Now that 2020 is here, the streets are buzzing with conversations of what's to come in the literary community for the new year. Yes, it's super exciting, but it can be overwhelming and difficult to keep up with.
This year, Livre Cafe is going to try to lift that burden for you by breaking up the publications into monthly reports.
Here's your look of what's to come for January 2020!
(All descriptions have been pulled directly from GoodReads)
1. Voices of the Harlem Renaissance: Published in 1925 as the New Negro by Lain Locke (expected publication: 1/2/2020)
From the man known as the father of the Harlem Renaissance comes a powerful, provocative, and affecting anthology of writers who shaped the Harlem Renaissance movement and who help us to consider the evolution of the African American in society.
With stunning works by seminal black voices such as Zora Neale Hurston, Countee Cullen, and W.E.B. DuBois, Locke has constructed a vivid look at the new negro, the changing African American finding his place in the ever shifting sociocultural landscape that was 1920s America. With poetry, prose, and nonfiction essays, this collection is widely praised for its literary strength as well as its historical coverage of a monumental and fascinating time in the history of America.
2. Hitting a Straight Lick with a Crooked Stick by Zora Neal Hurston ( Expected publication 1/7/2020)
In 1925, Barnard student Zora Neale Hurston—the sole black student at the college—was living in New York, “desperately striving for a toe-hold on the world.” During this period, she began writing short works that captured the zeitgeist of African American life and transformed her into one of the central figures of the Harlem Renaissance. Nearly a century later, this singular talent is recognized as one of the most influential and revered American artists of the modern period.
Hitting a Straight Lick with a Crooked Stick is an outstanding collection of stories about love and migration, gender and class, racism and sexism that proudly reflect African American folk culture. Brought together for the first time in one volume, they include eight of Hurston’s “lost” Harlem stories, which were found in forgotten periodicals and archives. These stories challenge conceptions of Hurston as an author of rural fiction and include gems that flash with her biting, satiric humor, as well as more serious tales reflective of the cultural currents of Hurston’s world. All are timeless classics that enrich our understanding and appreciation of this exceptional writer’s voice and her contributions to America’s literary traditions.
3. I love myself when I am Laughing… and then again when I am Looking Mean and Impressive: Zora Neale Hurston Reader (Expected Publication: 1/7/2020)
The most prolific African-American woman author from 1920 to 1950, Hurston was praised for her writing and condemned for her independence, arrogance, and audaciousness. This unique anthology, with fourteen superb examples of her fiction, journalism, folklore, and autobiography, rightfully establishes her as the intellectual and spiritual leader of the next generation of black writers. The original commentary by Alice Walker and Mary Helen Washington, two African-American writers in the forefront of the Hurston revival, provide illuminating insights into Hurston—the writer, and the person—as well as into American social and cultural history.
4. Butterfly by Ashley Antoinette (Expected Publication: 1/7/2020)
"Run away from the boy that gives you butterflies, he's going to break your heart."
Morgan Atkins had been told that phrase ever since she was a little girl and still she allowed herself to fall for the boy that made her heart flutter. After losing her first love, Morgan is terrified to love again. She's settled for a comfortable life with a respectable man. She has everything. She's living in the lap of luxury and although she's comfortable, she's bored out of her mind.
When a ghost from her past blows into town, she finds herself entangled in an illicit affair. It's wrong, but she can't fight the butterflies he gives her and honestly, she doesn't want to. She can't hide the natural attraction she feels and soon, she's so deep involved that she can no longer tell where the boundary between right and wrong lies. Her heart is telling her one thing, but her head is saying another. Morgan Atkins has always been a spoiled girl and she tries to have it all, but when she's forced to choose between a good man and a bad boy, someone will end up hurt. Someone just may end up dead.
5. All the Days Past, all the Days to Come by Mildred D. Taylor (Expected Publication: 1/7/2020)
In her tenth book, Mildred Taylor completes her sweeping saga about the Logan family of Mississippi, which is also the story of the civil rights movement in America of the 20th century. Cassie Logan, first met in Song of the Trees and Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, is a young woman now, searching for her place in the world, a journey that takes her from Toledo to California, to law school in Boston, and, ultimately, in the 60s, home to Mississippi to participate in voter registration. She is witness to the now-historic events of the century: the Great Migration north, the rise of the civil rights movement, preceded and precipitated by the racist society of America, and the often violent confrontations that brought about change. Rich, compelling storytelling is Ms. Taylor's hallmark, and she fulfills expectations as she brings to a close the stirring family story that has absorbed her for over forty years. It is a story she was born to tell.
6. A Love Hate Thing by Whitney D. Grandison (Expected Publication: 1/7/2020)
When Tyson Trice finds himself tossed into the wealthy coastal community of Pacific Hills, he’s ready for the questions, the stares and the feeling of not belonging. Not that he cares. After recovering from being shot and surviving the rough streets of Lindenwood, he doesn’t care about anyone or anything, much less how the rest of his life will play out.
