Fall Reading List 2017

Here’s a quick look at what I’ll be reading this fall. I hope that you all will join me! Leave comments on other books you recommend. Let me know which ones you’ll be reading so that we can discuss.

I chose a lot of books that deal with the black girl experience this time around. I’m delving into self-care and self-exploration as the weather gets colder. We have to be proactive when it comes to learning more about ourselves and how we fit into the puzzle that is this world.  I hope you enjoy the list!


Fiction:

 

The Hate U Give

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.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does—or does not—say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.

 

Marlena: A Novel

Everything about fifteen-year-old Cat’s new town in rural Michigan is lonely and off-kilter until she meets her neighbor, the manic, beautiful, pill-popping Marlena. Cat is quickly drawn into Marlena’s orbit and as she catalogues a litany of firsts―first drink, first cigarette, first kiss, first pill―Marlena’s habits harden and calcify. Within the year, Marlena is dead, drowned in six inches of icy water in the woods nearby. Now, decades later, when a ghost from that pivotal year surfaces unexpectedly, Cat must try again to move on, even as the memory of Marlena calls her back.

Told in a haunting dialogue between past and present, Marlena is an unforgettable story of the friendships that shape us beyond reason and the ways it might be possible to pull oneself back from the brink.

 

The F Word: A Novel

Olivia Morten is perfect. Maybe she’s constantly hungry, but her body is to die for. Maybe her high-flying publicist job has taken over her life, but her clients are L.A.’s hottest celebrities. Maybe her husband is never around, but he is a drop-dead-gorgeous doctor. And maybe her past harbors an incredibly embarrassing secret, but no one remembers high school…right?

When Ben Dunn, Olivia’s high school arch nemesis and onetime crush, suddenly resurfaces, all of her hard-won perfection begins to unravel. As she finds herself dredging up long-suppressed memories, she is forced to confront the most painful truth of all: sometimes who we become isn’t who we really are.

 

On Being Woman and Black:

Sisters Of the Yam: Black Women & Self-recovery

In Sisters of the Yam, bell hooks reflects on the ways in which the emotional health of black women has been and continues to be impacted by sexism and racism. Desiring to create a context where black females could both work on their individual efforts for self-actualization while remaining connected to a larger world of collective struggle, hooks articulates the link between self-recovery and political resistance. Both an expression of the joy of self-healing and the need to be ever vigilant in the struggle for equality, Sisters of the Yam continues to speak to the experience of black womanhood.

 

There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyonce

The only thing more beautiful than Beyoncé is God, and God is a black woman sipping rosé and drawing a lavender bath, texting her mom, belly-laughing in the therapist’s office, feeling unloved, being on display, daring to survive. Morgan Parker stands at the intersections of vulnerability and performance, of desire and disgust, of tragedy and excellence. Unrelentingly feminist, tender, ruthless, and sequined, these poems are an altar to the complexities of black American womanhood in an age of non-indictments and deja vu, and a time of wars over bodies and power. These poems celebrate and mourn. They are a chorus chanting: You’re gonna give us the love we need.

 

Whatever Happened to Daddy’s Little Girl?: The Impact of Fatherlessness on Black Women

What happens to a little girl who grows up without a father? Can she ever feel truly loved and fully alive? Does she ever heal–or is she doomed to live a wounded, fragmented life and to pass her wounds down to her own children? Fatherlessness afflicts nearly half the households in America, and it has reached epidemic proportions in the African-American community, with especially devastating consequences for black women. In this powerful book, accomplished journalist Jonetta Rose Barras breaks the code of silence and gives voice to the experiences of America’s fatherless women–starting with herself.

Passionate and shockingly frank, Whatever Happened to Daddy’s Little Girl? is the first book to explore the plight of America’s fatherless daughters from the unique perspective of the African-American community. This brilliant volume gives all fatherless daughters the knowledge that they are not alone and the courage to overcome the hidden pain they have suffered for so long.

 

Poetry:

Love is a Dog From Hell

First published in 1977, Love Is a Dog from Hell is a collection of Bukowski’s poetry from the mid-seventies. A classic in the Bukowski canon, Love Is a Dog from Hell is a raw, lyrical, exploration of the exigencies, heartbreaks, and limits of love.

 

Self Help:

Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person

With three children at home and three hit television shows, it was easy for Shonda to say she was simply too busy. But in truth, she was also afraid. And then, over Thanksgiving dinner, her sister muttered something that was both a wake up and a call to arms: You never say yes to anything. Shonda knew she had to embrace the challenge: for one year, she would say YES to everything that scared her.

This poignant, intimate, and hilarious memoir explores Shonda’s life before her Year of Yes—from her nerdy, book-loving childhood to her devotion to creating television characters who reflected the world she saw around her. The book chronicles her life after her Year of Yes had begun—when Shonda forced herself out of the house and onto the stage; when she learned to explore, empower, applaud, and love her truest self. Yes.

 

The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results

People are using this simple, powerful concept to focus on what matters most in their personal and work lives. Companies are helping their employees be more productive with study groups, training, and coaching. Sales teams are boosting sales. Churches are conducting classes and recommending for their members. By focusing their energy on one thing at a time people are living more rewarding lives by building their careers, strengthening their finances, losing weight and getting in shape, deepening their faith, and nurturing stronger marriages and personal relationships. The ONE Thing delivers extraordinary results in every area of your life–work, personal, family, and spiritual. WHAT’S YOUR ONE THING?

 

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing

Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo takes tidying to a whole new level, promising that if you properly simplify and organize your home once, you’ll never have to do it again. Most methods advocate a room-by-room or little-by-little approach, which doom you to pick away at your piles of stuff forever. The KonMari Method, with its revolutionary category-by-category system, leads to lasting results. In fact, none of Kondo’s clients have lapsed (and she still has a three-month waiting list). With detailed guidance for determining which items in your house “spark joy” (and which don’t), this international bestseller featuring Tokyo’s newest lifestyle phenomenon will help you clear your clutter and enjoy the unique magic of a tidy home—and the calm, motivated mindset it can inspire.

 


 

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