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2020 Challenge - General > February 2020: Black History Month reading

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message 1: by Nadine in NY (last edited Jan 26, 2020 07:03AM) (new)

Nadine in NY Jones | 5880 comments Mod
February is Black History Month in the US.

I'm a big fan of reading books that fit the theme of various cultural appreciation months. I know I'm a week early but since I'm a library user, I have to plan ahead a little bit, and it's the weekend, and I dropped my daughter off early at school for their all day Science Olympiads competition, and Other Daughter is not up yet, so ... I've got some free time and I'm thinking ahead to what I'll read for BHM.

Give us all your ideas! Maybe there's a great book that fits the BHM themed reading perfectly and I completely forgot about it!! BHM is a US thing, but I don't think that means we need to restrict our choices to American authors. At least, not the way I do it ;-) I don't stick to books that are specifically about history or racism, I just look for a bunch of books I already want to read that are by black authors. (Of course this isn't the only month of the year that I read black authors.) I'm obviously a big fan of genre fiction so most of my choices fall into that category.

I know I won't get to all of these, because this is a lot, and I've still got a dozen other library books currently checked out, plus more on loan ... but I always plan fallbacks in case my first choice isn't available, or I'm just not feeling it.

poetry
Vintage Hughes - selected poems by Langston Hughes
The Essential Gwendolyn Brooks - selected poems by Gwendolyn Brooks
The Black Maria by Aracelis Girmay - hahaha I'm never going to have time to get to all these, so this book will probably get slotted into Women's History Month in March.

classics
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas - buddy read here in our group! I probably won't finish this one this month ... but that's okay.
A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines

SFF (thanks to Ian's bookstagram page, I'll try to buddy read these two with them)
The Killing Moon by N.K. Jemisin
The Shadowed Sun by N.K. Jemisin
I don't usually read one author back-to-back like this, but Jemisin is so good that I think it might work for me.

mystery
Black Water Rising by Attica Locke
Little Scarlet by Walter Mosley
The Big Gold Dream by Chester Himes

romance
Radio Silence by Alyssa Cole
A Prince on Paper by Alyssa Cole
Royal Holiday by Jasmine Guillory
Say You Need Me by Kayla Perrin

general fiction / literary fiction / short stories
Washington Black by Esi Edugyan
Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi
What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky by Lesley Nneka Arimah
A Lucky Man by Jamel Brinkley
The Thing Around Your Neck by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

non-fiction
The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks About Race ed by Jesmyn Ward - last year a few members did a buddy read of this one, but my library didn't have a copy. In the intervening months, I bought myself a copy of the ebook, so now I have no excuses. Except that I have all these other books to read ...
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander - I can't believe I forgot to add this one! This is why I need a week to plan, because I forget about books that I've been meaning to read for years now - I even have this one of my short list of books I MUST read in 2020.


message 2: by Drakeryn (new)

Drakeryn | 694 comments A few things from my TBR:

War Girls (Tochi Onyebuchi) - YA sci-fi with mechs and cyborgs
The Black God's Drums (P. Djeli Clark) - novella featuring a scrappy street kid and a smuggler airship
A Taste of Honey (Kai Ashante Wilson) - romance I think? I got this for free in a tor book club bundle.


message 3: by Cendaquenta (last edited Jan 25, 2020 07:28PM) (new)

Cendaquenta | 691 comments *checks GR shelves*
uh
... uhhhhhh...

Somehow my TBR got really really white. 😳 Got to work on that!

I do have a bunch of Zadie Smith and Toni Morrison I haven't read. Plus Half of a Yellow Sun, which is the only one of Adichie's novels I haven't gotten to, and a few other books. But proportionately, it's nothing. Yikes.
I have been meaning to pick up Washington Black, I suppose I'd better.


message 4: by Nadine in NY (last edited Jan 26, 2020 05:15AM) (new)

Nadine in NY Jones | 5880 comments Mod
Cendaquenta wrote: "*checks GR shelves*
uh
... uhhhhhh...

Somehow my TBR got really really white. 😳 Got to work on that!

I do have a bunch of Zadie Smith and Toni Morrison I haven't read...."



