"So You Want to Talk About Race" Most Borrowed Book by a Black Author

News Releases

"So You Want to Talk About Race" Most Borrowed Book by a Black Author

Library releases most popular titles dealing with race by Black authors  

Today, DC Public Library released its list of the most popular titles by Black authors in the past year whose writings deal with race. Overall, the most popular title was the eAudiobook "So You Want to Talk About Race" by Ijeoma Oluo.

 "So You Want to Talk About Race" aims to spark an honest discussion about how race and racism impact almost every aspect of American life. Oluo's book was among the titles that the Library offered unlimited copies of following the murder of George Floyd in June. Since then, Oluo's book was roughly one out of every ten books borrowed on the Library's top Black authors list.

Most of the titles checked out on the top author's list were non-fiction. Books like "Becoming" by Michelle Obama and Colson Whitehead's "The Nickel Boys" remained popular among Library customers like they were last year. New titles to this year’s list include Isabel Wilkerson's "Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents” and Octavia Butler's "Kindred." 

 

Most Checked Out Black Authors Overall

  1. Ijeoma Oluo 
  2. Ta-Nehisi Coates
  3. Colson Whitehead 
  4. Kiley Reid 
  5. Michelle Obama 
  6. Ibram X. Kendi 
  7. Tayari Jones 
  8. Brit Bennett 
  9. Isabel Wilkerson 
  10. Bernardine Evaristo 

Most Checked Out Titles by Black Authors Overall

  1. So You Want to Talk About Race” by Ijeoma Oluo 
  2. Such a Fun Age” by Kiley Reid 
  3. Becoming” by Michelle Obama 
  4. How to Be an Antiracist” by Ibram X. Kendi
  5. Between the World and Me” by Ta-Nehisi Coates
  6. The Water Dancer” by Ta-Nehisi Coates
  7. An American Marriage” by Tayari Jones 
  8. The Vanishing Half” by Brit Bennett 
  9. Girl, Woman, Other” by Bernardine Evaristo
  10. "The Nickel Boys" by Colson Whitehead 

FICTION

Top Fiction Overall

  1. Such a Fun Age” by Kiley Reid
  2. The Water Dancer” by Ta-Nehisi Coates
  3. An American Marriage” by Tayari Jones
  4. The Vanishing Half” by Brit Bennett
  5. Girl, Woman, Other” by Bernardine Evaristo
  6. "The Nickel Boys" by Colson Whitehead
  7. The Underground Railroad” by Colson Whitehead
  8. New Kid” by Jerry Craft
  9. The Hate U Give” by Angie Thomas
  10.  “Kindred” by Octavia Butler

Top Print Fiction

  1. Such a Fun Age” by Kiley Reid
  2. "The Nickel Boys" by Colson Whitehead
  3. Homegoing” by Yaa Gyasi
  4. New Kid” by Jerry Craft
  5. Red at the Bone” by Jacqueline Woodson
  6. An American Marriage” by Tayari Jones
  7. The Vanishing Half” by Brit Bennett
  8. American Spy” by Lauren Wilkinson
  9. The Hate U Give” by Angie Thomas
  10. The Bluest Eye” by Toni Morrison

Top eBook Fiction

  1. Such a Fun Age” by Kiley Reid
  2. Girl, Woman, Other” by Bernardine Evaristo
  3. The Vanishing Half” by Brit Bennett
  4. An American Marriage” by Tayari Jones
  5. The Water Dancer” by Ta-Nehisi Coates
  6. The Underground Railroad” by Colson Whitehead
  7. "The Nickel Boys" by Colson Whitehead
  8. The Hate U Give” by Angie Thomas
  9. New Kid” by Jerry Craft
  10. Kindred” by Octavia Butler

Top eAudiobook Fiction

  1. The Water Dancer” by Ta-Nehisi Coates
  2. Such a Fun Age” by Kiley Reid
  3. The Underground Railroad” by Colson Whitehead
  4. An American Marriage” by Tayari Jones
  5. "The Nickel Boys" by Colson Whitehead
  6. Beloved” by Toni Morrison
  7. Sing, Unburied, Sing” by Jesmyn Ward
  8. The Vanishing Half” by Brit Bennett
  9. Children of Blood and Bone” by Tomi Adeyemi
  10.  “Americanah” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
 

NON-FICTION

Top Non-Fiction Overall

  1. So You Want to Talk about Race” by Ijeoma Oluo
  2. Becoming” by Michelle Obama
  3. How to Be an Antiracist” by Ibram X. Kendi
  4. Between the World and Me” by Ta-Nehisi Coates
  5. Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know about the People We Don't Know” by Malcolm Gladwell
  6. The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness” by Michelle Alexander
  7. The Yellow House” by Sarah M. Broom
  8. Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor” by Layla Saad
  9. Sister Outsider--Essays and Speeches” by Audre Lorde
  10.  “The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration” by Isabel Wilkerson

Top Print Non-Fiction

  1. Becoming” by Michelle Obama
  2. The Yellow House” by Sarah M. Broom
  3. Between the World and Me” by Ta-nehisi Coates
  4. Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know about the People We Don't Know” by Malcolm Gladwell
  5. How to Be an Antiracist” by Ibram X. Kendi
  6. "Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents” by Isabel Wilkerson
  7. Chocolate City: A History of Race and Democracy in the Nation's Capital by Chris Myers Asch
  8. The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration” by Isabel Wilkerson
  9. Wow, No Thank You: Essays” by Samantha Irby
  10.  “How We Fight for Our Lives: A Memoir” by Saeed Jones 

Top eBook Nonfiction

  1. Between the World and Me” by Ta-nehisi Coates
  2. How to Be an Antiracist” by Ibram X. Kendi
  3. The Yellow House” by Sarah M. Broom
  4. Becoming” by Michelle Obama
  5. The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration” by Isabel Wilkerson
  6. "Thick: And Other Essays" by Tressie McMillan Cottom
  7. Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know about the People We Don't Know” by Malcolm Gladwell
  8. "Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents” by Isabel Wilkerson 
  9. Unapologetic: A Black, Queer and Feminist Mandate for Our Movement” by Charlene Carruthers
  10. "Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women That a Movement Forgot" by Mikki Kendall 

Top eAudiobook Nonfiction

  1. So You Want to Talk about Race” by Ijeoma Oluo
  2. The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness” by Michelle Alexander
  3. Becoming” by Michelle Obama
  4. Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor” by Layla Saad
  5. Sister Outsider--Essays and Speeches” by Audre Lorde
  6. Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know about the People We Don't Know” by Malcolm Gladwell
  7. How to Be an Antiracist” by Ibram X. Kendi
  8. Between the World and Me” by Ta-nehisi Coates 
  9. Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention” by Manning Marable
  10.  Stamped from the Beginning: A Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X. Kendi

This is the second year that the Library has created this list. The data was compiled from checkouts of ebooks and audiobooks and first checkout data for physical books. 

To learn what the Library has planned in celebration of Black History Month, visit https://www.dclibrary.org/blackhistory or download the Library’s mobile app. Not sure which book to read? Interested in a different title? The Library offers curated readings lists for Black History Month and a variety of other topics. Librarians can also personalize recommendations for cardholders.