If you’ve been wanting to read more this year or generally, it may be hard to settle on a good selection of books that will carry you through the transition from winter into spring. I’m an avid reader myself, and although I often start books and never finish them, I always keep an ongoing list of books that entertained me, helped me learn something, or provided some much needed comfort. Here is a short and concise list of what you could be reading:
“In this brilliant book, Isabel Wilkerson gives us a masterful portrait of an unseen phenomenon in America as she explores, through an immersive, deeply researched narrative and stories about real people, how America today and throughout its history has been shaped by a hidden caste system, a rigid hierarchy of human rankings. Beyond race, class, or other factors, there is a powerful caste system that influences people’s lives and behavior and the nation’s fate.”
“Writer Karla Cornejo Villavicencio was on DACA when she decided to write about being undocumented for the first time using her own name. It was right after the election of 2016, the day she realized the story she’d tried to steer clear of was the only one she wanted to tell. So she wrote her immigration lawyer’s phone number on her hand in Sharpie and embarked on a trip across the country to tell the stories of her fellow undocumented immigrants—and to find the hidden key to her own.”
Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments: Intimate Histories of Riotous Black Girls, Troublesome Women, and Queer Radicals by Saidiya Hartman
“A breathtaking exploration of the lives of young black women in the early twentieth century. In Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments, Saidiya Hartman examines the revolution of black intimate life that unfolded in Philadelphia and New York at the beginning of the twentieth century. Free love, common-law and transient marriages, serial partners, cohabitation outside of wedlock, queer relations, and single motherhood were among the sweeping changes that altered the character of everyday life and challenged traditional Victorian beliefs about courtship, love, and marriage.”
“An erotic and darkly comic novel about female friendship, set at the intersection between counterculture and the multimillion dollar art industry. Over the course of a few days in the fall of 2015, the sophisticated and awkward, wry, and beautiful Mathilde upends her tidy world. She takes a short leave from her job at one of New York’s leading auction houses and follows her best friend Gretchen on an impromptu trip to Paris. While there, she confronts her late mother’s hidden life, attempts to rein in Gretchen’s encounters with an aloof and withholding sometime-boyfriend, and faces the traumatic loss of both her parents when she was a teenager.”
And if you’re looking to help support Black-owned businesses, here’s 13 online Black-owned bookstores to shop at.