Things I Should Have Told My Daughter: Lies, Lessons & Love Affairs (Atria $23.99) by Pearl Cleage is a fantastic memoir covering the last few decades of the 20th century. Cleage takes you through many facets of her thoughts, observations and moments in a way she never has before. These reflections written to herself for herself, but after the conversation she has with her daughter at the book’s beginning, it became obvious she had to put this out. Every mother or daughter should read it, and start writing her own story down (if she hasn’t already). We need these stories.

Afro-Vegan: Farm-Fresh African, Caribbean, & Southern Flavors Remixed (Ten Speed Press $ 27.50) by Bryant Terry brings this chef’s passion and culture to the forefront. In his fourth cookbook, this food activist brings his own spin to dishes like sweet corn and ginger soup, and Jamaican patties stuffed with marque choux. He also serves culture with each dish and spice blend. If you love food, you should check this out. Vegan or not, these dishes will change the way friends think about your cooking.


A Wanted Woman (Dutton Adult $ 26.95) by Eric Jerome Dickey is his 21st novel. This one is a fast-paced, sexy thriller set in Barbados. It begins with an assignment—a lure, a kill, an escape. Goldie Reaper is an assassin for hire with many disguises in her repertoire, laying low with local warlords in hot pursuit. But what good is a thriller without a twist? This one includes her Goldie’s past on both sides and revelations about who she really is.

The Counter Revolution of 1776 (NYU Press $39) by Gerald Horne delves into the slave trade and its influence on the founding of the United States of America. It reveals how much the slavery of the colonials strained their relationship between Great Britain. With Spanish and French colonies/enemies close by, the British feared slaves joining adversaries’ armies and overthrowing their American ties. A revealing and engaging read for any history buff who truly wants to get into slavery’s role in forming these United States, this is the other side of the coin from this author’s previous Negro Comrades of the Crown: African-Americans and the British Empire Fight the U.S. Before Emancipation.

Postcards from Cookie: A Memoir of Motherhood, Miracles and a Whole Lot of Mail (Harper $24.99) by Caroline Clarke is downright riveting. This award-winning journalist’s memoir begins by unraveling a truth that shakes her world, then takes you all the way through the wormhole of it. Adopted, she figures out who her biological family is and how close they’ve been in her life. If you found out one of your best friends was really your aunt, your grandfather is Nat King Cole, and your mother is his oldest daughter Carole “Cookie” Cole, what would you do? How would you proceed? This nonfiction narrative will pull you in through to the end. Read it.

Brook Stephenson