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.
- “The House of Eve” by Sadeqa Johnson | Release date: Feb. 7, 2023 | The historical fiction book follows Ruby and Eleanor, two women in DC in the 1950s. This book follows Johnson’s critically acclaimed “Yellow Wife.”
- “The House is on Fire” by Rachel Beanland | Release date: April 4, 2023 | A fictional tale about the Richmond Theater fire in 1811, Beanland’s latest novel comes after the success of “Florence Adler Swims Forever,” released in 2020.
- “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. Younger readers might like “Shakti,” Sindu’s middle-grade graphic 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
- “The Summer I Turned Pretty” by Jenny Han | Release date: April 6, 2010 | You may recognize the name from the Amazon Prime series, but did you know the author of the original book series is from Richmond? The MLWGS grad also wrote “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before,” which was adapted by Netflix.
- “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.
- “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.
- “I Love Being Me” by Angel Reynolds | Release date: Nov. 20, 2021 | This picture book teaches confidence, empowerment, and self-love.
Learn something new
- “Nickelodeons and Black Vaudeville: The Forgotten Story of Amanda Thorp” by Kathi Clark Wong | Release date: July 7, 2023 | Archival research reveals the story of a self-made woman who became instrumental in the birth of modern popular culture.
- “The Bond King: How One Man Made a Market, Built an Empire, and Lost It All” by Mary Childs | Release date: March 15, 2022 | Learn how a gambling whiz kid became a force in the bond market — and what caused his undoing.
- “The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test” by Tom Wolfe | Release date: August 19, 2008 | A classic collection of works by one of Richmond’s most notable writers. Did you know Tom Wolfe grew up in Sherwood Park? Or that he went to St. Christopher’s School?
- “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 in 2022, 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. 📚