We’re always quoting our favorite books in episodes, so we decided to make a list of books we recommend giving as gifts. We’ve all got enough Fenty Beauty and gift cards to stores we’ll never see the inside of. Give something that’s going to enrich the soul and open up the imagination. Nothing does that like a good book. Here’s a list:


  1. Unbasic recommends: Becoming by Michelle Obama “All we have to say is that it’s not what you think.”
  2. Haze’s pick: This is Just My Face by Gabourey Sidibe “It’s a good commentary on being plus-size and in the entertainment industry, plus it’s a raw story. She’s been through a lot and come out on the other side.”
  3. Kelundra’s pick: The Mother of Black Hollywood by Jenifer Lewis “What I love about this book is that it’s as much a history of Black Broadway as it is about Lewis’ life and journey from troubled “gypsy” to “becoming the sun.” I highly recommend the audio version for dramatic effect.”


  1. Unbasic recommends: Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver “Because of this quote from her book Animal Dreams: ‘The very least you can do in your life is figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance but live right in it, under its roof.’ “
  2. Haze’s pick: This is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz “I picked up this book because of a title– it’s written by a guy and it seemed accountable to me. For him to be a man of color writing about love,
  3. Kelundra’s pick: The 12 Tribes of Hattie by Ayana Mathis “I read this book a couple of years ago and it was the first time I read a book and immediately started adapting it into a screenplay in my head.”


  1. Unbasic recommends: Calling in the One by Katherine Woodward Thomas “Book your therapy appointment before you start reading. This book will change you.”
  2. Haze’s pick: All About Love by bell hooks “It is a good book to define what love looks like through the lens of the African American experience. She delves into the murky waters of defining masculinity, femininity and how fear often shapes relationships. When I finished the book, I was still hopeful that love exists and I am capable of manifesting it.”
  3. Kelundra’s pick: The Wisdom of Sundays by Oprah Winfrey “As a Super Soul Sunday fan, I was thrilled when by bestie gifted me this book last year. It the daily affirmation we all need  and the stunning photography makes it a great coffee table book.”


  1. Unbasic recommends: Wild Beauty by Ntzoke Shange “In honor of a legend, how could we not?”
  2. Haze’s pick: Insert Boy by Danez Smith “His poetry is profound, living at the intersection of black, queer and male. He puts intention into his work. He does not hold back when it comes to bravery in his commentary about the state of Black American and the treatment of African Americans in this country.”
  3. Kelundra’s pick: The Collected Poems of Emily Dickinson by Emily Dickinson “My love affair with Dickinson started when I was a freshman in high school and my teacher assigned us to read “The Soul Selects Her Own Society.” From there, I dove into her poetry and was so enamored by the beauty in the language and the connection she had to all things. Plus, there’s humor– you can’t read ‘I heard a fly buzz in my ear when I died’ and not smirk.”