In 2018, BookTuber Denise D. Cooper started the #readingblackout challenge by deciding to spend the year exclusively reading Black authors. The hashtag took off and readers use it every February as a way of celebrating Black History Month. If you want to join in but need some TBR inspiration, look no further. We’re highlighting 29 books here (one for every day of the month), but it’s just a small sampling of the great work available. We encourage everyone to read work from Black authors not just this month, but all year long.

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

Tayari Jones’ novel tells the heartbreaking story of a couple whose lives change forever when the husband is convicted of a crime he did not commit. This book will haunt readers long after they’ve finished it.

How Long ’til Black Future Month? by N. K. Jemisin

N.K. Jemisin, the first writer to ever win the Hugo Award for Best Novel three years in a row, delivers a collection of short stories that examine modern society through the lens of speculative fiction.

A Blade So Black by L.L. McKinney

You’ve got a very important date with this YA book inspired by Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Follow Alice from Atlanta, Georgia to a world where she learns to battle monsters.

Becoming by Michelle Obama

Becoming is easily the buzziest memoir of recent years. Former First Lady Michelle Obama writes about her life and incredible accomplishments. The Grammy-winning audiobook is highly recommended by the NetGalley team!

Tempest by Beverly Jenkins

Romance icon Beverly Jenkins takes readers to the Old West in this tale of a mail-order bride who has a rocky first meeting with her husband-to-be.

Let Me Hear a Rhyme by Tiffany D. Jackson

After the death of a friend, three teens pretend he’s alive to share his music with the world in this ode to 90s hip-hop.

Binti by Nnedi Okorafor 

Prepare to be spellbound by this thrilling sci-fi novella by Nnedi Okorafor, the first in the Binti series.

Think Black by Clyde W. Ford

In this memoir Clyde W. Ford shares the life of his father John Stanley Ford, IBM’s first Black software engineer.

Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward

This novel takes readers to Bois Sauvage, Mississippi in the days leading up to Hurricane Katrina as four siblings struggle to prepare. Salvage the Bones won the National Book Award in 2011.

Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet by Ta-Nehisi Coates, illustrated by Brian Stelfreeze

If you walked out of Marvel’s Black Panther movie craving more of the world of Wakanda, then you’ll want to follow T’Challa’s adventures in this comic series by National Book Award-winning writer Ta-Nehisi Coates.

Bluebird, Bluebird by Attica Locke

Attica Locke’s Bluebird, Bluebird takes readers to Lark, Texas, where two people have recently been murdered. Darren Mathews is on the case and will have to navigate small-town racial tensions in the process.

Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams

After taking stock of her toxic relationships with men and her struggle to connect with her mother, Queenie decides to make changes in the hopes of healing past wounds and learning to accept and love herself. Check out our book club kit, which has everything you need for a Queenie meeting!

Queen of the Conquered by Kacen Callender

Kacen Callender’s Caribbean-inspired adult debut explores privilege, power, and corruption in ways readers won’t soon forget.

American Love Story by Adriana Herrera

Professor and activist Patrice Denis finds love with assistant district attorney Easton Archer in this moving romance.

Bingo Love by Tee Franklin, art by Jenn St. Onge

Readers looking to be swept up in a romantic tale about a couple given a second chance at love will devour Tee Franklin’s comic.

Full Disclosure by Camryn Garrett

An HIV-positive teen navigates friendship, sexuality, and dating in this debut YA novel.

The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead

Set in Tallahassee during the Civil Rights movement, this novel introduces readers to a college-bound freshman named Elwood Curtis. Elwood’s plans are derailed when a small incident lands him in a reformatory facility.

The Deep by Rivers Solomon

The song “The Deep” by rap group clipping. served as the inspiration for this new novel about the water-breathing descendants of Africans thrown overboard from slave ships.

Hollywood Homicide by Kellye Garrett

Dive into the world of Hollywood in this murder mystery. Dayna Anderson witnesses a deadly hit-and-run accident, but gets far more than she bargained for when she decides to help track down the perpetrator.

War Girls by Tochi Onyebuchi

Inspired by Black Panther, this futuristic tale follows two sisters living in a post-apocalyptic Nigeria after the world’s been devastated by climate change and nuclear war.

March by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell

Beginning in rural Alabama, readers will follow along as John Lewis grows from a young boy preaching to chickens on a farm to partnering with Martin Luther King, Jr.

We Are Never Meeting in Real Life by Samantha Irby

This memoir will make you think and also make you chuckle as Samantha Irby writes about subjects as varied as Costco runs, The Bachelorette, and her family.

An Extraordinary Union by Alyssa Cole

Go undercover with a Union Army spy in Alyssa Cole’s espionage romance set during the Civil War. We recommend this for your book club, or as a solo read.

Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson

Award-winning author Jacqueline Woodson’s novel reveals what happens when two families with little in common are united by a baby.

Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid

Kiley Reid’s debut novel explores the complex relationship between a young Black babysitter and the white mother-of-two she works for.

Witchmark by C.L. Polk

Fans of historical fiction and fantasy will not want to miss C. L. Polk’s Kingston Cycle series, set in a world similar to Edwardian England. The second book hits shelves this month!

Song of Blood & Stone by L. Penelope

This first book in the Earthsinger Chronicles follows an orphan, who can heal others through the power of song, on a journey to save her country.

A Girl Like Her by Talia Hibbert

Geeky heroine Ruth keeps her head down in her small town until her neighbor Evan starts to draw her out of her shell.

When They Call You a Terrorist by Patrisse Khan-Cullors and asha bandele

When They Call You a Terrorist narrates the beginnings of the Black Lives Matter movement and introduces readers to the founding members.

1 Comment
  1. It’s very important to direct the spotlight to these authors that do so much in a month like this. Thank you so much for your wonderful article!

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