Books You Should Read in 2019

The beginning of 2018 I set a goal to read at least 1 book per month, tagging my journey with #12books12months on Instagram. With my hectic schedule of work and school this was a reasonable goal that I surprisingly attained quite easily. 

I’m so excited to dive into all of the new books in 2019, but first I am going to share the 12 books I enjoyed in 2018 so that you all can enjoy them as well! 

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1. Steal Like An Artist - Austin Kleon 

 A must have for any and every creative. [finding inspiration] Draw the art you want to see, start the business you want to run, play the music you want to hear, write the books you want to read, build the products you want to use – do the work you want to see done.

 

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2. Young, Gifted, and Black: Promoting High Achievement Among African-American Students

Young Gifted and Black is comprised of 3 essays by African-American scholars on achievement gaps, history, research & solutions. Definitely a necessary text for educators & ANYONE.

 

 

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3. Milk and Honey - Rupi Kaur 

I’ve seen this book floating around and kind of wrote it off thinking it was just a book of mushy love poems and that it was too mainstream...but I finally gave it a chance and was surprised to find mantras, some depth of what it’s like to be a woman and personal reminders making it relatable. Plus the minimalistic & visually appealing illustrations accompanying each poem, is a plus. The book is divided into four chapters, and each chapter serves a different purpose. Not traditional poetry, but overall I find the author’s message brave.

⚠️ Trigger warnings for abuse and rape, though survivors may find this book helpful and uplifting.

 

 

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4. The Mothers - Brit Bennett

If you grew up in the church one thing you know for sure is that the mothers don’t play. The Mothers is a intricately woven story of love and loss, failure and redemption. The way that the author describes certain feelings and considers the perspectives of multiple characters is what makes this book interesting. The character development is wonderful and I felt myself truly empathizing and relating to all three main characters. This novel is great for anyone who wants to delve into the idea of love, friendship, and parenthood. Whether a mother, a child, a sibling, a grandmother, a father, religious, agnostic, black, white, young, older - you will find parts of this book that you hit you in the chest. This novel is definitely a page-turner that makes you think about certain aspects of life.

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5. God Help the Child - Toni Morrison

God Help the Child was a quick read that is definitely in tune with some major questions being asked today in relation to childhood psychology and touches on how we define our sense of worth....Are we beautiful? Are we smart, generous, kind? In the midst of this love story there is an exploration of how traumatic incidents in the childhoods of four individuals: Bride, Rain, Booker, and Brooklyn, shaped their adulthood in different ways. Some were made stronger, while others carried unknown burdens.

⚠️ Trigger warnings for abuse and rape.

 

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6. The Hate U Give - Angie Thomas

 “Sometimes you can do everything right and things will still go wrong. The key is to never stop doing right.”

The Hate U Give was a pleasantly long read that mirrors the countless news stories of police brutality and shootings we sadly see time and time again (most recently #antwonrose)...I felt so many things while reading, such a thought provoking and gut wrenching read. I encourage everyone to read this book! white, black, brown, yellow, red, polka dot, everyone can benefit from reading this powerful story. For a debut book Thomas knocked it out of the park! I loved her writing, the plot and the flow of the story. I felt like I was living it out alongside Starr and her family while reading. I'm looking forward to reading more books by her in the future.

 

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7. An American Marriage - Tayari Jones

READ THIS BOOK! Just do it, do not read the synopsis, trust me it’s worth it. An American Marriage was a beautiful, yet devastating story which explores love, race, responsibility and the justice system all through the eyes of a young couple.. The story is told from three separate POVs: from that of Celestial, Roy, and Andre...you will definitely love them and hate them each at different times. My first #TayariJones book, and it won’t be my last!

 

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8. The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl - Issa Rae

I literally laughed out loud with every page turn. Whether you're awkward, Black, a girl, all three or neither you should get into this hilarious read!

 

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9. Nappily Ever After - Trisha R. Thomas

Nappily Ever After is definitely a modern day fairytale with a positive message that benefits all girls, not just black girls. It's a lighthearted take on a serious issue, on how girls & women internalize commercial beauty messages until they lose the thing that really made them beautiful in the first place - their sense of self worth. Yes, it’s much different from the #Netflix movie.

 

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10. Homecoming- Yaa Gyasi

Homegoing is an amazing, challenging, and ultimately satisfying story. Definitely a different novel as it presents the point of view from many different characters spanning over hundreds of years. PLAN to PAY ATTENTION! Each chapter / section depicts the story of the next generation and describes the struggle with racism, survival, etc. The life and customs in Ghana 🇬🇭 are portrayed in rigorous detail, the horrors of the slave trade are acutely rendered, and the rising up of a nation built on prejudice and discrimination is depicted with exactitude

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11. Becoming - Michelle Obama

This book is an inspiring, honest and soulful embodiment of the life of forever FLOTUS Michelle Obama. You will laugh and cry, celebrate and commiserate with her as you go through each page. It really gives the reader a perspective that shows a side of a person rather than a public figure. There is also a heartwarming surprise in the middle. The way she paints a picture of what being a Black Woman in America is actually like, and the need for cross cultural understanding in this country is spot on. We shouldn’t marginalize anyone, all it takes is a little encouragement, persistence, and engagement from all of us. This was definitely an amazing read by a remarkable woman!

 

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12. The Designer Says - Sara Bader

Many of the challenges creatives face today are represented and backed by shared perspectives from many of your favorites past and present! Definitely a great tool/reference book for any designer or creative in your life!

 

What books are on your list for 2019? Share them with us below so I can add them to ours as well!