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RAMble, the University Libraries' blog

Whatch’ ya Readin’? Black History Month

by Christian Sammartino on 2021-02-25T14:29:54-05:00 | Comments

Luster: A Novel, Raven Leilani

Leilani’s debut novel, Luster, takes the domestic genre and turns it on its head. We follow Edie, a black woman, as she struggles with bad choice after bad choice, enjoying the momentary rightness while dealing with the fallout as she goes. The biggest of these bad decisions comes in the form of 40-something Eric, a wealthy white man in an open marriage. When Edie meets Rebecca, Eric’s wife, the novel changes shape, and Edie quickly becomes entangled with the family, not as a homewrecker, but as an addition to the home. Edie’s role is complicated by Akila, Eric and Rebecca’s recently adopted black daughter, whom Rebecca believes might benefit from Edie’s (black) presence. Luster is a page-turner full of red-flags that are deeply explored in a sometimes funny, sometimes heartbreaking, always relatable manner.

Luster was published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 
This book won the Kirkus Prize and the Center
for Fiction First Novel Prize in 2020.

My Vanishing Country: A Memoir, Bakari Sellers

What is it like to grow up black and working class in the rural South? Sellers explores his family’s roots from Denmark, South Carolina and the shifting landscape that has kept the “forgotten men & women” struggling both to survive and thrive. Bakari’s retelling of generational poverty has an underlying message of hope, for his children and the children of the, “forgotten men & women,”: that progress can be achieved and the voiceless made heard through advocacy and action.


Published in 2020 by Amistad.

The Wedding Date, Jasmine Guillory

Honest, light-hearted, and fun, this debut novel takes its characters from strangers in an elevator, to fake couple at a wedding, to long-distance sweethearts learning how to make things work with one another. Guillory perfectly blends romance tropes with real-world relationship experiences. If you’re looking for a quick, heartwarming read, look no further.

Published in 2018 by Berkley. Recognized as 
a bestseller by USA Today.

Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619-2019, ed. Ibram X. Kendi and Keisha N. Blain

“And collectively this choir sings the chords of survival, of struggle, of success, of death, of life, of joy, of racism, of antiracism, of creation, of destruction – of America’s clearest chords, year after year, of liberty, justice, and democracy for all. Four hundred chords.”

At a substantive 528 pages, Kendi and Blain have pulled together a community of voices in an extensive retelling of the history of African America as we pass the 400th year as a nation. Each author takes on a five-year period of history and brings their own perspective to the retelling, through essay, poem, and experience. Involving 90 authors, this project is an immersive and necessary read. The audiobook version of this text engages listeners with the voices of each author as they tell our histories.


Published on February 2nd 2021
By One World.

Blog post written by Sarah Corapi


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