Half of a Yellow Sun was the first book I read by Adichie, and it's still my favorite of hers. I don't know if that's because it's the best, or because it was just my first. I read it for "author in her 20s" last time that was a challenge category - and look! that's a challenge category again this year! I still need to read The Thing Around Your Neck (and it would work for "text only cover") but I tend to be a bit reluctant to read books of short stories. I'm adding it to my list up above so I don't forget about it!


message 5: by Cendaquenta (new)

Cendaquenta | 691 comments I'm not a huge fan of short stories either, but The Thing Around Your Neck was really good! :)


message 6: by Kristina (new)

Kristina | 64 comments I’m planning on reading the essay collection Well-Read Black Girl: Finding Our Stories, Discovering Ourselves.


message 8: by Jennifer W (last edited Jan 26, 2020 08:28AM) (new)

Jennifer W | 636 comments For the book by a journalist, I almost nominated The Light of Truth: Writings of an Anti-lynching Crusader by Ida B. Wells-Barnett

Last year, I barely started (like maybe 20 pages, I'd start over) Monday's Not Coming, I think the author has written a few books.

I got quite a ways into The Season of Styx Malone before I had to return it. It was shaping up to be a "fun" read, in case some of BHM gets too intense.

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry is a great read.

Last year I read Can I Touch Your Hair?: Poems of Race, Mistakes, and Friendship, I thought it was thought-provoking but also sweet.

The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights might work for a book on a subject you know nothing about, I certainly had never heard of these WWII heroes before reading the book. (EDIT: the author is a white man, but I would still include this here because it's such an important story of black history and so little known. It needs to be screamed from the rooftops! I'm gonna reread it, just as soon as I can get over to the library!)

The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man by James Weldon Johnson was a good read, and along those lines, I have Passing on my TBR.

Hope these help!


message 9: by Ashley (new)

Ashley Coker | 1 comments I have several on my list, but the only one I know I will get to next month is Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson.

I somehow missed the book when it was published in 2014, but I saw the movie a couple weeks ago. Now I can't stop thinking about it.

I'm using it to fulfill the past prompt category – "a book that a movie you have already seen was based on."


message 10: by Lauren (last edited Jan 28, 2020 06:24AM) (new)

Lauren Oertel | 740 comments Black history month is probably the easiest themed month for me. So many amazing options. Of the ones y'all mentioned above:
Washington Black was very good (I might reread it some day).
Boy, Snow, Bird was decent but pretty strange. I definitely did not see the huge twist coming and wasn't quite sure how I felt about it.
The New Jim Crow is a must-read, but the messages are a bit outdated as the justice movement is currently trying to go for more than just the "low-hanging fruit" of low-level, nonviolent offenses. I recommend following that one with Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption and Until We Reckon: Violence, Mass Incarceration, and a Road to Repair to get a wider view of criminal justice advocacy these days. Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America is also excellent if you're into history related to justice advocacy.

I have The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks About Race on my shelf but might not be able to squeeze it in before March because of the Tournament of Books...

I will finish The Nickel Boys before my book club meeting for it February 23rd though. Very excited about that one!

I'll also be getting to Arrested Justice: Black Women, Violence, and America's Prison Nation for the following month's book club meeting.

I also have these on deck from the library:
We Are Never Meeting In Real Life
I Almost Forgot About You
What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker: A Memoir in Essays
A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier
The Good Lord Bird


message 11: by Lauren (new)

Lauren Oertel | 740 comments Ashley wrote: "I have several on my list, but the only one I know I will get to next month is Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson.

I somehow missed the book when it was published in 2014, but I saw the movie a couple..."


I'm glad the movie was meaningful for you! With the book you'll get the back story of the man who is executed. You'll also get some more really heartbreaking stories (they left the toughest parts out of the movie) but it's very worthwhile, so I hope you finish it. :)


message 12: by Nadine in NY (new)

Nadine in NY Jones | 5880 comments Mod
Lauren wrote: "The New Jim Crow is a must-read, but the messages are a bit outdated as the justice movement is currently trying to go for more than just the "low-hanging fruit" of low-level, nonviolent offenses. I recommend following that one with Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption and Until We Reckon: Violence, Mass Incarceration, and a Road to Repair to get a wider view of criminal justice advocacy these days. Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America is also excellent if you're into history related to justice advocacy.
, ..."



I've seen you mention that before, but you are definitely more interested in reading a lot of books about criminal justice reform than I am! I don't read much nonfiction, and when I do read nonfiction I'm more interested in science books than social justice books, so this is a case of "if you can only read one book, read [xxx]" and I'm banking on The New Jim Crow being that one book I should read!


message 13: by Adam Wechsler (new)

Adam Wechsler | 3 comments Nadine wrote: "Lauren wrote: "The New Jim Crow is a must-read, but the messages are a bit outdated as the justice movement is currently trying to go for more than just the "low-hanging fruit" of low-level, nonvio..."

