Sistah Girls, it’s a new year, and that means new reading goals. Now we all know there are levels when setting reading goals and sometimes you don’t know where to start once you’ve set the goal.
Should you begin with your TBR (to be read) list? Should you try a new genre? Or maybe you should try a reading challenge? The entire process of finding new books to read can become a task.
With that in mind, I asked members of our book club to give me their top five books that other Sistah Girls should read this year and they didn’t disappoint. So without further ado…the ultimate Sistah Girls Book Club 2023 reading list.
Loving Donovan by Bernice McFadden
The first section of McFadden’s unconventional love story belongs to Campbell. Despite being born to a brokenhearted mother and a faithless father, Campbell still believes in the power of love…if she can ever find it.
Living in the same neighborhood, but unknown to Campbell until a chance meeting brings them together, is Donovan, the “little man” of a shattered home–a family torn apart by anger and bitterness.
In the face of daunting obstacles, Donovan dreams of someday marrying, raising a family, and playing in the NBA. But deep inside, Campbell and Donovan live with the histories that have shaped their lives. What they discover–together and apart–forms the basis of this compelling, sensual, and surprising novel.
Love Songs of W.E.B. DuBois by Honoree Fanonne Jeffers
The great scholar, W. E. B. Du Bois, once wrote about the Problem of race in America, and what he called “Double Consciousness,” a sensitivity that every African American possesses in order to survive.
Since childhood, Ailey Pearl Garfield has understood Du Bois’s words all too well. Bearing the names of two formidable Black Americans—the revered choreographer Alvin Ailey and her great-grandmother Pearl, the descendant of enslaved Georgians and tenant farmers—Ailey carries Du Bois’s Problem on her shoulders.
Ailey is reared in the north in the City but spends summers in the small Georgia town of Chicasetta, where her mother’s family has lived since their ancestors arrived from Africa in bondage. Read the full synopsis HERE.
Their eyes were watching god by Zora Neale Hurston
Janie Crawford, a light, long-legged, self-sufficient and eloquent woman. Sets out to be her person. A no common feat for a black woman in the ’30s. Janie’s journey for identity takes her through three wedlock and into a course back to her roots.
A remarkable classic by Zora Neale Hurston that you can’t put down. With inspirational insights and encouragement, this book helps you experience a liberated woman’s journey and life.
Strong and independent narration of this story has left a mark as a special classic out there for all the readers. A wonderful historical fiction you can’t get enough of. Pamper the classic reader in you with one more attractive read with this fiction.
Yellow Wife by Sadeqa Johnson
Born on a plantation in Charles City, Virginia, Pheby Delores Brown has lived a relatively sheltered life. Shielded by her mother’s position as the estate’s medicine woman and cherished by the Master’s sister, she is set apart from the others on the plantation, belonging to neither world.
She’d been promised freedom on her eighteenth birthday, but instead of the idyllic life she imagined with her true love, Essex Henry, Pheby is forced to leave the only home she has ever known.
She unexpectedly finds herself thrust into the bowels of slavery at the infamous Devil’s Half Acre, a jail in Richmond, Virginia, where the enslaved are broken, tortured, and sold every day. There, Pheby is exposed not just to her Jailer’s cruelty but also to his contradictions. To survive, Pheby will have to outwit him, and she soon faces the ultimate sacrifice.
The Darkest Child by Delores Phillips
Pakersfield, Georgia, 1958: Thirteen-year-old Tangy Mae Quinn is the sixth of ten fatherless siblings. She is the darkest-skinned among them and therefore the ugliest in her mother, Rozelle’s, estimation, but she’s also the brightest. Rozelle—beautiful, charismatic, and light-skinned—exercises a violent hold over her children.
Fearing abandonment, she pulls them from school at the age of twelve and sends them to earn their keep for the household, whether in domestic service, in the fields, or at “the farmhouse” on the edge of town, where Rozelle beds local men for money.
But Tangy Mae has been selected to be part of the first integrated class at a nearby white high school. She has a chance to change her life, but can she break from Rozelle’s grasp without ruinous—even fatal—consequences?
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
Homegoing follows the parallel paths of these sisters and their descendants through eight generations: from the Gold Coast to the plantations of Mississippi, from the American Civil War to Jazz Age Harlem.
Yaa Gyasi’s extraordinary novel illuminates slavery’s troubled legacy both for those who were taken and those who stayed—and shows how the memory of captivity has been inscribed on the soul of our nation.
