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  • IRL Author Talk: How to Say Babylon with Safiya Sinclair - July 28 @ 3PM CST
    from $10.00

    The paperback of How to Say Babylon is here and we're celebrating the power of Saifya Sinclair's memoir! 


    When: Sunday, July 28 @ 3PM CST

    Where: 2304 Stuart Street, HTX, 77004

    How: RSVP ONLY to reserve you seat or RSVP WITH BOOK to support the author and our programming


    Throughout her childhood, Safiya Sinclair’s father, a volatile reggae musician and militant adherent to a strict sect of Rastafari, became obsessed with her purity, in particular, with the threat of what Rastas call Babylon, the immoral and corrupting influences of the Western world outside their home. He worried that womanhood would make Safiya and her sisters morally weak and impure, and believed a woman’s highest virtue was her obedience.

    In an effort to keep Babylon outside the gate, he forbade almost everything. In place of pants, the women in her family were made to wear long skirts and dresses to cover their arms and legs, head wraps to cover their hair, no make-up, no jewelry, no opinions, no friends. Safiya’s mother, while loyal to her father, nonetheless gave Safiya and her siblings the gift of books, including poetry, to which Safiya latched on for dear life. And as Safiya watched her mother struggle voicelessly for years under housework and the rigidity of her father’s beliefs, she increasingly used her education as a sharp tool with which to find her voice and break free. Inevitably, with her rebellion comes clashes with her father, whose rage and paranoia explodes in increasing violence. As Safiya’s voice grows, lyrically and poetically, a collision course is set between them.

    How to Say Babylon is Sinclair’s reckoning with the culture that initially nourished but ultimately sought to silence her; it is her reckoning with patriarchy and tradition, and the legacy of colonialism in Jamaica. Rich in lyricism and language only a poet could evoke, How to Say Babylon is both a universal story of a woman finding her own power and a unique glimpse into a rarefied world we may know how to name, Rastafari, but one we know little about.


    SAFIYA SINCLAIR was born and raised in Montego Bay, Jamaica. She is the author of the memoir How to Say Babylon, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award in Autobiography, a finalist the Kirkus Prize, and longlisted for the Women’s Prize in Non-Fiction and the OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature. How to Say Babylon was named one of the 100 Notable Books of the year by the New York Times, a Top 10 Book of 2023 by the Washington Post, one of The Atlantic’s 10 Best Books of 2023, a TIME Magazine Top 10 Nonfiction Book of 2023, a Read with Jenna/TODAY Show Book Club pick, and one of Barack Obama’s Favorite Books of 2023. How to Say Babylon was also named a Best Book of the Year by The New Yorker, NPR, The Guardian, the Los Angeles Times, Vulture, Harper’s Bazaar, and Barnes & Noble, among others, and was an ALA Notable Book of the Year. The audiobook of How to Say Babylon was named a Best Audiobook of the Year by Audible and AudioFile magazine.

    She is also the author of the poetry collection Cannibal, winner of a Whiting Award, the American Academy of Arts and Letters’ Metcalf Award, the OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Poetry, the Phillis Wheatley Book Award, and the Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Poetry. Cannibal was selected as one of the American Library Association’s Notable Books of the Year, and was a finalist for the PEN Center USA Literary Award and the Seamus Heaney First Book Award in the UK, and was longlisted for the PEN Open Book Award and the Dylan Thomas Prize. 

    Sinclair’s other honours include a Pushcart Prize, fellowships from the Poetry Foundation, Civitella Ranieri Foundation, the Elizabeth George Foundation, MacDowell, Yaddo, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Time Magazine, Harper’s BazaarGranta, The Nation, and elsewhere. She is currently an Associate Professor of Creative Writing at Arizona State University.


  • IRL Author Talk: The Outsider Advantage with Ciera Rogers - June 20 @ 7PM
    from $10.00

    Celebrate the release of The Outsider Advantage: Because You Don't Need to Fit in to Win with Ciera Rogers!


    When: Thursday, June 20 at 7PM

    Where: 3719 Navigation Blvd, HTX, 77005

    How: RSVP ONLY to reserve your seat or RSVP WITH BOOK to support the author and our programming with book!


    Ciera Rogers is known for being an “Outsider”—and she likes it that way. As the founder and CEO of a multi-million-dollar brand that caters to curvy women of all shades, worn by the likes of Kim Kardashian and championed by Beyoncé, Ciera has rallied the very women the fashion industry is designed to ignore around the radical idea that what makes you different is actually your superpower.

    The Outsider Advantage is for Outsiders like her: the dreamers, doers, and go-getters that society continuously overlooks and underestimates, but who are uniquely equipped to achieve glass-shattering success.

    In this bold and inspiring memoir, Ciera shares the moments in her life that left the biggest impact—being kidnapped at a young age by her estranged father, running hustles in strip clubs, living in her mom’s red Jeep, daring to post her first outfit for sale on Instagram, hitting seven-figures, and buying a home—and unearths the powerful lessons she has taken away from her past and her unorthodox rise, like how to harness what you already have and how to use your trauma as a motivator. She also speaks to feelings of millennial rage, as on her journey, she came to realize that the American Dream is a lie. But she didn’t allow that to stop her from outmaneuvering the system to finally live the life she wanted.

    Arguing that what the world calls limitations—lack of connections, resources, fancy degrees, or even the “right” look—are actually our biggest competitive advantages, Ciera teaches anyone who has ever been overlooked, ignored or underestimated how to embrace their Outsider status to find unstoppable success.


    Ciera Rogers is a Los Angeles based fashion designer behind the women’s wear line Babes. As a social media influencer, she uses her reach of 2+ million to spread her message of body positivity, self-acceptance, and empowerment to women worldwide. She and her work have been featured in Fox, Vogue, Mashable, The New York Post, and The New York Journal, among many other publications. The Outsider Advantage is her first book.


    Len Cannon is the KHOU 11 News anchor at 5, 6 and 10 p.m. He came to KHOU in 2006. Len is an award winning journalist having won Emmy Awards in local news. And, the National Association of Black Journalist First Place Award and the prestigious Columbia University Dupont, "Silver Baton" award for his reporting as a correspondent for Dateline NBC. He has also won various community awards, including one from the Houston Fire Department. Len is a graduate of Ashland University in his home state of Ohio, where he majored in radio and TV. 

  • JUNE 2024: Adult Book Club - JUNE 27 @ 7PM
    from $0.00

    This bookclub meeting is on June 27 at 7 PM. We're be in the Kindred Stories Reading. Be sure to show up with the book read (or partially read) but you are always welcome to just come and take up space. 


    On the night of her husband Matt’s fortieth birthday, Rachel Abbott receives a sexy, explicit text from her husband that she quickly realizes was meant for another woman. Divorce is inevitable, and Rachel is determined not to leave her thirteen-year marriage empty handed. Meanwhile, Matt, a rising star mayor with his eye on the White House, can’t afford a messy split in the middle of his reelection campaign. They strike a deal: Rachel gets one million dollars and their lavish house in the wealthy DC suburb of Oasis Springs, as long as she keeps playing the ideal Black trophy wife until the election.

    Then Rachel meets Nathan Vasquez, a very handsome, very lost twenty-six-year-old artist, and their connection makes Rachel forget about being the perfect politician’s wife. As Rachel reawakens Nathan’s long-dormant artistic aspirations, their attraction becomes impossible to resist. But secrets are hard to keep in a town like Oasis Springs, and Nathan has a few of his own. With the risk of scandal looming and their hearts on the line, they’ll have to decide whether the possibility of losing everything is worth taking a chance on love. 

    The Art of Scandal is a sizzling, conversation-starting debut about rekindling passion, the transformative power of art, and finding love in unexpected places. 

  • IRL Author Talk: God Bless You, Otis Spunkmeyer with Joseph Earl Thomas - June 25 @ 7:30 PM
    from $0.00

    Celebrate the release of God Bless You, Otis Spunkmeyer with Joseph Earl Thomas!


    When: Tuesday, June 25 @ 7:30 PM

    Where: Kindred Stories Reading Garden (2304 Stuart Street, HTX, 77004)

    How: RSVP ONLY to reserve your seat and RSVP WITH BOOK to support the author and our store. 


    After a deployment in the Iraq War dually defined by threat and interminable mundanity, Joseph Thomas is fighting to find his footing. Now a doctoral student at The University, and an EMS worker at the hospital in North Philly, he encounters round the clock friends and family from his past life and would-be future at his job, including contemporaries of his estranged father, a man he knows little about, serving time at Holmesburg prison for the statutory rape of his then-teenage mother. Meanwhile, he and his best friend Ray, a fellow vet, are alternatingly bonding over and struggling with their shared experience and return to civilian life, locked in their own rhythms of lust, heartbreak, and responsibility.

