Looking to dive into a great new book? From self-help to romance, mystery, and children’s literature, Black authors have written and published many valuable works. As we take time to celebrate the achievements of Black Americans this month, we also want to recognize these books by Black authors that you can enjoy year-round.
Find our favorites below. As always, we carefully curated our recommendations with cost and value in mind. So we made sure to recommend bestselling, highly rated, and new books that we’ve been loving personally. Also, we include the sales history on each item (because you don’t want to snag the book at an inflated price).
Our Favorite Fiction Books by Black Authors
1. Clean Getaway by Nic Stone ($6.73)
Nic Stone is an Atlanta-based New York Times Bestselling author who’s published 29 books. Her book Clean Getaway ($6.73, Amazon) is a road trip story through American race relations past and present. The story follows an 11-year-old boy as he travels with his grandma through landmarks of the Civil Rights movement. He learns valuable lessons about how Black Americans were treated in the past and how things changed for the better.
While we’ve seen this book for cheaper on KidsBooks.com, you’d have to pay for shipping. That’s why we suggest waiting to buy it on Amazon, where we’ve seen it for $4 in the past year. (And Prime members get free shipping.)
- Lowest price in the past 12 months: $2.59 KidsBooks.com
“We are loving this book in my fifth-grade class. The kids are so into it, they applaud after every route/chapter. They don’t understand all the historical references just yet, but we will dig into those throughout the year. Absolutely a pleasure to read!” — Amazon reviewer
Related: How to Get Free Books So You Can Read to Your Heart’s Content
2. You Should See Me In a Crown by Leah Johnson ($9.98)
Leah Johnson is a Midwest native and an award-winning author of books for children and young adults. Her bestselling debut novel, You Should See Me in a Crown ($9.98, Amazon), is a smart and funny story about a girl named Liz Lighty who decides to try to become her school’s prom queen in order to receive a scholarship to go to college. Get it when it’s $9.98 because that’s the best price we’ve seen on a new version of the book.
- Lowest price in the past 12 months: $9.88 on Amazon
“This was perhaps the cutest, sweetest, softest, most heartwarming story I have ever read!” — Amazon reviewer
3. The Intangible by C.J. Washington ($10.12)
C.J. Washington is a data scientist and author. His debut novel The Intangible ($10.12, Amazon) follows the story of a woman (Amanda) and her husband (Derrick) who long to have a baby. This creates a strain on their marriage which leads Amanda to seek out a neuroscientist (Patrick) for help. The story provides suspense in the fact that Amanda is hiding deep, dark secrets, as well as her new friends Patrick and his wife. The Intangible takes a unique approach in exploring themes like hope and regret all while keeping readers engaged.
The price of this book jumps quite a bit. The price below reflects its lowest price for a new version, but we’ve seen it lower if you buy a used copy.
- Lowest price in the past 12 months: $7.74 on Amazon
“This was beautifully devastating, and I’m grateful to have read it.” — Amazon reviewer
4. The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett ($11.99)
Brit Bennett is a New York Times bestselling author from Los Angeles. Her second book, The Vanishing Half ($11.99, Amazon), is a historical fiction novel following the lives of identical twins, Stella and Desiree. The twins grew up in a Southern Black community but ran away at the age of 16 to live very separate lives. This book dives into many of the racial tensions during this time as well as the topic of colorism. We’ve seen it cheapest at Amazon, but you can pay as little as $2 for used versions.
- Lowest price in the past 12 months: $11.99 at Amazon
“There was enough mystery that I just kept wanting to read and see what happened.” — Amazon reviewer
5. Love Radio by Ebony LaDelle ($12.99)
Ebony LaDelle is a marketing professional and author who was born in Michigan. Her book Love Radio ($12.99, Amazon) is a cute romance novel about a local DJ and a writer falling for each other. We haven’t seen any price jumps in the last year on this book.
- Lowest price in the past 12 months: $12.99 on Amazon
“The way the author wrote this book, the stories of triumph, and navigating high school while battling various hardships was phenomenal.” – Amazon reviewer
6. The Changeling by Victor LaValle ($14.39)
Victor LaValle is a short story author who’s published nearly 60 books. His book The Changeling ($14.39, Amazon) is a mystery thriller that follows the main character, Apollo Kagwa, on a search for his wife after she disappears. His quest takes him on an intense journey that will make this book hard to put down. The Changeling was named one of Time‘s 100 Best Fantasy Books of All Time and is currently in development as an Apple TV + series.
