Black Authors I Want to Read



Welcome to Black History Month, a celebration of Black Americans Black Excellence stretching all the way back to 1926 with the creation of Negro History Week. It’s one of those things that has mixed feelings among the Black community that aren’t relevant to this blog or this post in anyway except a short reminder that reading books by Black Authors, and/or about the Black experience is not something that should be delegated to February’s short 28 days.

Black authors are a small piece of the Black community who are finally starting to get the recognition they deserve. This is a list of some Black authors I’ve had on my radar, and the books of theirs I’d most like to pick up. To be clear these are all authors I’ve never read before (some of them are shameful admissions), next week are the ones I have.  Use this to browse for new authors, books, or just to see a small extension of my ever growing TBR pile.


Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie –That Thing Around Your Neck, Americanah


Jay Coles– Tyler Johnson was Here


Natasha Deon – Grace


Heidi W. Durrow -The Girl Who Fell From the Sky


Yaa Gyasi – Homegoing


Alex Haley -Roots, Queen


Zora Neale Hurston -Their Eyes Were Watching God


Reni Eddo-Lodge – Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race


Helen Oyeyemi – Boy, Snow, Bird


Warsan Shire – teaching my mother how to give birth


Zadie Smith – Swing Time, On Beauty, Changing my Mind, The Autograph of Men,


Nic Stone -Dear Martin


Alice Walker -The Color Purple


Rene Watson– This Side of Home


Happy Reading!


2018 TBR


In 2018 I am making a resolution to stop setting so many fucking goals for myself.

It’s super common in the book community, and for myself, to set monthly TBRs, reading challenges, writing challenges, Instagram challenges, Goodreads goals. etc. etc. etc. It’s ridiculous and the reality, for me at least, is that it’s impossible to keep up. So this year I’m setting reasonable goals and instead of monthly TBRs I’m starting with a loose list of books I want to get to for the entire year. Les Go:

GoodReads Goal: 70 books. This is almost double what I read this year but 5 less than I’ve read in 2015, and 2016 each. It’s a doable goal.

Writing Goals: Write for 45 minutes every day. Last year was supposed to be the year I finished my novel and ahahaha nope. Didn’t happen. So this year I have a more specific goal.

Blog Goals: 1 post a week. I have a full list of blog posts already pre-planned for every week of the year, plus a few extras. Get organized is also a general goal I’ve had recently.

Instagram Goal: 6 posts a week, plus interact with the community more.

2018 TBR: So this is split into three categories. There are the books I already own that I want to make sure I get to this year because come on. I can’t keep just collecting these things. They aren’t for show. Then there are books I’ve been hearing about and/or are by favorite authors that I know I absolutely want to pick up soon. Then finally there are new releases that I’ve just heard a thing or two about and think would be nice. There’s 21 of these books. Buckle up.

On My Shelf:


The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins: I don’t actually know much about this other than it’s a contemporary thriller and I saw it in a Little Free Library.



The Red Tent by Anita Diamant: This is historical fiction and I think it’s a Biblical story? Or something? I don’t read blurbs but this book looks right up my alley and I’ve been seeing it in my favorite shoppe forever and finally grabbed it a few months ago.



Moloka’i by Alan Brennert: I have had this book for YEARS. It’s about a girl who get’s leprosy. I think. I could be looking these up but I like going into things blind.



American Gods by Niel Gaiman: I have zero idea what this is about but everyone wants me to read it.



Smokejumper: A Memoir by One of America’s Most Select Airborne Firefighters by Jason A. Ramos & Julian Smith: This is a memoir by two firefighters in California? I found it in a free library and it’s pretty and I love it.



Know Your Beholder by Adam Rapp: Oh! I know this one. It’s about a man with agoraphobia whose mother has just died and his wife has just left him. He rents out rooms in his house to a colorful cast of characters and his life is slowly crumbling. I’m into it. Just picked it up on New Years Eve and I want so badly to read it.



Incendiary by Chris Cleave: All I know about this is that I LOVED his book Little Bee and the covers of that book and this one



Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston: Again. i have no idea what this is about but I know I have to read it.


2018 New Releases:



Tyler Johnson was Here by Jay Coles: This is about a boy whose brother, Tyler, is murdered in a police encounter. I’m all about reading about police violence in the new year. I am from the US and live in a city were racism and police misconduct are the every day.. Also can we TALK ABOUT THAT COVER. Black boys and softness? Here for it.


