Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams is Bookish’s spring 2019 Kelly’s Pick and we want any book clubs planning to read it to be prepared with everything they need for a great meeting—including, their next great read! All readers can relate to the feeling of finishing a book and immediately wanting to pick up something similar. Below we’ve rounded up six books that tackle some of the same themes we loved in Queenie.
If you connected with Queenie’s complicated relationship with her mother… Halsey Street by Naima Coster
Like Queenie, the protagonist of Halsey Street finds her old neighborhood gentrifying rapidly. Penelope returns to Brooklyn after struggling to make a career as an artist, and her world is turned upside down when she receives a letter from her estranged mother asking to reconnect. If the complex family relationships in Queenie had you captivated, you’ll want to pick up this novel ASAP.
If you loved Queenie herself… The Terrible by Yrsa Daley-Ward
Queenie, is that you? This memoir by poet Yrsa Daley-Ward shares many similarities with Queenie’s story. Daley-Ward grew up in the U.K. as the daughter of a Jamaican immigrant and was mostly raised by her religious grandparents. The book explores her relationships, her experiences with men, and her mental health. There are plenty of differences between Queenie’s story and Daley-Ward’s, but if Queenie captured your heart we know you’ll love this memoir.
If you wanted to read Queenie’s Black Lives Matter articles… The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
If your book club hasn’t yet read this modern classic, now is the time. Angie Thomas’ YA novel introduces readers to Starr, a girl who finds herself at the center of a movement after her friend is killed by a police officer. Like Queenie, Starr also grapples with forming her own identity and the way she’s treated based on her race and gender. If you cheered every time Queenie spoke out against injustice, you won’t be able to put The Hate U Give down.
If you share Queenie’s “don’t touch my hair” mantra… You Can’t Touch My Hair: And Other Things I Still Have to Explain by Phoebe Robinson
Over the course of the novel, Queenie has to tell multiple men to leave her hair alone. Phoebe Robinson has also had to tell people to keep their hands to themselves, and writes about this experience and more in her collection of essays. Your book club will love reading these thoughtful and humorous pieces that tackle some of the same subjects dealt with in Queenie.
If you loved the Corgi thread… A Duke by Default by Alyssa Cole
Alyssa Cole’s romance novel features a heroine at a crossroads. Like Queenie, Portia’s not entirely proud of her past actions and is hoping to make a change moving forward. She also frequently turns to her friends in their shared group chat when in need of support. If you perked up every time the Corgi chat appeared on the page, you’ll love this book.
If you were inspired by Queenie’s journey to self-discovery… I Almost Forgot About You by Terry McMillan
Queenie learns a lot about herself and makes some significant changes to her life over the course of the novel. We think readers who rooted for Queenie every step of the way will enjoy I Almost Forgot About You. Terry McMillan introduces readers to Dr. Georgia Young, an optometrist who has a full and happy life but still feels like something is amiss. Georgia decides to start over, and in doing so, learns a lot about herself and her own happiness.