32 New Novels by Black Authors to Read Now

Posted by Cybil on June 19, 2020
Halfway through the year, 2020 has gifted readers with some amazing novels from Black writers. We rounded up this list of new fiction published across genres, including mystery, young adult, romance, fantasy, and science fiction for you to add to your Want to Read shelf.

Here you’ll find some favorite authors, such as triple Hugo Award winner N.K. Jemisin and powerhouse wordsmith James McBride, as well as debut authors just beginning their careers, including Abi Daré, Kiley Reid, and Gabriel Bump.
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Join in on the recommendations! What books by Black authors would you recommend to your fellow readers?

Check out more recent articles:
42 New Books to Read this Pride Month
The Most Read Books of the 2020 Reading Challenge
An Anti-Racist Reading List: 20 Highly Rated Nonfiction Books by Black Authors

Comments Showing 1-36 of 36 (36 new)

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message 1: by Aubrey (new)

Aubrey Looking forward to acquiring some of these once book sales start being a thing again.


message 2: by TMR (new)

TMR Will start some of these. Love the recommendations.


message 3: by Jess (new)

Jess Paranac Elizabeth Acevedo is Dominican. Her family being from Dominican Republic. Some Dominicans, racially speaking, have African and authors more white (from the Spaniards). I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’m not sure if I consider this author a Black author, but more Hispanic. I say this because I’m Dominican. Up to you all, just recommend you do your research. Still highly interested in reading it.


message 4: by Jess (new)

Jess Paranac *others more...


message 5: by Tarmia (new)

Tarmia Jess wrote: "Elizabeth Acevedo is Dominican. Her family being from Dominican Republic. Some Dominicans, racially speaking, have African and authors more white (from the Spaniards). I guess what I’m trying to sa..."

This is true but at least from photographs I have seen of her she outwardly appears to have black heritage.


message 6: by A. (new)

A. Boutte I suggest reading the work by independent authors, such as Sheryl Boutte -- Betrayal on the Bayou, just released today, 19JUN2020.


message 7: by A. (last edited Jun 19, 2020 12:14PM) (new)

A. Boutte Jess wrote: "Elizabeth Acevedo is Dominican. Her family being from Dominican Republic. Some Dominicans, racially speaking, have African and authors more white (from the Spaniards). I guess what I’m trying to sa..."

Hello Jess,

Dominicans are Black, Spanish, Indigenous, mixed, and everything in-between... BIPOCs are on every continent. "Black" is not exclusive to people who have darker skin tones or who are non-LatinX or non-Hispanic. Many people are both. I hope this helps the global conversation and education.

More importantly -- Celebrate freedom on this Juneteenth and Happy reading!


message 9: by Shayne (new)

Shayne Fiske Goldner Sharks in the Time of Saviors


message 10: by — Massiel (new)

— Massiel A. wrote: "Hello Jess,

Dominicans are Black, Spanish, Indigenous, mixed, and everything in-between... BIPOCs are on every continent. "Black"...


At least someone said it. Thanks!


message 11: by Ralph (new)

Ralph Rosa You should alo include the great last novel by Ralph Ellison, his amazing JUNETEENTH.

Ralph


message 12: by Aubrey (last edited Jun 19, 2020 08:28PM) (new)

Aubrey Ann wrote: "Has Goodreads every made a list featuring Asian, Hispanic, Arab authors before?! BIPOC is a racist term. It's saying black but who are POC? Are black not POC? That's lumping a whole group of people..."

Oh look. Another straggler from the Anti-Racist article spewing out an attempt at sowing dissension, this time on an article devoted to Black authors rather than on ones devoted to queer lit. This is getting rather repetitive.


message 13: by Mairy (new)

Mairy I cannot believe that The Invincible Summer of Juniper Jones did not make it to this list :--(


message 14: by Ryan (new)

Ryan Well firstly, it's surprising the tone of this thread is tame so far. I thank the heavens for that, given the post's similarity to that Anti-Racist list. Which as has been noted by other mentions of it on here, is a bit of a mess.

