Two Books by Black Authors Make List of the 25 Most Influential Books of the Past Quarter Century

This spring marks the 25th anniversary of USA Today, Gannett’s national newspaper. To mark the occasion, the editors of the newspaper picked the 25 books that have made the greatest impact since the newspaper began publishing in 1982.

Top on the list was J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, which redefined the meaning of best sellers and reinvigorated reading among children and young adults.

Ranking ninth on the list was Toni Morrison’s Beloved. The 1987 book won the Pulitzer Prize and Morrison went on to win the Nobel Prize in literature in 1993, the last American to do so.

Also on the list of the 25 most influential books of the past quarter century is Waiting to Exhale by Terry McMillan. USA Today’s editors say that the book was a wake-up call for the publishing industry that made them realize the vast untapped market for novels about contemporary African Americans.