Winter 2023 Book List

Stack of books. Photo by Alexander Grey on

Before we start, a reader asked a question about the authorship of blog posts. I, Erin, write almost all of the blog posts on Fakequity. If it is a guest post or by someone else on the Fakequity team, those almost always have a by-line or I explain that it wasn’t authored by me. I often don’t put a by-line on my post since I’m the main author of Fakequity.

It’s been a while since I’ve shared some of my new favorite books. I hope you find a few good books to check out from your local library, or buy them from your favorite POC-owned bookstore. The links in the post are for the Fakequity Bookshop affiliate page. Fakequity receives a small profit which I use to purchase books by authors of color or about disabilities to donate to Title 1 public schools.

Adult Books

My friend Heidi made a passing comment about the book Take My Hand. I’m so glad I remembered the title because it is THAT GOOD. I borrowed the audio version from the library and was sucked into the historical fiction novel. The story is about a young Black public health nurse who is assigned to a family with two young Black girls who did not consent to sterilization. The book delves into medical ethics, eugenics, and medical rights.  

The Seed Keeper kept me engaged during several long commutes. Rosalie Iron Wing takes us through her life as a Dahkóa woman and eventually mother who is working to keep her connection to the land despite farming and pesticide changes that cause division within her family. Rosalie and her son also have to learn and connect with their Native histories, can farming and seeds bring them back together?

Shutter by another Native American writer, Ramona Emerson captivated my imagination. Rita is a crime scene photographer that is haunted by ghosts. She tries to block the ghosts but one persistent ghost forces Rita to confront her ability to see and talk to ghosts. If you like thrillers and mysteries, this is an entertaining book.

For non-fiction readers, Viola Davis’s memoir Finding Me was captivating. In the first half she shares about the poverty she grew up in with her family, the first half was a bit hard to get through because she lived through so much poverty. The second half of the book, Davis shares how she became the actress we know of her today. In the second half she shares a lot about her personal life and how she continues to stay grounded and connected to her family.

Picture Books

I’ve read so many good picture books over the past few months it is hard to suggest just a few favorites.

Shapes, Lines, and Light: My Grandfather’s American Journey by Katie Yamasaki, is the story of her grandfather, famed architect Minoru Yamasaki. The senior Yamasaki was the famous architect of the World Trade Center, Pacific Science Center (in Seattle), and many other famous buildings. After I read this book I went back to the library to get another book about Yamasaki to learn more about his contributions to the architectural world.

Senator Tammy Duckworth’s contributions to America are long and worthy of many books. A Life of Service: The Story of Senator Tammy Duckworth by Christina Soontornvat is a biography about Sen Duckworth, including her life as an immigrant, growing up in Hawai’i, military deployment, how she became disabled, an advocate for disabled veterans, and how she is now serving in Congress. I hope many classrooms and school libraries add this book to their shelves.

A few weeks ago I had a few extra minutes and wandered into a small public library. Out of Wonder: Celebrating Poets and Poetry was on the shelf with Kwame Alexander’s name on the cover. I’ve read some of his other books so I picked it up and ended up reading the whole book standing in the book stacks. The poetry in the book pays homage to past poets and creates new poetry and art to love.

Patchwork by Matt de la Peña has gorgeous artwork and can help to open conversations about feelings for younger kids, and help them explore their identities. It also reminds readers we can change and grow into different people at any age.


I’ve been on a quest to make a really good milk bread which led me to the Modern Asian Baking at Home cookbook. I borrowed it from the library and found so many good recipes I ended up treating myself to my own copy. The ube crinkle mochi cookie recipe is scrumptious.

The Woks of Life food and recipe blog and Instagram account is one I check in often when I need food-eye-candy. Their new book The Woks of Life: Recipes to Know and Love from a Chinese American Family: A Cookbook doesn’t disappoint. The writing is fun and I enjoyed the gorgeous pictures. I haven’t made any of the recipes out of the cookbook, but I have made recipes off their blog that came out so tasty. Other people I know have made recipes from the cookbook and raved about their dishes. I plan on revisiting it soon to cook out of.

On a drive back from some Lunar New Year fun with my younger child we stopped by a Korean supermarket. While shopping I impulsively grabbed a bag of tteok, Korean rice cakes, and threw them into the basket. When I got home, I put the Korean Vegan recipe book back on my library list to find some recipes on how to create a delightful dish out of the tteok. The pictures in the cookbook are so pretty, even if you don’t cook anything out of it just flipping through the cookbook is worth the time spent.

Bonus Books

A few months ago, I read an advanced reader copy of Grounded, a middle-grade novel. It was so much fun to read. A group of Muslim kids are stuck in an airport due to bad weather. They go on a wild chase to find a lost cat in the airport. (I shared this book before and listing it again since it comes out in May 2023.)

On my to read list are the Marvel Voices comic. The series includes Heritage – Native American writers, Identity – Asian American writers, Legacy – Black writers, and Pride – LGBTQ identities.

Happy reading!

Why I wrote this: I wrote this to share books I enjoyed from authors of color.

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I am writing from the lands of the 29 federally recognized and non-federally recognized tribes in now Washington State, including the Coast Salish people — Duwamish, Muckleshoot, Suquamish, Snoqualmie, Snohomish, and Native American organizations that have treaty rights and have been here since time immemorial. I give my thanks to the elders, Native and Indigenous colleagues and relations, and the land itself. Fakequity pays “rent” to Native organizations in Washington and Hawaii; a small act to repair and work to be in more justice-based relations.