I'm planning to read The New Jim Crow this month too! I've had the book for a while, so now is a great opportunity to read it.


message 14: by Sarah (new)

Sarah B | 100 comments I just read Riot Baby by Tochi Onyebuchi which I think fits the theme nicely. I read it earlier today for one of the prompts. It's full of black culture and has some powerful themes running through the book like freedom and why are people so angry often? It's helpful if you know some of the events listed in the book, like the riots in LA.


message 15: by Ellie (new)

Ellie (patchworkbunny) | 1154 comments UK has Black History Month in October, so I'll probably plan a better themed reading month around that. I am excited to read Deathless Divide which is the sequel to Dread Nation and out next month.

I might also read The Deep though I can't decide if I should go for print or audio.


message 16: by Drakeryn (new)

Drakeryn | 694 comments Deathless Divide is honestly the coolest book title.

(Also I haven't read Dread Nation yet so maybe I should get on that)


message 17: by Shannon (new)

Shannon | 483 comments Akata Witch has been on my list for awhile and I just learned my coworker has it (and loves it)! She's lent it to another coworker, so I plan on using that for my WOC prompt. It remains to be seen if I'll read it in February or not (I told the woman who's borrowing it right now not to rush), but I'm really excited.

I also have Almost a Statistic: The Remarkable Story of Drs. Vickie and Maurice McBride. I met the McBrides last year and they were both so nice! Since I work in higher ed, I'm excited to learn more about their story to broaden my knowledge of what some of my own students might have gone through.


message 18: by Nadine in NY (new)

Nadine in NY Jones | 5880 comments Mod
I now have a ridiculously long list of ebooks and audiobooks checked out and on hold and planned to borrow for BHM. There’s no way I’ll be able to read them ALL in one month!! But, you guys, Adjoa Andoh reads the audiobook of The Thing Around Your Neck. I fell in love with her narration of Ann Leckie’s series so I’m super excited!! I’ll be listening to that just as soon as I finish the three audiobooks I currently have borrowed ...


message 19: by Kris (new)

Kris (kris_robinson) | 4 comments I highly recommend Heavy by Kiese Laymon. He has such a distinctive voice, both in writing style and his actual voice (I listened to the audio version performed by the author himself). I was transfixed by his experiences.


message 20: by Lauren (new)

Lauren Oertel | 740 comments Nadine wrote: "Lauren wrote: "The New Jim Crow is a must-read, but the messages are a bit outdated as the justice movement is currently trying to go for more than just the "low-hanging fruit" of low-level, nonvio..."

Yes, I work in justice advocacy so I try to read all of the books. ;) I would say Just Mercy is more powerful than The New Jim Crow, if you can only do one, but the latter is still very good. And since Just Mercy (parts of it at least) is now in movie form, you could try that if it's easier. Enjoy!


message 21: by Lauren (new)

Lauren Oertel | 740 comments Kris wrote: "I highly recommend Heavy by Kiese Laymon. He has such a distinctive voice, both in writing style and his actual voice (I listened to the audio version performed by the author himself). I was transf..."

This one has been on my TBR for a long time - thanks for the reminder!


message 22: by Tracy (last edited Jan 28, 2020 06:46AM) (new)

Tracy (tracyisreading) | 603 comments I just finished With the Fire on High, which was a quick and cute YA book. I especially liked the chapter where she talked about people trying to define her ( the main character) by the color of her skin, I thought it was really well done. And it has a happy ending. I have to look at my challenge lists and bump some things up for February. I know I have a bunch of books that will fit for this month, including a few Toni Morrisons. I really would like to give Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption a try though, so then I can watch it. Theres another series coming out that I want to watch as well, I can't think of the name of it right now though. Nothing in my library stack at the moment fits :/

Edit, another middle grade/YA quickie that I liked was Monster


message 23: by Teri (last edited Jan 28, 2020 05:03PM) (new)

Teri (teria) | 1142 comments I also saw the movie "Just Mercy" and loved it. I read a couple of books last year on this topic and was hoping to read Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption before I saw the movie but it didn't work out. Hopefully my hold at the library comes in during February.

I also hope to read The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead and either Purple Hibiscus or Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (whichever one I can fit into a prompt).

