Top 5 Tuesday is a fun, weekly meme that asks you to pick 5 books that fit that week’s theme. It was created by Bionic Bookworm and is currently being hosted by Meeghan Reads. You should check out their wonderful blog for more details and the list of prompts!
For this week’s Top 5 Tuesday, we have a freebie when it comes to the topic! And since we’re at the beginning of Black History Month here in the States, I thought I would highlight five books by Black authors that I absolutely loved. This was actually kind of tough to narrow down because I’ve loved so many books written by Black authors. All the ones I’m featuring are more contemporary, which makes me realize I really need to expand my reading when it comes to Black authors of the past. Growing up, I feel like all I was ever exposed to were books by white authors, so I missed a lot of great literature. It’s time to rectify that.
All that aside, let me share the five books I’ve decided to feature today!
#1. Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko
If y’all have been around my blog for any length of time, you’ll probably be well aware of my deep love for this book. I reread it three times the year it came out, which is absolutely unheard of for me! I hardly ever reread and especially not in the same year. That’s how much this fantasy book had me wrapped up in it’s magic. The worldbuilding is top notch and Tarisai remains one of my favorite characters to this day!
#2. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
This modern classic got me to realize that I could, in fact, enjoy a young adult contemporary novel. I’m sure this is partly the subject matter, but it was mainly Thomas’ incredible writing. She has a way of weaving a story that makes it very difficult to stop reading! I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve read by her, but this is by far my favorite.
#3. The Rage of Dragons by Evan Winter
I’ve always been a fan of epic fantasy, but I can count on one hand how many I’ve read that were written by a Black author and featured Black people. This book is definitely on the top of that pile! I loved this intense, revenge-fueled novel for all the worldbuilding and action, but mostly for the deep dive into the main character’s psyche. The second book is even better and I can’t wait til I get to read the third!
#4. The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
I heard so many things about this book (and this series) before I ever picked it up. There’s so much hype surrounding The Fifth Season and, now that I’ve read it, I fully understand why! I’m not at all surprised that this won the Hugo award. This blend of science fiction and fantasy with a dab of political intrigue and a big hint of the end of the world was a spellbinding read to say the least. I’m so excited to continue on with this series!
#5. Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky by Kwame Mbalia
This middle grade fantasy was such a fun read! We need more entertaining MG fantasy featuring Black boys written by Black men. This book featured legends from Black American and African myth, which is so refreshing in a market saturated with Greek myth retellings. Don’t get me wrong! I love a good Greek myth retelling, but it’s nice to see other cultures get the same spotlight. And Mbalia does an incredible job of it!
What are your top five books written by Black authors? Do you have any recommendations? Let me know in the comments!
And, as always, happy reading!
4 thoughts on “Top 5 Tuesday: Books by Black Authors”
If you’re looking to get into past black authors, I’m gonna beat the drum for Samuel R Delany. I got a little lost in the sheer density when I first tried his fantasy, but then I tried one of his sci-fi novellas, The Ballad of Beta-2, and its my favourite book of the year so far.
Also just picked up Raybearer, so hoping I love it as much as you.
I need to start Evan Winter asap. That series sounds so good!
Certainly N K Jemisen and Jordan Ifueko would be at the top of my list. I didn’t really get on with Rage of Dragons though. Maybe I need to give it another try as it should be a book that I would love normally.
I’m gonna add “Opposite of Always” by Justin A. Reynolds as a suggestion. If you like sci-fi, humor, and ill-fated lovers it’s definitely the book for you! I loved all the characters, and the story was really moving.
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