What’s better than a good book? A good book written by your neighbor. Brew up a batch of your favorite Blanchard’s or Rostov’s coffee or tea and get ready to meet your next read, because we’re talking about locally written books in Richmond.
- “Yellow Wife” by Sadeqa Johnson | Release date: Jan. 12, 2021 | The historical fiction book follows Pheby, an enslaved woman living in an infamous slave jail in Richmond.
- “Florence Adler Swims Forever” by Rachel Beanland | Release date: July 7, 2020 | Three generations grapple with heartbreak, romance, and family secrets. Look out for Rachel’s next novel, “The House Is On Fire,” due in April.
- “Blue-Skinned Gods” by SJ Sindu | Release date: Nov. 2, 2021 | A boy born with blue skin in Tamil Nadu, India travels to New York City in this expansive, heartfelt novel.
- “The Year of Needy Girls” by Patricia Smith | Release date: Jan. 3, 2017 | This tense tale follows Deirdre and SJ, a couple who have just moved to the divided town of Bradley, MA.
- “Even Cowgirls Get the Blues” by Tom Robbins | Release date: April 1, 1990 | The prolific novelist — author of nine books, including this tale of freedom and fate — calls Richmond his hometown.
For the family
- “Evelyn Del Rey Is Moving Away” by Meg Medina | Release date: Sept. 8, 2020 | A bittersweet story of friendship and change written by the Newbery Medalist and New York Times best-selling author.
- “Malcolm and Me” by Robin Farmer | Release date: Nov. 17, 2020 | This young adult novel follows Roberta Forest, a young girl learning more about faith, family, and social activism.
- “Come August, Come Freedom” by Gigi Amateau | Release date: Sept. 11, 2012 | This middle-grade historical fiction book tells a personal story of Gabriel, an enslaved man who plotted a rebellion in Richmond.
- “Mystery on Church Hill” by Steven K. Smith | Release date: Nov. 22, 2013 | Spark a love for history in late elementary school readers with the Virginia Mysteries series.
- “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” by Jenny Han | Release date: April 15, 2014 | You may recognize the name from the Netflix movie series, but did you know the author of the original book series is from Richmond?
- “I Love Being Me” by Angel Reynolds | Release date: Nov. 20, 2021 | This picture book teaches confidence, empowerment, and self-love.
Learn something new
- “The Devil’s Half Acre” by Kristen Green | Release date: April 12, 2022 | Read the history of how an enslaved woman liberated a slave jail and transformed it into a school — now known as Virginia Union University.
- “The Organ Thieves” by Chip Jones | Release date: Aug. 18, 2020 | This award-winning book delves into the history of the first heart transplant in the segregated South.
- “Subtle Acts of Exclusion” by Doc Jana and Michael Baran | Release date: March 10, 2020 | This handbook instructs readers on how to understand, identify, and stop microaggressions.
- “The Secret History of Food” by Matt Siegel | Release date: Aug. 31, 2021 | Dig into the culinary, cultural, historic, and scientific stories of the food we eat.
Part of a series
- “Holly Banks Full of Angst” by Julie Valerie | Release date: Dec. 1, 2019 | The fictional Village of Primm series includes the follow up “The Peculiar Fate of Holly Banks.”
- “Sunrise in Florence” by Kathleen Reid | Release date: Dec. 15, 2019 | Rose Maning experiences a personal renaissance in Italy. Book two, released this past summer, is “Secrets in the Palazzo.”
- “Vintage Trailer and Blackmailers” by Heather Weidner | Release date: Oct. 19, 2021 | The Jules Keene Glamping Mystery series also includes “Film Crews and Rendezvous.”
- “Oregon Hill” by Howard Owen | Release date: June 21, 2012 | Meet newspaper reporter Willie Black in the first in a series of crime thrillers based in Richmond.
- “Tomorrow Ruined Today” by Ryan Kent and Brett Lloyd | Release date: Oct. 12, 2021 | The volume features short and long-form poetic works from two musicians.
- “She Lives Here” by Kristina Hamlett | Release date: March 15, 2021 | This debut collection of poetry and prose celebrates womanhood, Blackness, and finding joy.
- “Determined Destination: Life’s Imperfect Journey of Learning and Love” by Rita Wray Miller | Release date: Aug. 26, 2021 | Rita’s memoir chronicles her upbringing in foster care and path towards inspiring others.
Need more recommendations? Stop by a local bookstore to get expert advice from Richmond booksellers. 📚