February 2022 Reads for the Rest of Us – Ms. Magazine
Each month, I provide Ms. readers with a list of new books being published by writers from historically excluded groups.
The aims of these lists are threefold:
- I want to do my part in the disruption of what has been the acceptable “norm” in the book world for far too long—white, cis, heterosexual, male;
- I want to amplify amazing works by writers who are women, Black, Indigenous, Latinx, APIA/AAPI, international, LGBIA+, TGNC, queer, disabled, fat, immigrant, Muslim, neurodivergent, sex-positive or of other historically marginalized identities—you know, the rest of us; and
- I want to challenge and encourage you all to buy, borrow and read them!
Apologies for the delay in this month’s list but the massive Most Anticipated Reads for the Rest of Us list that just came out took it out of me! But here it is, and here are 39 titles being released this month that the rest of us should get excited about.
So get excited and get reading! And be sure to support Black writers, publishers and booksellers this and every month.
The Black Agenda: Bold Solutions for a Broken System
Edited by Anna Gifty Opoku-Agyeman (@itsafronomics). St. Martin’s Press. 272 pages. Out now.
This is an ode to Black experts and their solutions to contemporary issues in the U.S. Consider it #RequiredReading.
Black Cake: A Novel
By Charmaine Wilkerson (@charmspen1). Ballantine Books. 400 pages. Out now.
This debut about family secrets and journeys of the heart is getting rave reviews.
Black Cool: One Thousand Streams of Blackness
By Rebecca Walker (@iamrebeccawalker). Soft Skull Press. 160 pages. Out now.
Soft Skull has published this beautiful 10th anniversary edition of this classic celebration of the African roots and aesthetic legacies of Cool.
Black Girls Must Be Magic: A Novel
By Jayne Allen (@jayneallenwrites). Harper. 272 pages. Out now.
The sequel to Black Girls Must Die Exhausted continues to focus the experiences of the modern Black woman, including friendships, romance and motherhood.
Black Joy: Stories of Resistance, Resilience, and Restoration
By Tracey Michae’l Lewis-Giggetts (@tmlewis). Gallery Books. 288 pages. Out now.
This is an essential collection on the radicalism, beauty and necessity of Black joy to counter narratives of trauma and to celebrate wholeness and liberation.
Black Love Matters: Real Talk on Romance, Being Seen, and Happily Ever Afters
By Jessica P. Pryde (@jessisreading). Berkeley. 288 pages. Out now.
Focused on Black love, joy, desire, romance and the depictions of these in the media, this important anthology includes essays by Jasmine Guillory, Beverly Jenkins, Carole V. Belle, Kosoko Jackson and more.