiobook details

Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments

Intimate Histories of Social Upheaval

By Saidiya Hartman
Narrated by: Allyson Johnson
Length: 10 hours 5 minutes

In Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments, Saidiya Hartman examines the revolution of black intimate life that unfolded in Philadelphia and New York at the beginning of the twentieth century. Free love, common-law and transient marriages, queer relations, and single motherhood were among the sweeping changes that altered the character of everyday... Read more »

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Eloquent Rage

A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower

By Brittney Cooper
Narrated by: Brittney Cooper
Length: 6 hours 57 minutes

"...Cooper delivers a frank, conversational-style examination of the importance of black female friendships, respectability politics, and harmful stereotypes, among other topics. She blends candor and humor as she roots out toxic behaviors and beliefs we use in America to tear ourselves and each other down, while also offering paths forward.... Read more »

Audiobook details

Grown

By Tiffany D. Jackson
Narrated by: Joniece Abbott-Pratt
Length: 8 hours 18 minutes

“Grown exposes the underbelly of a tough conversation, providing a searing examination of misogynoir, rape culture, and the vulnerability of young black girls. Groundbreaking, heart-wrenching, and essential reading for all in the #MeToo era.” —Dhonielle Clayton, New York Times bestselling author of The Belles 

Award-winning author Tiffany D.... Read more »

Audiobook details

The Hate U Give

By Angie Thomas
Narrated by: Bahni Turpin
Length: 11 hours 40 minutes

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.”

Tattered Cover image Kristen, Tattered Cover
Audiobook details

Concrete Rose

By Angie Thomas
Narrated by: Dion Graham
Length: 8 hours 17 minutes

International phenomenon Angie Thomas revisits Garden Heights seventeen years before the events of The Hate U Give in this searing and poignant exploration of Black boyhood and manhood.

If there’s one thing seventeen-year-old Maverick Carter knows, it’s that a real man takes care of his family. As the son of a former gang legend, Mav does that... Read more »

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Celebrate Juneteenth with Black-owned bookstores! Learn more