Boston Public Library
Black Is... 2005: Fiction
Booklists for Adults

*Suitable for Teens

BLACK IS….2005

*Suitable for Teens

The Accidental Diva
by Tia Williams
Southern middle-class Manhattan beauty editor Billie Burke embarks on a wild affair with “sex and street” performance artist Jay Lane.

All I Need to Get By: A Novel
by Sophronia Scott
Crita, a Manhattan tax accountant, returns to her blue-collar, Ohio hometown to deal with her father’s poor health, her wild brother, and her first love.

American Desert
by Percival Everett
After being decapitated during a car accident, Ted Street sits up in his coffin, and during subsequent adventures, tries to figure out why he is still walking around.

The Awakening: A Vampire Huntress Legend
by L.A. Banks
Damali Richards is in the midst of a civil war in the vampire world. Can she trust her ex-boyfriend, now a vampire, to save her?

by Gary Phillips
Tough guy LAPD Detective Sergeant Rafael “Saint” Santini and his elite Tactical Resources Against Street Hoodlums (TRASH) Unit take on the multicultural underbelly of southern California society.

*Becoming Maren
by Africa Fine.
Two well-off teenagers must move in with their impoverished father when their mother is killed by a drunk driver.

Better Than I Know Myself
by Virginia DeBerry and Donna Grant
Jewel, a teen television sensation, Regina, a well-off suburbanite, and Carmen, from the projects, meet as sophomores at Columbia University and form a long-lasting friendship, until one of them dies.

Birth of a Nation: A Comic Novel
by Aaron McGruder and Reginald Hudlin; illustrated by Kyle Baker
Cartoonist McGruder, filmmaker Hudlin, and illustrator Baker create a graphic political satire about the secession of East St. Louis from the union. A graphic novel.

The Blackbird Papers
by Ian Smith
Dartmouth College professor Wilson Bledsoe is murdered after he received a prestigious science award. His brother, an FBI agent, investigates the crime.

Blood on the Leaves
by Jeff Stetson
James Reynolds, the only African-American district attorney in Mississippi, must prosecute college professor Martin Matheson for the murder of two white suspects in an unsolved 1960s hate crime.

Boaz Brown
by Michelle Stimpson
Dallas high school assistant principal LaShondra Smith prays regularly to find a handsome Christian African American man. Then she meets “Mr. Right.” Christian fiction.

Camilla’s Roses
by Bernice L. McFadden
Camilla has a husband, child, and a successful career. However, a diagnosis of breast cancer causes her to revisit her contentious family.

Cold Blooded: A Hardcore Novel
by The Urban Griot
Chicago college student Janeia Goode embarks on an affair with womanizing professional assassin Warren “Molasses” Hamilton. A new series geared towards men
by Omar Tyree.

Cosmopolitan Girls
by Charlotte Burley and Lyah Beth LeFlore
Charlie and Lindsey join forces to gain the moral and spiritual strength they need to leave their cheating boyfriends.

by Darnella Ford
Michael Moore has reached the time in her life when she wants Prince Charming, but she’s meeting Gerry, who doesn’t work, Marshall, who used to be a she, and Keith, whose wife keeps paging him.

Dark Matter: Reading the Bones
edited by Sheree R. Thomas
An anthology of science fiction, fantasy, and folktales by African American and Caribbean authors including Charles Johnson, Walter Mosley, and WEB DuBois.

The Darkest Child
by Delores Phillips
Dark-skinned Tangy Mae survives an abusive childhood in segregated rural Georgia.

Dead Water: A Novel of Suspense
by Barbara Hanbly
In 1850s New Orleans, on a steamboat going up the Mississippi, Benjamin and Rose January pursue the thief who cleaned out their bank account.

The Dew Breaker
by Edwidge Danticat.
A dew breaker, a Haitian torturer under Baby Doc Duvalier, hides the brutal crimes he committed in his country behind his new life as a devoted husband, father, and hard-working barber in a Brooklyn neighborhood.

Drive Me Crazy
by Eric Jerome Dickey
After having an affair with his boss’s wife, Driver takes $15,000 from her to kill her husband, but he can’t do it, and keeps the money.

Ebony Rising: Short Fiction of the Greater Harlem Renaissance Era
Edited by Craig Gable
52 stories that were written from 1912-1940 range from sci-fi, political satire, and detective fiction. Includes Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, and Dorothy West.

Fannin’ the Flames
by Parry “Ebony Satin” Brown.
When C shift of the Los Angeles Fire Department starts to experience strange occurrences that seem to be racially motivated, and their chief refuses to investigate, two veteran fire fighters take on the job.

*A Family Affair
by Marcus Major
This sequel to Good Peoples continues the up and down stories of the Moore family of Camden, NJ.

by Ray Shannon
Following a wild Las Vegas weekend with Dallas Cowboy Raygene Price, public relations executive Reece Germaine finds herself pregnant and holding a long shot Super Bowl bet.