I recommend The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, and also agree that fortunately the justice system is becoming aware of these issues and working to correct it (or at least not perpetuate it) - although not quickly enough as racism is ugly and pervasive. But it is a fascinating and tough read on a topic we should all have an understanding about.


message 25: by Milena (new)

Milena (milenas) | 836 comments I am currently reading the poetry collection Wade in the Water: Poems. It would be perfect for Black History Month. Part of the collection is about slavery.


message 26: by Bree (new)

Bree (breemw) | 92 comments I'm trying to get through books I own but haven't read, so my reading lined up is currently:

Making Our Way Home: The Great Migration and the Black American Dream: I know next to nothing about the Great Migration, so I'm really excited for this one!

When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir: I heard the author speak at an event, also really looking forward to this memoir.

How to Be an Antiracist

And once I get through these I'm picking up the rest of the Broken Earth Trilogy.


message 27: by Lynn (new)

Lynn (book_music_lvr) | 3351 comments Mod
Bree wrote: "I'm trying to get through books I own but haven't read, so my reading lined up is currently:

When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir: I heard the author speak at an event, also really looking forward to this memoir.


OMG! I LOVED When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir! It is such a poignant (terrifyingly so for me!) and pertinent read. I believe every "white"/"caucasian" person should read it. We have no clue... :(


message 28: by Lynn (new)

Lynn (book_music_lvr) | 3351 comments Mod
One of my best friends at the gym was telling me about the Netflix mini series When They See Us, about the unjust/unjustified arrest, incarceration, charge, and conviction of those 5 innocent boys. I plan to read The Central Park Five: The Untold Story Behind One of New York City's Most Infamous Crimes this year.

I honestly don't know if I can stand to watch the series. I would have to prepare myself... This issue just hits all the emotional buttons for me.


message 29: by WVrambler (new)

WVrambler | 61 comments I gave myself an extra challenge this year of reading mostly books by POC, especially WOC, so when I searched my TBR list for both PopSugar and AtY, I ended with a short list of 18 books. I know I won’t get through all of them this month, just due to the number, plus some are on a long hold at the library, but I currently have checked out:

Roots: The Saga of an American Family by Alex Haley

Becoming by Michelle Obama

With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo

I also used some Audible credits I’ve been saving to buy

Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah

And A Mighty Long Way: My Journey to Justice at Little Rock Central High School by Carlotta Walls LaNier

Once those are finished, I have several more tagged on Libby, plus several holds I should receive in the next few days or weeks.


message 31: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Stie (michellestie-buckles) | 12 comments Starting with The Water Dancer, and I plan to read Kindred and The Toni Morrison Book Club by the end of the month. Thanks for sharing this recommendations! So much to add to the TBR list!


message 32: by Lauren (last edited Feb 04, 2020 07:06PM) (new)

Lauren Oertel | 740 comments Alicia wrote: "Some other good options include:
Children of Blood and Bone
Children of Virtue and Vengeance
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
[book:The Autobiograph..."


Great books here! I recommend reading Children of Virtue and Vengeance soon after Blood and Bone. Those of us who read the first one earlier last year had to wait a while and I think I would have enjoyed the second one more if I hadn't forgotten some things from the first one.

If you listen to audiobooks, I highly recommend listening to The Hate U Give and On the Come Up on audio. The narrator is the best. :)

Also, Roxane Gay narrates her own books on audio, which I enjoyed (Hunger is tough to get through, but worthwhile).


message 33: by poshpenny (last edited Feb 02, 2020 01:00PM) (new)

poshpenny | 1763 comments OK, I'm finally mostly not sick and have a day off to poke around. I never know what I'm going to be in the mood for, so I usually just overshare a giant list of the most likely possibilities. Let's get this list going!

Books I Have:
Print
My Sister, the Serial Killer - Currently reading
Dear Martin
Ghost Boys
The Parker Inheritance
A Good Kind of Trouble
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
Washington Black
Homegoing
March: Book Three
Across That Bridge -John Lewis
The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
The Complete Collected Poems - Maya Angelou
The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights
Let's Talk About Love
Rebound
Blended
Undocumented: A Dominican Boy's Odyssey from a Homeless Shelter to the Ivy League