    Balancing the joys and frustrations of single fatherhood, his studies, and ceaseless shifts at the hospital as he becomes closer than he ever imagined to his father, Joseph tries to articulate vernacular understandings of the sociopolitical struggles he recounts as participant-observer at home, against the assumptions of his friends and colleagues. GOD BLESS YOU, OTIS SPUNKMEYER is a powerful examination of every day black life—of health and sex, race and punishment, and the gaps between our desires and our politics.


    Joseph Earl Thomas is a writer from Frankford whose work has appeared or is forthcoming in VQR, N+1, Gulf Coast, The Offing, and The Kenyon Review. He has an MFA in prose from The University of Notre Dame and is a doctoral candidate in English at the University of Pennsylvania. An excerpt of his memoir, Sink, won the 2020 Chautauqua Janus Prize and he has received fellowships from Fulbright, VONA, Tin House, and Bread Loaf. He’s writing the novel God Bless You, Otis Spunkmeyer, and a collection of stories, Leviathan Beach, among other oddities.  


    Joshua Burton is a poet and educator from Houston, TX and received his MFA in poetry at Syracuse University. He is a 2019 Tin House Winter Workshop Scholar, 2019 Juniper Summer Writing Institute scholarship winner, 2019 Center for African American Poetry and Poetics fellowship finalist, received the Honorable Mention for the 2018 Toi Derricotte and Cornelius Eady Chapbook Prize, 2020 Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing finalist, and a 2023 Elizabeth George Foundation grant recipient. His work can be found in Mississippi Review, Gulf Coast, The Rumpus, Conduit, TriQuarterly, Black Warrior Review, Grist, and Indiana Review. His chapbook Fracture Anthology is currently out with Ethel and his debut poetry collection Grace Engine is out with the University of Wisconsin Press.

  • IRL Author Talk: Masquerade with O.O. Sangoyomi - July 10 @ 7PM CST
    from $0.00

    Celebrate the release of Masquerade with O.O. Sangoyomi!


    When: Wednesday, July 10 @ 7:30 PM 

    Where: Kindred Stories Reading Garden (2304 Stuart Street, HTX, 77004)

    How: RSVP ONLY to reserve your spot or RSVP WITH BOOK to support the author and our programming. 


    Òdòdó’s hometown of Timbuktu has been conquered by the warrior king of Yorùbáland, and living conditions for the women in her blacksmith guild, who were already shunned as social pariahs, grow even worse.

    Then Òdòdó is abducted. She is whisked across the Sahara to the capital city of ?àngót?`, where she is shocked to discover that her kidnapper is none other than the vagrant who had visited her guild just days prior. But now that he is swathed in riches rather than rags, Òdòdó realizes he is not a vagrant at all; he is the warrior king, and he has chosen her to be his wife.

    In a sudden change of fortune, Òdòdó soars to the very heights of society. But after a lifetime of subjugation, she finds the power that saturates this world of battle and political savvy too enticing to resist. As tensions with rival states grow, revealing elaborate schemes and enemies hidden in plain sight, Òdòdó must defy the cruel king she has been forced to wed by reforging the shaky loyalties of the court in her favor, or risk losing everything—including her life.

    Loosely based on the myth of Persephone, O.O. Sangoyomi’s Masquerade takes you on a journey of epic power struggles and political intrigue which turn an entire region on its head.


    O. O. SANGOYOMI is a Nigerian American author with a penchant for African mythology and history. During a childhood of constantly moving around within the U.S., she found an anchored home in the fictional worlds of books. Sangoyomi is a graduate of Princeton University, where she studied English and African American Studies. Masquerade is her debut novel


    Vaishnavi Patel is the author of Goddess of the River and the instant New York Times bestseller Kaikeyi. A lawyer specializing in civil rights, she likes to write at the intersection of Indian myth, feminism, and anticolonialism. She grew up in and around Chicago and, in her spare time, enjoys activities that are almost stereotypically Midwestern: knitting, ice skating, drinking hot chocolate, and making hotdish. 

  • IRL Author Talk: They Built Me For Freedom with Tonya Duncan Ellis - June 9 @ 2PM
    from $0.00

    Celebrate the release of They Built Me For Freedom: The Story of Juneteenth and Houston's Emancipation Park with Tonya Duncan Ellis!


    When: Sunday, June 9, 2024 @ 2 PM

    Where: Project Row House Community Gallery (2521 Holman Street, HTX, 77004)

    How: RSVP ONLY to attend the event or RSVP WITH BOOK to reserve your copy. 

    Note: Outside copies of They Built Me For Freedom will not be allowed inside the event.


    A vibrant, moving picture book about the history of Emancipation Park in Houston, Texas—and the origins of Juneteenth.

    When people visit me, they are freeto run, play, gather, and rejoice.

    They built me to remember.

    On June 19, 1865, the 250,000 enslaved people of Texas learned they were free, ending slavery in the United States. This day was soon to be memorialized with the dedication of a park in Houston. The park was called Emancipation Park, and the day it honored would come to be known as Juneteenth.  

    In the voice and memory of the park itself—its fields and pools, its protests and cookouts, and, most of all, its people—the 150-year story of Emancipation Park is brought to life. Through lyrical text and vibrant artwork, Tonya Duncan Ellis and Jenin Mohammed have crafted an ode to the struggle, triumph, courage, and joy of Black America—and the promise of a people to remember.


    Tonya Duncan Ellis is a former journalist and the author of the Sophie Washington series. She lives in Houston, Texas. You can visit her at  


  • IRL AUTHOR TALK: The Grandest Garden with Gina L. Carroll - June 6 @ 7:30 PM CST
    from $5.00

    Celebrate the release of The Grandest Garden with Gina L. Carroll!


    When: Thursday, June 6, 2024

    Where: Kindred Stories Reading Garden (2304 Stuart Street, HTX, 77004)

    How: RSVP ONLY to reserve your seat or RSVP WITH BOOK to support our programming and the author. 


    In this coming-of-age story about the cycle of life in and out of the garden, Bella Fontaine comes to understand as a young woman trying to make her way in the world, that when it’s time to leave home, it’s time—whether you feel ready or not.

    Bella Fontaine is on her own. Fresh out of college and with the winnings from her first international photography competition, she decides to leave Los Angeles to forge a new life in New York City. But will she be able to overcome the trauma of her childhood and her break from home to make it as a successful artist and professional photographer in a new city? Or will her secrets catch up with her ,and keep her from developing the relationships she needs to make her dreams come true?

    We meet young Bella just after her tenth birthday, and her grandmothers, Olivette and Miriam, each with a beautiful, mature garden as different from each other as the two gardeners who tend them. As Bella’s homelife begins to unravel, she relies on her grandmother’s gardens as her refuge for stability and belonging. But when Miriam moves in with Olivette in search of healing, the grandmothers bond in a way that makes Bella feel excluded. What happens next sends Bella out into the world before she is ready.

    The Grandest Garden is a poignant coming-of-age story about the ties that bind us to our people and how to survive when they break.


    Gina L. Carroll is the author of A Story That Matters: A Gratifying Way to Write About Your Life and editor of Stories Are Medicine: Writing to Heal, An Anthology. A self-pro-fessed story wrangler, Gina founded StoryHouse Texas, a creative space dedicated to cultivating and amplifying the diversity of vision and voice in story. The Grandest Garden is her debut novel. She currently lives in Houston, Texas. To learn more about Gina, visit


    Deborah D.E.E.P Mouton is an award-winning writer, director, performer, critic, and the first Black Poet Laureate of Houston, TX. Praised by the NY Times as an artist who “defies categorization”, her genre-bending works span from stage to page, and everything in between. She is the author of Newsworthy (Bloomsday Literary, 2019) which was translated into German (Berichtenswert, Elif Verlag, 2020), Black Chameleon (Henry Holt, 2023), and an upcoming children's book, Hush Hush Hurricane (Kokila Books). Honored as part of Houston Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 class, she has been a contributing writer for Glamour, Texas Monthly, Muzzle, and ESPN's Andscape, to name a few.

    Her most recent choreopoem, PLUMSHUGA: The rise of Lauren Anderson, debuted at Stages Theater and made the cover of the NY Times Culture Section. Her forthcoming opera, She Who Dared, composed by Jasmine Barnes, will  debut in Spring 2025. Her memoir, Black Chameleon (Henry Holt & Co, 2023), recently won the the Carr P. Collins award for Best Nonfiction through the Texas Institute of Letters (2024). Order your copy now.

  • IRL Author Talk: Storm: Goddess of Dawn and Barda with Tiffany D. Jackson & Ngozi Ukazu - June 4 @ 7PM
    from $5.00

    Join us to celebrate the release of TWO books, Storm: Goddess of Dawn by Tiffany D. Jackson and Barda by Ngozi Ukazu! 


    When: Tuesday, June 4 @ 7PM

    Where: 2304 Stuart Street, HTX, 77004

    How: Purchase your TICKET ONLY or RSVP WITH STORM or RSVP WITH BARDA or RSVP WITH BUNDLE (with both books)

    Please reach out if you, your kids or students would like to attend but are not in the financial place to do so. 


    Few can weather the storm.

