I am all for a book that grabs my attention from the first sentence and doesn’t let go until I finish the last page. A book that makes me feel like I am in the story, living and breathing the same air as the characters. A book that is so well written, I can picture the scenes playing out like a movie in my head.
These past two months, I’ve shifted my focus on loosening the grip on self-help books and picking up more fiction books by BIPOC authors. And let me tell you bloomer, there’s a new crop of fiction books by BIPOC authors that you need to hurry and pick up.
These amazing books explore topics like race, identity, and family in beautiful and unique ways. If you’re looking for something fresh and exciting to read like a captivating mystery or an emotional romance, these BIPOC books have something for everyone.
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Angela is a Ghanaian-American whose life is going perfectly. She has everything she wants – an elite medical school admission, a boyfriend her family will approve of, and many loyal friends who will always have her back no matter what!
But when things start falling apart for Angela in the most epic quarter-life crisis ever, she begins to lose hope in everything she once believed in, including why she continues to meet men that are not fit for her.
Editor-Approved Book: When it comes to a story about a woman living her everyday normal life, I’m going to instantly go up for it because we all need a book like this. A book with characters that remind you of yourself or a friend. Grab this book today.
A newly released novel by BIPOC writer Sarah Thankam Mathews has received positive buzz, with editorial magazines like Vogue calling it one of the “most human novels of the year.”
This Could Be Different tells the story of a young woman Sneha, an Indian woman who has just landed a chance at an entry-level corporate job, which is not easy.
Still, it unlocks every door for Sneha, helping her family back home in India and friends in Milwaukee; she is at a place financially where things feel steady and manageable. When she falls in love with a woman, a dancer who seems a bit out of her reach, Sneh begins to undergo a series of adulting experiences that only a novel like this could provide.
Editor-Approved Book: A surprising aspect I appreciated about this book was how it dived her work-life; the visible struggles of being an Indian woman desiring citizenship. It was incredibly telling for people of color and a great way of providing a look into what it’s like for many people who can’t fathom the stress of Sneh’s version of “adulting,”.
If you’re looking for a book that does an excellent job at developing human characters, makes mistakes yet, and is loveable at the same time, do yourself a favor and add this to your fall reading list.
When Joan, her mother, and her sister seek refuge in Memphis with her mother’s family, they are met with more than just a safe haven. Joan’s grandfather had built a beautiful home in the historic black neighborhood of Douglass, only to be lynched shortly after becoming the first black detective in the city. Despite discovering more family secrets, Joan tries to settle into her new life as best she can by finding consolation in her artwork.
Joan finds the strength to heal and move forward by understanding her family’s history and choices. She realizes she has always had the power to choose how her life will be defined – whether by anger and loss or by hope and resilience. And so, armed with nothing but her paintbrush, Joan sets out to create the life she wants for herself while healing the wounds of the past.
Editor-Approved Book: This is the kind of book we all deserve to read. Reading books like this that in turn, have you reflect on the family secrets that have been passed down to you is important work.
We often underestimate the power of stories, but books like Memphis ability to change lives. If you’re looking for a book that will make you think, feel, and perhaps even cry, then this is a great choice for you.
In The Sweetest Remedy, when Hannah finds out that her Nigerian father has passed away, she is invited to his funeral and decides to go to Nigeria. This journey leads her to self-discovery as she understands more about her father, herself, and her place in the world.
Along the way, she meets a man in Nigeria while settling into her late father’s family, where some have made it abundantly clear that she doesn’t quite fit in the family.
Editor-Approved Book: I appreciated this book’s exploration into Hannah’s identity. Her mom is white, and her father is Nigerian, so I loved how this book took the reader on a journey of self-discovery and cultural discovery.
The characters were rich and full of life. I also enjoyed the setting of Nigeria and all the descriptions of the country. This an excellent book choice for those of us who are suckers for a good love story with a change in pace.
It’s been years since Dunni has seen her high school boyfriend, Obinna. They left each other under devastating circumstances with a promise to find their way back to each other one day. It’s been twelve years since they made that vow, and it now feels like a thing of the past to Dunni.
