Rolling Out

8 must-read books by Black authors for your summer beach bag

The best Black books to read for summer relaxation
reading books outside
Photo credit: / SOMKID-THONGDEE

Nothing says summer like a good beach read. This season, we’re celebrating Black authors who have penned some of the most captivating books perfect for your summer relaxation. Here are eight books by Black authors that you should toss into your beach bag.

1. “The Vanishing Half” by Brit Bennett

This New York Times bestseller explores the lives of twin sisters who choose to live in two very different worlds, one black and one white. It’s a compelling story about identity, family, and the secrets we keep.

2. “Such a Fun Age” by Kiley Reid

Kiley Reid’s debut novel is a sharp, funny, and thought-provoking exploration of race and privilege in America. It’s a must-read for anyone looking to understand the complexities of modern social dynamics.

3. “Transcendent Kingdom” by Yaa Gyasi

Yaa Gyasi’s second novel is a powerful story about a Ghanaian family in Alabama. It delves into themes of faith, science, and the struggles of addiction and mental illness.

4. “Red at the Bone” by Jacqueline Woodson

This beautifully written novel explores the effects of an unexpected teenage pregnancy across three generations of a Black family in Brooklyn. Woodson’s lyrical prose makes it a standout read.

5. “The Water Dancer” by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Ta-Nehisi Coates’ debut novel is a magical realist take on the horrors of slavery and the power of memory. It’s a deeply moving and imaginative work that will stay with you long after you finish it.

6. “Queenie” by Candice Carty-Williams

This modern-day Bridget Jones’s Diary follows Queenie Jenkins, a young Black woman living in London, as she navigates love, life, and her own mental health. It’s both hilarious and heart-wrenching.

7. “An American Marriage” by Tayari Jones

Tayari Jones’ novel tells the story of a newlywed couple whose lives are torn apart by a wrongful imprisonment. It’s a poignant exploration of love, justice, and the American Dream.

8. “Homegoing” by Yaa Gyasi

Another masterpiece by Yaa Gyasi, “Homegoing” traces the lineage of two half-sisters and their descendants across three hundred years, from the Gold Coast of Africa to the plantations of Mississippi and the streets of Harlem.

These books not only offer compelling stories but also provide a rich tapestry of Black experiences and voices. Make sure to add them to your summer reading list!

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