Golden girl Nandy Smith has spent most of her life building the pristine image that it takes to fit in when it comes to her hometown Pacific Hills where image is everything. After learning that her parents are taking in a troubled teen boy, Nandy fears her summer plans, as well as her reputation, will go up in flames.
Now with Trice living under the same roof, the wall between their bedrooms feels as thin as the line between love and hate. Beneath the angst, their growing attraction won’t be denied. Through time, Trice brings Nandy out of her shell, and Nandy attempts to melt the ice that’s taken Trice’s heart and being. Only, with the ever-present pull back to the Lindenwood streets, it’ll be a wonder if Trice makes it through this summer at all
7. Overground Railroad: The Green Book and the Roots of Black Travel in America by Candacy Taylor (Expected Publication: 1/7/2020)
Published from 1936 to 1966, the Green Book was hailed as the “black travel guide to America.” At that time, it was very dangerous and difficult for African-Americans to travel because black travelers couldn’t eat, sleep, or buy gas at most white-owned businesses. The Green Book listed hotels, restaurants, gas stations, and other businesses that were safe for black travelers. It was a resourceful and innovative solution to a horrific problem. It took courage to be listed in the Green Book, and Overground Railroad celebrates the stories of those who put their names in the book and stood up against segregation. It shows the history of the Green Book, how we arrived at our present historical moment, and how far we still have to go when it comes to race relations in America.
8. A Long Time Comin' by Robin Pearson (Expected Publication: 1/7/2020)
To hear Beatrice Agnew tell it, she entered the world with her mouth tightly shut. Just because she finds out she's dying doesn't mean she can't keep it that way. If any of her children have questions about their daddy and the choices she made after he abandoned them, they'd best take it up with Jesus. There's no room in Granny B's house for regrets or hand-holding. Or so she thinks.
Her granddaughter, Evelyn Lester, shows up on Beatrice's doorstep anyway, burdened with her own secret baggage. Determined to help her Granny B mend fences with her far-flung brood, Evelyn turns her grandmother's heart and home inside out. Evelyn's meddling uncovers a tucked-away box of old letters, forcing the two women to wrestle with their past and present pain as they confront the truth Beatrice has worked a lifetime to hide.
9. Saving Savannah by Tonya Bolden (Expected Publication: 1/14/2020)
The story of an African-American girl becoming a woman on her own terms against the backdrop of widespread social change in the early 1900s America. As a daughter of an upper class African American family in Washington D.C., Savannah is lucky. Feeling suffocated by the structure of society, Savannah meets a working-class girl named Nell who introduces her to the suffragette and socialist movements, inspiring her to fight for change.
10. Inventing Victoria by Tonya Bolden (Expected Publication: 1/14/2020)
As a young black woman in 1880s Savannah, Essie's dreams are very much at odds with her reality. Ashamed of her beginnings, but unwilling to accept the path currently available to her, Essie is trapped between the life she has and the life she wants.
Until she meets a lady named Dorcas Vashon, the richest and most cultured black woman she's ever encountered. When Dorcas makes Essie an offer she can't refuse, she becomes Victoria. Transformed by a fine wardrobe, a classic education, and the rules of etiquette, Victoria is soon welcomed in the upper echelons of black society in Washington, D. C. But when the life she desires is finally within her grasp, Victoria must decide how much of herself she is truly willing to surrender
11. Conversations in Black: On Power, Politics, and Leadership by Ed Gordon (Expected Publication: 1/14/2020)
Hard-hitting, thought-provoking, and inspiring, Conversations in Black offers sage wisdom for navigating race in a radically divisive America, and, with help from his mighty team of black intelligentsia, veteran journalist Ed Gordon creates hope and a timeless new narrative on what the future of black leadership should look like and how we can get there. In Conversations in Black, Gordon brings together some of the most prominent voices in Black America today, including Stacey Abrams, Harry Belafonte, Charlamagne tha God, Michael Eric Dyson, Alicia Garza, Jemele Hill, Iyanla VanZant, Eric Holder, Killer Mike, Angela Rye, Al Sharpton, TI and Maxine Waters, and so many more to answer questions about vital topics affecting our nation today, such as: · Will the black vote control the 2020 election? · Do black lives really matter? · After the Obama's presidency, are black people better off? · Are stereotypical images of people of color changing in Hollywood? · How is "Black Girl Magic" changing the face of black America? Bombarded with media, music, and social media messages that enforce stereotypes of people of color, Gordon set out to dispel what black power and black excellence really looks like today and offers a way forward for all in a new age of black prosperity and pride.
12. Black Girl Unlimited: The Remarkable Story of a Teenage Wizard by Echo Brown (Expected Publication: 1/14/2020)
Echo Brown is a wizard from the East Side, where apartments are small and parents suffer addictions to the white rocks. Yet there is magic . . . everywhere. New portals begin to open when Echo transfers to the rich school on the West Side, and an insightful teacher becomes a pivotal mentor. Each day, Echo travels between two worlds, leaving her brothers, her friends, and a piece of herself behind on the East Side. There are dangers to leaving behind the place that made you. Echo soon realizes there is pain flowing through everyone around her, and a black veil of depression threatens to undo everything she’s worked for.
