By Eartha Watts Hicks
The Summer season ushers warmer weather and a new selection of great books. Harlem World Magazine’s contributing editor, Eartha Watts Hicks, has compiled a list of this summer’s hottest reads.
Be happy and enjoy reading while lazing on a beach or killing time on a flight.
These titles can transport even a copious imagination into worlds more compelling than the realities we’ve become accustomed to lately.
Finding Me, a memoir
by Viola Davis
From a crumbling apartment in Central Falls, Rhode Island, to the stage in New York City, and beyond, this is the path Viola Davis has taken to find my purpose and her voice in a world that didn’t always see her.
Finding Me is a deep reflection, a promise, and a love letter of sorts to self.
Written with the hope that this memoir will inspire others to light their own path with creative expression and rediscover who they are–for themselves–before the world assigns any labels.
Price: $ 18.53
Dele Weds Destiny: A Novel
by Tomi Obaro
The story of three once-inseparable college friends in Nigeria who reunite for the first time in thirty years at a lavish wedding in Lagos for one of their daughters—a sparkling debut novel about mothers and daughters, culture and class, sex and love, and the extraordinary resilience of female friendship.
Price: $ 22.05
This Close To Okay
by Leesa Cross-Smith
On a rainy October night in Kentucky, recently divorced therapist Tallie Clark is on her way home from work when she spots a man precariously standing at the edge of a bridge. Without a second thought, Tallie pulls over and jumps out of the car into the pouring rain. She convinces the man to join her for a cup of coffee, and he eventually agrees to come back to her house, where he finally shares his name: Emmett.
Over the course of the emotionally charged weekend that follows, Tallie makes it her mission to provide a safe space for Emmett, though she hesitates to confess that this is also her day job. What she doesn’t realize is that Emmett isn’t the only one who needs healing—and they both are harboring secrets.
The Boyfriend Project
by Farrah Rochon
Samiah Brooks never thought she would be “that” girl. But a live tweet of a horrific date just revealed the painful truth: she’s been catfished by a three-timing jerk of a boyfriend. Suddenly Samiah — along with his two other “girlfriends,” London and Taylor — have gone viral online. Now the three new besties are making a pact to spend the next six months investing in themselves.
No men and no dating. For once Samiah is putting herself first, and that includes finally developing the app she’s always dreamed of creating. Which is the exact moment she meets the deliciously sexy Daniel Collins at work. What are the chances? But is Daniel really boyfriend material or is he maybe just a little too good to be true?
Price: $ 19.95
Good Morning Love
by Ashley M. Coleman
Carlisa “Carli” Henton is a musician and songwriter hoping to follow in her father’s musical footsteps. But, biding her time until she makes it big in the music industry, she works as a junior account manager at a big-name media company to cover her New York City rent. Carli meticulously balances her work with her musical endeavors as a songwriter—until a chance meeting with rising star Tau Anderson sends her calculated world into a frenzy. Their worlds collide and quickly blur the strict lines Carli has drawn between her business and her personal life, throwing Carli’s reputation—and her burgeoning songwriting career—into question.
by Monica West
Every summer, fifteen-year-old Miriam Horton and her family pack themselves tight in their old minivan and travel through small southern towns for revival season: the time when Miriam’s father—one of the South’s most famous preachers—holds massive healing services for people desperate to be cured of ailments and disease. But, this summer, the revival season doesn’t go as planned, and after one service in which Reverend Horton’s healing powers are tested like never before, Miriam witnesses a shocking act of violence that shakes her belief in her father—and her faith.
Price: $ 17.99
By Landis Lane
Sasha Anderson is on the edge….Everyone knows that she lied about who the father of her child was. Now, everyone is demanding the truth, her mother has kicked her out of the house and she’s this close to losing custody of her baby. What’s a girl to do when life is an overwhelming struggle and dying takes too much trouble and effort? A new beginning…College seems to be Sasha’s savior. After enrolling in Michigan State University (with her baby in tow), she begins the struggle back from the abyss, juggling studies, a baby and a job. She doesn’t have time or energy to try to figure out her life and she definitely doesn’t have time for friends or lovers. Suleiman Richardson is a former Marine battling his own demons. What he needs is a friend to help him redeem something he has lost and get his life back on track. And that friend is Sasha – whether she knows it or not. Suleiman’s friendship helps Sasha face some hard truths about her baby…who the father is…and why choosing life is the best answer.
Canela con Miel y Clavos
By Dr. Robert J. Woodbine
Canela con Miel y Clavos (Cinnamon with Honey and Nails) explores the complexities of growing up as a Black male of the Caribbean and Hispanic heritage in the urban America of the 1960s. This collection of poems, dribbles & drabbles, vignettes, short stories, and an essay express Dr. Woodbine’s personal poignant memories and offers insights into the caustic effects of racism both past and present. A product of the Black Arts Movement, he examines this racial and cultural history and, with measured acerbic lyricism, reveals elements of these struggles through the lens of his own experiences.
Price: $ 24.95
Take My Hand
by Dolan Perkins Valdez–Fiction
Montgomery, Alabama, 1973. Fresh out of nursing school, Civil Townsend has big plans to make a difference, especially in her African American community. At the Montgomery Family Planning Clinic, she intends to help women make their own choices for their lives and bodies.
But when her first week on the job takes her down a dusty country road to a worn-down one-room cabin, she’s shocked to learn that her new patients, Erica and India, are children—just 11 and 13 years old.
Neither of the Williams sisters has even kissed a boy, but they are poor and Black, and for those handling the family’s welfare benefits, that’s reason enough to have the girls on birth control.
As Civil grapples with her role, she takes India, Erica, and their family into her heart. Until one day she arrives at the door to learn the unthinkable has happened, and nothing will ever be the same for any of them.
Price: $ 18.90
You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty: A Novel
by Akwaeke Emezi–Fiction
It’s been five years since the accident that killed the love of her life and she’s almost a new person now–an artist with her own studio, and sharing a brownstone apartment with her ride-or-die best friend, Joy, who insists it’s time for Feyi to ease back into the dating scene. Feyi isn’t ready for anything serious, but a steamy encounter at a rooftop party cascades into a whirlwind summer she could have never imagined….
Price: $ 13.22
After Hours on Milagro Street
by Angelina M. Lopez–Hispanic American Fiction
The hot brainiac who sleeps in one of the upstairs tenant rooms already has all of her Mexican American family’s admiration; she won’t let him have the bar and building she needs to resurrect her career, too.
But when an old enemy threatens Loretta’s and the surrounding neighborhood, Alex and Jeremiah must combine forces. It will take her might and his mind to save the home they both desperately need.
Price: $ 9.99
Eartha Watts Hicks
Eartha Watts Hicks is a Harlem World Magazine contributing Book Editor the award-winning author of Love Changes, a member of the Harlem Writers Guild, and a New York City literacy ambassador for NYCHA/NAACP. For more information, visit www.earthaton.com.