5 books to read in March, according to Jasmine Guillory

Now that we’ve entered March, warm weather is just around the corner, which means you could create a long list of books to read outside when the sun and heat arrive. Whether you’ve got spring break plans that involve reading on the beach or just want to start a new book, we’ve got recommendations for all types of readers.

New York Times bestselling author Jasmine Guillory stopped by at the 3rd hour of TODAY to share her favorite reads right now. Guillory is the author of “The Wedding Date”, “The Proposal” and most recently “While We Were Dating”. She has a new book, “By the Book: A Meant to be Novel,” coming out May 3.

From a suspenseful yet comical family drama to a swoon-worthy romance, Guillory’s recommendations shine a light on stories from people of color across all genres. Read on to see her top picks for March.

Women’s History Month Best Read

“Civil Rights Queen: Constance Baker Motley and the Fight for Equality”, by Tomiko Brown-Nagin

“This book is a compelling and incredibly readable biography of a woman who shaped civil rights history so much and whose story is not told enough,” Guillory said. “I was totally engrossed reading this and learned so much!”

The woman Guillory is referring to is Constance Baker Motley, the first black woman to argue a case in the Supreme Court. Motley has helped litigate several game-changing court cases such as Brown v. Board of Education, which found racial segregation in public schools to be unconstitutional, worked to rid the South of racist Jim Crow laws and more. again. She accomplished many firsts for black women and was considered an inspiration to African Americans across the country. Written by Tomiko Brown-Nagin, civil rights and legal historian and dean of the Harvard Radcliffe Institute, Motley’s life comes to life on the page.

Best Spring Break Read

“The Chao Family”, by Lan Samantha Chang

This novel centers on an Americanized Chinese restaurant in Haven, Wisconsin, and the family that owns it. Big Leo Chao, the owner, is found dead and his three sons reunite, each with their own motives. Family secrets, hidden resentments and more are uncovered in this suspenseful comedy novel, which was one of Goodreads readers’ most anticipated mysteries of 2022.

“If you like family sagas, juicy secrets and twisting mysteries, you’ll love ‘The Family Chao,'” Guillory said. “This story of three very different brothers and their parents is surprising, insightful, touching and funny, and I can’t get enough of it.”

Best Romantic Reading

“D’Vaughn and Kris Plan a Wedding”, by Chencia C. Higgins

This romance appealed to Guillory from page one, she said. This love story begins when two women have six weeks to plan their fake wedding for a reality TV show to win $100,000. Between convincing family, friends, and the viewers that they are for real, feelings begin to blossom, but the challenges of reality TV put their newfound relationship to the test.

Best New Release

“Lulu and Milagro’s search for clarity”, by Angela Velez

This story of two teenage sisters traveling from Baltimore to San Francisco is “charming, thoughtful and warm,” says Guillory. On a cross-country college trip, Lulu and Milagro unpack the stress of family expectations, uncover their sister Clara’s secrets and more.

What Guillory is reading right now

“A Song Called Home”, by Sara Zarr

The book, which will be released on March 15 and is currently available for pre-order, is “the story of a girl in the midst of so much change,” Guillory said. The plot follows Lou, a middle school student who is estranged from the city, her school, and her father because her mother is remarrying. After mysteriously receiving a guitar for her birthday, she decides that learning to play it will help her keep a piece of her father and her old life with her.

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