• Analeigh Sbrana

    @literaryxqueen

    Hey, I’m Ana, a dreamer in my twenties with two certificates in photography, a love for reading and writing fairytales, and a chronic case of wanderlust.

  • The cover of the book The Rage of Dragons

    The Rage of Dragons

    What’s my favorite book written by a Black author? First of all, having to choose just one was basically impossible. However, I’ve narrowed it down to my favorite book in my current favorite genre and that’s the first book in the new adult fantasy series, Rage of Dragons by Evan Winter.

    This book…. is unputdownable. I literally made my kiddo dinner and was like, “Yay, we are breaking the rules! Tablets and books are allowed at the dinner table tonight!”⁣ just so I could keep reading. I fell absolutely in love with Tau and his sword brothers. Though their tale is heartbreaking, it’s also fierce with brotherhood and resistance! This book was basically Gladiators meets Game of Thrones meets Red Rising.  And the best part? Besides the bit of romance snuck in there? Everyone in it looked like me!

     
  • Favorite Black-owned bookstore: Chicago’s only black woman-owned bookstore, Semicolon Bookstore and Gallery!

  • Crystal Forte

    @melanatedreader

    Black Bookstagrammers

    I’m Crystal Forte, a high school educator in Alabama and full-time Ph.D student at St. John’s University with a concentration in Literacy and At-Risk Youth. I’m an Alumni of Miles College (B.A, B.S), Alabama State University (M.Ed), Troy University (Ed.S) and a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. In my spare time, I love to read, travel, spend time with m family, and book blog through my platform @melanatedreader. You can find out more info at www.melanatedreader.com

  • The cover of the book Stamped

    Stamped

    As an educator and PhD student, Stamped is essential to everyone! We must educate ourselves in every capacity because it is the key to our existence and our legacy. How do you want to be remembered?

     
  • To read Stamped alongside Crystal and others, check out the read-along schedule here.

    Favorite Black-owned bookstore: Harriet’s Bookshop in Philadelphia. They’ve been amazing to me.

     

  • Seline DuMane

    @lifebytheink


    Hi, my name is Seline and I am a 23-year-old, Haitian-American book blogger over at @lifebytheink. I have been an avid reader since a young age with my favorite genres being fantasy, literary fiction, and classics! A few random things I love: traveling, the fine arts, shrimp tacos, and finding new rooftop bars.

  • The cover of the book Noughts and Crosses

    Noughts and Crosses

    Even though I have several favorite books written by Black authors, I will never forget the riveting, emotional impact of the Noughts & Crosses Saga by Malorie Blackman. The way she wrote on race and class-system dynamics through a non-traditional lens was impeccable. I can’t recommend them enough.

     
  • Favorite Black-owned bookstore: As an Atlanta resident, I have to say my favorite Black-owned bookstore is Medu Bookstore! Their large selection of Black Literature cannot go unnoticed!

  • Kat Pierce

    @why__read

    I’m an aspiring librarian and LIS student living my best life in sunny California by way of Tennessee. I love to dance, create artistic masterpieces, and gossip about my favorite fictional characters.

  • The cover of the book Small Doses

    Small Doses

    Equally hilarious, insightful, and honest, this memoir straightens the crowns of every queen. 

     
  • Favorite Black-owned bookstores:
    Marcus Book Stores
    3900 Martin Luther King Jr Way
    Oakland, CA 94609
    *In-Store Only*

    Ashay By The Bay
    157 Albatrosse Way,
    Vallejo, CA 94589
    *Online Store*

  • Jessica Clark

    @jessreadit

    My name is Jess from @jessreadit on Instagram. I’m 25 years old and I live in Orlando, FL. I’m a marketing student at UCF. Other than reading, I love all things nails, both nail polishes and press-on nails, and playing Animal Crossing.

  • The cover of the book Full Disclosure

    Full Disclosure

    Buy From Penguin Random House
    Also Available From
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    I love a good coming of age story that sucks you in, and this novel does exactly that. Full Disclosure tells the story of Simone Garcia, a high school student living with HIV. The author, Camryn Garrett, does a beautiful job writing about the stigmas around HIV through the lense of a teenage girl. This book highlights a diverse group of characters from all walks of life, who set out to explore the ins and outs of sexual identity. Although this is a fictional novel, I learned a lot from this story and it will always resonate with me because there are real-life Simones out in the world.

    Buy From Penguin Random House
    Also Available From
    Barnes & NobleBookshop.orgApple BooksAmazon
     
  • Favorite Black-owned bookstore: Mahogany Books! They are located in DC. Not only do they offer a wide variety of books by Black authors, they also feature authors in their Virtual Book Talks on social media. You can find them on instagram at @mahoganybooks.

  • Hawa Jalloh

    @hawa.reads

    I’m Hawa Jalloh, a Bookstagrammer with a passion for Black stories. I’m currently pursuing a Masters degree in Library and Information Science from the University of Maryland.
  • The cover of the book Purple Hibiscus

    Purple Hibiscus

    Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is one of my favorite books of all-time. I don’t remember many of the books I had to read for school, but I do remember this one. One of few books by Black authors I was assigned in high school, Purple Hibiscus was very instrumental in my journey as a reader. Although the book was set in Nigeria, I felt like I could see myself in the main character, fifteen-year-old Kambili. I didn’t become the avid reader that I am today until about 3 years ago. I struggled with finding books that I was interested in and for the longest I didn’t know why. Looking back at Purple Hibiscus, the feeling I got when reading that book made me realize that I needed to be actively seeking out Black books—books by Black authors that tell the stories of Black people.

