Kitchen Table Literary Arts Book Club Reading List

The Kitchen Table Literary Arts Book Club began in 2014 with its first three-book, themed series. The Heritage Series featured novels from ancestor Black women authors Ann Petry, Nella Larsen, and Zora Neale Hurston. The new season features two new series The Love and Romance Series, from January to March, and The Spirit and Magic Series, from April to June.

The current Spirit and Magic Series showcases time-travel from contemporary LA to the slave fields, navigation of life and death and the spaces between, and mysteries of healing and revival in an uncertain dystopian future. Each book was authored by a Black woman authors. MahoganyBooks encourages you to join Kitchen Table Literary Arts Book Club to “discover and (re)discover these important contributions to literature with us each month.” Go to Kitchen-Table.org to learn how to sign up and join the conversation.


The Spirit and Magic Series

Brown Girl in the Ring
Brown Girl in the Ring
by Nalo Hopkinson

Committed to finding science fiction’s voices of the future, Warner Aspect sponsored a search that attracted nearly 1,000 entries from around the world. We are proud to introduce the winner, Nalo Hopkinson: a novelist whose life ranges over a hemisphere, whose experience encompasses enduring traditions of word and story, whose voice authentically reaches to those who are aliens in their own lands, and whose vision touches the essence of history, society, science fiction, and myth.

The rich and privileged have fled the city, barricaded it behind roadblocks, and left it to crumble. The inner city has had to rediscover old ways-farming, barter, herb lore. But now the monied need a harvest of bodies, and so they prey upon the helpless of the streets. With nowhere to turn, a young woman must open herself to ancient truths, eternal powers, and the tragic mystery surrounding her mother and grandmother.

She must bargain with gods, and give birth to new legends.

The Between
The Between
by Tananarive Due

The chilling first novel by the award-winning and acclaimed Tananarive Due is finally available in paperback. Hilton’s grandmother drowned trying to save his life. Thirty years later, he’s beginning to suspect that he was never meant to survive the accident–and that dark forces are working to rectify that mistake.

A brilliant novel of horror and the supernatural in which a middle–class African–American family’s very existence is threatened by inner and outer demons, now in a brand–new mass market edition, from acclaimed author Tananarive Due. When Hilton was just a boy, his aged grandmother saved him from drowning by pulling him out of a treacherous ocean current, sacrificing her life for his. Now, thirty years later, Hilton begins to think his borrowed time is running out. His wife, the only elected African–American judge in Dade County, Florida, has begun receiving racist hate mail from a man she once prosecuted, and Hilton’s sleep is plagued by nightmares more horrible than any he has ever experienced. As he battles both the psychotic stalking of his family and the unseen enemy that haunts his sleep, Hilton’s sense of reality is slipping away. Shocking and utterly convincing, The Between is a novel about a man desperately trying to hold on to the people and life he loves but may have already lost, and it holds readers suspended between the real and the surreal until the final moment of chilling resolution.

Kindred
Kindred: 25th Anniversary Edition
by Octavia Butler

This 25th anniversary edition, about a modern black woman who is snatched away to the antebellum South, celebrates a classic work with “much to say about love, hate, slavery, and racial dilemmas, then and now” (“Los Angeles Herald Examiner”).

The twenty-fifth-anniversary edition of the classic novel that has sold over 250,000 copies. Dana, a modern black woman, is celebrating her twenty-sixth birthday with her new husband when she is snatched abruptly from her home in California and transported to the antebellum South. Rufus, the white son of a plantation owner, is drowning, and Dana has been summoned to save him. Dana is drawn back again and again for Rufus, yet each time the stay grows longer and more dangerous until it is uncertain whether or not Dana”s life will end, long before it has even begun.

Have you read either of these books? What’s your favorite? Why? Which book would you suggest to be added to this list?

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