Demon’s Dream: An Unexpected Love by elle kayson
Demon Montana: Clawing my way from the depths of hell to haunt the nightmares and steal the lives of many, I earned the name “Demon.” Hardened by a life that no one should live, I had rules that governed my existence.
No caring. No intimacy. No love. And then I saw her… Dream. Beautiful. Brave. Bold. And for thirty days, she was mine. I would follow my rules: have her body, ignore her heart. Then, she looked at me… like she knew me. Like she saw me. Like she loved me. And I knew… thirty days weren’t nearly enough. Read the full synopsis HERE.
Hold You Down: A Matin Novel (The Matins Book 1) by Dominique Thomas
After losing both of her parents tragically Sophie is forced to drop out of college and support her two younger sisters. By chance, she meets Ameer.
He’s everything that she wants but doesn’t need. Married to not only the streets but to a woman as well. Sophie’s sees that Ameer is trouble from the start, but she can’t seem to stay away from him. Ameer slides into Sophie’s life and changes things instantly.
Some for the better and some for the worse. With an enemy determined to take Ameer and his family out trouble falls onto Sophie and the ones he loves.
Ameer has a plan and good intentions but getting to the finish line is going to be a lot harder than he thought. All he wanted to do was hold Sophie down. Will he be able to have the new woman and new life, or will he succumb to his old one?
Luca (The Eisenberg Effect Book 1) by Grey Huffington
She’s an angel. And she doesn’t mind dancing with a demon.
That’s why I’d move mountains, dry seas, and hydrate the desert if it made her happy. She brought goodness to the world. It was only right that I made it hers, along with the two tiny beauties that shared her hazel eyes and perfect smile.
For them, I’d do whatever. For them, I’d become whoever. He’s a protector. Read the full synopsis HERE.
Finding Me: A Memoir by Viola Davis
This is my story, from a crumbling apartment in Central Falls, Rhode Island, to the stage in New York City, and beyond. This is the path I took to finding my purpose but also my voice in a world that didn’t always see me.
As I wrote Finding Me, my eyes were open to the truth of how our stories are often not given close examination. We are forced to reinvent them to fit into a crazy, competitive, judgmental world.
So I wrote this for anyone running through life untethered, desperate and clawing their way through murky memories, trying to get to some form of self-love. For anyone who needs reminding that a life worth living can only be born from radical honesty and the courage to shed facades and be . . . you.
Finding Me is a deep reflection, a promise, and a love letter of sorts to self. My hope is that my story will inspire you to light up your own life with creative expression and rediscover who you were before the world put a label on you.
Love Radio by Ebony LaDelle
Prince Jones is the guy with all the answers—or so it seems. After all, at seventeen, he has his own segment on Detroit’s popular hip-hop show, Love Radio, where he dishes out advice to the brokenhearted.
Prince has always dreamed of becoming a DJ and falling in love. But being the main caretaker for his mother, who has multiple sclerosis, and his little brother means his dreams will stay just that and the only romances in his life are the ones he hears about from his listeners. Until he meets Dani Ford.
Read the full synopsis HERE.
A Timeless Love by Shanel
Time seemed to stand still for Abigail, aka Abby, while growing up in Crescent City, Florida. She wanted out. She wanted to experience the world outside of her small hometown.
As soon as Abby was able, she went on to live her life, experiencing college in Texas, then furthering her career in the always sunny Southern California. The one thing she missed while broadening her horizons was her best friend Kendrick. He was Abby’s confidant…her rock. Read the full synopsis HERE.
Razorblade Tears by S. A. Cosby
A Black father. A white father. Two murdered sons. A quest for vengeance.
Ike Randolph has been out of jail for fifteen years, with not so much as a speeding ticket in all that time. But a Black man with cops at the door knows to be afraid.
The last thing he expects to hear is that his son Isiah has been murdered, along with Isiah’s white husband, Derek. Ike had never fully accepted his son but is devastated by his loss.
Derek’s father Buddy Lee was almost as ashamed of Derek for being gay as Derek was ashamed of his father’s criminal record. Buddy Lee still has contacts in the underworld, though, and he wants to know who killed his boy. Read the full synopsis HERE.
Thirty by Rae Lyse
After the introduction of a controversial criminal justice reform bill, the Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles grants Andre “Dre” Owens clemency.
Suddenly, he’s forced back into a world that’s more complex than what he remembers… and full of tempting distractions. Most are skeptical that he deserves a second chance, and he is too, until a free-spirited dancer bounces into his life.