As to the list itself, most of them I'm afraid do not attract my attention much. Although, the book of Jemisin's does. Mostly as a result, of being the author of the Broken Earth trilogy. Which I've been recommended endlessly for some time now, and will eventually get around to reading. Though, even during the more predominantly fantasy-filled period of my reading interests, urban fantasy was never quite my thing. But, I'll still give it a look.


message 15: by Aubrey (last edited Jun 20, 2020 07:47PM) (new)

Aubrey And here we have "I Have No Life Other Than Trolling On Goodreads" Ryan, another veteran of the Anti-Racist article who has chosen to infringe on hardworking Ann's territory. Tsk, tsk.


message 16: by Ryan (last edited Jun 20, 2020 07:54PM) (new)

Ryan Aubrey wrote: "And here we have "I Have No Life Other Than Trolling On Goodreads" Ryan, another veteran of the Anti-Racist article who has chosen to infringe on hardworking Ann's territory. Tsk, tsk."

How have I infringed? And even if, what would've I infringed? The most Ann's done so far, is suggest making lists for other ethnicities. Which, if I may add, I do think is a good idea that ought to be done. Might as well be fair here, given there's two for blacks, might as well have lists for the others as well.


message 17: by Ryan (last edited Jun 21, 2020 10:44AM) (new)

Ryan "The person trolling is you Aubrey. You are deliberately trolling on other people's comments, searching for through the comment section in other articles for their other comments and...&c.

Why would I waste my time trolling on people I don't agree with? Just because Aubrey is here, one who I admittedly am not fond of on this site, doesn't mean I came here just for her being here. And I'm not sure where you don't find my opinion of the article, it's listed quite clearly in the first of my now three comments on this article: that the majority do not interest me, but two of the books does. Those being The City We Became and, as an afterthought which came after my initial posting of the comment, Hitting a Straight Lick with a Crooked Stick: Stories from the Harlem Renaissance. Now, does that not count as an opinion of some degree?

Honestly, if you act like this to everyone of the sort; I'm surprised how you're even still on this site or any for that matter. In any case, I'm not going to bother or, if possible, even notice her from now on. Trying to deal with her at all, is seemingly like trying to flog a dead horse. Or, to say otherwise, trying to converse with a stone wall. And it seems, given your own attitude, I might as well extend the same.


message 18: by Ryan (new)

Ryan Morgan wrote: "After being scammed four times I finally found the right person, Agent mike he ask me to buy my items I thought it was a scam again not knowing he was the right person .Thanks so much Mr mike I wil..."

Thanks, you're now reported.


message 19: by Adriana (last edited Jun 24, 2020 12:27PM) (new)

Adriana Jess wrote: "Elizabeth Acevedo is Dominican. Her family being from Dominican Republic. Some Dominicans, racially speaking, have African and authors more white (from the Spaniards). I guess what I’m trying to sa..."

She has a slam poetry that you can view on YouTube called "Afro-Latina." You can be Black and Hispanic.


message 20: by Amber (new)

Amber I would reccomend The Color Purple and the Pendulum Heroes series by James Beamon which are both pretty good. The Aura of Love is great too.


message 21: by Tessa (new)

Tessa Jess wrote: "Elizabeth Acevedo is Dominican. Her family being from Dominican Republic. Some Dominicans, racially speaking, have African and authors more white (from the Spaniards). I guess what I’m trying to sa..."

You can be Black and Dominican. It's not mutually exclusive, Afro Latino is a thing.


message 22: by Dr. (new)

Dr. Al Pretty cool, have to check some of my fellow authors out.


message 23: by Tiffany (last edited Jul 04, 2020 08:41PM) (new)

Tiffany Jess wrote: "Elizabeth Acevedo is Dominican. Her family being from Dominican Republic. Some Dominicans, racially speaking, have African and authors more white (from the Spaniards). I guess what I’m trying to sa..."

She embraces Afro-Latinx culture. http://www.latina.com/entertainment/b...


message 24: by Petula (new)

Petula The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives, by Lola Shoneyin.


message 25: by Sophie (new)

Sophie Loved "My Sister The Serial Killer" by Oyinka Braithwaite.


message 26: by Lynn Pottebaum (new)

Lynn Pottebaum Everyone should read THE WARMTH OF OTHER SUNS by Isabel Wilkerson. Non-fiction about the Great Migration of Blacks from the South to Northern /western cities. Wilkerson was the first Black woman to win the Pulitzer Prize. Very readable because personal stories help you track the migration as well as just reading history and statistics. Very big book, but reading goes quickly in this important, must-read book.


momwifebookishlife Jess wrote: "Elizabeth Acevedo is Dominican. Her family being from Dominican Republic. Some Dominicans, racially speaking, have African and authors more white (from the Spaniards). I guess what I’m trying to sa..."