Audio
The Count of Monte Cristo
The Water Dancer
The Nickel Boys
An American Marriage
Invisible Man
Dawn
The Darkest Child
Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You
Stolen Justice: The Struggle for African American Voting Rights
Slay
Clean Getaway
From the Desk of Zoe Washington
Haben: The Deafblind Woman Who Conquered Harvard Law
Bad Feminist
Skin Folk: Stories
Queen of the Conquered
My Brothers' Keeper: Two Brothers. Loved. And Lost.
The Magic of Marie Laveau: Embracing the Spiritual Legacy of the Voodoo Queen of New Orleans
Mycroft and Sherlock - Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 2nd in his Holmes pastiche series
The City We Became - N.K. Jemisin Should be available to me some time this month


Don't Own:
Girl, Woman, Other
Queenie
American Spy
The Night Masquerade
How Long 'til Black Future Month?
Survival Math: Notes on an All-American Family
Heavy: An American Memoir
Dapper Dan: Made in Harlem
She Would Be King
Riot Baby
With the Fire on High
American Street
Say Her Name
Schomburg: The Man Who Built a Library
The Undefeated
The Stars and the Blackness Between Them
Lagoon
Black From the Future: A Collection of Black Speculative Writing
Two Moons: Stories

Don't own yet but it's next month's book club book:
Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption

Here are some suggestions from various places:
Audible
https://www.audible.com/ep/black-hist...

African American Literature Book Club
https://aalbc.com/


message 34: by Nadine in NY (new)

Nadine in NY Jones | 5880 comments Mod
Lauren wrote: "Also, Roxanne Gay narrates her own books on audio..."

Not all of them. I listened to Bad Feminist, the entire time thinking it was Gay's voice, only to discover at the end that it was Bahni Turpin. I mean, that's fine too, but I was startled to discover Gay was not reading a memoir-type book. I always expect memoirs to be read by the author.


message 35: by Nadine in NY (new)

Nadine in NY Jones | 5880 comments Mod
poshpenny wrote: "OK, I'm finally mostly not sick and have a day off to poke around. I never know what I'm going to be in the mood for, so I usually just overshare a giant list of the most likely possibilities. Let'..."

Haha I do the same thing! Giant list ... but I know I won't be reading all of them!!

In your list of books you have, Homegoing was one of my all-time favorite reads. I strongly encourage you to push it to the top of your pile! And in your list of "maybe" books, American Spy was another one of my favorites! I'm hesitating to sing their praises here, because part of why I loved them is how they surprised me - I wasn't expecting them to be so amazing, but I know that horse is out of the barn for Homegoing, lots of praise for that book at this point :-)


message 36: by Karin (new)

Karin I read a very disappointing book about a very important topic called Celia, A Slave by Melton A. McLaurin


message 37: by Kim (new)

Kim (kmyers) | 97 comments Oh my gosh, I am reading A Lesson Before Dying, by Ernest Gaines - and it is one of my favorite books ever! Here is a video of him from when he came to The College at Brockport in 1969. https://digitalcommons.brockport.edu/...


message 38: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (goodreadscomrumbelle517) I'm going to read Washington Black by Esi Edugyan.


message 39: by poshpenny (new)

poshpenny | 1763 comments Nadine wrote: "In your list of books you have, Homegoing was one of my all-time favorite reads. I strongly encourage you to push it to the top of your pile! And in your list of "maybe" books, American Spy was another one of my favorites!"

I still need to finished My Sister by Thursday, which should be easy because it has the shortest chapters ever. Then I'll need to read Just Mercy for next month's book club... I know that probably won't be as easy. I'm not sure I've got another paper novel in me this month. But it could happen!

I did have my finger hovering over American Spy today... but decided to go overseas and got She Would Be King instead. When I was looking it up I realized I know nothing about Liberia and I should do something about that.


message 40: by Lauren (last edited Feb 05, 2020 01:03PM) (new)

Lauren Oertel | 740 comments Nadine wrote: "Lauren wrote: "Also, Roxanne Gay narrates her own books on audio..."

Not all of them. I listened to Bad Feminist, the entire time thinking it was Gay's voice, only to discover at t..."


Good catch! She narrated Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body, but I forgot it was Bahni Turpon who did Bad Feminist. It's probably because she's my favorite narrator so I never question listening to her. ;)


poshpenny wrote: "OK, I'm finally mostly not sick and have a day off to poke around. I never know what I'm going to be in the mood for, so I usually just overshare a giant list of the most likely possibilities. Let'..."

