Sistahs Shop Talk is random ramblings from yours truly about books, news, and views that captivate me.
Hi, I’m back: Hello, it’s nice to be acquainted again. I’m Rena, the owner of Sistahs on the Shelf, and reading black lesbian books is not only my mission, it’s my passion. Every time I read a book featuring women who love women, I feel as if I’m home. This is what I hope I am able to convey through this website. Thank you being here, thank you for supporting me since 2005, thank for finding me. If there’s anything you want to see, please let me know.
Being here since 2005 is a remarkable and bizarre feeling for me. My tastes have changed; some of the stories I read then would never fly now. Sometimes when I look at old reviews, I realize that I am not the same person who wrote that (and some I feel still ring true), but such that is life.
What I’m Reading Now…
Real Life: A Novel by Brandon Taylor
I’m almost done with this novel about Wallace, a black gay man struggling with pursing his biochemistry degree in a Midwestern university town (enough said) , the isolation of being the only POC in his friend group and reconciling his traumatic past. It’s harrowing but beautifully written, and I’m putting sticky tabs in all the places.
I am not sure what I’ll read next, but here’s what’s on my nightstand:
You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson
dayliGht: Poems by Roya Marsh
There will always be good white people who love him and want the best for him but who are more afraid of other white people than of letting him down. It’s easier for them to let it happen and to triage the wound later than to introduce an element of the unknown into the situation. No matter how good they are, no matter how loving, they will always be complicit, a danger, a wound waiting to happen.
— from Real Life: A Novel by Brandon Taylor (2020)
Trolling for New Books…
Some recent editions and upcoming releases to add to your shelves…
Sweet Dark Rum by Cheril N. Clarke
Publisher: Dodi Press
Release Date: May 6, 2020
Erica Reed is overworked and underwhelmed with life. Despite having a thriving corporate career, she is in desperate need of a break from it all. When she goes on a spur of the moment trip to Colorado Springs, she meets Zara—a woman she’d befriended online—and Erica’s boring life takes an erogenous turn that she’ll never forget!
The Closet Case (A Girl Trouble Mystery Book 1) by Tawanna Sullivan
Publisher: tpsulli Publications
Release Date: June 16, 2020
What would you do if your ex were in trouble?
Shanice Wilkins graduated college with dreams of growing her part-time web design service into a full business. To keep her expenses low, she moved in with friends Debra and Gina. Still, turning “hang out” money into rent money isn’t easy. Her bank account is struggling.
Being broke does stop Shanice from wallowing in her breakup with Renee. The gospel singer abruptly ended the relationship – no explanations given. Rather than deal with the heartbreak, Shanice concentrates on finding new clients.
When Pastor Walter Robinson and his wife Barbara contact her for a free consultation, Shanice happily makes a house call. The couple needs more than a website. They believe Renee is trying to blackmail them and want Shanice to deliver a warning.
Getting paid to talk to her ex? Shanice agrees to become a messenger. The simple task gets extremely complicated when she finds Ms. Barbara dead before Sunday service. Caught up in a swirl of gossip and suspicion, can Shanice and her friends uncover the truth before the killer strikes again?
Rainbow (Audible Audiobook) by Verde Arzu (Author), Distinctly Unique (Narrator)
Publisher: Rainbow Editions
Release Date: June 18, 2020
*NOW ON AUDIO*
Taylor has room for exactly two things in her life: improving her performance as a college basketball player and maintaining the grades she needs to stay on the team and someday play in the WNBA.
But when she meets the beautiful and confident Melony, Taylor’s whole way of life is called into question.
Rainbow is a coming-of-age queer love story with a Love Jones kind of vibe. It’s the first of many queer black novellas by the author Verde Arzu.
Things Hoped For: A Vow Series Spin-Off (The Vow Series Book 4) by Chencia C. Higgins
Publisher: EKOL Media
Release Date: July 28, 2020
Can two women who only want to be loved, find a home in each other when the world around them is moving too fast for them to settle down?
Growing up in an intolerant town, Latrisha Martin was used to shrinking the most important parts of herself. She hid her loneliness within a busy life and kept the yearning in her heart tucked away from those closest to her. Just as the façade became too heavy to maintain, Trisha received wise words from a strange woman that helped redirect her life’s journey. On a whim, she relocates to Houston, and while adjusting to a new normal, she finds that those desires she’d once hidden begin to manifest in ways she never imagined.
With her star attached to a rocket ship, Xenobia Cooper was quickly transforming from a locally known talent into a name known in households across the nation. Viewed as an overnight success to many, the only thing that the veteran of the Houston underground music scene hadn’t prepared for was living a life without someone to come home to at the end of the day. A reckless tweet sent out in the middle of the night brings an influx of women with stars in their eyes, but they all lack the key component that Xeno is looking for. A chance encounter after her largest show to date and she’s convinced that those things she’d hoped for are just within her grasp.
Femme Like Her: A Lesbian Romance by Fiona Zedde
Publisher: Red Hills Publishing
Release Date: December 8, 2020
Nailah Grant only dates studs, races her Camaro for therapy, and believes in leaving her exes in the past where they belong.
But with a layoff looming and her retired parents about to take a life-changing step Nailah isn’t ready for, her world becomes far from stable. Enter Scottie, the only femme she’s ever allowed close enough to touch her heart. They say trouble comes in threes, and this femme is one with a capital T.
Scottie is an ex though, and somebody Nailah never should have been with in the first place. Yet, when the foundations of her life crumble fast, Scottie is the one Nailah finds herself clinging to. Just as things settle into a semblance of something Nailah could only dream about, a shattering secret from Scottie’s past threatens to destroy everything the two women have built together.
Will Nailah stay the course with Scottie, or allow her fears to ruin her chance at a real and passionate love?
Visit This Website…
The Black Lesbian Literary Collective
The Black Lesbian Literary Collective is a non-profit organization (organized in North Carolina) founded by Lauren Cherelle and Stephanie Andrea Allen to bring together women with shared cultural experiences that desire a nurturing and productive writing setting. The Black Lesbian Literary Collective creates a nurturing and sustainable environment for Black lesbian and queer women of color writers. The site has a lovely book review blog, The BLLC Review, that offers excellent in-depth reviews and conversations about black lesbian books. Please check them out.