I thank God for story tellers and for giving me such a huge affinity for reading. As an author, I read for research purposes and for pleasure. My reading list this summer is way lengthier than this, but the books listed below are the ones I’m determined to finish before the end of August. In the past, I would have been able to finish such a list in six weeks, easily. Now, however, with this pesky thing called life always interrupting, I have to snatch reading time whenever I can.
Have you got a list?
The Weeping Time, Anne C. Bailey. I’m a lover of history so I gravitated to this, but I’m also reading this one for purposes of research. The subject matter makes it a difficult read. “In 1859, at the largest recorded slave auction in American history, over 400 men, women, and children were sold by the Butler Plantation estates. This book is one of the first to analyze the operation of this auction and trace the lives of slaves before, during, and after their sale. Immersing herself in the personal papers of the Butlers, accounts from journalists that witnessed the auction, genealogical records, and oral histories, Anne C. Bailey weaves together a narrative that brings the auction to life. Demonstrating the resilience of African American families, she includes interviews from the living descendants of slaves sold on the auction block, showing how the memories of slavery have shaped people’s lives today.”
We were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy, Ta-Nehisi Coates. Coates’ book, Between the World and Me is heartbreaking, and one of the most beautifully written things I’ve ever read. As a consequence, I was excited to get my hands on this book: ““We were eight years in power” was the lament of Reconstruction-era black politicians as the American experiment in multiracial democracy ended with the return of white supremacist rule in the South. In this sweeping collection of new and selected essays, Ta-Nehisi Coates explores the tragic echoes of that history in our own time: the unprecedented election of a black president followed by a vicious backlash that fueled the election of the man Coates argues is America’s “first white president.”
But the story of these present-day eight years is not just about presidential politics. This book also examines the new voices, ideas, and movements for justice that emerged over this period—and the effects of the persistent, haunting shadow of our nation’s old and unreconciled history.”
Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering, Joshua Foer. A smartly written book that might help me improve my memory, and is amusing to boot? You better believe I’ll read it. “An instant bestseller that is poised to become a classic, Moonwalking with Einstein recounts Joshua Foer’s yearlong quest to improve his memory under the tutelage of top “mental athletes.” He draws on cutting-edge research, a surprising cultural history of remembering, and venerable tricks of the mentalist’s trade to transform our understanding of human memory. From the United States Memory Championship to deep within the author’s own mind, this is an electrifying work of journalism that reminds us that, in every way that matters, we are the sum of our memories.”
The Hate U Give, Angie Thomas. I started hearing about this YA book and its young author about a year before it was published. I couldn’t help but be impressed and happy for the author, and I’m excited to read the book. “Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed…What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.”
The Underground Railroad, Colson Whitehead. It’s Colson Whitehead. That is all. “Cora is a young slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. An outcast even among her fellow Africans, she is on the cusp of womanhood—where greater pain awaits. And so when Caesar, a slave who has recently arrived from Virginia, urges her to join him on the Underground Railroad, she seizes the opportunity and escapes with him. In Colson Whitehead’s ingenious conception, the Underground Railroad is no mere metaphor: engineers and conductors operate a secret network of actual tracks and tunnels beneath the Southern soil. Cora embarks on a harrowing flight from one state to the next, encountering, like Gulliver, strange yet familiar iterations of her own world at each stop. As Whitehead brilliantly re-creates the terrors of the antebellum era, he weaves in the saga of our nation, from the brutal abduction of Africans to the unfulfilled promises of the present day. The Underground Railroad is both the gripping tale of one woman’s will to escape the horrors of bondage—and a powerful meditation on the history we all share.”
Thank you for stopping by. What are you reading?