Awesome list! My top five from the ones that I've read here (about a quarter of these) would be:
Just Mercy
Girl, Woman, Other
American Spy
My Sister, the Serial Killer
Homegoing

Enjoy!


message 41: by Sarah (new)

Sarah B | 100 comments I read these two books today for Black history month.

This Side of Home by Renée Watson Piecing Me Together by Renée Watson

These are YA but they are both well written and tell good stories. I enjoyed both. I also was able to use both for the Popsugar challenge too.

I hope to read two more books yet this month for Black History Month.


message 42: by Karin (new)

Karin I read Binti (Binti, #1) by Nnedi Okorafor Binti by Nnedi Okorafor which was on my tbr for some time.


message 43: by Sarah (new)

Sarah B | 100 comments I read the Binti trilogy last year and I loved the series!


message 44: by Heather (new)

Heather (eveejoystar) | 59 comments My plans for this month are:
White Teeth by Zadie Smith(finished the other week, 5 stars)
Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly
Kindred by Octavia E Butler
Beloved by Toni Morrison
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams
The Girl Who Smiled Beads by Clemantine Wamariya


message 45: by Nadine in NY (last edited Feb 15, 2020 05:28AM) (new)

Nadine in NY Jones | 5880 comments Mod
Here's my half-way-point update: I haven't finished much!

Finished:
Washington Black by Esi Edugyan - I'm glad I read this, because I've been wanting to read Edugyan for a while now, but I didn't really like this book. It was good, but it's just not my kind of book, too much description, not enough plot. I still plan to read Half Blood Blues some day, but if it's the same style, that'll be it for me and this author, we'll be breaking up!

Currently reading:
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas - I guess I'm glad I'm reading this too, because I've been curious about Dumas for years, but I'm never really a fan of the wordy Victorian style, so I don't know if I'll end up actually loving this. It's interesting, anyway!
A Prince on Paper by Alyssa Cole - this got off to a clunky start and I was worried that maybe Cole is just churning out too many books too quickly and losing her touch (because she published A LOT last year!!), but it got better!
The Thing Around Your Neck by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie - this is really good but each short story is a vignette, not really a story, and that's not my preferred kind of book. I'm listening to the audiobook and Adjoa Andoh is ALWAYS amazing!! She's British, not of Nigerian descent (her father is from Ghana), but her Nigerian accent sounds authentic, which is the first time I've been able to say that about an audiobook of a Nigerian author (seriously why can't the audiobook publishers find an actual Nigerian actor to read these books??).
Vintage Hughes - collected poems by Langston Hughes - I read a lot of poetry, and of course everyone knows who Langston Hughes is, the Negro speaks of rivers and hold fast to dreams and what happens to a dream deferred, right? But I'd never read a collection of his poems. Wow, the dude was incandescent!!! He was writing about a revolution! (I can see why McCarthy went after him, he praises the Soviets; Hoover must have had a big file on this guy.) And he also wrote cute poems about snails and stuff :-) So, I'm really glad I'm reading this.

Snail
Langston Hughes


Little snail,
Dreaming you go.
Weather and rose
Is all you know.

Weather and rose
Is all you see,
Drinking
The dewdrop’s
Mystery.



I've unintentionally managed to be very international with my choices! I've got: a Canadian, two Americans, a Nigerian, and a Frenchman so far.


message 46: by Barb (new)

Barb Dudziec | 24 comments No one mentioned "The Invention of Wings", which I think is one of the most beautiful, moving books I have ever read.


message 47: by Lilith (new)

Lilith (lilithp) | 751 comments I'm rereading Dust Tracks on a Road by my favorite wrier of all time, Mz Zora Neale Hurston. (I adore her!)
I've read and own copies of nearly everything she's written and own except the newer release Barracoon: The Story of the Last "Black Cargo".

The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle -- really looking forward to this, Lovecraft was an amazing horror writer, but a racist believer in the supremacy of whiteness. LaValle, an African-American writer, takes an old classic of Lovecraft's The Horror at Red Hook and turns it on its head. Great writing and brilliant final say.

Others of my favorites, in no particular order:
Langston Hughes
Gwendolyn Brooks
Alice Randall
Phyllis Wheatley


message 48: by Melissa (new)

Melissa | 17 comments I just finished Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass


message 49: by Kat (new)

Kat (theceilidhgirl) | 7 comments I read The Illegal by Lawrence Hill for this prompt


message 50: by Sarah (new)

Sarah B | 100 comments I still hope to read Not Without Laughter by Langston Hughes and Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe before the month ends.


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