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Text courtesy of Pearl’s Books | Photo by Keith Branch

Fall in Love with Pearl’s Book Picks for Black History Month

Seven Days in June by Tia Williams

Set during one week of a steamy Brooklyn summer, writers Eva Mercy and Shane Hall reconnect at a literary event, sparking an old flame that had them secretly writing to each other in their books for years. This book features complex characters with complex lives, full of heart and humor and the beauty of the human experience. It’s the perfect story for someone who likes romance but doesn’t want a rom-com. Plus, it’s our Pearl’s Book Club February pick, so you can read it and join us in conversation!

- Hallee Israel, operations manager


Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert

Chloe Brown has decided that she will no longer let her chronic illness stop her from living her life, so she devises a step-by-step plan to “get a life.” Enlisting the help of her tattooed, artistic handyman, Red, she begins checking items off her list, including going on a camping trip, enjoying a drunken night out and more. This rom-com is the perfect enemies-to-lovers, feel-good story with diverse representation.

- Hallee Israel, operations manager


How the Word is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America by Clint Smith

This is one of the most enlightening books I’ve read in recent years. In How the Word is Passed, Clint Smith journeys to nine monuments and landmarks that were fundamental to slavery. He beautifully weaves the history of these locations into a framework that explores slavery’s impact on the present day. He reflects on conversations had with guests and employees of the locations, histories of enslaved individuals, and his own thoughts and opinions to explore how history is either acknowledged, ignored or minimized. Smith’s work is well-researched, and he maintains a sense of respect and open-mindedness throughout his writing that is admirable, considering such a personal topic.

- Leah Jordan, co-owner


Blackout by Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson and others

A summer heatwave in New York City causes a blackout that propels several endearing love stories by six beloved, award-winning Black authors. Blackout is full of charming, hilarious and heartwarming interlinked stories of Black love that shine a bright light through the dark.

- Emma Harris, bookseller


Let Us Descend by Jesmyn Ward

This is an incredibly moving and sorrowful story. If you’ve read any of Jesmyn Ward’s work before (Salvage the Bones is another personal favorite), you know how visceral and raw her writing can be. Let Us Descend is a story about family connections remaining strong and being strengthened by grief and separation.

- Daniel Jordan, co-owner

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