Much to her family’s dismay, Natasha “Tash” Breaux dances to her own confusing beat. She’s used to existing in a world that refuses to understand her and carrying the weight of a past that still lingers in the present. Read the full synopsis HERE.
The Broken by Nia Forrester
He might destroy her. She could help put him back together.
If it wasn’t for his music, Devin Parks doesn’t know where he’d be. Now he has a shot at a larger audience than he ever dreamed of. All he has to do, is get out of his own way. But when Devin isn’t fighting salacious rumors on entertainment blogs and rival musicians, he’s battling serious demons from his past that threaten to hold him back just as he’s poised to soar.
Harper Bailey has mixed feelings about being assigned to manage the notoriously difficult Devin Parks’ mainstream debut. It’s a career-changing opportunity made much more challenging because she’s fighting demons of her own. Not to mention the persistent pull the former lovers have toward each other. Read the full synopsis HERE.
Drunk in Love by Tay Mo’Nae
What would you do if you woke up married to a stranger?
Playboy, wild, rapper Kazier is always in the blogs for some kind of scandal. Never been the one to play by the rules, he loves to test his limits. What happens when one weekend in Vegas he pushes past those limits and wakes up next to a beautiful stranger?
Ny’asia has had a rough past. Getting caught up with the wrong guy, her life was going downhill fast. All she wanted was to start over and leave the troubles from her ex in the past. What was supposed to be a weekend of fun in Vegas turned into something life-changing. Read the full synopsis HERE.
Salvage My Soul by Antoinette Sherell
Rhemedy Tate is on a journey of discovery—slowly drowning as she navigates the waters to find her true self through the mirages she’s hidden behind for years.
Musa Walker is on a journey of recovery—coping with the loss of his wife while having to raise their twin daughters alone.
Sparks fly the instant these two lost souls collide; the attraction is undeniable, and their connection is unavoidable. They’re broken and inconsolable, but no one sees them in the way they see one another. Will their unhealthy attachment, and hidden addictions to tame the trauma, lead to their demise before love can prevail?
Smoke by Aja
Mystery, crime, and grit surrounded his family, often bringing power-hungry enemies right to his doorstep. Never one to back down from any opposition, he often stood victorious. But this new threat is something different and not at all one he is prepared for until an old love comes to save him.
Elijah Lewis aka “Smoke” has to decide what to do with the gift of knowledge he’s received. Does he deliver more pain to the people responsible for trying to take him out, or does he take well-meaning advice and get out of this line of work? For people like him, there were only so many places he could go and the top two were: to jail or to hell.
Let Me Love You Better by Kaylyn
NFL prospect, Jyles O’Brien, is ready to forge his own path and make a name for himself. He’s used to people giving in to his every demand and giving a middle finger to anybody who doesn’t. Then he meets Devyn Kincaid; an aspiring sports broadcaster, who has an untimely run-in with Jyles that jeopardizes her future.
The solution rests solely on Jyles but kind gestures aren’t in his repertoire. Insanely opposite yet similar in the ways that matter most, Jyles makes the ultimate sacrifice to protect Devyn but will her heart see it that way.
Conflicted Heart by Kay Shanee
Siyanna Cassidy was overjoyed to find that she was pregnant only one month behind her twin sister, Summer. The two had done life together on so many levels, including marrying twin brothers.
However, in a brutal twist of tragic events, Siyanna is forced into early labor on the heels of the shocking loss of her sister. As if she hadn’t been heartbroken enough, the shooting death of her husband follows swiftly. Suddenly a single mother and widow, she partners with her brother-in-law to raise their children. However, even the silver lining challenges her heart.
Drue Hendrix is a Black Romance Author. His stories of love and strength had his own life as added fuel now that his beautiful wife was having their first child. But when she dies in childbirth his world is flipped upside down. Read the full synopsis HERE.
Woman Enough by Kaye Lovett
Dynamic duo, Derek Evans and Bryson Clark, have been friends since they were kids. They did everything together and not much has changed in adulthood.
Notorious for entertaining women, the certified bad boys earned the name Double Trouble, with a reputation to match. Despite the bad rep they received, their hearts long for someone to call their own, but they never expect it would be a love they could share until an unsuspected heart falls into their hands.
Brianna Butler has spent her life longing for the same love that dwells within her. She wants to share that love with someone who was tired of getting it wrong as much as she was. Read the full synopsis HERE.
