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5 books to read next, according to fashion editor Danielle Prescod

Including a "Bridgerton" style romance and a book that will encourage you to take a nap — literally.

Danielle Prescod is a fashion writer and beauty industry veteran whose projects often explore the intersections between social justice and pop culture. Her memoir, “Token Black Girl,” is a deep-dive into her own experiences working in the magazine world, and a broader look at how mainstream pop culture and beauty industry narratives affect (and often exclude) Black women in America.

On Feb. 6, Prescod stopped by the 3rd Hour of TODAY to share some literary recommendations. From a romance novel about a powerful aristocratic Black family in the early 20th century to a comparable memoir whose author explores the effects that American pop culture had on her as a young child of Chinese immigrants, Prescod has a stack of great recommendations for readers.

Here are a few books to check out in 2023, according to Prescod.

Best Romance

"The Davenports” by Krystal Marquis

“The Davenports” by Krystal Marquis is the perfect read for fans of escapist historical fiction. we're talking romantic period pieces, lush with hunky suitors, lavish balls and endless love triangles. This "Bridgerton"-style book documents the Davenport sisters’ mistrials as they navigate the ever-complex world of love.

The Davenports, inspired by a real family, are one of the few Black families of immense wealth in 1910s America, and eldest sister Olivia is ready to fulfill her legacy by marrying someone practical and predictable. This recipe for love becomes a recipe for disaster when Olivia meets civil rights leader Washington DeWight and must fight to suppress her true feelings. Younger sister Helen, on the other hand, couldn’t care less about finding love, until she finds herself falling for her sister’s betrothed.

Meanwhile, Olivia and Helen’s maid, Amy-Rose, is trying her best to hide her forbidden attraction to the sisters’ brother, John Davenport. And she’s not the only one. Olivia’s best friend Ruby is concocting her own scheme to win over John, despite her own hesitations.

“The Davenports” is sure to keep readers engaged with an ensemble cast of characters trying to find love in the messiest, most Shakespearean way. “It’s not all breezy escapism though … because even when we are talking about privilege and wealth, we’re still dealing with Blackness in America and at the turn of the century, there’s a lot of political and social tension that finds its way into the lives of even the most glittering elite,” Prescod told TODAY.

Best Funny Read

“The Survivalists” by Kashana Cauley

Prescod’s affinity for dark humor is made clear in her comedy pick “The Survivalists” by Kashana Cauley. Aretha is a single Black lawyer with no time for love. Since the death of her parents, Aretha has only had one goal in mind: Career success. The only thing that could come in between Aretha and her dream of making partner at her firm is Aaron, a Texan coffee entrepreneur who quickly steals her heart.

Love-drunk Aretha moves into Aaron’s charming-enough Brooklyn brownstone, where the story takes a turn in favor of social commentary, exploring what it takes for young people to survive within today’s housing market. Aretha learns to live alongside Aaron’s doomsday roommates, who build bunkers and stockpile the bare necessities (illegally acquired firearms and protein bars, of course).

“Slowly, (Aretha) becomes both indoctrinated to their lifestyle and radicalized, culminating in an epic corporate meltdown,” says Prescod. “Equal parts funny and also anxiety-inducing, you may or may not be packing a ‘go bag’ after finishing.”

Best Memoir

“Superfan: How Pop Culture Broke My Heart” by Jen Sookfong Lee

“The best thing books can do is give us a window into someone else’s experience and in this memoir of essays, Jen Sookfong Lee mirrors her upbringing as an anxious first generation Chinese-Canadian with some of the most iconic moments of pop culture,” Prescod told TODAY.

In “Superfan: How Pop Culture Broke My Heart,” Sookfong Lee connects with readers through her childhood memories of admiring Princess Diana and finding a fatherly comfort in Bob Ross, while also deconstructing the harm that pop culture’s erasure of Chinese stories had on her upbringing. Sookfong Lee writes about a heartbreaking paradox in which her childhood self idolized pop culture icons while having to reconcile with the fact that pop culture was not made for her, a young child of Chinese immigrants eager to embrace the model minority myth.

Best Read for Black History Month

“Rest is Resistance” by Tricia Hersey

In “Rest is Resistance,” author Tricia Hersey prompts readers to question the best method for reclaiming their humanity. Is it to claw your way up the social ladder and prioritize status above all? To put work first and focus solely on your career? Or is it to take a daily nap?

Hersey, also known as the "Nap Bishop," explores the importance of personal rest and chronicles the evolution of a capitalist culture obsessed with overworking ourselves from a country whose economy was founded on slavery. “Rest is Resistance” is grounded in Black and female liberation. Hersey encourages readers to wake up and turn their backs on hustle culture. In reality, Hersey encourages readers to have the conviction to fall asleep, rest their eyes and take time for themselves.

"(This book is) a call to put down the emails, Slacks and calendar invites and pick up a pillow,” Prescod told TODAY. “As someone perpetually glued to my phone and obsessed with work, it is a message I desperately need to hear, even if it’s not one that I can easily implement into my own life.”

Danielle Prescod’s current read

“Weightless” by Evette Dionne

In this memoir, Evette Dionne invites readers on a powerful yet witty exploration of her life as a fat Black woman, with anecdotes ranging from young school bullies to taking sanctuary in Internet forums to being diagnosed with heart failure before she turned 30.

Dionne describes her own experiences with sex, motherhood and personal relationships in raw, memoir-style detail, while also widening the conversation to expose the normalized societal harms inflicted on fat Black women.

“'Weightless' is both a story of survival and triumph and it has made me think very differently about how I think and talk about my body,” Prescod told TODAY. “Hopefully, it will help others do the same.”