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10 / 30 books. 33% done!

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55 / 104 books. 53% done!

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42 / 52 books. 81% done!

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54 / 165 books. 33% done!
Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books By Black Authors On My TBR Mountain Chain


Today's TTT topic is all about our favorite fictional heroines (Top Ten Favorite Heroines [Or Heroes, If You Like]). Since my aging brain is pretty much rubbish at remembering specifics about characters and would likely revert to leading ladies I've already talked about a million times, I'm going to go in a different direction today. February is almost over and I've yet to talk about Black History Month at all. So, today, I'm going to dish about books on my TBR list by Black authors. 

As always, Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the lovely Jana over at That Artsy Reader Girl. Click on over there and give her some love, won't you? If you want to join in the TTT fun, all the details are on her blog.

Top Ten Books By Black Authors On My TBR List Pile Mountain Mountain Chain
- in no particular order - 


1. Harbor Me by Jacqueline Woodson—Woodson is one of my long-time favorite authors. She's a prolific writer who pens books in a variety of genres for readers of all ages. She's written dozens of books, so it's not surprising that I've yet to read all of them. Harbor Me is a middle-grade novel about a group of kids who are required to meet every week for a group therapy chat sans adults. As they create a safe space for each other, they are freed to talk about the things that are really bothering them—from fears of deportation and racial profiling to money worries to family drama and everything in between. Sharing their worries makes them feel not just seen but also brave enough to tackle whatever comes their way. Sounds like an uplifting, empowering read!


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2. The Personal Librarian by Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray—This historical novel has been on my radar ever since I first heard about it. It tells the true story of Belle da Costa Greene, a powerful woman who was hired by J.P. Morgan to curate a collection of books and art for his newly-built library. Unbeknownst to most people, Greene had a closely-guarded secret. She was a light-skinned Black woman who passed as white—a risky business in America in the early 1900s. 

This duo's forthcoming novel, The First Ladies, which publishes on June 7, also sounds like an excellent read. 


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3. The Davenports by Krystal Marquis—I'm not much for romance novels, but this YA historical has been popping up all over the place and it does sound entertaining. Inspired by real people, the book revolves around a Black family whose formerly enslaved patriarch made a fortune through the carriage company he founded. By 1910, the Davenports are enjoying a glamorous lifestyle with all the glitzy trimmings. As various members of the family deal with love, loss, and life's daily dramas, they will learn and grow together.


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4. A Few Red Drops: The Chicago Race Riot of 1919 by Claire HartfieldHelen reviewed this middle-grade non-fiction book on her blog a few years ago and I knew it was one I needed to read. It recounts the true story of some young Black teen boys who accidentally swam too close to a "white" beach on Lake Michigan. A incensed white man began throwing rocks at one of them, causing the young man to drown. The police refused to arrest the man. Tensions stemming from the incident led to days of violent race riots in Chicago. 


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5. Black Cake by Charmaine Wilkerson—A contemporary adult novel, this one concerns a matriach's death and the secrets she leaves in her wake. When Eleanor Bennett leaves her two children a strange inheritance—a black cake baked from a secret family recipe and a puzzling voice recording—they're left to grapple with secrets they never could have imagined. Will piecing together their family's true history bring them together or tear them apart forever?


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6. The Reformatory by Tananarive Due (available June 27, 2023)—This horror novel is getting mixed reviews so far, but it sounds intriguing to me. Set in 1950, it's about a Black boy named Robert Stephen Jones, Jr., who is sent to a reform school after he kicks a white boy's leg. Robert soon discovers that the Gracetown School for Boys is a segregated institution that is haunted by the ghosts of boys who have died there. 


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7. Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds—I discovered Reynolds' impactful books last year and am working on reading them all. The winner of numerous awards, this YA novel-in-verse is about gun violence and the puzzling mystery that unexpectedly brings three teens together on one very tense elevator ride. 


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8. My Lord, He Calls Me: Stories of Faith by Black American Latter-day Saints by Alice Faulkner Burch (editor)—A writer, entrepeneur, advocate, and faithful member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Burch compiled this collection of essays by active Black Latter-day Saints. I just bought this book and can't wait to dive into these faith-filled stories by people whose experience with the Church has been unique to say the least. It promises to be an enlightening read.


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9. On Air With Zoe Washington by Janae Marks—I loved From the Desk of Zoe Washington, so I'm all in for this sequel. After Zoe's work in the first book, her birth father has finally been exonerated and released from prison. His dream now is to open his own restaurant, which is a goal baking-obsessed Zoe can definitely get behind. Turns out, it's not easy to turn a dream into a reality. Nor is it simple for an exoneree to reenter society. Zoe decides to start a podcast to bring light to the issue, but is anyone really listening?


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10. What Never Happened by Rachel Howzell Hall (available July 11, 2023)—Obituary writer Coco Weber has moved back to Catalina Island to start over. Her friend, the owner of a local newspaper, assures her she'll have plenty of work to do in a place so full of elderly residents. Turns out, a lot of people are dying on the island. And some of those deaths are downright suspicious. When Coco receives a sinister threat in the form of her own obituary, she knows she's on to something. Determined to find the truth, Coco finds herself tracking down a serial killer and researching her own tragedy for answers.


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There you go, ten books by Black authors that are on my TBR mountain chain. Have you read any of them? What did you think? Which literary heroines/heroes did you feature today? I'd truly love to know. Leave me a comment on this post and I will gladly return the favor on your blog. 

Happy TTT!

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Tress of the Emerald Sea by Brandon Sanderson

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The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain



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