Here are the intriguing titles some of us at LQ have added to our TBR lists lately!
The Dry Grass of August by Anna Jean Mayhew – Listening to this as an audiobook currently and I’m very much enjoying it. It is set in Charlotte where I currently live and it’s fun to imagine the city as it was when the story was set.
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë – I know, I know. How could I possibly not have read this yet? I read Wuthering Heights, which is written by Charlotte’s sister, Emily, in high school FOR FUN. My 10th grade brain got real turned off or maybe confused by the Brontë name so I never read Jane Eyre. But now it’s time to dig into this all-time classic and favorite.
Curly Girl by Lorraine Massey – I got my haircut yesterday and while waiting for my stylist, I picked this coffee table book up. I have naturally curly/wavy hair and only figured how to style it at the age of 21 so I’m always open to learning more. This looks like a great book to rent from the library.
All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood – I saw this while perusing Goodreads and was drawn to click on it because of the cover and rating. I’m glad I did, because it sounds so interesting! The description reads “…a powerful and shocking love story between two unlikely people that asks tough questions, reminding us of all the ugly and wonderful things that life has to offer.”
Dear Committee Members by Julie Schumacher – This one was recommended to me by a coworker, and his description of it made me immediately add it to my list. It’s about a “beleaguered professor of creative writing,” and my coworker recommended it based on my love for Where’d You Go, Bernadette. The coworker actually knows the author, as she happens to have been his Creative Writing professor!
In the wake of recent events, particularly the Philando Castille shooting in my own city, I have been trying to work on ways that I can be a better white ally. One of the first decisions, while I was at the library looking for a “light read,” was that I have made a commitment to always have one book by and/or about marginalized populations in my current reads (I always read more than one book at once). It’s only a small step, but I think self-education is very important, along with supporting authors of color and voices trying to be heard. So, here are just three of many that I added to my TBR. You can find more in this article. I would encourage everyone to make a similar personal commitment.
All American Boys by Jason Reynolds & Brendan Kiely
I’m not including just non-fiction in my self-education, but also fiction. This is a young adult novel about police brutality against young black men. It involves a black teenager who gets beaten by a cop and wrongly accused, and a white teenager who witnesses it, knows the cop, and struggles to figure out what to do. The cool thing about this book is that it was written together by a black author and a white author. I’m already reading this one and it’s changing the way I look at things already…this is a novel that teaches.
The History of White People by Nell Irvin Painter
This self-education is not just about learning about minorities and reading books written by minorities, but also learning about what it means to be white and the history of white power. This book seems to be a good primer for that, with good reviews.
No House to Call My Home: Love, Family, and Other Transgressions by Ryan Berg
This is a book that I saw on the library’s “new reads” shelf. It’s about LGBTQ youth in the NYC foster system. It is written by a man who was a resident counselor and caseworker in LGBTQ specific group homes and is made up of firsthand accounts of these children’s lives. It also covers a lot about race since most of the youth are black or latino. I’m reading this one right now and I already know it’s a must-read. It’s heart-wrenching but also an insightful look at something I have no clue about. An added bonus for me was that I found out after I got it home that the author lives in Minneapolis (my home).