"'Black Buck' is raw and intimate — and a title I knew our book club readers needed to read as we begin this new year with a fresh start," the TODAY with Hoda & Jenna co-host said.
Askaripour's debut is written as part novel, part how-to guide. It begins with 22-year-old Darren living a happy, status-quo life in Bed-Stuy, New York. Despite being the valedictorian of his high school class, Darren did not go to college and instead worked his way up to manager at a busy New York City Starbucks. He lives with his mom, spends his free time with his longtime girlfriend and enjoys his unambitious existence until a fateful encounter with the CEO of a hot tech startup.
The CEO sees something special in the young barista and gives him a chance as the only Black salesman in his company. Darren navigates racism, explores what it means to be successful and uncovers harsh truths about life in sales in Askaripour's humorous and heart-wrenching novel. When Darren hits rock bottom and things at home take a tragic turn, he uses his smarts and his new job to help young people of color break down the barriers of the sales world.
While you're reading, take a moment to complete this scavenger hunt created by the author.
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For more book recommendations, check out:
- Read With Jenna book club January 2021: 'Black Buck' by Mateo Askaripour
- 10 most anticipated books of 2021, according to Goodreads
- Looking for an inspirational story? 10 feel-good books to read right now