Lost In London by Chelsea Maria
Do you know me? Do you know anything about me besides my name?
Beyond the curve of my hips, the dip in my back, and the fullness of my lips, do you know me?
I was once a lavish rose dolled up in the finest couture and dripped in diamonds.
Do you know me now?
Once upon a time, I fell in love with this warm and sultry fragrance. A floral blend of deception and lies mixed with spices of betrayal and envy. Its aroma subdued me into a state of disbelief and naivety. Wearing the zesty scent brought counterfeit lovers to my yard. Their corruption and my desperation for love turned my garden into an empty space of dead weeds. Read the full synopsis HERE.
Somebody’s Wife by Robbi Renee
Jemma had me at hello… but she was somebody’s wife.”
Dr. Ezekiel Green is ready to make a fresh start in a new city after the divorce from his high school sweetheart. What was supposed to be a professional business dinner with a future colleague quickly transformed into a love at first sight encounter… or so he thought. Dr. Jemma Holiday was spirited, brilliant, beautiful, and another man’s wife.
“Doesn’t he know I’m somebody’s wife? Does he care? Shit… do I care?”
Dr. Jemma Holiday had the perfect life, love, marriage, and family in the public’s eye. But behind closed doors, betrayal and mundane monotony were suffocating. A marriage of situational necessity. What was supposed to be a pleasurable evening out with her sorority sisters, abruptly transitioned to the one-night stand of her dreams… or so she thought.
What’s the worst that could happen?
Feel Me in the Dark by Tucora Monique
That’s the hierarchy of Finley Thomas’ life. The loc-haired, stenographer was raised by a proud gold digger and against her delight, she inherited mischievous qualities from her mother.
After receiving a devastating prognosis, the twenty-eight-year-old finds herself wrapped in a double-life and overly preparing for a day that may never come.
Amid her downward spiral, Finley’s small circle is cracked, giving outsiders the chance to snatch her from her comfort. Mounted in the crosshairs of a fraudulent deal, Finley finds herself confronted with her secrets and forced to move her ears from her pockets to her heart or end up in the dark alone. Read the full synopsis HERE.
Daddy’s Gurlz by Diamond D. Johnson
With such unique names as Uzi, Benelli, and Nyne, one would automatically expect the Diaz sisters to be a force to be reckoned with.
Raised by their father, Wesson Diaz, the biggest dope dealer in Miami, two of the sisters, Uzi and Benelli, aspire to be just like him. After losing their mother in a tragic car accident, the light in their lives dimmed a bit, especially for Uzi, who finds something so simple as smiling to be foreign.
Although the sisters are close, they have very different personalities. Uzi is the oldest, and her beauty is often mistaken for innocence, but she’s a stone-cold killer and deeply involved in the drug game. Every man with a pair of eyes has lusted over her, but no one has ever come close to having her.
In her twenty-six years of life, she has yet to find a man who even slightly piques her interest. Well, that’s until Marcelo, better known as Loco, moves in next door. Read the full synopsis HERE.
End of Time by Charae Lewis
Some wounds never surface on the body. Instead, they’re rooted in the minds of individuals who’ve survived the most traumatic experiences.
Worth, Omir, and Ju endured a troublesome upbringing. What’s normal behavior to most people, is foreign to them. Now that they’re entering into manhood, they are forced to navigate through life while carrying the burden of being damaged.
Three different men, in three different stages in their lives brings an awakening that no one could foreshadow. Situations change, new people are ushered into their world, and some are prepared to depart. The Ali men prove that love and trauma don’t mix.
Come into the minds of broken, little boys who’re trying their best to step into the roles of grown men.
When my Soul Met a Thug by Jessica Watkins
True never guessed that life would be this hard. Being only twenty-five years old, she should have been being wild, reckless, and having fun, not fighting the hardest battle of her life, alongside a husband who no longer loved her.
After their divorce, True wanted to be free and enjoy every day. Falling in love was not in the plan. She most definitely hadn’t foreseen falling in love with an arrogant, womanizing hustler like Coop. Yet, she did. However, as soon as True tells him all her truth, he’ll revert back to that unbearable goon that wreaked havoc on the streets of Chicago.
Coop grew up an orphan, passed from foster home to foster home. A hustler, his right-hand man, was his only family. His love was the game. His side chick was money. Then he met True. Read the full synopsis HERE.
And there you have it Sistah Girls, 27 novels you have to choose from to kick off your reading in 2023.
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