    As a thief on the streets of Cairo, Ororo Munroe is an expert at blending in—keeping her blue eyes low and her white hair beneath a scarf. Stealth is her specialty . . . especially since strange things happen when she loses control.

    Lately, Ororo has been losing control more often, setting off sudden rainstorms and mysterious winds . . . and attracting dangerous attention. When she is forced to run from the Shadow King, a villain who steals people's souls, she has nowhere to turn to but herself. There is something inside her, calling her across Africa, and the hidden truth of her heritage is close enough to taste.

    But as Ororo nears the secrets of her past, her powers grow stronger and the Shadow King veers closer and closer. Can she outrun the shadows that chase her? Or can she step into the spotlight and embrace the coming storm?


    Darkseid is…and life on Apokolips is tough—but then, it is hell after all. And no one knows this better than Barda, Granny Goodness’s right hand warrior.

    But Barda has a secret…she is in love. Or she is drawn to the idea of it anyway, whether it be the beauty of a flower, her affection for her closest friend, Aurelie, or the mysterious and fierce enemy warrior, Orion, who is the only match for Barda’s strength.

    But when Granny decides Barda is becoming too soft, she assigns Barda a task that might be more than she can handle—to break the seemingly unbreakable Scott Free. And as Barda questions why Scott has such hope and what he might have done to promote such hatred from Granny, she finds herself drawn to him in a way she never expected.

    The only thing is, we do not speak of love on Apokolips…


    Tiffany D. Jackson is the New York Times bestselling, award-winning author of YA novels Monday’s Not Coming, Allegedly, Let Me Hear A Rhyme, Grown, White Smoke, Santa in The City, The Weight of Blood, and co-author of Blackout and Whiteout: A Novel. A Coretta Scott King - John Steptoe New Talent Award-winner and NAACP Image Award-nominee, she received her bachelor of arts in film from Howard University and has over a decade in TV/Film experience. The Brooklyn native is currently splitting her time between the borough she loves and the south, most likely multitasking.


    Ngozi Ukazu is a DC Comics artist, New York Times-bestselling graphic novelist, and the creator of comics like Check, Please!, BUNT!, and the forthcoming graphic novel FLIP. She graduated from Yale University with a degree in Computing in the Arts, and since 2020 her cartoons have appeared in The New Yorker.


  • IRL Artist Talk: Rick Lowe with Ryan Dennis and Assata Richards - May 22 @ 7PM
    Sold out

    *please note Ryan Dennis and Assata Richards will no longer be moderating. 

    Celebrate the first monograph dedicated to Rick Lowe's art practice! 


    When: Wednesday, May 22 at 7PM

    Where: The Eldorado Ballroom (2310 Elgin Street, HTX, 77004)

    How: RSVP ONLY to save your seat. RSVP WITH BOOK to get a copy of Rick Lowe's book. Limited books will be available onsite.


    Houston-based artist Rick Lowe is widely known for his pioneering contributions to the development of “social practice art,” work that landed him a MacArthur fellowship in 2014. What few people realize is that he was originally trained as a landscape painter. In recent years, Lowe has increasingly turned back to painting, producing complex multi-panel and quasi-abstract images that are deeply rooted in thirty years of work creating “social sculptures,” recalling the urban fabric of cities around the world that have formed the backdrop of many of his community-based art projects. This book, which brilliantly reproduces Lowe’s paintings, is the first dedicated to the work of this important American artist, focusing on his painterly practice and its origins in his work in the public sphere.


    Rick Lowe was born in 1961 in rural Russell County, Alabama, and lives and works in Houston. 

    Collections include the Brooklyn Museum, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami; High Museum of Art, Atlanta; Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Overland Park, KS; Menil Collection, Houston; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; and the UBS Art Collection. Solo exhibitions include Art League Houston (2020–21). He also participated in Documenta 14, Athens (2017). 

    Among Lowes numerous community art projects are Project Row Houses, Houston (1993–2018); Watts House Project, Los Angeles (1996–2012); Borough Project (with Suzanne Lacy and Mary Jane Jacob), Charleston, SC (2003); Small Business/Big Change, Anyang Public Art Program, Korea (2010); Trans.lation, Dallas (2013); Victoria Square Project, Athens (2017–18); Greenwood Art Project, Tulsa, OK (2018–21); and Black Wall Street Journey, Chicago (2021–). 

    In 2013 President Barack Obama appointed Lowe to the National Council on the Arts, and in 2014 he was named a Mac Arthur Fellow. Lowe was a Visiting Fellow at the Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society from 2019-2021. He is currently a professor of interdisciplinary practice at the University of Houston.


    Ryan N. Dennis is Senior Curator and Director of Public Initiatives at Contemporary Arts Museum Houston (CAMH). Her recent projects include Leonardo Drew’s City in the Garden (2020), Betye Saar: Call & Response (2021), Dusti Bonge: Piercing the Inner Wall (2021), and organizing CAPE Artist-in-Resident Shani Peter’s Collective Care for Black Mothers and Caretakers with the local Jackson community. She is the co-curator of the critically acclaimed exhibition, A Movement in Every Direction: Legacies of the Great Migration. Prior to joining the MMA, she served as the Cura­tor and Programs Director at Project Row Houses (PRH) in Houston, where she worked with over 100 BIPOC artists to exhibit their work in the shot-gun houses, she led the creation of the 2:2:2 Exchange Residency Program with the Hyde Park Art Center in Chi­cago and established Project/Site, a temporary, site-specific, commission-based public art program. In 2017, she launched the PRH Fellowship with the Center for Art and Social Engagement at the University of Houston’s Kathrine G. McGovern College of the Arts. Dennis earned her master’s degree in Arts and Cultural Management from Pratt Institute with a focus in Curatorial Practice. Her writings have appeared in online and print catalogs, journals and publications nationally and internationally. She has been a visiting lecturer and critic at a number of art schools and institutions and has taught courses on community-based practices and contemporary art at the University of Houston. Most recently she was the co-curator of the 2021 Texas Biennial titled A New Landscape, A Possible Horizon (2021) and the guest art editor for Gulf Coast: A Journal of Literature and Fine Arts.

    Assata Richards is a native of Houston, Texas and received much of her education in East Texas in the community known as “County Line”. After completing her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Houston, she earned a Master’s and PhD from Pennsylvania State University in Sociology with a concentration on political and community participation, research methods and mass incarceration. After serving as a faculty member at University of Pittsburgh, Assata returned to her community of Third Ward in Houston, Texas, where she is living and working with Project Row Houses and serving as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Houston. As a scholar and community organizer, she is fulfilling her lifelong commitment to social change and justice. Assata also serves as the Vice Chair of the Board of Commissioners for Houston Housing Authority, as a appointee of Mayor Annise Parker.

  • MAY 2024: Adult Book Club - May 23 @ 7PM
    from $0.00

    The bookclub meeting is on May 23 at 7 PM. We're be in the Kindred Stories Reading. Be sure to show up with the book read (or partially read) but you are always welcome to just come and take up space. 


    Nate Evers, a young black political activist, struggles with rage as his people are still being killed in the streets 62 years after Emmett Till. When his little cousin is murdered, Nate shuns the graffiti murals, candlelight vigils, and Twitter hashtags that are commonplace after these senseless deaths. Instead, he leads 3 grief-stricken friends on a mission of retribution, kidnapping the descendants of long-ago perpetrators of hate crimes, confronting the targets with their racist lineages, and forcing them to pay reparations to a community fund. For 3 of the group members, the results mean justice; for Nate – pure revenge.

    Not all targets go quietly into the night, though, and Nate and his friends' world spirals out of control when they confront the wrong man. Now the leader of a white supremacist group is hot on their tail as is a jaded lawman with some disturbingly racist views of his own.

    As the 4 vigilantes fight to thwart their ruthless pursuers, they’re forced to accept an age-old truth: "Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves."

    Smoke Kings is a powerful and propulsive novel with a diverse and unforgettable cast of characters. Like Steph Cha’s Your House Will Pay it explores decades of racial tensions through a fictional landscape where the line between justice and revenge is blurred.

  • IRL Author Talk: If My Flowers Bloom with DeShara Suggs - Joe - May 24 @ 6:30PM
    Sold out

    Celebrate the release of If My Flowers Bloom with DeShara Suggs!


    When: Friday, May 24 at 6:30 PM

    Where: Kindred Stories' Reading Garden (2304 Stuart Street, HTX, 77004)

    How: RSVP ONLY to serve your seat or RSVP WITH BOOK to support the author and our programming. 

    This event is in collaboration with OQUPI HTX.


    If My Flowers Bloom is about desire. Is there room to bloom or does the harvest only come in the afterlife? Is it okay to be Black and queer and woman in this world?

    Overflowing with love and aching for more space, DeShara Suggs-Joe questions the powers that be while longing for space carved out for her flourishing.


    DeShara is a queer, Black poet and visual artist. She co-founded Daughter’s Tongue (an all-women writing collective), worked as the Creative Director of Workshops at Winter Tangerine, and is a former member of the Youth Speaks Collective. She received her MFA in Writing from California College of the Arts and fellowships from Callaloo, the Poetry Incubator, and Pink Door. In 2021, she was nominated for “Best of the Net.” She has published poems in Apogee Lit, Voicemail Poems, Tinderbox Journal, The Texas Review, and elsewhere. She has also been featured on Button Poetry’s YouTube platform and has performed at the likes of Spotify, Yahoo, and Pinterest

  • IRL Author Talk: Pretty with KB Brookins & Kiese Laymon - May 29 @ 7:30 PM
    from $0.00

    Celebrate the release of Pretty: Memoir with author, KB Brookins!


    When: Wednesday, May 29 @ 7:30 PM CST

    Where: Kindred Stories Reading Garden (2304 Stuart Street, HTX, 77004)

    How: RSVP ONLY to reserve your seat or RSVP with book to support the author and our programming. 


    By a prize-winning, young Black trans writer of outsized talent, a fierce and disciplined memoir about queerness, masculinity, and race.

    Even as it shines light on the beauty and toxicity of Black masculinity from a transgender perspective—the tropes, the presumptions—Pretty is as much a powerful and tender love letter as it is a call for change.  

    “I should be able to define myself, but I am not. Not by any governmental or cultural body,” Brookins writes. “Every day, I negotiate the space between who I am, how I’m perceived, and what I need to unlearn. People have assumed things about me, and I can’t change that. Every day, I am assumed to be a Black American man, though my ID says ‘female,’ and my heart says neither of the sort. What does it mean—to be a girl-turned-man when you’re something else entirely?” 

    Informed by KB Brookins’s personal experiences growing up in Texas, those of other Black transgender masculine people, Black queer studies, and cultural criticism, Pretty is concerned with the marginalization suffered by a unique American constituency—whose condition is a world apart from that of cisgender, non-Black, and non-masculine people. Here is a memoir (a bildungsroman of sorts) about coming to terms with instantly and always being perceived as “other”


    KB BROOKINS is a Black, queer, and trans writer and cultural worker from Texas. They are the author of Freedom House and How to Identify Yourself with a Wound. Brookins has poems, essays, and installation art published in Academy of American Poets, Teen Vogue, Poetry Magazine, Prizer Arts & Letters, OkayplayerPoetry Society of America, Autostraddle, and other venues. They have earned fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, PEN America, Equality Texas, and others.


    Kiese Laymon is a Black southern writer from Jackson, Mississippi. Laymon is the Libbie Shearn Moody Professor of English and Creative Writing at Rice University. Laymon is the author of Long Division, which won the 2022 NAACP Image Award for fiction, and the essay collection, How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America, named a notable book of 2021 by the New York Times critics. Laymon’s bestselling memoir, Heavy: An American Memoir, won the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction, the Christopher Isherwood Prize for Autobiographical Prose, the Barnes and Noble Discovery Award, the Austen Riggs Erikson Prize for Excellence in Mental Health Media, and was named one of the 50 Best Memoirs of the Past 50 Years by The New York Times. The audiobook, read by the author, was named the Audible 2018 Audiobook of the Year. Laymon is the recipient of 2020-2021 Radcliffe Fellowship at Harvard. Laymon is at work on the books, Good God, and City Summer, Country Summer, and a number of other film and television projects. He is the founder of “The Catherine Coleman Literary Arts and Justice Initiative,” a program based out of the Margaret Walker Center at Jackson State University, aimed at aiding young people in Jackson get more comfortable reading, writing, revising and sharing on their on their own terms, in their own communities. Kiese Laymon was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship in 2022.

  • IRL Author Talk: Love Cake with Douglas Bell - May 18 @ 2PM
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    Celebrate the release of Love Cake with author, Douglas Bell!


    When: Saturday, May 18, 2024 at 2 PM

    Where: Kindred Stories Reading Garden (2304 Stuart Street, HTX, 77004)

    How: RSVP ONLY to reserve your seat. RSVP WITH BOOK to support the author and our programming.


    Love Cake is contemporary fiction about Bryan Hicks and his transgender girlfriend, Nadia Brooks. Together they own and operate a bakery in conservative Texas. At its red velvet core, Love Cake is a story about how love persists in the face of prejudice and about the value of found family. It speaks to the power of loving people despite the mistakes they make.

    With thought-provoking insight, Douglas Bell in Love Cake, the second book of The Cakes Series duology and the sequel to Cake Walk, rings a bell again on an untold story that teaches how we can find the courage to show up for each other as the world tries to tear us apart.


    Douglas Bell is a fiction writer based in the bustling city of Houston, Texas. He draws inspiration from a variety of sources, including the teachings of Buddha and the Dalai Lama, as well as the powerful storytelling of James Baldwin. When he's not writing, you can usually find him hitting the gym, experimenting with new recipes in the kitchen, or staying up to date with the latest fashion trends. 

  • Virtual Author Talk: The Black Girl Survives in This One with Desiree S. Evans and Saraceia J. Fennell - April 29 @ 6PM CST
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    Join Desiree S. Evans and Saraceia J. Fennell along with a few contributors to celebrate The Black Girl Survives in This One! 


    When: Monday, April 29 @ 6PM CST

    Where: Virtual Via Zoom 

    How: RSVP ONLY to be sent the Zoom link to attend the event or RSVP WITH BOOK to purchase a copy of the book!


    A YA anthology of horror stories centering Black girls who battle monsters, both human and supernatural, and who survive to the end.


    Be warned, dear reader:The Black girls survive in this one.

    Celebrating a new generation of bestselling and acclaimed Black writers, The Black Girl Survives in This One makes space for Black girls in horror. Fifteen chilling and thought-provoking stories place Black girls front and center as heroes and survivors who slay monsters, battle spirits, and face down death. Prepare to be terrified and left breathless by the pieces in this anthology.

    The bestselling and acclaimed authors include Erin E. Adams, Monica Brashears, Charlotte Nicole Davis, Desiree S. Evans, Saraciea J. Fennell, Zakiya Dalila Harris, Daka Hermon, Justina Ireland, L. L. McKinney, Brittney Morris, Maritza & Maika Moulite, Eden Royce, and Vincent Tirado. The foreword is by Tananarive Due.


    Desiree S. Evans is a writer from the Louisiana bayou. She currently lives in New Orleans, where she spins spooky and fantastical tales for kids, teens, and adults. Desiree holds an MFA in Fiction from the Michener Center for Writers at The University of Texas at Austin, as well as degrees in journalism from Northwestern University and international affairs from Columbia University. Connect with Desiree on her website at and on Instagram/Twitter at @literarydesiree.

    Saraciea J. Fennell is a Black Honduran American writer, founder of The Bronx is Reading, and creator of Honduran Garifuna Writers. She is also a book publicist who has worked with many award-winning and New York Times bestselling authors. She is the editor of the nonfiction anthology, Wild Tongues Can't Be Tamed, and her work has appeared in Popsugar, Refinery29, and Culturess, among others. Sign up for her newsletter, Black Girl Dreaming, on Substack for more of her writing. She lives in the Bronx with her family and black poodle, Oreo.
  • APRIL 2024: Young Adult Book Club for Adults - April 23 @ 6:30 PM
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    The bookclub meeting will take place on April 23, 2024 at 6:30 PM in the Kindred Stories' Reading Garden. Be sure to show up with the book read (or partially read). You are always welcome to just come and take up space. 


    From the New York Times bestselling author of the Brown Sisters trilogy, comes a laugh-out-loud story about a quirky content creator and a clean-cut athlete testing their abilities to survive the great outdoors—and each other.

    Bradley Graeme is pretty much perfect. He’s a star football player, manages his OCD well (enough), and comes out on top in all his classes . . . except the ones he shares with his ex-best friend, Celine.
    Celine Bangura is conspiracy-theory-obsessed. Social media followers eat up her takes on everything from UFOs to holiday overconsumption—yet, she’s still not cool enough for the popular kids’ table. Which is why Brad abandoned her for the in-crowd years ago. (At least, that’s how Celine sees it.)

    These days, there’s nothing between them other than petty insults and academic rivalry. So when Celine signs up for a survival course in the woods, she’s surprised to find Brad right beside her.

    Forced to work as a team for the chance to win a grand prize, these two teens must trudge through not just mud and dirt but their messy past. And as this adventure brings them closer together, they begin to remember the good bits of their history. But has too much time passed . . . or just enough to spark a whole new kind of relationship?

  • April 2024: Adult Book Club - April 25 @ 7PM
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    The bookclub meeting is on April 25, 2024 at 7 PM. We're be in the Kindred Stories Reading. Be sure to show up with the book read (or partially read) but you are always welcome to just come and take up space. 


    A biting satire about a young man's isolated upbringing and the race trial that sends him to the Supreme Court

    Born in the "agrarian ghetto" of Dickens—on the southern outskirts of Los Angeles—the narrator of The Sellout resigns himself to the fate of lower-middle-class Californians: "I'd die in the same bedroom I'd grown up in, looking up at the cracks in the stucco ceiling that've been there since the '68 quake." Raised by a single father, a controversial sociologist, he spent his childhood as the subject in racially charged psychological studies. He is told that his father's work will lead to a memoir that will solve their financial woes. But when his father is killed in a police shoot-out, he realizes there never was a memoir. All that's left is the bill for a drive-thru funeral.
    Fueled by this deceit and the general disrepair of his hometown, the narrator sets out to right another wrong: Dickens has literally been removed from the map to save California further embarrassment. Enlisting the help of the town's most famous resident—the last surviving Little Rascal, Hominy Jenkins—he initiates the most outrageous action conceivable: reinstating slavery and segregating the local high school, which lands him in front of the Supreme Court.
    Paul Beatty's The Sellout showcases a comic genius at the top of his game. It challenges the sacred tenets of the U.S. Constitution, urban life, the civil rights movement, the father-son relationship, and the holy grail of racial equality—the black Chinese restaurant.

  • IRL Author Talk: A Little Kissing Between Friends with Chencia Higgins - May 28 @ 7PM
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    We're celebrating A Little Kissing Between Friends with Chencia Higgins!


    When: Tuesday, May 28 @ 7 PM 

    Where: Kindred Stories Reading Garden (2304 Stuart Street, HTX, 77004)

    How: RSVP ONLY to reserve your seat or RSVP WITH BOOK to support the author and our shop. 


    The NYT-lauded author of D’VAUGHN AND KRIS PLAN A WEDDING is back with another witty and heartfelt novel celebrating unapologetic Black joy in all its forms. This body-positive, friends-to-lovers, lesbian romance tackles weighty topics while never losing that Chencia C. Higgins spark.

    “Triumphantly Black, queer and contemporary… The dialogue snaps and shimmers.” —New York Times Book Review on DVaughn and Kris Plan a Wedding

    Music producer on the rise Cyn Tha Starr knows what she likes, from her sickening beats in the studio to the flirty femmes she fools around with. Her ever-rotating roster has never been a problem until her latest fling clashes with Jucee, her best friend and the most popular dancer at strip club Sanity.

    It makes Cyn see Jucee in a different light. One with far fewer boundaries and a lot more kissing.

    Juleesa Jones makes great money dancing the early shift and spends most evenings with her son, her Sanity family or at Cyn’s house. Relationships are not high on the priority list—until she’s forced to admit that maybe friendship isn’t the only thing she wants from her bestie.

    But hooking up with your ride-or-die is risky. Jucee isn’t just Cyn’s best friend—Jucee is her muse. When Cyn lays down her tracks, it’s Jucee she imagines in the club throwing it back to every note. If they aren’t careful, this could crash and burn…but isn’t real love worth it


    Karmen Lee is a lifelong Southerner living it up in Atlanta, Georgia, with her kid, her cats and the humidity. When not packing lunches or working her nine-to-five, she can be found drinking coffee too late at night, watching House Hunters International and dreaming up ways to show her readers a good time. Find her on Twitter (@author_klee) or Instagram (@authorkarmenlee). 

    Chencia C. Higgins is just a girl from Texas who has made it her mission to create stories in which sassy, southern Black women are loved out loud. In 2019 she won a Romance Slam Jam Emma award for her debut paranormal romance, Janine: His True Alpha. When she isn't hunkered down in her writing cave, Chencia can be found with her nose in a book, saving recipes on Pinterest for things she'll never make, and dreaming about traveling even further south for the winter.


  • IRL Author Talk: The Dead Don't Need Reminding with Julian Randall - May 14 @ 6:30 PM
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    Celebrate the release of The Dead Don't Need Reminding with Julian Randall!


    When: Tuesday, May 14, 2024 @ 6:30 PM 

    Where: Kindred Stories Reading Garden (2304 Stuart Street, HTX, 77004)

    How: RSVP ONLY to reserve your seat or RSVP with book to support the author and our programming. 


    This brilliant, adult nonfiction debut from the acclaimed MG author and poet weaves two personal narratives of recovery and reclamation, spliced with a dazzle of pop-culture

    The Dead Don’t Need Reminding is a braided story of Julian Randall’s return from the cliff edge of a harrowing depression and his determination to retrace the hustle of a white-passing grandfather to the Mississippi town from which he was driven amid threats of tar and feather.
    Alternatively wry, lyrical, and heartfelt, Randall transforms pop culture moments into deeply personal explorations of grief, family, and the American way. He envisions his fight to stay alive through a striking medley of media ranging from Into the Spiderverse and Jordan Peele movies to BoJack Horseman and the music of Odd Future. Pulsing with life, sharp, and wickedly funny, The Dead Don’t Need Reminding is Randall’s journey to get his ghost story back.


    Julian Randall is a contributor to the #1 New York Times bestseller Black Boy Joy and his middle-grade novel, Pilar Ramirez and the Escape From Zafa, was published by Holt in 2022. He has received fellowships from Cave Canem, Tin House, and Milkweed Editions. He is the winner of the 2019 Betty Berzon Emerging Writer Award from the Publishing Triangle, the 2019 Frederick Bock Prize, and a Pushcart prize. His poetry has been published in The New York Times MagazinePloughshares, and POETRY. His first book, Refuse, won the Cave Canem Poetry Prize and was a finalist for an NAACP Image Award. He lives in Chicago


    Kiese Laymon is a Black southern writer from Jackson, Mississippi. Laymon is the Libbie Shearn Moody Professor of English and Creative Writing at Rice University. Laymon is the author of Long Division, which won the 2022 NAACP Image Award for fiction, and the essay collection, How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America, named a notable book of 2021 by the New York Times critics. Laymon’s bestselling memoir, Heavy: An American Memoir, won the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction, the Christopher Isherwood Prize for Autobiographical Prose, the Barnes and Noble Discovery Award, the Austen Riggs Erikson Prize for Excellence in Mental Health Media, and was named one of the 50 Best Memoirs of the Past 50 Years by The New York Times. The audiobook, read by the author, was named the Audible 2018 Audiobook of the Year. Laymon is the recipient of 2020-2021 Radcliffe Fellowship at Harvard. Laymon is at work on the books, Good God, and City Summer, Country Summer, and a number of other film and television projects. He is the founder of “The Catherine Coleman Literary Arts and Justice Initiative,” a program based out of the Margaret Walker Center at Jackson State University, aimed at aiding young people in Jackson get more comfortable reading, writing, revising and sharing on their on their own terms, in their own communities. Kiese Laymon was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship in 2022.

  • IRL Author + Illustrator Talk: Yaya and the Sea with Karen Good Marable & Tonya Engel - April 7 @ 12PM
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    Let's celebrate author, Karen Good Marable and illustrator, Tonya Engel on their new book, Yaya and The Sea!


    A family goes on a trip from the city to the sea in search of renewal in this “lively and lovely…beautiful” (Jacqueline Woodson, National Book Award–winning author of Brown Girl Dreaming) picture book that’s an ode to sisterhood, nature, and being present.

    On the first day of spring, when the city is quiet and still, little Yaya takes the A train down to New York City’s southern shores with her mama and aunties to greet Mama Ocean and celebrate the arrival of a new season through a ritual of letting go of the past and embracing the new.


    Karen Good Marable is a writer raised in Prairie View, Texas. Her essays, music journalism, and stories have appeared in several books and publications including The New Yorker, Oxford American, The Bitter Southerner,Seventeen, and Essence. After a lifetime of living in Brooklyn, she and her family now reside in Atlanta.


    Tonya Engel is a self-taught painter and children’s book illustrator whose work can be found in many picture books, among them Our Lady of Guadalupe, Because ClaudetteImpossible Moon, and the jacket art for Hurricane Child. Her work is inspired by Southern folk artists. Early in her career, she explored abstract painting but soon began to concentrate on figurative form mixed with emotion and expressionistic narrative. Engel lives in Houston, Texa
  • IRL Author Talk: Mo'Lasses with Viktor Givens - March 6 @ 6 PM CST

    Celebrate Viktor Given's book, Mo'Lasses: Ancestral (Re)Memories, Myth 'nd Lore!


    When: Wednesday, March 6 @ 6:00 PM CST

    Where: Kindred Stories' Reading Garden 

    How: RSVP to let us know that you will be present


    There is magic, reverence and mystery in the spaces, objects and writings of Viktor le. Givens a multi-modal performance artist, whose practice centers around the gathering and arrangement of ancestral objects to re-contextualize the seemingly mundane into the spectacularly sacred. Part ritual ‘nd part prose performance score this book is written to encourage an interdisciplinary approach to (re)reading, (re)sounding, (re)imagining ‘nd (re)staging memories ‘nd pathologies of his Afro-southern-ancestors…  The work takes us on a lucid journey of  self discovery and cultural reawakening after a young man inherits a mysterious  box of objects following the passing of his grandfather in East Texas. Through recipes, flash fictions, images and  poetry  the audience is invited to reinterpret the sweet complexities of Blackness, the  memories, the objects and rituals discovered on his journey. 

  • IRL AUTHOR TALK: Holy American Burnout! with Sean Enfield - March 21 @ 6:30 PM CST
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    Celebrate with debut author, Sean Enfield on his newest book, Holy American Burnout!


    When: Thursday, March 21 @ 6:30 PM

    Where: Kindred Stories' Reading Gardent (2304 Stuart Street, HTX, 77004)

    How: RSVP ONLY to reserve your seat and RSVP WITH BOOK to support the author and our store programming. 


    Sean Enfield delves into the great American condition: burnout.

    Threading his experiences both as a Texan student and later as a first-year teacher of predominately Muslim students at a Texas middle school, Holy American Burnout! weaves personal essay and cultural critique into the historical fabric of Black and bi-racial identity.

    Enfield intersects examinations of which voices are granted legitimacy by virtue of school curriculum, the complex relationship between basketball and education for Black and brown students, his students' burgeoning political consciousness during the 2016 presidential campaign, and cultural figures ranging from Kendrick Lamar to Hamlet.

    These classroom narratives weave around Enfield's own formative experiences contending with a conflicted bi-racial family lineage, reenacting the Middle Passage as the only Black student in his 7th grade history class, and moshing in both Christian and secular hardcore pits.

    As Enfield wrestles with the physical, mental, and emotional burdens that American society places on educators, students, and all relatively conscious minorities in this country, he reaches for an education that better navigates our burnt-out empire.



    Sean Enfield is an essayist, poet, gardener, bassist, and educator from Dallas, TX. He also serves as an assistant non-fiction editor at His debut collection of essays, Holy American Burnout!, is forthcoming from Split/Lip Press in December 2023. You can find his work at


    Miranda Ramírez is a multidisciplinary artist, educator, and writer born and raised in Houston, Texas. She’s the founder and director of Defunkt Magazine & Press, a literary columnist for Public Poetry, a guest editor for Teachers and Writers Collaborative, and a co-organizer of the Houston Poetry and Arts Festival. You may find her work in Atticus Review’s–The AtticCoffin BellCowboy JamboreeCutthroat Journal’s anthology Puro Chicanx Writers of the 21st Century, and Ripples in Space. She is drafting her first novel as an MFA candidate at Sam Houston State University.
  • March 2024: Young Adult Book Club for Adults - March 26 @ 7PM
    from $0.00

    The bookclub meeting will take place on March 26, 2024 at 7 PM in the Kindred Stories' Reading Garden. Be sure to show up with the book read (or partially read). You are always welcome to just come and take up space. 


    In this new pulse-pounding thriller from the author of The Black Queen, two brothers must come together to solve the murder of the most popular girl in school after one of them is caught fleeing the scene of her death.

    Amir Trudeau only goes to his half brother Marcel’s birthday party because of Chloe Danvers. Chloe is rich, and hot, and fits right into the perfect life Marcel inherited when their father left Amir’s mother to start a new family with Marcel’s mom. But Chloe is hot enough for Amir to forget that for one night.

    Does she want to hook up? Or is she trying to meddle in the estranged brothers’ messy family drama? Amir can’t tell. He doesn’t know what Chloe wants from him when, in the final hours of Mardi Gras, she asks him to take her home and stay—her parents are away and she doesn’t want to be alone. 

    Amir never finds out, because when he wakes up, Chloe is dead—stabbed while he was passed out on the couch. And in no time, Amir becomes the only suspect. A Black teenager caught fleeing the scene of a rich white girl’s murder? All of New Orleans agrees: the case is open-and-shut.

    Amir is innocent. He has a lawyer, but unless someone can figure out who really killed Chloe, things don’t look good for him. His number one ally? Marcel. Their relationship is messy, but Marcel knows that Amir isn’t a murderer—and maybe proving his innocence will repair the rift between them.

    To find Chloe’s killer, Amir and Marcel need to dig into her secrets. And what they find is darker than either could have guessed. Parents will go to any lengths to protect their children, and in a city as old as New Orleans, the right family connections can bury even the ugliest truths.

  • March 2024: Adult Book Club - March 28 @ 7PM
    from $0.00

    The bookclub meeting is on March 28, 2024 at 7 PM. We're be hanging out with our friends at The Plant Project (in the Montrose Collective). Be sure to show up with the book read (or partially read) but you are always welcome to just come and take up space. 


    In the vein of Octavia E. Butler and Margaret Atwood, a harrowing novel set in an alternate United States—a world of injustice and bondage in which a young Black woman becomes the concubine of a powerful white government official and must face the dangerous consequences.

    Solenne Bonet lives in Texas where choice no longer exists. An algorithm determines a Black woman’s occupation, spouse, and residence. Solenne finds solace in penning the biography of Henriette, an ancestor who’d been an enslaved concubine to a wealthy planter in 1800s Louisiana. But history repeats itself when Solenne, lonely and naïve, finds herself entangled with Bastien Martin, a high-ranking government official. Solenne finds the psychological bond unbearable, so she considers alternatives. With Henriette as her guide, she must decide whether and how to leave behind all she knows.  

    Inspired by the lives of enslaved concubines to U.S. politicians and planters, The Blueprint unfolds over dual timelines to explore bodily autonomy, hypocrisy, and power imbalances through the lens of the nation’s most unprotected: a Black girl.

  • IRL Author Talk: I Finally Bought Some Jordans with Michael Arceneaux - March 19 @ 7PM
    Sold out

    Let's celebrate I Finally Bought Some Jordans with Michael Arceneaux, one of our favorite Houston authors! 


    When: Tuesday, March 19 @ 7 PM

    Where: Hogan Brown Gallery (2310 Elgin Street, HTX, 77004)

    How: RSVP to reserve your seat or RSVP WITH Book to get a signed copy of I Finally Bought Some Jordans and support our programming. No refunds. 

    Note: There will be books on site. Copies of I Finally Bought Some Jordans bought from other retailers will not be allowed in the venue. If you would like an copy early, please purchase here


    In his books I Can't Date Jesus and I Don't Want to Die Poor, Michael Arceneaux established himself as one of the most beloved and entertaining writers of his generation, touching upon such hot-button topics as race, class, sexuality, labor, debt, and, of course, paying homage to the power and wisdom of Beyoncé. In this collection, Arceneaux takes stock of how far he has traveled—and how much ground he still has to cover in this patriarchal, heteronormative society. He explores the opportunities afforded to Black creatives but also the doors that remain shut or ever-so-slightly ajar; the confounding challenges of dating in a time when social media has made everything both more accessible and more unreliable; and the allure of returning home while still pushing yourself to seek opportunity elsewhere.

    I Finally Bought Some Jordans is both a corrective to, and a balm for, these troubling times, revealing a sharply funny and keen-eyed storyteller working at the height of his craft.


    Michael Arceneaux is the New York Times-bestselling author of I Can’t Date Jesus, I Don’t Want To Die Poor, and his latest, I Finally Bought Some Jordans


    Josie Pickens is a womanist and abolitionist professor, organizer, writer and thought leader. In addition to speaking and writing about topics that focus on the intersections of race, gender, and sexuality, Josie is also the program director for upEND Movement, which is an organization committed to abolishing the the child welfare system. Connect with Josie and follow her musings on Twitter and Instagram at @jonubian. 

  • IRL Author Talk: This Could Be Us with Kennedy Ryan - March 10 @ 2PM
    Sold out

    Celebrate Kennedy Ryan's new book, This Could Be Us!


    When: Sunday, March 10 at 2 PM

    Where: Eldorado Ballroom (2310 Elgin Street, HTX, 77004)

    How: Purchase your ticket here! Each ticket comes with a copy of This Could Be Us. No refunds.


    Soledad Barnes has her life all planned out. Because, of course, she does. She plans everything. She designs everything. She fixes everything. She’s a domestic goddess who's never met a party she couldn't host or a charge she couldn't lead. The one with all the answers and the perfect vinaigrette for that summer salad. But none of her varied talents can save her when catastrophe strikes, and the life she built with the man who was supposed to be her forever, goes poof in a cloud of betrayal and disillusion.
    But there is no time to pout or sulk, or even grieve the life she lost. She's too busy keeping a roof over her daughters' heads and food on the table. And in the process of saving them all, Soledad rediscovers herself. From the ashes of a life burned to the ground, something bold and new can rise.
    But then an unlikely man enters the picture—the forbidden one, the one she shouldn't want but can't seem to resist. She's lost it all before and refuses to repeat her mistakes. Can she trust him? Can she trust herself?
    After all she's lost . . .and found . . .can she be brave enough to make room for what could be?