Fatal Remains
by Eleanor Taylor Bland
When two students are killed while working on an archaeological dig of the Underground Railroad, Detective Marti MacAlister investigates.

Flippin’ the Script
by Aisha Ford
Sabrina Bradley’s boss offers her a promotion if she will keep her New Year’s resolutions for a year, but one of them is not falling in love, and that’s a problem.

by Nicole Bailey-Williams
Biracial Shanna Johnson is caught between the world of her wealthy mother and the tough urban streets of her emotionally distant father.

by Chris Abani
In a ghetto in postcolonial Nigeria, after he fails as an Elvis impersonator, Elvis Oke decides to try smuggling body parts.

He Had It Coming
by Camika Spencer
Five female members of a Dallas book discussion group kidnap misogynist author Marcus Brooks for possible rehabilitation.

High Stakes
by Angela Winters
Marketing executive Sabrina Scott and her ex-fiancé Chicago sportswriter Clark Hunter investigate illegal activities at a Las Vegas boxing match.

Hitts & Mrs
by Lori Bryant Woolridge
When Melanie’s relationship with longtime beau Willy Freedman hits a snag, will her married boss take his place?

The Honey Well
by Gloria Mallette
After forcing her teenage daughter into sleeping with the landlord in order to keep a roof over their heads, Esther’s life as a madam began.

Ida B.: A Novel
by Karen E. Quinones Miller
Three long-time residents of Harlem’s Ida B. Wells-Barrett Tower tell their stories, solve problems, and aspire to better lives.

In My Bedroom
by Donna Hill
Rayne Holland, an incest victim, seemed to have it all, but then she learned that her husband was cheating with her best friend.

It’s All About the Moon When the Sun Ain’t Shining
by Ernest Hill
Omenita and Maurice want to get married but first there’s high school to finish, and then college, and when Maurice wants to go to law school, Omenita won’t wait any longer.

by Christopher Darden and Dick Lochte
Attorney Mercer Early, a rising star in an African-American law firm, has been assigned to defend an L.A. cop who killed his wife.

The Laying On of Hands
by Brenda Rhodes Miller
Charlotte has the gift of healing of infirmities by the laying on of hands, but asks God why she is not able to heal those closest to her.

*Leaving Cecil Street
by Diane McKinney-Whetstone
Quiet tree-lined Cecil Street in 1969 is where everybody knows about everyone else’s strained marriages, unwanted pregnancies and abortions.

by Nuruddin Farah
After a twenty-year absence, Jeeblah returns to war-torn Mogadishu to make peace with his mother’s spirit, and finds a city ruled by ruthless warlords and gun-toting teenagers.

Little Scarlett
by Walter Mosely
As the Watts riots wind down, Easy Rawlins is recruited by the LAPD and works both sides of the law to find the killer of a red-headed woman.

A Love So Strong
by Kendra M. Norman-Bellamy
Nicole and Bryan Walker, a childless Christian couple from Atlanta, enjoy life until manipulative Tricia Smart claims that Bryan is the father of her twelve year old son.
Christian fiction.

The Madonna of Excelsior
by Zakes Mda
In Apartheid South Africa, 1971, Niki holds her biracial daughter Popi over a bed of coals in order to “erase the pinkness out of her.”

The Man In My Basement
by Walter Mosley
Charles Blakey rents his basement for $48,750 to a white man who wants it for a 65-day self-imposed prison sentence, in order to absolve himself of his horrendous deeds.

*A Meeting In the Ladies’ Room
by Anita Doreen Diggs.
Jackie’s biggest problem was an unrequited love for co-worker Victor Bell, until her white boss was murdered, and Jackie’s fingerprints were found everywhere at the crime scene.

Mercy, Mercy Me
by Ronn Elmore
Dr. Dwayne Grandison, a Los Angeles psychotherapist and Christian counselor, is invited to become host on beautiful TV evangelist Beverlynn Boudreaux’s new show.

More Than You Know
by Rosalyn M. Story
In this debut novel, jazz musician LJ Tillman’s marriage is torn apart after an old secret is revealed.

My Daughter’s Boyfriend
by Cydney Rax
Single mother, Tracey, teenage daughter, Lauren, and college student, Aaron, form a love triangle that could lead to serious consequences.

My Fine Lady
by Yolanda Joe
Talented Imani’s father wants her to sing in his struggling nightclub, her boyfriend wants to be her producer, and her professor wants her all to himself.

Nervous: A Novel
by Zane
A psychiatrist helps timid Jonquinette and her alter ego, bad girl Jude, merge into one happy and whole person.

Now Is the Time to Open Your Heart: A Novel
by Alice Walker
With the help of shamans and hallucinogens, middle-aged artist Kate Talkingtree embarks on spiritual quests down the Colorado and Amazon rivers.

