On the heels of doing research for my list of 50+ Black horror authors, I’ve found several titles that I’m howling at the moon for this Horror Season. Black writers are often not thought of when we speak of genre fiction, but it’s past time to put a stake in that idea and lay it to eternal rest. So, lets take a look at some books that I want to send chills down my spine.
October has hit the calendar, and for many of us, that means scary reads, chilly nights, and the warmth of pumpkin drinks to keep our bones from rattling.
Now, I’m not one for pumpkin drinks (the seasonal sacrilege, I know) but I do know a thing or two about getting into the Halloween Spirit. This little scribble is going to be about the reads of the season and some thoughts about October’s spooky plans.
Happy Monday, Readers. Welcome to the first Weekday Scribbles post—a casual look at what we’re reading, some one-off thoughts and commentary on book-world happenings, and chatter about interesting bookish discoveries. This last week I’ve been branching out my reading, finding new favorites, and enjoying browsing through some other creative, bookish content that merits sharing.
We’re getting back in the swing of things here at Fine Point Scribbles, and that includes delving into ARCs and review copies. While I’m reading for the PopCulture Readathon throughout the month, there’s also a few other recent books I’ve been sent to review, that I’ll be giving my thoughts on and that you might be interested in, too.
Last week I shared my top three adult picks for BHM book releases by black authors. This week, we’re going the opposite end of the spectrum, hitting up young adult and middle-grade books. Let’s go.
ON THE COME UP by ANGIE THOMAS – Contemporary
Sixteen-year-old Bri wants to be one of the greatest rappers of all time. Or at least make it out of her neighborhood one day. As the daughter of an underground rap legend who died before he hit big, Bri’s got big shoes to fill. But now that her mom has unexpectedly lost her job, food banks and shutoff notices are as much a part of Bri’s life as beats and rhymes. With bills piling up and homelessness staring her family down, Bri no longer just wants to make it—she has to make it.
Why I’m Hyped:
I haven’t read Angie Thomas’ work yet, and between rave reviews, a premise that promises a passionate story about a girl trying to make it through thick and thin, On the Come Up feels like a good place to start. Plus, I’ve heard that Angie Thomas writes killer bars, so…
On the Come Up was released February 5, 2019
Angie Thomas was born, raised, and still resides in Jackson, Mississippi as indicated by her accent. She is a former teen rapper whose greatest accomplishment was an article about her in Right-On Magazine with a picture included. She holds a BFA in Creative Writing from Belhaven University and an unofficial degree in Hip Hop. She can also still rap if needed. She is an inaugural winner of the Walter Dean Meyers Grant 2015, awarded by We Need Diverse Books.
Sometimes you come across books that are pretty; other times you come across books that are downright beautiful.
Let’s talk about The Belles.
Heavily inspired by New Orléans culture and French roots, The Belles is a decadent young adult fantasy that enticed me first with the sheer beauty in which it was written, and then kept me interested with rich world-building, a page-turning plot, and a main character that I couldn’t help but root for. Throw in sprinklings of forbidden love, court secrets, and betrayals I didn’t expect but probably should have, The Belles surprised me by how enjoyable and interesting I found it. From page one I wanted to dive straight into Orléans, experience the lavish balls, explore the colorful cities, and perhaps even book my own appointment at one of the many tea houses through which the Belles complete their beauty work—if I didn’t know the tea houses’ true nature, that is.
February has a ton of amazing new releases coming from black authors. From fantasy to science fiction, all the way to middle grade and comics, there’s a well of new reads that I’m dying to get my hands on. So, in the spirit of Black History Month and at the potential outrage of my future wallet, let’s get into the first round, my top three picks in adult fiction.
BLACK LEOPARD, RED WOLF by MARLON JAMES – Fantasy
Tracker is known far and wide for his skills as a hunter: “He has a nose,” people say. Engaged to track down a mysterious boy who disappeared three years earlier, Tracker breaks his own rule of always working alone when he finds himself part of a group that comes together to search for the boy. The band is a hodgepodge, full of unusual characters with secrets of their own, including a shape-shifting man-animal known as Leopard.
Why I’m Hyped:
Black Leopard, Red Wolf by has been called by early readers an African Game of Thrones, which I am 100% here for. Dark themes, gritty prose, with a foundation in African myth? What is there not to like? Wrapped up with the premise and that gorgeous cover Black Leopard, Red Wolf promises to be thrilling (and probably bloody.)
Black Leopard, Red Wolf was published on February 5, 2019
Marlon James is a Jamaican-born writer. He has published three novels: John Crow’s Devil (2005), The Book of Night Women (2009) and A Brief History of Seven Killings (2014), winner of the 2015 Man Booker Prize. Now living in Minneapolis, James teaches literature at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota.
However, it seemed like, through all the scattered words, he simply wanted to know who she was and reassure her that she was safe. She felt that this was very sweet of him, even if his methods of expressing it were primitive at best.Deep Cosmos, Project Kyle
Deep Cosmos is a science fiction novel written by Project Kyle that explores trauma, friendship, and the growth that can happen when the two collide in the middle of deep space. When Nerd, an operative of the not-so-secret organization known as Deep Cosmos, saves Sophia, a warrior, from his nemesis Doctor Crimson, the pair are immediately thrown into a race to save a universe full of problems. From rouge mercs, to mad scientists, space is far from a peaceful final frontier for Sophia and Nerd. We follow them through daring escapes, intergalactic plagues, and tumultuous pasts that seek to catch up with them at every turn.