Every year I keep a running list of books-to-read and cross them off as I go along. Over the past few years I’ve also picked a “theme” for my summer reading (oh so nerdy, am I). Last summer it was the sea, and every book I read was some how related to the ocean. This summer I decided to put off the escapism of last summer’s list embrace my urban neighborhood.

This is The Summer of Black Literature.

I know my high school and college lit classes didn’t cover enough literature written by African Americans. And I’ve also realized that many of the popular pieces of “black” literature are actually written by white authors. So I’m attempting to rectify my reading repertoire with more African American authors and would appreciate your recommendations (I’ve already read most of Toni Morrison and Maya Angelou’s work).

Here are the books I’ve already finished this summer (a few were re-reads), and I’ll continue to update as I finish more: