Compiled from TED book lists, here’s a curated selection of fiction and non-fiction titles to check out now.

Researching, celebrating and supporting African American food culture is Michael Twitty’s way to honor and heal his country’s racial past.

African American writer Rich Benjamin spent two years living in — and writing about — America’s whitest neighborhoods. The response to his book (and TED Talk) was honest, raw — and sometimes misunderstood his purpose. Here, he responds to the response.

How a letter written in 1855 gave Kyra Gaunt a whole new perspective on slavery.