To be honest, I could spend the next hour talking about all the books I want to read in 2019 but I won’t. Instead, I’ll scale it back a bit and share my top nine. First let’s back up a bit. If you’ve been following my reading journey you’d know that I accomplished my reading goal of 100 books in 2018. And while I was a bit hesitant to do it again in 2019, I’ve decided to take the plunge and keep it going.
And while I’m so proud of myself, I still have a pile of ‘to be read’ books on my bookshelf. And even though they look really pretty on the shelf one of my goals of 2019 is to read some, if not all, of the pile of books I already own.
It’s definitely going to be a challenge because I can already tell that 2019 is going to be a year of great reads and it’s never too early to add to your list. I’ve learned that one of the BEST ways to achieve your reading goal in preparation. Check out my blog post here on how I managed to read 100 books in a year and get the most out of it.
Here are the books I’m looking forward to reading in 2019.
My love for Marlon James is real, in my opinion, he can do no wrong. From the Man Booker Prize-winning author of A Brief History of Seven Killings, (one of the books I hope to re-read in 2019 btw) comes a sprawling, epic fantasy about a mercenary hired to find a missing child. The first of three novels in James’ Dark Star trilogy, Black Leopard, Red Wolf fuses mythology, fantasy, and African history into a sensual, psychological triumph. (February 5) I will be first in line to read this one, I can’t wait.
Feb 5, 2019. Buy Here
I was introduced to Morgan Parker when I read “There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé” and I loved it. Needless to say I expect nothing less in her latest work, Magical Negro. It is an archive of black everydayness, a catalog of contemporary folk heroes, an ethnography of ancestral grief, and an inventory of figureheads, idioms, and customs. Focused primarily on depictions of black womanhood alongside personal narratives, the collection tackles interior and exterior politics—of both the body and society, of both the individual and the collective experience. I’ve already started reading this one, thanks to Tin House Books; for giving me an advanced copy.
Feb 5, 2019. Buy Here
Whoever did the cover art for this book did a great job. I was immediately interested in this book after seeing the cover, in addition, I’ve heard so many great things about this book. Queenie is being described as Bridget Jones’s Diary meets Americanah, and with that sort of description, I’m here for it. I read a tiny excerpt and it was such a tease I have a feeling that I’m really going to love this one.
March 19, 2019 Buy here
Let Me Hear a Rhyme by Tiffany D. Jackson
I fell in love with Tiffany Jackson’s writing and storytelling after reading Monday’s Not Coming. The book re-emphasizes a terrible truth that Black women and girls have an incredible burden to bear in America. I loved it so much that I have no doubt that I’ll love Jackson’s new book just as much.
In this striking new novel, Jackson tells the story of three Brooklyn teens who plot to turn their murdered friend into a major rap star by pretending he’s still alive.
Brooklyn, 1998. Biggie Smalls was right: Things done changed. But that doesn’t mean that Quadir and Jarrell are cool letting their best friend Steph’s music lie forgotten under his bed after he’s murdered—not when his rhymes could turn any Bed Stuy corner into a party.
May 21, 2019. Buy here
Black is the Body Emily Bernard
A memoir that looks at race–in a fearless, penetrating, honest, true way–in twelve telltale, connected, deeply personal essays that explore, up-close, the complexities and paradoxes, the haunting memories and ambushing realities of growing up black in the South with a family name inherited from a white man, of getting a PhD from Yale, of marrying a white man from the North, of adopting two babies from Ethiopia, of teaching at a white college and living in America’s New England today. She writes in Black Is the Body how each of the essays goes beyond a narrative of black innocence and white guilt, how each is anchored in a mystery, and how each sets out to discover a new way of telling the truth as the author has lived it.
Jan 29, 2019. Buy Here
If you haven’t seen the movie or read Angie Thomas’ debut novel: “The Hate U Give”, you might have been living under a rock, but feel free to read my review here.
On the Come up is the highly anticipated second novel by Thomas. Sixteen-year-old Bri wants to be one of the greatest rappers of all time. Or at least win her first battle. As the daughter of an underground hip hop legend who died right before he hit big, Bri’s got massive shoes to fill.
On the Come Up has been described as an ode to hip hop from one of the most influential literary voices of a generation. It is the story of fighting for your dreams, even as the odds are stacked against you; and about how, especially for young black people, freedom of speech isn’t always free. I’m going on vacation in February for my bday and this will definitely be my companion.
February 5, 2019. Buy Here
The Everlasting Rose by Dhonielle Clayton
If you real the Belles, then like me you’re anxiously waiting to see what happens next.
In this sequel to the instant New York Times bestseller, Camille, her sister Edel, and her guard and new love Remy must race against time to find Princess Charlotte. Sophia’s Imperial forces will stop at nothing to keep the rebels from returning Charlotte to the castle and her rightful place as queen. With the help of an underground resistance movement called The Iron Ladies-a society that rejects beauty treatments entirely-and the backing of alternative newspaper The Spider’s Web, Camille uses her powers, her connections and her cunning to outwit her greatest nemesis, Sophia, and restore peace to Orleans. March 5, 2019.Buy Here
Having survived two decades with the hot comb I’m really interested to read this.
Hot Comb offers a poignant glimpse into black women’s lives and coming-of-age stories as seen across a crowded, ammonia-scented hair salon while ladies gossip and bond over the burn. The titular “Hot Comb” is about a young girl’s first perm―a doomed ploy to look cool and stop seeming “too white” in the all-black neighbourhood her family has just moved into.
May 14, 2019. Buy Here.
In this bravura follow-up to the Pulitzer Prize, and National Book Award-winning #1 New York Times bestseller The Underground Railroad, Colson Whitehead brilliantly dramatizes another strand of American history through the story of two boys sentenced to a hellish reform school in Jim Crow-era Florida.
Based on the real story of a reform school in Florida that operated for one hundred and eleven years and warped the lives of thousands of children, The Nickel Boys is a devastating, driven narrative that showcases a great American novelist writing at the height of his powers.
July 16, 2019. Buy Here.
That’s it for me. What books are you excited to read in 2019? Let me know in case I want to add them to my list. To get monthly update and book suggestions, get on my list.