Wires and Nerves volume 2: Gone Rogue by Marissa Meyer: This is the second in the graphic novel companion series to The Lunar Chronicles, one of my ely favorite series.



A Reaper at the Gate by Sabaa Tahir: This is the 3rd book in the Ember in the Ashes series. I’m not excited about it. The first book was one of my favorite books of the year but the second one was so bad that I just…I just don’t care. But I will read it because why the hell not.


The Thorn of Emberlain by Scott Lynch: This. Book. Is. Coming. Out. This. Year.



Red Clocks by Leni Zumas: This is about a world in which abortion is illegal and that’s as far as I got in the blurb before deciding I wanted to give it a go. It caught my eye because I am a birth worker and this looks like a vulva and I seem o just be attracted to things that look like vulvas.


On the Come Up by Angie Thomas: This does not have a cover yet. I don’t know what this is about except that I really enjoyed Angie Thomas’ last book The Hate U Give.



Toil & Trouble: 16 Tales of Women and Witchcraft edited by Tess Sharpe: This is an anthology about women and witchcraft. Go figure.



Renegade by Marissa Meyer: HOW DID I NOT KNOW THIS WAS COMING OUT? 2017 was a trash year for me and I didn’t know this was a thing. I don’t know what it’s about but I adore Marissa Meyer and want to own and read all of her books



New People by Danzy Senna: This is the newest book by one of my favorite authors. I don’t know or care about the synopsis, I want to own and read all of her books.



You Are Free by Danzy Senna: Again I do not know what this is about but I love me some Danzy Senna, her book Caucasia is one of my all time favorites.



Dear Martin by Nic Stone: This I have been seeing all over bookstagram and it is about a teenage boy who is trying to understand the institutionalized racism he’s living and so starts writing letters to Dr. Martin Luther King. Again. I’m about it.



The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline: This is about a future in which First Nations people are being hunted for their bone marrow. Kayla from BooksandLala talked about it a couple of times since reading it and I’m really interested in it.



The Boy on the Bridge by M.R.Carey: I only want to read this because I loved The Girl With All the Gifts. Also apparently they are a part of a series!!! I didn’t know that!!!


And that is my 2018 TBR and goals. It was a long ass post without very much info on any of the books because I’m trash but let me know what your goals are and if you want to or have read any of these books!







Writing Prompt Challenge Week 10

My friends and I are challenging ourselves to write something every week of 2017 using random writing prompts from online. I have been sharing all of the ones I complete here and simply skipping the week’s I don’t do mine. 

This week I’m not sharing what I wrote but I wanted to make this post anyway because I did write something. I wrote a new prologue for my novel. I think I’m going to give this whole writing thing another shot. 

I got so caught up in my NaNoWriMo draft and how terrible it was that I stopped seeing my story. I tried to rewrite it scene by scene using my NaNo as a guide but I think I just need to give it a quick reread and then start writing again from scratch. This new prologue is from scratch and it’s the most excited I’ve been about this story in a while. 

In high school I used to write school papers all in one go, then come back later and indiscriminately delete about half of it and do it again. I can’t try to fix a first draft, I just gave to start from scratch and I’ll be fine. 

For anyone curious the prompt was to write a myth explaining why the Sun rises and sets. 

Next week’s prompt is to write a myth explaining tsunamis. 

Happy writing! 

Giving Up

I won NaNoWriMo last November. At the time I was excited and proud of myself; I saw it as the push I needed to just get my story out. From that point I could use what I’d written basically as the notes to write a real first draft and then go on from there with as many rewrites and edits as it took to create what I’ve been dreaming about for years. 

I was wrong. I was horribly wrong. 

NaNoWriMo was not good for me or this novel and now I do not know if I can fix it. I do not know if I even care to. NaNoWriMo didn’t just force me to get my story out, it forced me to put on paper the worst possible version of my story. Instead of feeling like notes I can use for a real first draft I find myself looking at these 50,000 words and feeling as if this is really all I am capable of. I feel paralyzed. I feel like my story will never be what I want it to be. 

I am 16,000 words into my real first draft now and I hate it. Yes, first drafts are supposed to be bad, I know, but it’s not the quality that is bothersome most of the time. I don’t feel like I’m telling the story I want to tell. I don’t feel like I’m telling an interesting story at all. I’ve seen the worst I can do and it makes me not want to write this any more. 

I want to give up. I am not getting enjoyment out of this any longer. I see no value in this story I’m telling or any story I have floating around in my head. 

