Here’s the list of books I read in 2019. (You can find my 2018 list here.) They are roughly ordered by how much I liked them, and grouped by non-fiction and fiction.

This year’s list is shorter than last year, but that’s ok. I’ve got a lot on my list for 2020, so we’ll see how many I get through. You should be able to easily find these at your local library or bookstore. Coates and Adichie continue to be some of my favorite authors. I’d recommend all of these, except for Severance and Mem — those two were just ok, kind of “meh”, I was not impressed.


  • The Fire Next Time, James Baldwin
  • Heavy: An American Memoir, Kiese Laymon
  • We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy, Ta-Nehisi Coates
  • The Beautiful Struggle, Ta-Nehisi Coates
  • The Book of Delights, Ross Gay
  • Permanent Record, Edward Snowden
  • A History of Pan-African Revolt, C.L.R. James (PM Press)
  • The Making of Aunti: a story of self-determination in Amerikkka, Aunti Frances Moore (Poor Press)
  • The Making of Aunti: Vol II, Aunti Frances Moore (Poor Press)


  • The Water Dancer, Ta-Nehisi Coates
  • Half of a Yellow Sun, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • Fruit of the Drunken Tree, Ingrid Rojas Contreras
  • What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky, Lesley Nneka Arimah
  • Asymmetry, Lisa Halliday
  • Severance, Ling Ma
  • Mem, Bethany C. Morrow

The Authors

Similar to last year, I think it is important to note who you are reading, not just what you are reading. Of the 13 unique authors, here’s the breakdown.

  • 11 people of color / non-white (85%)
  • 6 male-identifying (46%)
  • 7 female-identifying (54%)

What’s next?

As I mentioned last year, my goal was to read more diverse authors. I plan to continue this trend into 2020. Feel free to ask me about any of these books if you would like to know more. In the meantime, I’ll keep on reading and I’ll see you here at the end of the year for another list.