Heavily autobiographical and infused with magical realism, Black Girl Unlimited fearlessly explores the intersections of poverty, sexual violence, depression, racism, and sexism—all through the arc of a transcendent coming-of-age.
13. Homie: Poems by Danez Smith (Expected Publication: 1/21/2019)
Homie is Danez Smith’s magnificent anthem about the saving grace of friendship. Rooted in the loss of one of Smith’s close friends, this book comes out of the search for joy and intimacy within a nation where both can seem scarce and getting scarcer. In poems of rare power and generosity, Smith acknowledges that in a country overrun by violence, xenophobia, and disparity, and in a body defined by race, queerness, and diagnosis, it can be hard to survive, even harder to remember reasons for living. But then the phone lights up, or a shout comes up to the window, and family—blood and chosen—arrives with just the right food and some redemption. Part friendship diary, part bright elegy, part war cry, Homie is the exuberant new book written for Danez and for Danez’s friends and for you and for yours.
14. Stakes is High: Life after the American Dream by Michael Denzel Smith (Expected Publication: 1/21/2020)
What happens when a people can take no more injustice rained down upon their sons and daughters? When each new travesty echoes the cries of ancestors killed for the color of their skin? How do a people rediscover hope? And how do they use that new-found hope as momentum and strength for change? In his powerful new book Stakes Is High, pastor, activist, and community leader Michael W. Waters blends hip-hop lyricism and social justice leadership, creating an urgent voice demanding that America listen to the suffering if it hopes to redeem its soul. Weaving stories from centuries of persecution against the backdrop of today's urban prophets on the radio and in the streets, Waters speaks on behalf of an awakened generation raging against racism - yet fueled by the promise of a just future. Through the pain and hard but holy work, you will hear the call to join the faithful struggle for racial justice.
15. Full Dissidence: Notes from an Uneven Playing Field by Howard Bryant (Expected Publication: 1/21/2020)
Whether the issues are protest, labor, patriotism, or class division, it is clear that professional sports are no longer simply fun and games. Rather, the industry is a hotbed of fractures and inequities that reflect and even drive some of the most divisive issues in our country. The nine provocative and deeply personal essays in Full Dissidence confront the dangerous narratives that are shaping the current dialogue in sports and mainstream culture. The book is a reflection on a culture where African Americans continue to navigate the sharp edges of whiteness--as citizens who are always at risk of being told, often directly from the White House, to go back to where they came from. The topics Howard Bryant takes on include the player-owner relationship, the militarization of sports, the myth of integration, the erasure of black identity as a condition of success, and the kleptocracy that has forced America to ask itself if its beliefs of freedom and democracy are more than just words.
16. Race Man: Selected Works by Julian Bond (Expected Publication: 1/21/2020)
An inspiring, historic collection of writings from one of America's most important civil rights leaders.
No one in the United States did more to advance the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. than Julian Bond. Race Man--a collection of his speeches, articles, interviews, and letters--constitutes an unrivaled history of the life and times of one of America's most trusted freedom fighters, offering unfiltered access to his prophetic voice on a wide variety of social issues, including police brutality, abortion, and same-sex marriage.
A man who broke race barriers and set precedents throughout his life in politics; co-founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center and long-time chair of the NAACP; Julian Bond was a leader and a visionary who built bridges between the black civil rights movement and other freedom movements--especially for LGBTQ and women's rights. As we enter the third decade of the twenty-first century, there is no better time to return to Bond's works and words, many of them published here for the first time.
17. All the Things I Should have Known by Tiffany Warren (Expected Publication: 1/28/2020)
They are forty-something, successful, financially set . . . and done with trying to find "perfect" husbands. So why can't Hahna, Twila, and Kimberly have men strictly for friendship, companionship--and especially mind-blowing sex? Their solution: be sugar mamas to gorgeous young studs who promise the best of having it all. But the ladies soon find that real lust and no strings is way more complicated than they thought . . .
All-business and all about the money, Hahna is drawn to Jovan, an aspiring writer. He's content with his work and Hahna, but her determination to make him appreciate the finest things in life could easily tear them apart. Cautious Kimberly is swept off her feet by handsome adrenaline-junkie Shawn--but an old flame from her past sparks an even more dangerous passion. And for Twila, a smokin'-hot Instagram model is fulfilling all her scandalous, insatiable dreams . . . until his high-maintenance demands and jealousy throw her life into chaos. Now Hahna, Kimberly, and Twila need to trust their instincts and their hearts to reclaim their joy--and the love they truly deserve.
Is there a book you know that's coming out this January? Leave a comment down below, so the rest of the community can be aware as well.