Reading is the gift that keeps on giving. It can be a natural comfort in a time of need or open you up to a whole new world. With so much technology at our fingertips, it can be hard to sit down with a good book but it will always be one of the best ways to fill your mind and body. There is so much information that can lie in between those two covers, some that can change your attitude, others that can change your life. And when it comes to books written by black authors, there’s an extra element that simply can’t be found anywhere else. Black authors can discuss issues that affect our lives and portray them so eloquently. While the list of books by black authors is endless, here are some books that every black woman should read to help them gain perspective and a little preparation for whatever life may throw at you. Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi AdichieCosigned by Queen Beyonce, Americanah is a novel everyone should read. It tells the story of a young Nigerian woman who moves to the United States to go to college and find work. This book is a great opening to the African Diaspora outside of America, a perspective that tends to be overlooked. There are themes of diversity, love, and race throughout the entire piece. If you’re looking for a lens into the life of a Nigerian-American, this is the book for you. Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi CoatesA profound work by Ta-Nehisi Coates, “Between the World and Me” is a letter to his teenage son on what is currently going on in America. A short but poignant read, it captivates the essence of racial tensions in America, and how that will affect his life forever. If you have children or plan on doing so in the future, I recommend this book to give some perspective on how it’s like being a parent to a black son in the U.S. Outliers by Malcolm GladwellLoved by entrepreneurs everywhere, this book delves into what makes someone successful, despite the odds. Gladwell uses scientific research as well as his writing skills to make an argument that success comes with the 10,000 Hour Rule. He argues that with ten thousand hours of work anyone can become successful at any task. I Almost Forgot About You by Terry McMillanTerry McMillan is back again with a novel that will inspire you. The story is about Dr. Georgia Young, a woman who seems to have it all. She has a successful career, a great family, and close friends, yet something in her life seems to be missing. This novel tells what she does next to find her inner peace.Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo OkparantaAnother Nigerian author, Chinelo Okparanta tells a story of living in your truth. The book tells a story about Ijeoma, a woman living in Nigeria who falls in love with another woman. They have to hide their love in fear of judgment and persecution from other people. If you are curious about what life is like identifying as gay in a different country this is the book for you.