    USA Today bestselling author and Audie Award winner, Kennedy Ryan writes for women from all walks of life, empowering them and placing them firmly at the center of each story and in charge of their own destinies. Kennedy and her writings have been featured in USA Today, NPR, Entertainment Weekly, Glamour, Cosmo, TIME, and many others. The co-founder of LIFT 4 Autism, an annual charitable book auction, she has a passion for raising Autism awareness. She is a wife to her "lifetime lover" and mother to an extraordinary son.


    Wale Okerayi is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor working with folks in New York and Texas. She has a double masters degree in mental health counseling from Teachers College Columbia University. After practicing in New York for a few years, Wale moved back to her hometown Houston and started her own therapy practice in 2020. Wale currently works with individuals and couples, writers and creative folks on a weekly basis.

    As an avid reader and Kindred Stories aficionado, Wale has moderated various author talks featuring: Lyvonne Briggs, Sochil Washington, Tyriek White, Adorah Nworah, Dr. Joy, and Nicole Walters. 

  • IRL Author Talk: The Kiss Countdown with Etta Easton - April 9 @ 7PM
    from $0.00

    Celebrate the release of The Kiss Countdown with Etta Easton!

    Event DEETS

    When: Tuesday, April 9 @ 7PM CST

    Where: Kindred Stories' Reading Garden (2304 Stuart Street, HTX, 77004)

    How: RSVP to reserve your seat and RSVP WITH BOOK to grab your copy and support our programming. 

    About the Book 

    A struggling event planner and a sinfully hot astronaut must decide if their fake relationship is worth a shot at happily-ever-after, in this starry debut.

    Risk-averse event planner Amerie Price is jobless, newly single, and about to lose her apartment. With no choice but to gamble on her shaky start-up, the last thing she needed was to run into her smug ex and his new, less complicated girlfriend at Amerie's favorite coffee shop. Panicked, she pretends to be dating the annoyingly sexy man she met by spilling Americano all over his abs. He plays along—for a price.

    Half the single men in Houston claim to be astronauts, but Vincent Rogers turns out to be the real deal. What started as a one-off lie morphs into a plan: for the three months leading up to his mission, Amerie will play Vincent's doting partner in front of his loving but overly invested family. In exchange, she gets a rent-free room in his house and can put every penny toward her struggling business.

    What Amerie doesn't plan for is Vincent's gravitational pull. While her mind tells her a future with this astronaut is too unpredictable, her heart says he's exactly what she needs. As their time together counts down, Amerie must decide if she'll settle for the safe life—or shoot for the stars.

    About the Author

    Etta Easton is a certified hopeless romantic who now writes contemporary romance. Her stories are full of humor, relatable heroines, swoon-worthy heroes, and Black joy. She lives in Central Texas with her husband and two young kids.

    About the Conversation Partner

    Naina Kumar is a lawyer by day and a reader and writer of romance at night. She lives in Texas, close to her family whose antics provide endless inspiration. When she’s not writing, she enjoys taking her rowdy rescue dog on walks, rewatching Gilmore Girls on a loop, and shopping at HEB. Say You’ll Be Mine is her debut novel.

  • IRL Book Signing: Rest is Resisistance with Tricia Hersey - March 9 @ 6:00 PM
    Sold out

    Come have a cocktail and mocktail with Tricia Hersey, Founder of The Nap Ministry and author of Rest is Resistance! 


    When: Saturday, March 9 @ 6PM - 7:30 PM 

    Where: Kindred Stories (2304 Stuart Street, HTX, 77004)

    How: RSVP to help us prepare for your arrival or RSVP WITH BOOK to purchase your copy of Rest is Resistance.


    What would it be like to live in a well-rested world? Far too many of us have claimed productivity as the cornerstone of success. Brainwashed by capitalism, we subject our bodies and minds to work at an unrealistic, damaging, and machine‑level pace –– feeding into the same engine that enslaved millions into brutal labor for its own relentless benefit.

    In Rest Is Resistance, Tricia Hersey, aka the Nap Bishop, casts an illuminating light on our troubled relationship with rest and how to imagine and dream our way to a future where rest is exalted. Our worth does not reside in how much we produce, especially not for a system that exploits and dehumanizes us. Rest, in its simplest form, becomes an act of resistance and a reclaiming of power because it asserts our most basic humanity. We are enough. The systems cannot have us.

    Rest Is Resistance is rooted in spiritual energy and centered in Black liberation, womanism, somatics, and Afrofuturism. With captivating storytelling and practical advice, all delivered in Hersey’s lyrical voice and informed by her deep experience in theology, activism, and performance art, Rest Is Resistance is a call to action, a battle cry, a field guide, and a manifesto for all of us who are sleep deprived, searching for justice, and longing to be liberated from the oppressive grip of Grind Culture.


    From Tricia Hersey, the celebrated founder of the Nap Ministry and author of the New York Times bestseller Rest Is Resistance, this deck of 50 powerful rest practices helps you embrace rest as a form of radical communal care and personal liberation.

    "This is about more than naps. Rest is anything that allows you to connect your body with your mind."

    The Nap Ministry's Rest Deck is a rousing call to reclaim rest in everyday life. Delivered in a stunning package with gold accents and gorgeous artwork throughout, the deck combines restorative meditations with prescient wisdom from celebrated activist and teaching artist Tricia Hersey, a.k.a. "the Nap Bishop," and founder of the Nap Ministry.

    Readers will discover 50 inspiring cards, each with an empowering affirmation and a simple practice to encourage rest, care, and imagination. Rooted in social justice and imbued with spirituality, these cards offer short, accessible practices designed to uplift anyone suffering from the toxic effects of grind culture.

    CELEBRATED AUTHOR: Tricia Hersey, a.k.a. "the Nap Bishop," is the founder of the Nap Ministry and the bestselling author of Rest is Resistance: A Manifesto. Her work as a social justice activist, artist, and thought leader has been featured by the New York Times, NPR, The Cut, and the Atlantic, among many others. In this deck, she distills her profound and celebrated teachings into 50 accessible practices. 

    TOOL FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE: Brimming with practices to empower personal liberation as a step toward building a healthier, more just world, this deck offers readers a new way to engage with social justice and invites a wide audience to embrace the power of rest as an essential balm for our collective exhaustion. 
    BEAUTIFUL TO GIFT AND DISPLAY: This bold, eye-catching package with colorful illustrations and gold accents is a beautiful and meaningful gift for friends, activists, and anyone feeling overwhelmed and exhausted by the demands of grind culture.

    • A powerful new tool for social justice activists
    • Great gift or self-purchase for socially engaged millennials and Gen-Zers
    • For anyone seeking mindful affirmation cards to aid their healing practice
    • Perfect for fans of the Nap Ministry, Rest is Resistance: A Manifesto, Layla Saad, Adrienne Maree Brown, Chani Nicholas, and Alex Elle
    • For readers of Me and White Supremacy, I’m Still Here, and How to Do Nothing


    Tricia Hersey is an artist, poet, theologian and community organizer. She is the founder of The Nap Ministry, an organization that examines rest as a form of resistance by curating sacred spaces for the community to rest via Collective Napping Experiences, immersive workshops, performance art installations, and social media. Tricia is a global pioneer and originator of the movement to understand the liberatory power of rest. She is the creator of the Rest is Resistance and Rest as Reparations frameworks. Her research interests include Black liberation theology, womanism, somatics, and cultural trauma. Tricia is a Chicago native and currently lives in South Georgia

  • IRL Author Talk: Sisters with a Side of Greens with Michelle Stimpson - March 9 @ 2 PM CST
    Sold out

    Celebrate Texas author, Michelle Stimpson and her newesr book, Sisters with a Side of Greens


    When: Saturday, March 9 at 2 PM CST

    Where: Kindred Stories' Reading Garden (2304 Stuart Street, HTX, 77004)

    How: RSVP ONLY to reserve you seat or RSVP WITH BOOK to support the author and our programming. No refunds.


    From award-winning author Michelle Stimpson: a Southern story of sisterhood and second chances

    Many years ago, Rose Tillman gave her sister, Marvina Dewberry, forty dollars to register a business where they would piggyback on their mother’s amazing spice mixture to make their fortune in fried chicken and other Southern comfort foods. Marvina used that forty dollars for a different reason and the business never got off the ground. It was just forty dollars, but that decision set the course of their lives. Now Rose has retired from a career at the post office and realizes she wants a second shot at her dreams, but she’ll have to go through her sister to get that chance...


    MICHELLE STIMPSON has had a distinguished traditional publishing career writing Christian and Inspirational contemporary romance fiction. She has won an Emma Award, two Christian Literary Awards, Best Feature Film at CapCity Black Film Festival and was a finalist for the 2021 Vivian Award. She lives in Dallas, TX.


    Norma L. Jarrett, is an award-winning, published writer and creative talent who loves to inspire, entertain and encourage others through impactful storytelling.

  • IRL Author Talk: The American Daughters with Maurice Carlos Ruffin - March 5 @ 7PM
    Sold out

    Celebrate release of The American Daughters, Maurice Carlos Ruffin's new historical fiction novel!


