When Netflix isn't cutting it, or your eyes are crying out for a screen break, or you're in need of a beach companion, books are always there . They've been a haven of inclusivity for characters (and authors) from all walks of life, and they allow us to learn about different cultures that may be new to us and see outlooks from other perspectives. We can learn a lot from a good read, and we have BIPOC (Black, indigenous, and people of color) authors to thank for the experience.

There are a lot of ways you can be an ally to people of color and while buying books isn't number one of the list, we wanted to shine a spotlight on ways you can support authors of color. The next time you're scanning your bookshelf, take a look at one of these instead. Reading is a resource. It's best we use it to our advantage.

Here are 17 books by authors of color I recommend adding to your home library ASAP.


Sunny Song Will Never Be Famous by Suzanne Park

Sunny Song Will Never Be Famous by Suzanne Park

Amazon

Suzanne Park's latest novel centers around social media-obsessed Sunny Song, who's just been shipped off to summer camp in Iowa, where anything having to do with WiFi is strictly prohibited. Between her new friends and the charming farm boy, having to disconnect from the outside world may not be all so bad.

$9.89

You Had Me at Hola by Alexis Daria

You Had Me at Hola by Alexis Daria

Amazon

Soap opera star Jasmine Lin Rodgriguez needs telenovela hottie Ashton Suárez just as much as he needs her. There's only one problem: they're supposed to be playing each other's love interest and their connection is anything but passionate. As they rehearse their lines and other things (wink, wink) outside of work, things begin to improve. They'll just have to make sure their newfound feelings don't get in the way of their personal lives and the paparazzi. Their TV show depends on it.

$12.79

The City We Became by N.K. Jemisin

The City We Became by N.K. Jemisin

Amazon

If you love science fiction and you're not reading N.K. Jemisin, you've got some explaining to do. In this novel, the first part of a trilogy in progress, the world comes to realize that its major cities are literally alive. New York's boroughs take on human avatars who fight Lovecraftian horrors. The book is provocative and timely, sure to whisk you away—to a dystopian New York, anyway.

$14.30

The Girl With the Louding Voice by Abi Dare

The Girl With the Louding Voice by Abi Dare

Amazon

Born into a rural and poor Nigerian village, Adunni dreams of the day she'll be an educated woman with her "louding voice." Follow her inspirational journey as she fights to make a difference in not only her life but in those around her, too.

$12.28

Lurkers by Sandi Tan

Lurkers by Sandi Tan

Amazon

Sandi Tan's newest novel follows the residents of Santa Claus Lane, who, despite trying to avoid each other at all costs, end up colliding. There's Korean American sisters Mira and Rosemary; the pervy drama school teacher; a gay novelist who writes about horror for a living; and a white mom who finds herself always in a tiff with her adopted Vietnamese daughter. Nestled in a row of Los Angeles homes, this group of strangers is in for it.

$21.13

Ayesha at Last by Uzma Jalaluddin

Ayesha at Last by Uzma Jalaluddin

Amazon

Pegged as "a modern-day Muslim Pride and Prejudice," Uzma Jalaluddin's debut book centers around Ayesha Shamsi, a new teacher who currently lives under the same roof as her outgoing Muslim family. While her cousin has had over 100 suitors knocking on her door, Ayesha couldn't care less about stepping into an arranged marriage. But when she meets her cousin's indignantly hot fiancé, Ayesha gets butterflies—and not the excited-for-her-cousin butterflies, the other kind.

$8.99

His Only Wife by Peace Adzo Medie

His Only Wife by Peace Adzo Medie

Amazon

One day, Afi is a seamstress in Ho, Ghana. The next she's arranged to be betrothed to Elikem, one of Accra's most affluent businessmen. Selected by Elikem's mother, Afi's sole purpose is to just exist, and by doing so she'll be warding off other women vying for Elikem's heart. In return, Afi's mother will be financially taken care of. It's too good of a deal to pass up even if it means sacrificing her happiness.

$14.49

The Vegetarian by Han Kang

The Vegetarian by Han Kang

Amazon

In this surreal horror story, a Seoul woman, Yeong-hye, suddenly refuses to eat meat or animal products of any kind after having recurring, graphic nightmares about the butchering process. This decision sets a domino effect in motion in her family, who try in turns to control Yeong-hye's fate. It's a strange story and not for the faint of heart, but if you love horror, you'll love Han Kang's masterpiece.