     
  • Favorite Black-owned bookstore: Mahogany Books (@mahoganybooks) in Washington, D.C. Not only do they host great events, but they specialize in the Black books that are so instrumental in making me the reader I am today.

  • Bezawit Yohannes

    @beingabookwyrm

    I’m Bezi, a bookstagrammer who focuses on young adult literature, Afrofuturism, and Own Voices fantasy centering Black women; I recently graduated with a masters in English and wrote my thesis on the visibility of Black female fantasy protagonists.

  • The cover of the book The City We Became

    The City We Became

    One of my current favorite books by a Black author is The City We Became by N.K. Jemisin. Fantasy is my favorite genre, and Jemisin has been my favorite author since I wrote a chapter of my undergraduate honors thesis on the character of Yeine from her debut fantasy novel, The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms. Since then, I have eagerly written as much of her published writing as I could find. I was excited to read the first installment of her newest trilogy, especially since The City We Became takes place in New York City, which is where I hope to move later this year. In Jemisin’s story, each borough of the city is embodied in a person, and they all have to come together to fight an ancient rising evil that wants to stop the city‘s impending birth. I love the multiracial cast that represents the multicultural makeup of New York City, deepened by complex characterization and careful specificity.

    I also appreciate the way Jemisin explores the divisiveness embedded in the city and, by extension, in America—casually racist family members, cops, and “concerned” white women all play a role in the existential monster’s very real exploitation of fear and hatred. In doing so, Jemisin builds a mythology that appropriates and condemns Lovecraft’s racism, making his own ideas the monster he feared. The large majority of my bookstagram account focuses on fantasy by Black authors because I believe these stories celebrate the complexity of Black experiences and of our dreams of the future. We deserve to be seen not only in our rage and trauma, but also in our community building and joys. Jemisin, and other Black authors, wonderfully depict the empowerment we find in each other.

     
  • Favorite Black-owned bookstore: Mahogany Books in D.C.

  • Nkisu Machona

    @hoarding.chapters

    Hi, I’m Nkisu from @hoarding.chapters. I’m a 23-year-old book lover from Perth, Australia. 😊

  • The cover of the book Children of Blood and Bone

    Children of Blood and Bone

    Children of Blood and Bone will forever hold a special place in my heart because as a Black, African reader, it was the first time I truly saw myself represented in a genre I absolutely love; fantasy! For once, the Black characters WEREN’T the side characters! I related to Zélie so much, not only because her skin was dark, but her loyalty, stubbornness and desire to do what was right, really resonated with me.

     
  • Favorite Black-owned bookstore: I don’t have a favorite Black-owned bookstore unfortunately because there are no Black-owned bookstores where I live (at least that I know of 😓).

  • Sol Kelly

    @thesolreader

    Hi. I’m Sol and I’m from New Orleans, LA. I am a language lover who also loves exploring bookstores. I live for good books, sunny beaches, and cold beer. I enjoy reading fiction, social science, poetry, and memoirs.

  • The cover of the book All Boys Aren't Blue

    All Boys Aren't Blue

    As a Black queer reader, I will forever fangirl over the fabulous George M. Johnson and his beautifully composed memoir-manifesto, All Boys Aren’t Blue. This book may be one of the most important and profound reads for the LGBTQIA+ community as it provides YA readers, and really all readers, with language, advice, and encouragement that many of us did not have growing up in order to better understand our identity and how to control our narrative. Reading All Boys Aren’t Blue invigorates my spirit and really speaks to the part in me that seeks clarity and validation of my own experiences, thoughts, and emotions.

     
  • Favorite Black-owned bookstore: My favorite Black-owned bookstore is Semicolon Bookstore located in Chicago, Illinois. It is the only bookstore in Chicago that is Black-woman owned and it’s mission caters to literature, art, and community development.

  • Dianca London Potts

    @grrrrlafraid


    I earned my MFA in fiction from The New School. I’m a Kimbilio Fiction Fellow, a VONA Voices alumna, and the former online editor of Well-Read Black Girl. My words have been featured in Lenny Letter, The Village Voice, Vice, and elsewhere. My memoir, Planning for the Apocalypse, is forthcoming from 37 Ink. I currently work and reside in Brooklyn.

  • The cover of the book Darkly

    Darkly

    Buy From Penguin Random House
    Also Available From
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    I’ve been thinking a lot this past year about not only what it means to be Black, but how Blackness—and more specifically my Blackness—is rooted in joy, survival, the mourning of losses (known and unknown), and an ongoing resistance against suppression, silence, and erasure. I grew up in a painfully white suburb and was the only Black girl in my class until high school, and even then, I was one of three. It was, as you can imagine, a painful experience. At 13, I managed to find an outlet for my anger and grief through gothic subculture. Some consider being goth “a white thing” but its aesthetics that gave me permission to look at my grief directly, to memorialize it daily and gradually, my otherness became a choice, something I was proud of. Being a Black goth felt like having a superpower. Darkly: Black History and America’s Gothic Soul by Leila Taylor is the book I’ve been waiting for my whole life. Each page affirms what I knew all along: America is a synonym for horror and to survive within its borders is to be haunted. Taylor’s immersive and revelatory exploration of our nation’s macabre history and its ongoing inability to reckon with it, unapologetically centers Blackness and affirms that despite what a Google image search might suggest, “you can’t get more goth than Black.” This book is as holy as the hymns that my ancestors sang. Its pages roar with urgent truth.

    Buy From Penguin Random House
    Also Available From
    Barnes & NobleBookshop.orgApple BooksAmazon
     
  • Favorite Black-owned bookstore: Cafe con Libros in Crown Heights.