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.”Zinna, A Great Good Place for Books
“Lena just lost her grandmother, her mother has health problems and to top of off they are having financial problems. Lena takes a mysterious job in hopes help her mother and to pay off bills. Lakewood takes you into a dark world of medical testing where human rights are disregarded. This whole story felt more than real and makes you question how far you would go for to help your family.”Alexandra, Birdy's Bookstore
Saving Ruby King
“Saving Ruby King is a slow burn—a richly woven three-generation history of two families on the south side of Chicago, bound forever by trauma and religion. A tragic murder in the present unearths secret wrongdoings of the past. Intergenerational trauma is a primary focus, and the given circumstances allow readers to both hate and empathize with nearly all of the main characters. The full cast—including the omniscient church building—narrates the audiobook beautifully. Readers will learn that the bonds of true friendship can withstand anything. Trigger warnings: domestic violence, incest, rape.”Mary, Raven Book Store
Hitting a Straight Lick with a Crooked Stick
Stories from the Harlem Renaissance
“Zora Neale Hurston’s (Their Eyes Were Watching God, Barracoon) body of work continues to grow and impress. In Hitting a Straight Lick with a Crooked Stick, 21 short stories, including several “lost” pieces depicting the Great Migration to northern cities and Harlem’s educated New Negro middle class, offer an updated perspective of Hurston’s Harlem Renaissance-era cultural commentary. These stories, written in the 1920s and 30s, explore toxic masculinity and women’s agency, urban vs. rural class representations, colorism/shadeism, identity politics, and the intersectionality of race, class, age, and gender in a way that remains relevant today. And, by using humor, folklore, and her unique combination of delicate prose and vernacular speech, Hurston also has written thoroughly engaging slices-of-life, always centering Black characters, from a very specific time period. To fully appreciate Hurston’s stories, Tayari Jones (An American Marriage) recommends in her foreword, “reading this work aloud, enjoying the feel of the words in your mouth, and the sound of English tightened and strummed like the strings of a banjo.””BrocheAroe, River Dog Book Co.
The Gone Dead
“This was so engrossing and just so well done that it made for a compelling read. Billie is grieving and trying to find out what happened to her long dead father in the south, where race relations are still tense. I really liked the parts where she bonded with her family and she hadn’t seen in so many years. And one really got a sense of place, listening to the author's description and the narrator's excellent narration.”Audrey, Belmont Books
We Ride Upon Sticks
“This is such a fun romp! It has everything you could possibly want in a book: field hockey, witches, and ’80s bangs that have literally taken on a life of their own. Set in Salem in the 1980s, we follow a group of high school field hockey players as they struggle with their new dark powers and attempt to end their losing streak. One of the strangest, most satisfying books I have read in a long time!”Hillary Smith, Copperfield's Books Calistoga
The City We Became
The Great Cities: Book #1
“What did I just listen to and why did I like it so much? Part of falling in love with this book was the listening experience, to be certain. The narration was stellar. The production was on point. But the story... the story itself is sublime. N.K. Jemisin has written a love letter to New York City - but not the one in bright, bold letters on the silver screen - the real city, and the real people who inhabit it and call it home, even if only temporarily. And it was beyond my wildest dreams (and nightmares). The City We Became is so incredibly layered and nuanced - diving into discussions of racism and sexism and the fallacy of good vs evil. I wanted nothing more than to steep in its long chapters, and get to know its boroughs as intimately as Jemisin would allow - not mere stereotypes but fully fleshed and brilliant, blinding avatars. Witty, subversive, imaginative, unbelievable. Get on this wild ride.”Britt, Second Star to the Right
These Ghosts are Family
PEN/Hemingway Award For Debut Novel Finalist
Shortlisted for the 2020 Center for Fiction First Novel Prize
A “rich, ambitious debut novel” (The New York Times Book Review) that reveals the ways in which a Jamaican family forms and fractures over generations, in the tradition of Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi.
Stanford Solomon’s shocking,... Read more »
Clap When You Land
“Through Acevedo’s transcendent poetry, the tragic crash of AA587 becomes a song to family in all of its complexities and a tribute to the power of Latinas. Camino and Yahaira Rios are sisters unaware of each other’s existence until their beloved Papi dies in a plane crash. His death ushers in new realities for both girls, Camino in the Dominican Republic and Yahaira in New York City, and each must struggle with the meaning of family. Truth? This book is incredible and makes me yearn to gather my sisters around me, grab a machete, and destroy the ugliness in this world. Acevedo is one of the brilliant, bright lights in literature and listening to her read it on Libro.fm is soul nourishing. ”Linda, Cellar Door Books
“Luster centers on Edie, a young black woman working in New York publishing and barely making rent each month, who finds herself navigating a suburban white couple’s open marriage. This novel is filled with unexpected turns taken at breakneck speeds. It seamlessly examines the plight of millennials living under capitalism along with the complications of intimacy and race, all while finding both the humor and profound sadness in those things. This is a multifaceted and brilliant book, as well as an extraordinary debut from Raven Leilani.”Billy Butler, Bookshop Santa Cruz
Following her National Book Award–nominated debut novel, A Kind of Freedom, Margaret Wilkerson Sexton returns with this equally elegant and historically inspired story of survivors and healers, of black women and their black sons, set in the American South.
In 1925, Josephine is the proud owner of a thriving farm. As a child, she channeled...Read more »
A Song of Wraiths and Ruin
If you enjoyed Children of Blood and Bone, then you’ll love A Song of Wraiths and Ruin.
“You know you can always count me in for a good enemies to lovers trope. But A Song of Wraiths and Ruin is so much more. A true gem of a fantasy that grapples with grief, anxiety, and growing into yourself in an engaging, accessible, and REAL way. The characters are fully fleshed out, and continue to grow as the story evolves - Karina is a true queen unlike any other even if she's still learning to see it herself; Malik is stronger than he thinks. The worldbuilding is sublime, and Brown treats her villains with the respect and backstories they deserve. And after that ending, I desperately need to know what happens next.”Britt, Second Star to the Right
Party of Two
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 »
The Boyfriend Project
“Smart, steamy, and fun! I listened to this one through Libro.FM and loved everything from the author's voice to the female friendships to the recognition that internet fame is an emotional burden. (I was also deeply amused by the fact that the male lead had lived/worked in Vienna, in the building locals affectionately refer to as "The Toilet Bowl.")”Leah, Bards Alley
“Gifty immigrated from Ghana, grew up in Alabama, and is working on a PhD in neuroscience at Stanford, where she experiments with mice. She has always felt she wasn’t cool enough or white enough, and tries to prove her value through her brilliance. She tells her raw and powerful story of racism, addiction, mental illness, and especially faith and prayer, all while trying hard to mend a complicated relationship with her mother. This second novel from the author of the award-winning novel Homegoing is compelling and so, so beautifully written.”Sally Weitzen, Wellesley Books
An instant New York Times bestseller! “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...Read more »