    When: Tuesday, March 5, 2024 @ 7PM

    Where: Kindred Stories' Reading Garden (2304 Stuart Street, HTX, 77004)

    How: RSVP Only to reserve your seat or RSVP WITH BOOK to purchase your copy and support the author. No refunds.


    A gripping historical novel about a spirited  girl who joins a sisterhood working to undermine the Confederates—from the award-winning author of We Cast a Shadow

    Ady, a curious, sharp-witted girl, and her fierce mother, Sanite, are an inseparable duo. Enslaved to a businessman in the French Quarter of New Orleans, the pair spend their days dreaming of a loving future and reminiscing on their family's rebellious and storied history. When mother and daughter are separated, Ady is left hopeless and direction-less, until she stumbles into the Mockingbird Inn and meets Lenore, a free Black woman with whom she becomes fast friends. Lenore invites Ady to join a clandestine society of spies called the Daughters. With the courage instilled in her by Sanite—and help from these strong women—Ady learns how to choose herself. So begins her journey toward liberation and imagin­ing a new future.

    The American Daughters is a novel of hope and triumph that reminds us what is possible when a community bands together to fight for their freedom.


    Maurice Carlos Ruffin is the author of The Ones Who Don't Say They Love You, longlisted for The Story Prize and a finalist for The Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence, and We Cast a Shadow, which was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award, the PEN/Open Book Award, and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize and longlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize and International Dublin Literary Award. A recipient of an Iowa Review Award in fiction, he has been published in the Virginia Quarterly Review, AGNI, the Kenyon Review, The Massachusetts Review, and Unfathomable City: A New Orleans Atlas. A native of New Orleans, he is a graduate of the University of New Orleans Creative Writing Workshop and a member of the Peauxdunque Writers Alliance.


    Sharon Sochil Washington, PhD is a cultural anthropologist, social entrepreneur, and writer. Her debut novel, The Blue Is Where God Lives, was published last year by Abrams Books. She’s also author of The Educational Contract, and creator of White Space, a Substack newsletter that explores the meaning between the words we use. She’s written for The American ScholarHuffington Post, Newsday (New York), Dallas Times Herald, and the Akron Beacon Journal; and she speaks regularly at universities and conferences on issues of education, social justice, economic insecurity, and media influences. 

  • IRL Author Talk: Where is Africa with Anita N. Bateman - March 12 @ 6:30 PM
    from $0.00

    Celebrate the release of Where is Africa with author and curator, Anita N. Bateman!


    When: Tuesday, March 12, 2024 @ 6:30 PM 

    Where: Kindred Stories Reading Garden (2304 Stuart Street, Houston, TX, 77004)

    How: RSVP ONLY to reserve your seat or RSVP with Book to support the author and our programming. 


    A multidisciplinary illustrated reader unpacking imperialist representations of Africa by promoting dialogue, memory and everyday practice, and reimagining cultural institutions and the arts—from museums to academia, from architecture to art

    In 2017, curator and art historian Anita N. Bateman and architect and professor Emanuel Admassu initiated research on the traditional positioning and mispositioning of the arts across the African continent. Where Is Africa has been an extended set of exchanges with contemporary artists, curators, designers and academics who are actively engaged in representing the continent—both within and outside its geographic boundaries. By examining artist collectives, new currents in art history and the rise of contemporary art festivals in and about Africa from the past 10 years, the project unpacks the imperialist foundations of cultural institutions and their anthropological fascination with African objects, people and places.
    The interviews in Where Is Africa examine African and African-diasporic identities and spaces through questions of positionality in relation to specific disciplinary, cultural and political contexts. The texts address Afro-diasporic aesthetic practices and the curatorial, museological and artistic matrices that confront epistemologies of dominance and exclusion. The commissioned essays and images offer concise methodologies that expand or complicate issues addressed by the interviewees.
    Where Is Africa is a conceptual project that accompanies a conceptual place, driven by the desire to dislodge Africa from categorical fixity and the representational logics of nation-states. Africa can never be fully enclosed by the residue of colonial violence or the totalitarian gaze of neoliberalism; instead, it creates infinite malleability, where place and concept are untethered from each other.

    Contributors include: Mikael Awake, Salome Asega, Tau Tavengwa, Anthony Bogues, Jay Simple, Eric Gottesman, Rebecca Corey, Aida Mulkozi, Rakeb Sile, Mesai Haileleul, Mpho Matsipa, Niama Safia Sandy, Adama Delphine Fawundu, Rehema Chachage, Robel Temesgen, Valerie Amani, Meskerem Assegued, Elias Sime, Olalekan Jeyifous, Amanda Williams, Germane Barnes and Mario Gooden.


    Dr. Anita N. Bateman (she/her) specializes in modern and contemporary African art and the art of the African diaspora with additional expertise in the history of photography, Black Feminism/Womanism, and the role of social media in activism and liberation work. Bateman earned a doctorate in art history and visual culture and graduate certificate in African and African American Studies from Duke University, a master’s in art history from Duke University, and completed her undergraduate degree in art history, graduating cum laude from Williams College. She has held curatorial positions at the RISD Museum, the Williams College Museum of Art, and the Nasher Museum of Art. Her academic research has been supported by the American Council of Learned Societies, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, and the Social Science Research Council. Bateman was the Fall 2022 ARCAthens Curatorial Fellow and a 2022 Graham Foundation grantee for the forthcoming publication, Where Is Africa (Center for Art, Research, and Alliances), co-edited with Emanuel Admassu. She is currently the Associate Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.
    Ashley Hoskins is an inspiration to those who strive for cultural enrichment and knowledge expansion. As a lifelong reader and educator, Ashley finds the most joy in witnessing someone connect with a book. She believes that reading creates an imaginative space for travel and spirituality. She recalls always being a personal librarian for her friends and family members. They would often contact her to borrow books and ask for suggestions. Ashley founded the Houston chapter in 2019 with the blessings of OlaRonke Akinmowo of The Free Black Women’s Library. The Free Black Women’s Library HTX serves as a creative space that amplifies the literary and artistic expression of the Black woman. As the creative director of The Free Black Women’s Library HTX, Ashley curates community events centered around Black women writers and artists. She is currently an artist in residence at the Anderson Center for the Arts, where The Free Black Women’s Library HTX is on exhibition and available for visitors to swap books written by Black women authors.
  • FEBRUARY 2024: Young Adult Book Club for Adults - February 29 @ 7PM
    from $0.00

    The bookclub meeting will take place on February 29, 2024 at 7 PM in the Kindred Stories' Reading Garden. Be sure to show up with the book read (or partially read). You are always welcome to just come and take up space. 


    A young girl with forbidden powers must free her people from oppression in this richly layered, gripping epic fantasy—called an “explosive, powerful debut” and “a triumph of a book” by New York Times bestselling authors Stephanie Garber and Roseanne A. Brown—inspired by Yoruba-Nigerian mythology and perfect for fans of Children of Blood and Bone and An Ember in the Ashes.

    This is what they deserve.

    They wanted me to be a monster.

    I will be the worst monster they ever created.

    Fifteen-year-old Sloane can incinerate an enemy at will—she is a Scion, a descendant of the ancient Orisha gods.

    Under the Lucis’ brutal rule, her identity means her death if her powers are discovered. But when she is forcibly conscripted into the Lucis army on her fifteenth birthday, Sloane sees a new opportunity: to overcome the bloody challenges of Lucis training and destroy them from within.

    Sloane rises through the ranks and gains strength but, in doing so, risks something greater: losing herself entirely and becoming the very monster that she abhors.

    Following one girl’s journey of magic, injustice, power, and revenge, this deeply felt and emotionally charged debut from Deborah Falaye, inspired by Yoruba-Nigerian mythology, is a magnetic combination of A Song of Wraiths and Ruin and Daughter of Smoke and Bone that will utterly thrill and capture readers.


  • 2024 Buzzed Adult Spelling Bee: Black History Month Edition - February 24 @ 7PM
    Sold out

    WE'RE BACK BABY!!!!!!!!!!!

    Join us for the 3rd Buzzed Adult Spelling Bee presented by Babe Events and Kindred Stories!


    When: Saturday, February 24 @ 7 PM (Doors open at 6 PM)

    Where: Kindred Stories (2304 Stuart Street, HTX, 77004)

    How: There are two different ticket options. If you would like to attend, purchase your ticket as an attendee. If you would like to contest for the cash prize, grab your ticket as a contestant. Both tickets come with two drinks. THIS EVENT IS FOR ADULTS (21+) ONLY! 

    Tickets are final sale. You will be allowed to transfer tickets to guests.


    Contestants will be asked to spell words that speak to the theme of Black History Month including slang and AAVE over the course of four rounds. If you misspell the word, you are out!  As the words get harder, you might be able to Phone a Friend or Battle to earn your place back into the competition. Fun and music-filled, this event is for folks looking for something BLACKITY BLACK to do on a Saturday night! 

    Be mindful that you don't have to participate in the Bee. We definitely need an audience! 

    Contact or for more details.

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