$10.69

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Amazon

When Noemí Taboada receives a troubling message from her recently married cousin crying out for help, she immediately travels to her cousin's Mexican countryside residence, High Place. The estate and her cousin's in-laws are off-putting. In her gut, Noemí knows something isn't right and continues to dig for more clues, but nothing will prepare her for what'll she find.

$13.99

Dominicana by Angie Cruz

Dominicana by Angie Cruz

Amazon

Ana Cancion, a 15-year-old native Dominican, marries Juan Ruiz, a man twice her age on his way to New York City, on January 1, 1965. It's a dream most girls from her childhood pray for, but not Ana. She's in it for her family and a shot at giving them a better life. However, Washington Heights isn't all it's cracked up to be and she plans a getaway, which completely crumbles when her brother-in-law catches her mid-act.

$14.11

Hitting a Straight Lick With a Crooked Stick by Zora Neale Hurston

Hitting a Straight Lick With a Crooked Stick by Zora Neale Hurston

Amazon

A collection of short stories, Hitting a Straight Lick with a Crooked Stick is written by one of the most influential figures of the Harlem Renaissance. Topics bounce from love to gender to class to racism and sexism. It's the whole nine yards and embodies African American folk culture through the eyes of someone who lived it firsthand.

$16.69

The Bastard of Istanbul by Elif Sharak

The Bastard of Istanbul by Elif Sharak

Amazon

The Kazanci clan is an interesting bunch. For starters, there's a curse over the family; none of the Kazanci men make it to their fifties. When their Armenian-American cousin pops over for a visit, all havoc wreaks loose. Lies will be unspooled, secrets will be unveiled, and you'll be gasping until the very last sentence.

$14.32

A River of Stars by Vanessa Hua

A River of Stars by Vanessa Hua

Amazon

Meet Scarlett Chen: She just arrived in Los Angeles after her bigwig (and married!) lover—who also happens to be her boss—found out she's pregnant with his baby. To give his son, certainly not Scarlett, a world of opportunities, he sends her off to give birth in America. Plot twist: The original sonogram was wrong; she's having a baby girl.

Now, meet Daisy: A teenager pregnant by her now estranged American boyfriend. The two meet in a home for expecting mothers and unexpectedly embark on a journey of a lifetime to San Francisco's Chinatown.

$16.32

Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Amazon

Since they were young, Florentino Ariza knew Fermina Daza was his one true love. Even when Fermina marries a rich, high and mighty doctor, he holds onto their love. Then, 50 years, nine months and four days later, Fermina's husband dies and Florentino is at the funeral, ready to profess his love once again.

$8.22

The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris

The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris

Amazon

Nella Rogers finally isn't the only Black employee at Wagner Books, and she loves her new coworker, Hazel. It seems like everyone in the office loves Hazel, too—like, a little too much. Soon thereafter, Nella begins to receive anonymous letters threatening her job. They can't be from her new work bestie, can they?

$16.36

Sarong Party Girls by Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan

Sarong Party Girls by Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan

Amazon

On the cusp of their twenty-seventh birthdays, Jazzy and her BFFs Sher, Imo, and Fan make a pact to marry wealthy ang mohs (Western expats) and catapult themselves to ultimate Singapore riches, Chanel baby onesies and all. Focused (and a little desperate) to secure herself a white husband, Jazzy faces an uphill battle filled with "new money and old-world attitudes."

$8.54

The Map of Love by Ahdaf Soueif

The Map of Love by Ahdaf Soueif

Amazon

New to Egypt, English English widow Anna Winterbourne is swept off her feet by Egyptian nationalist Sharif Pasha al-Baroudi. Fast forward nearly 100 years later, divorced American reporter Isabel Parkman finds herself following her great-grandmother's footsteps after she falls for an Egyptian-American conductor. Isabel feels connected to her great-grandparents more than ever and sets off to Egypt to learn more about her ancestors' love story. What she discovers about them and herself is truly shocking.

$15.99

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