There is nothing more powerful than written narrative. A good book can provoke thought, give affirmation, expand your point-of-view, and make you laugh from your gut. The outpouring of ideas and energy from writer to reader is nothing short of divine, and on the remarkable occasion that an author is able to effectively unpack the emotions that we're too busy or too numb to let ourselves feel, it creates an intimate bond and transformative experience like no other.
No matter what your recruitment prospects are looking like this cuffing season, never underestimate the uncomplicated and reliable company of a good book. With new releases from Ta Nehisi Coates, Toni Morrison, Nikki Giovanni, and a few highly anticipated newcomers, Autumn is overflowing with great options. So, go ahead and restock those K-Cups, grab your snuggliest blanket, and get into these 10 must-read fall book releases.
1. We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Ta-Nehisi Coates is a literary beast. Period. With the 2015 release of, Between the World and Me, the journalist, comic book writer, and author solidified himself as one of the most renowned social commentators of our time, topping the New York Times bestseller list and winning the National Book Award for Nonfiction.
His latest book, We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy, set for an October 3rd release, promises to keep it all the way real with an apt examination of the racial climate that leads this country to make the drastic pivot from Barack Obama to Donald Trump. For a sneak peak into this powerful commentary, check out Coates' latest essay in The Atlantic.
2. Real American: A Memoir by Julie Lythcott-Haims
Described as "courageous and achingly honest," Real American is the autobiographical story of one woman's battle with the psychological effects that American racism routinely inflicts on people of color. The only child of an African-American father and a white British mother, author Julie Lythcott-Haims speaks of the microaggressions and blunt force insults black folks contend with every day. Set for an October 3rd release date, this novel is sure to invoke your internal amen choir.
3. Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut by Denene Millner Books
There is nothing like a fresh fade and a crispy line-up for the instant glow up! Written by Derrick Barnes, illustrated by Gordon C. James, and set for an October 10th release, Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut is the perfect gift for all the fly young black boys in your life.
4. A Good Cry: What We Learn From Tears and Laughter by Nikki Giovanni
Set for release on October 24th, A Good Cry is sure to make you do just that. In her latest collection, renowned poet Nikki Giovanni reflects on the many people, places, and circumstances that have shaped her journey. Go ahead and gather your Kleenex 'cause you know Nikki don't play.
5. Man Alive: A True Story of Violence, Forgiveness and Becoming a Man by Thomas Page McBee
In Man Alive, Thomas Page McBee takes the reader on his life-changing transition from female to male. Due for re-release on September 5th, this is the true and deeply emotional story of the process that led McBee to reclaim his body on his own terms.
6. Defining Moments in Black History: Reading Between the Lies by Dick Gregory
We lost a real one on August 19th. Dick Gregory paved the way for "woke" activism, and fortunately for us, the comedian, writer, and politically engaged icon left us with his documented take on some of history's most impactful moments. In Defining Moments in Black History: Reading Between the Lies, Gregory walks us through 100 key events from our complicated history in the U.S.
7.The Origin of Others (The Charles Eliot Norton Lectures) by Toni Morrison
With the September 18th release of The Origin of Others, distinguished novelist Toni Morrison draws on her Norton Lectures at Harvard University to give a critical examination of the ever relevant themes of race and fear, and our obsession with constructing a separate "other." Given Toni Morrison's uncanny ability to weave words around complicated concepts that we instinctively know to be true, I'm already here for this.
8. Passage by Khary Lazarre-White
Due for release on September, 26th, Passage is the story of Warrior-a young black man navigating the streets of Harlem and Brooklyn in the early nineties. NYC born and bred, the author, Khary Lazarre-White places his lead character in direct confrontation with the environmental forces that seek to derail him. Nineties nostalgia and a hardcore coming of age tale...it's about to get real out here for my fellow xennials.
Whether you know her from her role as Regine Hunter on the influential 90's sitcom Living Single, or from her stint on The Real Housewives of Atlanta, Kim Fields is an OG in the game. Having begun her acting career at the tender age of seven, the pop-culture icon has flourished for decades, evading the destructive path that claimed so many of her child-star contemporaries. In Blessed Life, set for release on November 14th, the actress shares her journey through self-discovery and adulting. Drop these gems, Kim!
10. Chicago Flashback: The People and Events That Shaped a City’s History by Chicago Tribune Staff
The city that brought us Common, Yeezy, and Lil Chano from 79th too often gets a bad rap, but don't sleep on the Chi. The journalists at the Chicago Tribune have rounded up news stories and photos from the past 170 years and compiled them into this vast archive of the people and events that have shaped the city. Chicago Flashback is set for release on November 17th.
Let these reads bless your upcoming fall season.