Reading can be both a window into the life of another and a mirror of one’s self—and it’s important to get both experiences. Here are some amazing new books by women of color that you should add to your TBR pile, asap. Now, more than ever, it’s important to read books by authors of color, and these picks are the perfect addition to your summer and fall reading lists.
A Spell for Trouble by Esme Addison
When Aleksandra Daniels accepts the invitation to help in her estranged family’s apothecary shop in Bellamy Bay, she brushes off the strange rumors swirling around her family. As if they could really be magical healers descended from mermaids. That is, until her aunt Lidia is arrested for poisoning a local. In a quest to prove she was framed, Alex digs up secrets long buried, and learns that some may even be worth killing to protect.
The Goddess Twins by Yodassa Williams
Just before twin sisters Aurora and Arden turn eighteen and discover their goddess powers, their mother jets off to London and mysteriously goes missing. Arden develops telepathy and is sure something is wrong. She drags the newly telekinetic Aurora with her to London. There, they are greeted by cousins they never knew of and meet their immortal grandmother. They must work together, master their powers, and come to terms with their family history in order to save their mother.
Saving Ruby King by Catherine Adel West
To Ruby, her mother’s murder isn’t just another act of violence in a Black neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago. It means that she’s now living alone with her violent father, the pastor of their church. The only person who understands the extent of his abuse is Ruby’s best friend Layla, who has been banned from the house. In her unyielding attempts to save Ruby, Layla discovers the secrets that have tied their families together for generations.
Pizza Girl by Jean Kyoung Frazier
When Jenny, a stay-at-home mom, moved to suburban Los Angeles, she didn’t expect her son to put up such a protest about leaving Bismark. In an act of desperation, she started calling pizza places asking for a pepperoni and pickle pizza. The unnamed protagonist, pregnant herself and in complete denial, took pity on her and made the pizza. Thus began a strange and complicated relationship between the two women, looking towards major life changes.
Luster by Raven Leilani
Edie was working an admin job, trying to make it as an artist but struggling to believe in her own talent when she met Eric, a man in an open marriage. They become involved, and as if the sexual and racial politics of their relationship wasn’t enough, one day Eric’s wife, Rebecca, invites her over. They had adopted a little black girl, Akila, so Edie becomes her de facto role model and Rebecca’s ally.
Purple Lotus by Veena Rao
Three years after her arranged marriage to Sanjay, Tara finds herself isolated, both from her husband and the new world they settled in. Memories of her parent’s abandonment at age eight begin to surface, adding to the distress of Sanjay’s abuses. While her family wants her to just live with it, she discovers her self-worth, leaves him, and marries her first love, Cyrus. Even then, she still must confront her fears and the shame instilled deep in her.
Party of Two by Jasmine Guillory
When Olivia Monroe meets a handsome man at a hotel bar, dating is the last thing on her mind. Still, a little flirting couldn’t hurt. When he sends a cake to her office, she decides to give him a chance, despite the discovery that he’s hotshot junior senator Max Powell. At first, they keep their relationship a secret, but when they go public, the media begins digging into her past. Can their relationship weather the storm?
Mexican Gothic by Sylvia Moreno-Garcia
Glamorous debutante Noemí heads to High Place, a mysterious mansion in the Mexican countryside, when she gets a frantic letter from her newlywed cousin. “You have to save me,” she writes. Acting as sleuth, she must navigate this mesmerizing and seductive place that invades her dreams with blood and doom, as well as the menacing occupants to unearth the truth of the family’s history of violence and madness and save her cousin.