One great thing that comes with summer is the endless summer reads you’ll want to dive into whether you’re on the beach or on the couch. June through August, traditionally, is the time to relax more and do more of what makes you happy. Catch some sunshine, do some travel, or just take more moments for “me” time.
Did we mention that June is also Audiobook Appreciation Month? For those who can’t physically have their head in a book or who prefer to sit back and chill while having their next favorite read narrated to them, audiobooks lets you get some reading in on the go. In this multitasking, always busy life we live, we can read at the gym, on public transportation to and from work, or at home while cooking dinner, with audiobooks.
To beef up your summer TBR list, we wanted to share nine fabulous books by BIPOC authors you’ll want to read. And to make sure you’ll be able to get your selection(s) read in spite of your schedule, they are all in the form of audiobooks. Here’s to several summer escapes, courtesy of wonderful reads.
Of Women and Salt, Gabriela Garcia
Gabriela Garcia’s Of Women and Salt has been getting a ton of buzz as a must-read book for 2021. According to Michael Taeckens, who works for Broadside PR and represents the author, the novel “traces a lineage of women — mothers and daughters — across the Cuban diaspora. Spanning five generations and four countries — from 19th century Cuba to present-day Miami and Mexico — Garcia’s prismatic debut follows Latinx women of fierce pride and longing, all irrevocably linked by the inheritance of trauma and by the writings and stories passed between them.” It’s a story that many generations of Latinas will be able to identify and empathize with.
Where to get it: libro.fm, $22.99
Somebody’s Daughter, Ashley C. Ford
Another buzz-worthy book for 2021 is Somebody’s Daughter by Ashley C. Ford. It’s her memoir, where the African-American author shares about life in Indiana, her difficult relationship with her mother, the absence of her father, who is incarcerated, body issues, and an abusive relationship. In the audiobook version of Somebody’s Daughter, Ashley narrates; there is also a bonus portion where she speaks with writer, scholar, and poet Clint Smith.
Where to get it: audible.com, $18.99
Crying in H Mart, Michelle Zauner
In her book Crying in H Mart, half-Korean, half-white author Michelle Zauner talks about losing her mother to cancer in her 20s and reconnecting to her Korean culture via food, especially at Korean supermarket H Mart. It is also a look at how Michelle truly found herself in art since she never fully felt a part of either of her cultures.
Where to get it: amazon.com, $19.16
From the Ashes: My Story of Being Métis, Homeless, and Finding My Way, Jesse Thistle
Jesse Thistle’s memoir, From the Ashes: My Story of Being Métis, Homeless, and Finding My Way, is a #1 national bestseller in Canada. The story of suffering to redemption starts with a broken family. It takes the reader from Jesse’s abandonment by his parents to foster care, drug and alcohol addiction, crime, and living on the streets. Finally, a desire to change leads Thistle to revolutionize his life and return home.
Where to get it: books.apple.com, $13.99
Mexican Gothic, Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Want a scary summer read? Then you have to check out Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s New York Times Bestseller Mexican Gothic. The gothic horror novel takes us to 1950s Mexico, where Noemi Taboada gets a bewildering letter from her cousin and must travel to a mansion called High Place to help her. Noemi has no idea what awaits her behind those scary walls. Mexican Gothic is set to become a Hulu limited series, produced by Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos.
Where to get it: audiobooks.com, $20
The Chosen and the Beautiful, Nghi Vo
We love classics and sometimes imagine POC as the leading characters, wondering how the story would go if it were told through our lens(es). Nghi Vo’s The Chosen and the Beautiful makes that change with F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. This time, the story is told from the perspective of queer Vietnamese adoptee Jordan Baker, who has a magical ability. “In all paper is fire, and Jordan can burn the paper heart out of a man. She just has to learn how.” Readers have been raving about how The Chosen and the Beautiful is a great, fresh, and needed take on a literary classic.
Where to get it: libro.fm, $22.99
Infinite Country, Patricia Engel
It is believed that everyone dreams about living in America. But when some family members get to live the “dream,” and others are forced to stay in their native countries, families can be torn apart. This is what happens in Patricia Engel’s Infinite Country. The family’s life, love, and struggles between Colombia and the United States bring to life and puts a narrative to the immigration problem in America.
Where to get it: amazon.com, $11.90
The Other Black Girl, Zakiya Dalila Harris
Barnes and Noble Book of the Month for June 2021 is Zakiya Dalila Harris’ The Other Black Girl. The bestselling thriller, described as “urgent, propulsive, and sharp as a knife,” follows Nella Rogers, an editorial assistant who is thrilled when Hazel joins the company, no longer making her its only Black employee. Hazel starts getting all the positive attention, and anonymous notes appear on Nella’s desk telling her to leave Wagner Books, foreshadowing more trouble to come. This must-read has gotten comparisons to Get Out and The Devil Wears Prada.
Where to get it: libro.fm, $28.74
While Justice Sleeps, Stacey Abrams
We endorse everything that comes from Stacey Abrams. So when we found out that she authored a book, While Justice Sleeps, we were instantly intrigued. The thriller takes us into the U.S. Supreme Court, where we meet young law clerk Avery Keene, who works for Justice Wynn. When Wynn falls into a coma and Avery is tasked with being his power of attorney and legal guardian, she starts to uncover sinister happenings that she must get to the bottom of. The audiobook for While Justice Sleeps is currently a bestseller on Libro.fm.
Where to get it: amazon.com, $6.95