By Collection Management Librarian Dontaná McPherson-Joseph
We miss talking books with you, especially now that the deep winter has set in. But don’t worry, we’ve still got some excellent reads to get you through. Check out these hidden gems just waiting for their readers.
Fiction titles you might have missed
The Living Is Easy by Dorothy West
Why you should try it: This historical novel of family, passing, and covetousness has genuine heart at its center. If you love Brit Bennett, you’ll love this.
Description: Dorothy West’s first novel and one of only a handful of novels published by women during the Harlem Renaissance, tells the story of Cleo Judson, daughter of Southern sharecroppers, who is determined to integrate into Boston’s black elite.
The Unspoken by Ian K. Smith
Why you should try it: A missing woman, a Black detective, and potentially corrupt CPD? What’s not to like? If you like Joe Ide, this is for you.
Description: Fired for refusing to cooperate in a police cover-up, Chicago detective-turned-private investigator Ashe Cayne searches for a missing woman who has been hiding dangerous secrets from her wealthy family.
A Glimmer of Death by Valerie Wilson Wesley
Why you should try it: Just this side of cozy, this murder mystery also has an adorable cat! If you like Laura Childs, you’ll love this.
Description: The first in a thrilling new series starring a women with an extraordinary psychic gift follows widow Odessa Jones as she, to prove her co-worker’s innocence, investigates the murder of a volatile man who had a lot of enemies.
Benita Renee Jenkins by Lorisa Bates
Why you should try it: This smart mystery about a framed secret agent is good fun! If you like De’nesha Diamond, you’ll like this.
Description: An aspiring investigator is tapped for recruitment into a clandestine organization by an agent who instructs her to infiltrate a corrupt music empire, before she is set up and blackmailed into forfeiting everything to protect her loved ones.
Yellow Wife by Sadeqa Johnson
Why you should try it: This candid and well-researched tale of the Antebellum South will move you. If you like Dolen Perkins-Valdez, you’ll like this.
Description: Born on a plantation, but set apart from the others by her mother’s position as a medicine woman, a young slave is forced to leave home at 18 years old and unexpectedly finds herself in an infamously cruel jail.
Stream & download with: Media on Demand & Libby (ebook)
Never Die Alone by Donald Goines
Why you should try it: It’s a gritty classic of urban fiction. If you love Iceberg Slim, you’ll love this.
Description: David clawed his way out of the streets; he did whatever it took to get to the top, but he didn’t know it could cost him his life.
Stream & download with: Hoopla (digital audiobook)
Dontaná is a Collection Management Librarian who was born with an unending reading list. She is almost always reading two books simultaneously and is easily distracted by cool covers.