Break out those blankets and cozy socks, autumn is here. Not only that, but also break out the books! As temperatures start to dip, that means staying in with a nice book and reading under the covers. But you’ve already exhausted your collection of beach reads, reread your favorites, and you’re waiting for some new recommendations, so what’s next? We’ve got you covered. Here are 10 books by Black authors to read this fall.
The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Ta-Nehisi Coates’s The Water Dancer is a riveting sci-fi, historical fiction novel that takes place in the slaveholding Deep South. Our main character, Hiram, is still discovering his perplexing powers that seem to show themselves when he’s around water, inevitably saving him from drowning. While Hiram’s story is perilous and mysterious, it instills a sense of hope in its readers. The Water Dancer is Oprah Winfrey’s newest pick for her book club, so finish it quickly and join the conversation.
Daughters of Nri by Reni K. Amayo
Black girls in a fantasy novel! I repeat: We’ve got Black girls in a fantasy novel! Daughters of Nri follows twin goddesses, Naala and Sinai, who were separated at birth and raised to believe they were simply human. In this incredible journey, the goddesses work to find each other, understand unspoken magic and defeat the man who took on the gods and won.
Daughters of Nri was published by Onwe Press, an independently-owned UK-based publishing company created by two Black women in 2018. Their mission is to value unforgettable stories, encourage author ownership and highlight diverse voices.
Double Down: Bet On Yourself and Succeed on Your Terms by Tricia Clarke-Stone and Antoinette Clarke
We have to be twice as good to get half as much. We know this. We also know it’s unacceptable. Twin sisters Tricia and Antoinette wrote Double Down to make sure the next generation of boss ladies get what they deserve. They share the stories behind their highly successful media careers. They also give you the tools to experiment with your own career and find a community of people who will be right there with you, supporting you.
More Than Pretty: Doing the Soul Work That Uncovers Your True Beauty by Erica Campbell
Erica Campbell’s new book explores her own experiences with self-esteem ups and downs while working in an industry that demands impossible body standards. She also shares the lessons she learned by keeping God’s wisdom by her side. More Than Pretty uses God’s word to remind us that we are worthy just as we are.
Tough Love: My Story of the Things Worth Fighting For by Susan Rice
Susan Rice’s powerful new biography details Rice’s life, her lineage to both immigrants and slaves, and how she stood out among her peers as a Black woman living in America. She spent 30 years in some of the highest offices of the United States government, serving in the Clinton administration, becoming one of the country’s youngest assistant secretaries of state, managing the explosion that was the Snowden NSA leaks, and eventually becoming one of President Obama’s most trusted advisors. To say she has quite the story to share would be an understatement.
Obviously: Stories from My Timeline by Akilah Hughes
With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo
This novel has taken Bookstagram (yes, its a thing and its glorious) by storm. It’s not only because the cover is gorgeous, but also because it’s an inspiring story for those who need to read it most. Emoni Santiago got pregnant during her freshman year of high school and now everything she does is for her daughter and her abuela. While she tries to remain disciplined, she cannot forget her dream of becoming a chef. Try as she might to follow the rules and go the conventional route, she cannot ignore her passion and eventually allows her love of cooking to guide her path.
Free Cyntoia: My Search for Redemption in the American Prison System by Cyntoia Brown-Long
Passion and Strategy Go Hand in Hand by Aysha Treadwell
If you’re ready to launch that new career of yours, this is the book to read. Aysha Treadwell uses her own experiences as a guide so you don’t have to make the same mistakes that she made in the past. She teaches you how to treat your business, your clients and yourself with respect and earn the trust of those around you. Treadwell has successfully run her daycare facility for 10 years and now she is ready to share her knowledge with the world. If you find you need more words of wisdom, Treadwell is an accomplished public speaker. She attends events hoping to encourage Black working moms and single mothers to keep pursuing their goals after having children.
Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi
You’ve definitely never read anything like this before. This dark and powerful work of fiction, which came out last year but is still a must-read, follows Ada, a child who was wanted and loved, and still, incredibly, has become an incredibly alarming young lady. We watch her grow up in southern Nigeria and eventually move to America for college. On her own, her life takes a turn for the worst as she struggles to find herself, even as her “self” divides into two different beings.