By Ada Kalu
September 17, 2023
Summer is out, autumn is in, pumpkins will be out soon.
As we foray deeper and deeper into the colder and darker months, I’ve decided to put together a layered list of novels I’ve read this year by Black authors to take you through to end of the year.
Are you ready?
All the Sinners Bleed – S.A. Cosby
This is one of the few acceptable books to describe as gritty. The story follows Titus Crown, the first Black Sheriff of a small town in Virginia plagued by a series of killings almost a year to his election.
S.A.Cosby is excellent at crafting a layered story that reckons with his town (and America’s) history with race and religion.
We’re halfway through September so this is a perfect book to get you ready for the spooky month to come.
The Good House – Tananarive Due
Starting off strong, this is one of my favorite reads this year. Tananarive Due’s background as a [horror] film historian and educator features extensively in this well written read. Published in 2003, Due creates a generational horror story centred around Angela Toussaint and her family home in Sacajawea, Washington. The book makes reference to Haitian and West African spirituality and casts a wider gaze on trauma and family.
The Weight of Blood – Tiffany D. Jackson
By now, you know I support YA – it’s a fun genre! You should also know that I support women’s rights and I support women’s wrongs. This YA read is almost a reimagining of Carrie. It follows the mystery around a small town still reeling from a tragedy years down the line and Maddy – a biracial teenager whose passing is discovered and the events thereafter.
Reading this in November means your December read will be much lighter and happier.
Black Cake – Charmaine Wilkerson
Maybe the theme for this year has been family? Charmaine Wilkerson’s Black Cake travels across the Caribbean to British and American diasporas from the 60s through to present day largely told through the eyes of each member of the Bennet family upon the death of matriarch – Eleanor Bennet.
It’s heartwarming, it’s heartbreaking and it’s an ultimately fantastic note to end the year on.
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