ISH is a spell bounding place comprised of eclectic and curious individuals many of whom possess an -everlasting love of literature. I am no exception. I read all the time and I mean this quite literally. I listen to books while eating, washing, cleaning, walking, waiting, working and whenever I need to mentally escape to another place, space or time. I often share what I’m reading with other ISH residents and thought it would be fitting to begin sharing my favorite books each month via this blog. I will only include 4 of my top books read over the past month but will gladly provide additional recommendations to any interested readers!
Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine
Citizen is a remarkable read comprised of profoundly poetic prose. Each of the short essays evoke images of commonly shared experiences amid those in the Black community. Complex subjects such as micro aggression, overt racism, social-awareness and self-consciousness are exquisitely yet easily explained through short captivating pieces. I believe most readers will find this book to be relatable, realistic and reflective of the way we view and validate each other in this country.
Our Kind of People by Lawrence Otis Graham
Our Kind of People chronicles the history, culture and traditions of upper class African American families. Contrary to popular belief, the upper echelon of Black society has existed for well over a century and is still thriving all across America. The book discusses the good, bad and disheartening aspects of this insular world which is primarily built on qualifying features such as skin color, status, family lineages, educational accolades and social affiliations. The author grants readers a rare glimpse into an aspect of American society that is often criticized envied, Applauded and seldom fully understood. Full of personal reflections and social observations, this book is definitely a must read for anyone interested in learning more about the origins of America’s high class Black society.
Radiance of Tomorrow by Ishmael Beah
This novel follows the lives of residents returning to their city following a 7 year war in Sierra Leone. Written in a deeply cultural and figurative style, this book will certainly hold your attention captive. The author expertly weaves together critical issues involving environmental degradation, traditional customs, corruption, war crimes, grief, family, community and resilience. I would recommend this riveting read to anyone interested in gaining a greater understanding of the multidimensional aspects of rebuilding an entire life and rekindling the love of living.
I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai
I read this riveting book with fellow ISH resident Katherine Haugh. We both found Malala’s story to be insightful and immensely inspirational. Her unwavering advocacy for girl’s education compels you to seriously consider exploring the fullest capacity of your academic pursuits. The intensity of her personal journey is mirrored by her fierceness for educational equality. A great read for those who would like to learn what it means to risk one’s own life in order to help others live more fully and freely.
Do you have a book you think should be featured on the blog? Let me know! I would love to receive your recommendations!