This is me giving up. I’m putting down the proverbial pen and joining the ranks of writers who crashed and burned. After all these years I’m putting this story away, it was never very good anyway. 

Writing Prompt Challenge Week 9

My friends and I are challenging ourselves to weekly writing prompts to varying degrees of success. We aren’t required to share any of what we write but I like to, if only to have something to post while I’m in a reading slump. 

This week’s prompt got so far away from me that it comes in parts. This will be part one as I have not gotten super far into part 2. I think I will work on this as a side project for a bit. It is a retelling of the Cupid and Psyche myth which is one of my favorites. 

Also forgive the lack of formatting. I’m on mobile for the first time and trying to figure it out. 

Week 9: “The islands in the sky are real!”

The legends say that there are islands, populated by monstrous beasts, high above the clouds. No one alive has ever seen one but mothers still warn that the winged monsters from the sky islands will swoop down and snatch up naughty children who stray too far from home. Picture books depict these creatures beside unicorns and lorelei, they are children’s stories from times long past; it is the Kraken we must fear.

The day is clear when the people of my city come for me in the home I’ve made myself. It’s in an out of the way place, where three buildings meet at odd angles, no one wants the tiny alley it creates and no one wants me. We fit together quite nicely. I am asleep when they come, as I always am during the busier parts of the day, and the rough hands that grab at me catch me unawares. I screamed and kicked, but there were more than I could fend off.

“Finally going to be rid of this one.” some says, as if I am an old piece of furniture they have finally found a replacement for.

When my head clears and I blink the sun spots from my eyes I see that I have been dragged out into the street and around me dozens of people are watching as my attackers bind my legs and arms with rope.

“What is this?” I call out at them. “Why are you doing this?”

I know the men binding me, they are the blacksmith and his apprentice. I know all of those come to watch my torment, yet few look at me with any regret or shame. I meet eye after eye and no one gives even a look of sympathy.

“Not enough sheep this season Portia,” the smith says as he drags me to a cart. “Feeding it pig this time.”

As I slam into the bottom of the cart I can hardly feel the thump. Our city is built atop a cliff, the ocean sits many yards below except for a handful of times each year when the tide washes up, almost lapping at our fields. This is when the monster visits.

It is like a squid but larger than any we know of, it climbs the short distance between the water and our grazing fields, it’s weight crumbling the rock as it feasts on our sheep. It is destroying the cliff face where our sheep are safe, and so, years ago it was decided that instead we would lure the monster to another area with excess sheep. If it is not fed the creature has been known to crawl overland snatching at anything that moves.

They mean to feed me to it.

“No!” I shout when I find my voice. “Please no! I’ll leave, I won’t beg anymore I’ll go far away!”

Someone laughs at my pleas but I cannot see who. Tears blur my vision and I flail against my restraints.

“More like a fish than a pig it seems.” comes a woman’s voice. I don’t recognize it in my panic.

They laugh at her joke, they laugh at my tears, they laugh the entire way to the far rocky cliff. There the laughter and my tears both stop.

“It has to be done, “ the smith says. “For the good of us all.”

“Any of us would go in your place if we didn’t have families to think of.” the woman who called me a fish says. She adjusts the babe strapped to her back to emphasize her point.

Words don’t come as I try to speak and I end up gaping at them all. They will justify this to themselves like they justified turning me out on the street after I became orphaned, like they justified keeping food from me, beating me; I am just a pig after all, and pigs must go to slaughter eventually. I have no response for them. No last words for the people who have hurt me so much.

One of the men hammers an iron stake in between some rocks and once they have tied me to this they all depart with sad farewells and backwards glances. They will sleep poorly tonight but tomorrow, when the sheep are safe, and no monster has come crawling for their wayward children they will tell themselves it was worth it.

Once they are gone I stare out at the endless sea before me, swollen and angry even on such a beautiful day as today. Gulls fly in circles above, screaming at themselves, or their food, or the wind. Gulls are simpler creatures; they eat, and mate, and when that no longer suits them they fly far away and do it all again.

My back begins to ache as I stand on the uneven rocks. As a final cruelty they have tied me standing up with no way to move or sit. At this angle I will be able to see the monster as it crawls out of the ocean towards me. I am sure they have thought of this. I stare out at the ocean, waiting, mesmerized by the unbroken blue around me.