- Lowest price in the past 12 months: $12.06 at Amazon
“The writing is exquisite and the story itself raises your hair.” — Amazon reviewer
7. Boys Come First by Aaron Foley ($16.19)
Aaron Foley is an American writer from Detroit who reports on local topics, Blackness, and queerness. His work has been featured in This American Life, The Atlantic, and CNN. Boys Come First ($16.19, Amazon) is a fun and touching story that follows a few friends as they deal with the trials of workplace issues, frenemies, family drama, and gay millennial life in today’s Detroit. We’ve watched the price drop on Amazon a couple times in late 2022, so watch for discounts.
- Lowest price in the past 12 months: $12.19 on Amazon for audiobook, $16.19 for paperback
“It is a must-read for anybody with long-term friendships.” — Amazon reviewer
Best Nonfiction by Black Authors
8. The Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes ($10.32)
Shonda Rhimes is an American television screenwriter best known for creating TV shows like Grey’s Anatomy, How to Get Away With Murder, and Scandal. What some people may not know is that this Chicago native is also a successful author.
In her book titled The Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person ($10.32, Amazon), Shonda talks about loving and trusting yourself enough to say yes more to certain opportunities. This book is written like a memoir, including many fun personal stories from Shonda’s life along with an in-depth backstory on how she made certain decisions in her career that led to her success today.
- Lowest price in the past 12 months: $9.69 on Amazon
“This book is perfect for you if you are on the fence about doing something, if you want a change in your life, or if you are just looking for a fun, witty, inspirational read.” — Amazon reviewer
9. Get Good with Money by Tiffany Aliche ($14.71)
Tiffany Aliche, aka The Budgetnista, went from successful preschool teacher to personal finance expert through her passion to help people get their financial lives in order and build wealth. Her book Get Good With Money ($14.71, Amazon) outlines a 10-step process to help readers start building wealth through financial wholeness. This book discusses topics like budgeting, best practices to save for a rainy day, building your credit, and more. We haven’t seen any price jumps or drops on this book in the past year.
- Lowest price in the past 12 months: $14.71 on Amazon
“This book is full of information about putting your finances in order. I thought I was pretty well informed about my finances, but I still took away some information on areas I can improve on. Wish I had this book in my 20’s.” — Amazon reviewer
10. Teach Your Child to Fish by Holly Reid ($14.99)
Holly Reid is a certified public accountant and a finance professional. As the youngest of four siblings, Holly was exposed to a broad economic landscape and disparities growing up. Her book Teach Your Child to Fish: 5 Money Habits Every Child Should Master ($14.99, Amazon) provides tips and lessons parents can use to teach their kids valuable money principles. We haven’t seen any recent price drops or jumps on this book.
- Lowest price in the past 12 months: $14.99 on Amazon
“This is an excellent guide for teaching children how to handle and save money.” — Amazon reviewer
11. Woman Evolve by Sarah Jakes Roberts ($17.09)
Sarah Jakes Roberts is a New York Times bestselling author, speaker, wife, and mother. In Sarah’s book Women Evolve: Break Up With Your Fears and Revolutionize Your Life ($17.09, Amazon), she teaches women how to overcome past trials and failures along with why it’s important to truly care for yourself. This book goes on sale quite a bit, but wait to get it at $14.97.
- Lowest price in the past 12 months: $14.97 on Amazon
“Absolutely love this book, it’s as though Sarah is talking to you as a friend, she definitely started my love for this genre of books and would definitely recommend it.” — Amazon reviewer
12. Cashing Out By Julien Saunders and Kiersten Saunders ($18.99)
Julien and Keirsten Saunders run a lifestyle blog called Rich and Regular. The couple paid off $200,000 of debt in five years and were able to retire from their corporate jobs. Their book Cashing Out: Win the Wealth Game by Walking Away ($18.99, Amazon) details many of the moves they made toward financial freedom. This book rarely goes on sale, but we think it’s worth it!
- Lowest price in the past 12 months: $18.90 on Amazon
“There are many personal finance books out there, but this is the absolute best one that caters to minorities, Black people especially, who are interested in pursuing financial independence.” — Amazon reviewer
13. Grocery Shopping With My Mother by Kevin Powell ($24)
Grocery Shopping With My Mother ($24, Amazon) is a book of poems and reflections written by Kevin Powell. He spent time with his elderly mother by taking her grocery shopping each week. This book investigates the nature of this country’s oppression through generational wounds. It also explores the healing work through forgiveness, abundance, and lineage.
- Lowest price in the past 12 months: $21.60 on Amazon
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