Lack of diversity is one of the Reasons I Stopped Going To Your Book Club and with the new year coming up, these books written by authors of color, will be my book club recommendations.
American Street, Ibi Zoboi
I couldn’t put this book down. It’s told from the point of view of a newly immigrated Fabiola. She’s sometimes irritatingly naive, but it’s because of this that you’ll fall in love with this story.
On the corner of American Street and Joy Road, Fabiola Toussaint thought she would finally find une belle vie — a good life. But after they leave Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Fabiola’s mother is detained by U.S. immigration, leaving Fabiola to navigate her loud American cousins, Chantal, Donna, and Princess; the grittiness of Detroit’s west side; a new school; and a surprising romance, all on her own.
The Hate U Give, Angie Thomas
This book tackles a serious subject – but it tackles it with heart, and love – yet showing the hate, and anger as well. I don’t know how the author did it, but she wrote a brilliant complex novel and made it relatable / educational for everyone. Seriously – give this book a try no matter how you think you may not relate. I guarantee you’ll fall for the characters and this book.
Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.
The Underground Railroad, Colson Whitehead
The Underground Railroad was the winner of the 2016 National Book Award for Fiction – not to mention that it was on many “best of the year” lists. This is not an easy book to read. Whitehead really digs into slavery and brings across how nasty, cruel, brutish and awful a period of time that was – a real dystopian society for many Africans and African Americans. This book literally brought me to tears many times as the main character, Cora, went through one hardship after another.
Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. Life is hellish for all the slaves but especially bad for Cora; an outcast even among her fellow Africans. When Caesar, a recent arrival from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, they decide to take a terrifying risk and escape. Matters do not go as planned and, though they manage to find a station and head north, they are being hunte
The Mothers, Brit Bennett
The 3 main characters, Nadia, Luke and Aubrey, will make you feel ALL the feels – sad, upset, incredulous. They are (mostly) sympathetic, but end up showing us how easily lack of self-confidence can make us do shitty things to people, including friends.
All good secrets have a taste before you tell them, and if we’d taken a moment to swish this one around our mouths, we might have noticed the sourness of an unripe secret, plucked too soon, stolen and passed around before its season.
Here Comes the Sun, Nicole Y. Dennis-Benn,
This book is set in Jamaica and it has a totally authentic feel. The setting comes through, the characters are written in such detail that it made me feel everything they were going through. The book is about complex relationships and is tragic, but hopeful. I listened to the audiobook and highly recommend it. The Jamaican accent and native patois (dialect) made it feel even more real.
At an opulent resort in Montego Bay, Jamaica, Margot has to hustle to make enough money to send her younger sister, Thandi, to school. Taught as a girl to trade her sexuality for survival, Margot is ruthlessly determined to shield Thandi from the same fate. As they face the impending destruction of their community, each woman fighting to balance the burdens she shoulders with the freedom she craves must confront long-hidden scars.
Which book written by an author of color, that you read this year, would you also recommend? Have you read any of these books? What did you think?