Elizabeth Acevedo considers herself Afro-Latina. Like me!


message 28: by Michael (new)

Michael Fuller A Search for Belonging

If you're interested in the subjects of policing and racism then read my book. It's describes lived experience of both.
The book is a memoir which tells my story of growing up in a care home, joining the Police and rising from the bottom to the top to become Britain's first ever black Chief Constable. I overcome racism and prejudice from both fellow officers and the public alike, and yet I survived it all. I wrote the book to inspire others and hope that you too will be suitably inspired.


Maja (The Moonlight Reader) I've already read a couple on this list, and they were really good. I really enjoyed Clap When You Land, and I'm excited to read all the other books :)


message 30: by Alisha (new)

Alisha Jess wrote: "Elizabeth Acevedo is Dominican. Her family being from Dominican Republic. Some Dominicans, racially speaking, have African and authors more white (from the Spaniards). I guess what I’m trying to sa..."

I disagree. It's absolutely possible to be black and hispanic. Black is a race, hispanic is an ethnicity.


message 31: by Carolee (new)

Carolee I signed up just so I can comment on this subject. There is such a deeply ingrained "problem" with colorism ( esp in Dom Rep and around the Caribbean and south Amer) and acknowledging ones African heritage and a preference of embracing more Eurocentic Spanish identity resulting the virtual erasure of dark skin, African features and tighter coiled hair in local media in these countries) but lets speak plainly so we dont get it twisted....Ms Acevedo is black... and beautiful! A talented Latina author!


message 32: by Carolee (new)

Carolee Thanks Mairy! I'll have to check out that book suggestion! The incredible summer of Juniper Jones


message 33: by Carolee (new)

Carolee I signed up just so I can comment on this subject. There is such a deeply ingrained "problem" with colorism ( esp in Dom Rep and around the Caribbean and south Amer) and acknowledging ones African heritage and a preference of embracing more Eurocentic Spanish identity resulting the virtual erasure of dark skin, African features and tighter coiled hair in local media in these countries) but lets speak plainly so we dont get it twisted.... When you look like this ..


message 34: by Carolee (new)

Carolee I looked back and noticed a little bit of chatter in a section celebrating a handful of black authors whining "where is the list of Asian, Arab, any other sort of author but black because they are clearly uncomfortable with Black authors being highlighted as we are finally acknowledging the exclusion of black people's voices. Because mainly black people are the only ones reading or viewing or listening to media by and about black people it allows for one toxic narrative produced and consumed by the general public that present them as only victims never victors, consumers not producers, not valuable creative or complex people. People consume that stuff and confirm racist programming and cause black people's lives to be endangered due to the ignorance and fear of others. So its kinda like an emergency... even if you decide not to "see" that it is because you "don't SEE color". Ms "All Lives Matter" if you are uncomfortable with black people being centered for five minutes and you feel you're going to loose a precious drop of privilege...Feel free to write you own list and find out how to submit it. I would check it out...highlight Asian writers or even Asian Female writers we need to know about... Dont forget Amy Tan , love her books! Or Muslim writers, or Arab women, Indian or Eskimo it Australian writers or any group you like. I've read beautiful books by people from these backgrounds. Try taking the initiative instead of whining.


message 35: by Erin (new)

Erin Ann wrote: "Has Goodreads every made a list featuring Asian, Hispanic, Arab authors before?! BIPOC is a racist term. It's saying black but who are POC? Are black not POC? That's lumping a whole group of people..."

I’m not sure what the term BIPOC has to do with this list — it features new novels by Black authors and the term BIPOC is not used. I believe the term POC was created to highlight those not of purely European ancestry and then the term BIPOC to especially highlight Black and Indigenous because of additional challenges and exclusion they have faced, to put it quite mildly. Certainly it is great to highlight authors of different backgrounds and lists and specific book groups are great for discovering works by specific nationalities and other identities and I love how much Goodreads has empowered me to expand and diversify my reading! =) To the point, there are obvious reasons to especially highlight Black authors now and when this article was posted!

Great list and I’m looking forward to reading several of these soon! Another published this year that I really enjoyed and would recommend (especially the audiobook) is The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi!

I’m also looking forward to reading His Only Wife and A Girl Is a Body of Water.


message 36: by Joyce (last edited Nov 02, 2020 10:53PM) (new)


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