Grab a BIG mug of hot cocoa, extra whipped cream! These 11 books were picked by our Elf Ambassador, Christina Imohokpomo, and are guaranteed to keep you by the fire all night long.
Founder of Black Girls Read Books, Too, an online community of Black Womxn who share book reccos and reviews, Christina uses Elfster to help the 250+ member group to swap their favorite reads all year long.
Get a sneak preview of Christina’s picks below, which are also featured in our Best Books By Black Authors gift guide. Don’t forget to add them to your Wishlist!
Black Authors You Need to Read
Black Girls Must Be Magic: A Novel by Jayne Allen
Fiction | Buy the Book
For Tabitha Walker, her grandmother’s old adage, “Black girls must die exhausted” is becoming all too true. Discovering she’s pregnant—after she was told she may not be able to have biological children—Tabitha throws herself headfirst into the world of “single mothers by choice.” Between her job, doctor’s appointments, and preparing for the baby, she’s worn out. And that’s before her boss at the local news station starts getting complaints from viewers about Tabitha’s natural hair.
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
Historical Fiction | Buy the Book
One of the most important works of twentieth-century American literature, Zora Neale Hurston’s beloved 1937 classic, Their Eyes Were Watching God, is an enduring Southern love story sparkling with wit, beauty, and heartfelt wisdom. Told in the captivating voice of a woman who refuses to live in sorrow, bitterness, fear, or foolish romantic dreams, it is the story of fair-skinned, fiercely independent Janie Crawford, and her evolving selfhood through three marriages and a life marked by poverty, trials, and purpose.
The Color Purple by Alice Walker
Classic Fiction | Buy the Book
The Color Purple broke the silence around domestic and sexual abuse, narrating the lives of women through their pain and struggle, companionship and growth, resilience and bravery. Deeply compassionate and beautifully imagined, Alice Walker’s epic carries readers on a spirit-affirming journey towards redemption and love.
The Love Con by Seressia Glass
Contemporary Romance | Buy the Book
Sometimes Kenya Davenport believes she was switched at the hospital—how else could a lover of anime, gaming, and cosplay come from STEM parents? But, Kenya dreams of being able to turn her creative hobby into a career and she finally has a chance to make it big when she joins the reality show competition Cosplay or No Way.
The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
Historical Fiction | Buy the Book
As Whitehead brilliantly re-creates the terrors of the antebellum era, he weaves in the saga of our nation, from the brutal abduction of Africans to the unfulfilled promises of the present day. The Underground Railroad is both the gripping tale of one woman’s will to escape the horrors of bondage—and a powerful meditation on the history we all share.
Skin of the Sea by Natasha Bowen
Teen/YA Fiction Fantasy | Buy the Book
Simi prayed to the gods, once. Now she serves them as Mami Wata—a mermaid—collecting the souls of those who die at sea and blessing their journeys back home. But when a living boy is thrown overboard, Simi goes against an ancient decree and does the unthinkable—she saves his life. And punishment awaits those who dare to defy the gods.
You Grow, Gurl! Plant Kween’s Guide to Growing Your Garden by Christopher Griffin
Non-Fiction | Buy the Book
Six years ago, Christopher Griffin was just beginning the plant parenthood journey with one small Marble Queen Pothos. Today, this Black Queer non-binary femme plant influencer known as Plant Kween tends to a family of more than 200 healthy green gurls in the Brooklyn apartment they call home. You Grow, Gurl! is Kween’s fun and fabulous guide to becoming a plant parent and keeping your green gurls growing and thriving.
I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
Autobiographical Memoir | Buy the Book
Here is a book as joyous and painful, as mysterious and memorable, as childhood itself. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings captures the longing of lonely children, the brute insult of bigotry, and the wonder of words that can make the world right. Maya Angelou’s debut memoir is a modern American classic beloved worldwide.
Mystic Awakenings: Paranormal World Book Three by C. C. Solomon
Post-Apocalyptic Fantasy | Buy the Book
This is Book 3 of 4 in C.C. Solomon’s “The Soulmate Saga,” which tells the heroic tale of Amina Langston, who is part of a conjured superhero team tasked with saving all paranormal kind before it’s too late.
Things were hard enough before, but now that the Original Soulmates are targeting my friends and I… well, things are downright dire. There are some sights you can never unsee. Visions of my brother, my chosen mate, and my friends meeting their individual gruesome ends? That is something that will stay with me forever.
Monday’s Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson
YA Fiction | Buy the Book
Monday Charles is missing, and only Claudia seems to notice. Claudia and Monday have always been inseparable — more sisters than friends. But when Monday doesn’t turn up for the first day of school, Claudia’s worried.
As Claudia digs deeper into her friend’s disappearance, she discovers that no one seems to remember the last time they saw Monday. How can a teenage girl just vanish without anyone noticing that she’s gone?
Life, I Swear: Intimate Stories from Black Women on Identity, Healing, and Self-Trust by Chloe Dulce Louvouezo
Non-fiction Essays (based on “Life, I Swear” podcast) | Buy the Book
A mixture of poignant essays, gorgeous photography, and sophisticated design elements, Life, I Swear is a chronicle of transformation and growth by and for modern-day Black women. Some of today’s most influential Black female voices chronicle their private journeys, offering testimonies of living through pain and joy with raw honesty and unapologetic self-love.
Looking for books you can’t put down?
Check out all of our book gift guides for pageturners to add to your wishlist. It’ll help your friends find you the perfect gift!
Start a Book Exchange with Elfster
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