PRH 2022 Winter Book & Author Fest
Keynote with Matthew Desmond
Moderator, Jill Cox-Cordova

My Library Journal 2022 Best Books Picks

I read a lot of fabulous books in 2022 to come up with my Best Books picks for the Library Journal

Best Social Sciences of 2022

Best Arts & Humanities of 2022

Best Memoirs of 2022

Best Science & Technology of 2022


Perfect Black by Crystal Wilkinson

Evocative. Exquisite. Essential. This is the type of book I will read again and again. 

The author takes the reader on an extraordinary journey through the path of her childhood and upbringing,  right up to the phenomenal woman she is today. 
Her imagery is so vivid, you can smell and taste the foods in the kitchen settings she describes. 
In “Dig If You Will the Picture,” she brings you right there with her dancing to Prince music when she shows the deeper reason why his music resonates                                                               so much to her. 
     I was her amen corner when I read “Mother’s Day” and “Dear Johnny P.” 
     I could relate to the entire book but especially the poems “On Being Country” and “Black & Fat & Perfect.” 
     The illustrations are also extraordinary. Created by the author’s partner, they are the perfect complement to her words, just as he is in life. 
     I absolutely love this book. Run and get your copy so that you have something to cherish, too. 

Zero Zone by Scott O'Connor

This book ranks as one of the most uniquely structured and crafted books I have ever read. None of it is predictable. All of it made me marvel at how well the author mastered character development and plot. The imagery is also exquisite and seared into my thoughts. 


I absolutely loved this book and will buy everything this fabulous author creates.

The Downstairs Girl by Stacey Lee

I tend to read contemporary fiction because it’s often easier to relate to, but I found this book, set in 1890 in Atlanta, to be quite relevant to the present.

Its themes of racism, identity, family, and a case of the haves vs. the will-never-gets kept me turning page after page. The author, Stacey Lee, made me care deeply for the protagonist, Jo Kuan, and her somewhat secret life as an activist. She proved that we all have something we can use to help others, even when we, too, are the ones in need. This book also showcases the author’s masterful ability to handle conflict. There was a twist toward the end that I didn’t see coming. Yet, it was absolutely believable and authentic for the characters.

Memorable, this book now ranks as one of my favorites.

When Stars Rain Down by Angela Jackson-Brown

This book is my favorite read so far this year.

Set in the South in the 1930s, it is still relatable to me, a Black woman. In fact, it gives unflinching answers to those who wonder what Black Americans often endure in the U.S.

Angela Jackson-Brown’s masterful technique with characterization makes each person mentioned memorable and distinctive.

Its themes of racism, family units, respect for elders, and traditions rooted in belief systems–good and bad–all make this book a provocative page-turner.

I won’t spoil the ending but be prepared for it to haunt you long after you finish this book.

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