She’s an established geneticist living in Seattle and is engaged to a man her parents approve of, even though she doesn’t love him. Her future seems set until she returns to Nigeria for a friend’s wedding and runs into Obinna again.
The once socially inept boy she loved as a teenager is now a charming and confident man. Though much has changed, there’s still an undeniable connection between them.
Editor-Approved Book: I am in love with these romance novels by BIPOC authors, and they deserve to be on everyone’s radar. An important side note to mention, if this storyline sound familiar, it’s because they are a follow-up from acclaimed author, The Sweetest Remedy.
It’s the perfect book for fans of The Sweetest Remedy who want to know what happens next for these characters. While this book can be read as a standalone, I recommend reading The Sweetest Remedy first.
In this award-winning family drama from bestselling author ReShonda Tate Billingsley, four estranged sisters must return to rural Arkansas when their mother is diagnosed with a terminal illness.
Their mother is determined to see her girls make amends before she dies, and the pressure of facing their past threatens to tear them apart. As they grapple with old secrets and new betrayals, they must decide what it means to forgive—and whether their family will survive this final test.
Editor-Approved Book: If you’re looking for an emotionally-charged story about sisters, family drama, and secrets, I recommend picking up Miss Pearly’s Girls. It’s an excellent book for black women looking for a relatable story.
An unforgettable story about two friends, one black and the other white, that will have you pulled into the storyline like never before. The novel alternates between their perspectives to explore what happens when they are thrown together after an event that changes everything for them—a powerful exploration into race in America today, where its devastating impacts can be seen every day.
Editor-Approved Book: This story is more than what meets the eye. Jen’s husband, a police officer, is involved in the shooting of an unarmed Black teenager. Their friendship gets tested as they navigate this intricate space of right and wrong. Don’t miss out on this story that will have you on the edge of your seat.
In Every Mirror She’s Black tells the story of three Black women linked unexpectedly to the same influential white man in Stockholm. They must navigate their new lives in an open but private society and learn to build the lives they want for themselves.
Editor-Approved Book: In Every Mirror She’s Black by Lola Åkerström is a story about three different women who are all struggling with their lives. The novel questions what it means to be black in America and Sweden but also offers an intriguing look into the complexity of these issues through its messy yet compelling characters.
Grab this book if you are craving something that dives into the many layers of black womanhood, love, and loss. It’s one of my favorite books that I recently got my hands on.
Eva Mercy is a best-selling erotica writer working hard to provide for her daughter and maintain her writing career. She’s dealing with a lot of pressure, but things change when Shane Hall, an indrawn, mysterious, award-winning novelist, comes to New York.
When Eva and Shane reunite at a Black literary event, they can’t help but notice the chemistry that has always burned between them. The only problem? No one knows about their secret correspondence when they were teenagers in love over fifteen years ago!
Editor-Approved Book: I love when I come across a book that made it onto Reese’s book club. Another great pick highlighting BIPOC romance author; this could easily be of my Top 3 fall books to read.
There’s a sigh of relief knowing that this is the first of a three-part series because you will want to know what happens next for our main character, Tabatha. Tabatha is a young black woman who, at only 33 years old, receives news from a doctor that stress is causing her ovaries major health problems.
This sends Tabatha on a journey of self-care and reflection. And with the help of her friends and wise grandmother, she learns to reclaim what’s rightfully hers: herself and all its womanhood power.
Editor-Approved Book: If you were a big fan of the hit show “Girlfriends,” then this is the book you need to pick up and read because you will fall in love with the lead character and have deep empathy for what she’s going through.
You may even find yourself saying, “I know someone like this,” or ” I can relate!” because the characters are spot-on and relatable. Start reading this one today!
Support communities of color by reading these phenomenal fiction books
If you’re looking for some fantastic fiction books by BIPOC authors, grab a couple of books from this list and once you’ve read them, return to this list to grab a couple more. You’ll support amazing BIPOC authors while getting lost in a great book.
What could be better than that? So please hurry up and pick these books up or gift them to a friend.
Check out more book round-ups on the blog