February's Recommended Reads
Adult Fiction
Hitting a Straight Lick with a Crooked Stick
by Zora Neale Hurston
Hitting a Straight Lick with a Crooked Stick is an outstanding collection of stories about love and migration, gender and class that proudly reflect African American folk culture. Brought together for the first time in one volume, they include eight of Hurston’s “lost” Harlem stories, which were found in forgotten periodicals and archives. These stories challenge conceptions of Hurston as an author of rural fiction and include gems that flash with her biting, satiric humor, as well as more serious tales reflective of the cultural currents of Hurston’s world. All are timeless classics that enrich our understanding and appreciation of this exceptional writer’s voice and her contributions to America’s literary traditions.
In West Mills
by De'Shawn Charles Winslow
Let the people of West Mills say what they will about Azalea “Knot” Centre; they won't keep her from what she loves best: cheap moonshine, nineteenth-century literature, and the company of men. And yet, when motherhood looms, Knot begins to learn that her freedom has come at a high price. Low on money, ostracized from her parents and cut off from her hometown, Knot turns to her neighbor, Otis Lee Loving, in search of some semblance of family and home.

Otis Lee is eager to help. A lifelong fixer, Otis Lee is determined to steer his friends and family away from decisions that will cause them heartache and ridicule. But while he's busy trying to fix Knot's life, Otis Lee finds himself powerless to repair the many troubles within his own family.
Young Adult Fiction
Monday's Not Coming
Coretta Scott King Award Winner

Monday Charles is missing, and only Claudia seems to notice. Claudia and Monday have always been inseparable—more sisters than friends. So when Monday doesn’t turn up for the first day of school, Claudia’s worried. When she doesn’t show for the second day, or second week, Claudia knows that something is wrong. Monday wouldn’t just leave her. Monday’s mother refuses to give Claudia a straight answer. As Claudia digs deeper into her friend’s disappearance, she discovers that no one seems to remember the last time they saw Monday. How can a teenage girl just vanish without anyone noticing that she’s gone?
Pride
by Ibi Zoboi
Zuri Benitez has pride.But pride might not be enough to save her rapidly gentrifying neighborhood from becoming unrecognizable. 

When the wealthy Darcy family moves in across the street, Zuri wants nothing to do with their two teenage sons. She especially can’t stand the judgmental and arrogant Darius. Yet as Zuri and Darius are forced to find common ground, their dislike shifts into an unexpected understanding.

But with four wild sisters pulling her in different directions, cute boy Warren vying for her attention, and college applications hovering on the horizon, Zuri fights to find her place in Bushwick’s changing landscape, or lose it all. 
Children's Fiction
Sulwe
By Lupita Nyong'o
Illustrated by Vashti Harrison
Sulwe has skin the color of midnight. She is darker than everyone in her family. She is darker than anyone in her school. Sulwe just wants to be beautiful and bright, like her mother and sister. Then a magical journey in the night sky opens her eyes and changes everything.
 
In this stunning debut picture book, actress Lupita Nyong’o creates a whimsical and heartwarming story to inspire children to see their own unique beauty.
Gone Crazy in Alabama
by Rita Williams-Garcia
Coretta Scott King Award Winner 


Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern are off to Alabama to visit their grandmother Big Ma and her mother, Ma Charles. Across the way lives Ma Charles’s half sister, Miss Trotter. The two half sisters haven’t spoken in years. As Delphine hears about her family history, she uncovers the surprising truth that’s been keeping the sisters apart. But when tragedy strikes, Delphine discovers that the bonds of family run deeper than she ever knew possible.

Featured Title
Romance
The Wedding Party
by Jasmine Guillory
Maddie and Theo have two things in common:
Alexa is their best friend & they hate each other. After an “oops, we made a mistake” night together, neither one can stop thinking about the other. With Alexa’s wedding rapidly approaching, Maddie and Theo both share bridal party responsibilities. Underneath the sharp barbs they toss at each other is a simmering attraction that won’t fade. It builds until they find themselves sneaking off together when Alexa isn’t looking, agreeing they would end it once the wedding is over. Two people this different can’t possibly have a connection other than the purely physical, right?
SAVE THE DATE
Lean on Me
by Pat Simmons
Tabitha Knicely is overwhelmed with sorrow and exhaustion caring for her beloved great-aunt, whose dementia is getting worse. When her neighbor Marcus Whittington accuses Tabitha of elder neglect, he doesn't realize how his threats to have Aunt Tweet taken away add to Tabitha's pain.

Then Marcus gets to know the exuberant elderly lady and sees up close how hard Tabitha is fighting to keep everything together. Tabitha finds herself leaning on Marcus more and more. And he's becoming more than happy to share her burdens…