As the Sun shifts in the sky the terrible gnawing in my gut gets stronger and I find myself crying again. I want to go home, not to my little alley with my hard earned blanket and harder earned shoes. I want to got back to the cottage where I was not a pig but a little girl who had a name, a real name, and parents who loved her. I know that life was real, even if I only remember glimpses. I hold on to them. If I am to die today I want to die remember a woman in a yellow dress, and a cottage of white stone.

Then I see it.

I cannot stop the screams that pierce the air, I scramble with my feet on the rocks trying to move backwards away from the thing I see emerging from the water but the bindings on my body are too tight. I throw my body to the side hoping to loose the spike keeping me in place but nothing works. Nothing at all works.

“No!” I call in vain. “Please no I promise I’ll do anything. Please!”

The tentacles keep emerging from the waves, with no regard for my pleas or my tear stained face. They are as thick around as my body and they grope for the rocky cliff like a blind man until at last one touches the rock face. Four, five pink arms come out of the water and attach themselves to the rocks. Then, like a nightmare come to life, it began to climb.

From my place at the top of the cliff I can look down and watch the slick legs climb towards me until, at last, the head emerges from the water.

“No no no no, PLEASE NO!”

My feet slip trying to find traction but there is nowhere to go. It’s head is a giant sack with two black eyes the size of my head staring straight at me. Worse is its mouth. It is not the fangs I feared but a beak; instead of being torn apart I shall be pecked to death.

“Please! Anything I will do anything you ask please don’t leave me to this please!” my words are little more than sobs. There is no one to hear me, and no one would risk themselves to save me if they did.

One of the tentacles reaches over the cliff edge, groping for a hold, I can see the large cups it uses to stick itself to the rocks. It’s so close.

The next arm that reaches up comes right for me, the monster knows I am it’s meal today. It doesn’t hesitate but wraps around my body like a snake. It is cold and the slimy feel makes my skin crawl. The air is squeezed out of me as it tightens it’s grip. I cannot even scream.

Then there are long metal arrows on the arm, they appear like magic right before me but I am too out of breath to react. A sizzling noise and the smell of burned fish fills the air and the monster lets me go. I gasp, sucking in so much air I choke on it and cough.

Before my eyes more arrows pierce the krakens body and legs, each causing the creature to flinch and lash out. It opens it’s mouth and lets out a shriek as it’s body burns. Then, one by one, the large cups holding it to the rocks begin to fail and it can no longer support its own weight.

I watch as its legs peel back and it scrambles for grip before a final arrow pierces one of its eyes and the entire head erupts. It’s body slide down into the water below while I watch open mouthed.

I begin to look around for my savior, waiting them to free me so I may run far from these shores and never return. There is no one in sight, they have left me still to the mercy of the sun and the gulls.

I feel a touch on my arm and swing my head around to thank the archer who saved my life. Yet there is no one. Invisible hands tug at the ropes binding me and I see them begin to fray as if they are being cut. I have gone mad.

The rope continues to cut, when it finally breaks through will I fall to the rocks or will it simply begin again to tease me forever with a freedom that will never come?

I do not fall, though my legs wobble and beg to collapse; instead, as the ropes fall down around me, I feel an arm ease around my shoulders supporting me. My heart is pounding in my ears. There is still nobody there. Another arm snakes under my knees lifting me up off of my useless legs. The body I lean against is solid but does not feel warm like a person, and I can see nothing there.

“I have gone off.” I say aloud just to test my voice and the chuckle and breath that comes from the invisible man makes me jump.

“That may be, but will you keep your promise?” comes a deep male voice that rumbles up from the chest that is there and not there.

“I-” I begin before, mercifully, I pass out.


Writing a book is HARD.

I have never had something make me love and hate myself the way writing my book does. it is so much more of an emotional experience than i would have ever imagined. I amaze myself everyday when i read certain scenes or lines and I go “Wow. I wrote that. Way to go me!” but then I take a breath and I read it again and i know deep down i can do better.

That’s the hardest part, knowing that no matter what I could always make it better.

But I am doing it and it’s almost done and I have set a deadline for this draft to be finished.

Then I can breathe.




Writing Prompt Challenge Week 7


Okay. A couple friends of mine and I are doing weekly writing prompts to encourage us to write, to think outside of our boxes, and to just have some damn fun. I am choosing to share my terrible, rushed, unedited attempts with the internet because I hate myself or something. Again this week I grabbed inspiration from my beloved oc’s, and while I think the idea was alright, the execution was not there at all.


Week 7: A Taxi. An old enemy. Valentines Day.

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