Books by Black authors

10 books by young Black authors that need to go on your TBR this Black History Month

Waterstones here I come x

Some of the best books to come out this year are by Black authors and they haven’t all got the appreciation they deserve. Whether you’re a fan of coming of age stories, wholesome romances or you want to immerse yourself into a story that truly captures the Black experience, there is a book for you. Black History Month is the perfect time to start getting into books by Black authors, but they are currently publishing books all year round that deserve to be read all the time.

Here are 10 books by young Black authors to put on your reading list this Black History Month:

Honey & Spice – Bolu Babalola

Bolu Babalola is a Black British author from London. Her first book was a series of short stories in 2020 which retold the story of “the most beautiful love stories from history and mythology”. Her following book Honey & Spice was released in 2022 and it follows the story of “a young Black British woman who has no interest in love and unexpectedly finds herself caught up in a fake relationship with the man she warned her friends about.”

In July 2022, Honey & Spice was picked for Reese Witherspoon’s book club and it was so deserved.

Reclaiming: Essays on Finding Yourself One Piece at a Time – Yewande Biala

In 2022, former Love Island star Yewande Biala released her first book called Reclaiming. Following an article she wrote in The Independent in 2021 about the effects of having your name mispronounced, Yewande saw so many conversations that still needed to be had. Each essay in the book covers a different topic from struggling with your body image to navigating dating apps without damaging your self-esteem.

Until I Met You – Amber Rose Gill

Another Love Islander who had dipped their toes in the book world is former winner Amber Gill. In July 2022, Amber released her debut romance novel Until I Met You. The book follows Samantha, who travels to Tobago alone and she meets a man called Roman and as they begin to spend more time together, they realise the lines of their friendship are beginning to blur.

The Memory Librarian: And Other Stories of Dirty Computer – Janelle Monáe

In April 2022, singer Janelle Monáe collaborated with other creators to write a collection of tales “comprising the bold vision and powerful themes”. According to Goodreads, “The Memory Librarian serves readers tales grounded in the human trials of identity expression, technology, and love, but also reaching through to the worlds of memory and time within, and the stakes and power that exists there. ”

Love Radio – Ebony Ladelle

YA romance novels are the books we all need in our life, and Ebony LaDelle’s Love Radio is one of them. When a romantic DJ and ambitious writer cross paths, sparks begin to fly and Prince has just three dates to try and win Dani over. It is so wholesome and it’s going straight in my basket.

Clap When You Land – Elizabeth Acevedo

Clap When You Land is a novel which explores the themes of forgiveness, the devastation of loss and bittersweet bonds, and when two girls lose their father in a plane crash they are forced to navigate life in a new way.

People Person – Candice Carty-Williams

Author of the critically acclaimed Queenie, Candice Carty-Williams has released another book which follows Dimple Pennington and her half-siblings who are brought together and are forced to reconnect with their absent father and things begin to get complicated.

Open Water – Caleb Azumah Nelson

Open Water is a novel about two young Black British people who meet in a pub in South East London. They both won scholarships to private schools and have both become artists. The two end up falling in love but they can still be “torn apart by fear and violence.”

Cuts Both Ways – Candice Brathwaite

Another YA love story that explores the theme of race, class and the struggles of growing up as a Black British teen is Cuts Both Ways by Sunday Times best-selling author Candice Brathwaite. The story follows Cynthia who is adapting to her new life at a private school where she meets Thomas and Isaac. However, things take a turn for the worst when Cynthia realises both boys have been keeping secrets that link back to her life she had in London.

Rapunzella, Or, Don’t Touch My Hair – Ella McLeod

Rapunzella, Or, Don’t Touch My Hair follows the story of a girl who is trapped in an enchanted forest made of her own Afro and “the might of the evil King Charming seems unstoppable”. Rapunzella must use her power to change the future.

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Featured image credit via Instagram @mcleodmouth, @boluberry and @yewande_biala.