DopeReads Byke.


It’s been a minute but dopereads is BYKE with the all the book- and literature- new new. Peep the goings on below and check back every Tuesday and Thursday for more.

  • The National Book Foundation announced its “Top 5 Under 35″ writers. Zimbabwean author NoViolet Bulawayo made the list for her book “We Need New Names.” The long lists for fiction, non-fiction, and poetry are to be released this week.
  • The National Book Festival is taking place on the National Mall in DC this weekend, and DopeReads will be live tweeting it for those who can’t make it.
  • Also for those in DC, Edwidge Danticat is speaking at Politics and Prose this evening. If you haven’t copped her new book “Claire of the Sea Light,” I highly suggest it. In typical fashion Danticat wields her words masterfully – she’ll have you all in your feels!
  • Check out DopeReads on Instagram! Twitter! Facebook!
  • You can check out some of my other work at PostBourgie (books and TV) and SoulBounce (music reviews). Can’t stop, won’t stop.
  • On another note, please send your prayers and well wishes to those affected by the Navy Yard shooting yesterday. It was a tough day in the Capitol area.


Book Awesomeness: Eunique Jones Photography

Remember the totally adorable pictures you saw in during Black History Month with the slogan “Because of Them, We Can”?

People wanted more than 28 days of the inspirational images and now Eunique Jones Gibson of Eunique Jones photography is raising money on Kickstarter to publish a book of 365 days of uplifting adorableness. According to the Kickstarter page:

The feedback has been amazing, but the biggest request has been for a book that includes all 365 images.  I could go the publisher route, but I truly believe that we can fund this movement. Here’s where the Kickstarter comes in. Funding this project would allow me to self publish a high quality, hard cover art book that will serve as a source of inspiration and education for all who come across it.

The series of photos, which featured the Benjamin Button-ized versions of black history icons, went viral because they were so spot on and cute! Check out the campaign here and support!

You can learn more about Eunique Jones photography here.

This Weekend In DC: Three Tents Reading + Holiday Hours at Politics & Prose

Hey DC area readers,

Just wanted to let you know about a couple of things:

First, the Big Lucks Literary Magazine-sponsored Three Tents monthly reading is Sunday, 12/9 from 6-8 PM at the Big Hunt in DuPont Circle. Basically what happens is a bunch of DC area writers get together and listen to other writers present their work. I first learned about the event in this Washington City Paper article and went last month. I was shy about networking last time, but this time I’m going to mingle a little more. You should check it out!

In other bookish news, Politics and Prose Bookstore at 5015 Connecticut Avenue is having extended hours during Sundays so you can pick up your holiday book-related gifts. Visit the website or call for more details. Peep the pics below that I took when me and my little sister visited the store:

My first time!

My first time!



Heaven is a stack of new books

Heaven is a stack of new books

They have an in-store JIT book printer named "Opus", pretty dope!

They have an in-store JIT book printer named “Opus”, pretty dope!

Couldn't leave without copping something for myself...

Couldn’t leave without copping something for myself…

Christmas present.

Christmas present.

Ok, have a good one y’all! Support local writers + bookstores :)


#HowToBeBlack DC + Tayari Jones’ Tweet

Hey Party People!

Today is the big day  Baratunde Thurston x DopeReads x Teaching for Change/Busboys & Poets book event for “How To Be Black” ! You can peep the FB event for details, or check out the flyer below.

I’ll be tied up with that. In other black book news….

This is happening.

Totally here for this.


P.S. The butterfly is totally a thing I do when I hear good-book related news. The cabbage patch too. Just FYI.

Book Review: Get “Lost” in Edward P. Jones’ “City”

Pulitzer-and-numerous-other-literary-prize winner Edward P. Jones’ “Lost in the City” was one of the books that had been chilling on my bookcase for a while before I cracked it open, and I’m glad I had the opportunity to grow a bit before digging into it. I got the first nudge from Junot Diaz at the National Book Festival, when he listed Jones as one of his influences. I’d read “The Known World” back when it came out, but I don’t think I’d developed the teeth necessary to really chew on and digest that book; as a result “All Aunt Hagar’s Children” and “Lost in the City” languished in unread-book-land for years. It was totally worth it, though, because now that I live in the DC metro area the stories resonated with more depth for me. Books be knowing, y’all.

Synopsis: It’s a book of short stories, and it’s easy to see where Junot Diaz got his inspiration for “Drown” and “This Is How You Lose Her” – Lost’s characters are connected to characters in All Aunt Hagar’s children, and are sometimes connected with stories in the same collection as well. Jones skillfully examines mid-century DC when it was still a ‘chocolate city’. The streets, locations, and descriptions of people are spot on. He captures the voice of old-school black DC in a quiet, unassuming, non-judgmental way. He’s just telling it how it is. I appreciate Jones’ narrative straightforwardness – Jones builds stories bit by bit, each piece appearing to just be matter of fact, and before you know it you’re at the end, pondering the bigger issues the story has quietly laid out. It’s great when good storytelling sneaks up on you.

Favorite characters: Marie, an elderly woman who fends off a potential thief with her homemade serrated shank;  Joyce, who acts like it’s all good that her son buys her a house using dope money and fakes like she can have kids with her man even though her tubes are tied; a store-keep who watches the rise and fall of a neighborhood corner store from his perch behind the counter.

Read this if you: like DC, want to understand what the city was like for black folks before 2000, like Toni Morrison, like books with depth. Also, I was super pumped that my edition, published by Amistad, had “A Rich Man,” which I posted here as required cuffing reading not too long ago, included as a bonus to introduce readers to All Aunt Hagar’s Children. Gotta read that next!

[EVENT] Baratunde Thurston x DopeReads x Teaching for Change – DC

DopeReads is excited to partner with Teaching for Change and Busboys & Poets to bring comedian/DC native/social media swag-having author Baratunde Thurston to DC to discuss his book How to Be Black! The book was recently released in paperback, which you can cop here for the low. This memoir/satire (memoitire? satoir?) is the perfect stocking stuffer or Kwanzaa gift for the incense burner in your life. Look out for more info in the coming weeks. We bout to party for paperbacks, y’all. Let’s get it!