Orange Crushed: An Ivy League Mystery
by Pamela Thomas-Graham
Harvard University economics professor Nikki Chase investigates the murder of her Princeton University colleague and mentor Earl Stokes after he announces his plan to teach at Harvard. Third in a series of Ivy League mysteries.

Passing Through
by Colin Channer
Connecting stories that tell of intersecting lives on a small Caribbean island simmering with issues of politics, power, and race.

The Perfect Blend
by C. Kelly Robinson
Six Chicagoans try to maintain their romantic, parental, and professional relationships.

Pushkin and the Queen of Spades: A Novel
by Alice Randall
Russian literature professor Windsor Armstrong searches her past to find why her professional football player son Pushkin X becomes engaged to a Russian exotic dancer.

Rendezvous Eighteenth
by Jake Lamar
Ricky Jenks is living in Paris when he gets a message from his hated cousin, “Cash” Washington who needs Rick’s help in finding his runaway wife.

River Jordan: A Novel
by Augusta Trobaugh
After hearing Jesus call to her to wash her feet in the River Jordan, Pansy Jordan returns home to care for the grandmother of a lonely little girl. Christian fiction.

Shades of Brown
by Denise Becker
After murdering her abusive husband, Meg Robbins leaves town to go back to Delaware, where she finds a new life and new love.

*Shifting Through Neutral
by Bridgett M. Davis
A coming-of-age story in 1970s Detroit during which Rae Dodson finds that her distant mother is not capable of love, while her dying father’s love is too smothering.

by Moses Isegawa
After a twenty-year absence, Bat Katanga returns to Uganda to seek his fortune, but gets caught up in the bloodthirsty regime of Idi Amin.

Some People, Some Other Place
by J. California Cooper.
An unborn child narrates as her great-grandparents, grandparents, and finally her mother journey from the Deep South of 1895 North to a town called Place and a Street called Dream.

*Soul City: A Novel
by Toure
Reporter Cadillac Jackson visits idyllic Soul City , which has “more mojo than any city in the world,” to investigate its quirky mayoral race.

*Star Wars: The Cestus Deception
by Steven Barnes
Jedi master Obi-Wan Kenobi is sent to Ord Cestus, where battle droids are manufactured, to prevent the Confederacy from getting them.

A Sunday at the Pool in Kigali
by Gil Courtemanche
Gentille, a Hutu often mistaken for a Tutsi, and Valcourt, a foreign journalist, fall in love as the Hutu-led genocide of the Tutsi people begins.

Sweet Bye-Bye
by Denise Michelle Harris
Chantell Myers runs into problems with her fiancé when she promises God she will reform her ways if He will spare her father from his massive heart attack.

Tastes Like Chicken
by Lolita Files
Pregnant Reesy Snowden finds out her fiancé is playing the field, while her friend, Misty Fine, faces some unpleasant truths about the man she married.

The Team
by Dawson Perkins
Workaholic Atlanta CPA Gwen Fagan is a cool professional until ex-college basketball star Xavier Dean joins her firm. His presence brings her back to her date rape by a teammate.

Trouble Don’t Last Always: A Novel
by Francis Ray
Lily Crawford left her abusive husband in Texas and fled to Louisiana where she became the caretaker of angry blind neurosurgeon Adam Wakefield.

The Viaduct
by Grace F. Edwards
In 1970s Harlem, Marin Taylor kills one of his two muggers. The other attacker swears vengeance, and Marin’s baby daughter is kidnapped.

Washington and Caesar
by Christian Cameron
As George Washington becomes commander of the Continental Army, his former slave Caesar joins a corps of black soldiers in the British Army.

The Way It Is
by Patrick Sanchez
Three Washington DC women, plain Ruby, plus-sized model Wanda, and sexy anchorwoman Simone embark on a serious of hilarious adventures.

*When Did You Stop Loving Me
by Veronica Chambers
Eleven year old Angela Davis Brown struggles with loss after her mother abandons the family.

Who Slashed Celanire’s Throat
by Maryse Conde
Celanire, always with a scarf around her neck, embarks on a mission to Africa, Guadeloupe, and Peru, to find out the truth about her violent past.

Would I Lie To You?: A Novel
by Trisha R. Thomas
In this sequel to Nappily Ever After, Washington DC marketing executive Venus Johnston goes to Los Angeles to promote ex-rapper Jake Parson’s new clothing line.

Why Sleeping Dogs Lie
by Tracie Howard.
Years ago, Mallory and Saxton’s steamy affair resulted in the birth of a child, which Saxton, and now his TV superstar fiancée, know nothing about, but not for long.

Credits: This selected list was compiled by:

Betsy Clarke
Codman Square Branch

Marylou Coveney
Retired, Dudley Branch

Denise DeBoer
Fields Corner Branch

Timothy DiPace
West Roxbury Branch

Kathy Kire
Adams Street Branch

Allen Knight
Uphams Corner Branch

Panit Satyasai-Crimmin
West End Branch

Anne Smart
South End Branch

Richard Winter-Green
Lower Mills Branch