Top Ten Tuesday: Books to Understand Being Black in America

logo-TopTenTuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted at The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s theme was a freebie!

31421117Michael Eric Dyson’s Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America came out last week and, let me just tell you, it is making me woke af to my privilege as an upper-middle-class white lady, living in a liberal part of a liberal state. In an interview for The New York Times Magazine, Dyson states that the book’s ideal audience is “the ocean of white folk I encounter who are deeply empathetic to the struggles of minorities — they are the ones who ask me, “What can I do, as a white person?” This is my attempt to address them in the most useful and, hopefully, edifying manner.” As one of those white folk, it’s my job to seek out and listen to black and POC voices, to hear what they are saying and understand. With me? Here are twenty-five books* I need to read asap about being black in America.


America’s Original Sin: Racism, White Privilege, and the Bridge to a New America by Jim Wallis

The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X and Alex Haley

The Blood of Emmett Till by Timothy B. Tyson

Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine

The Crunk Feminist Collection by Brittney C. Cooper, Susana M. Morris, and Robin M. Boylorn, eds.


The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin

Freedom Is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine, and the Foundations of a Movement by Angela Y. Davis

The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism by Edward E. Baptist

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

Invisible Man, Got the Whole World Watching by Mychal Denzel Smith


Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty by Dorothy Roberts

Known and Strange Things: Essays by Teju Cole

March: Book One by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin

The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl by Issa Rae

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander


Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools by Monique Morris

Racism without Racists: Color-Blind Racism and the Persistence of Racial Inequality in the United States by Eduardo Bonilla-Silva

Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America by Melissa V. Harris-Perry

The Sisters Are Alright: Changing the Broken Narrative of Black Women in America by Tamara Winfrey Harris

Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II by Douglas A. Blackmon


The Souls of Black Folk by W.E.B. Du Bois

They Can’t Kill Us All: Ferguson, Baltimore, and a New Era in America’s Racial Justice Movement by Wesley Lowery

This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color by Cherríe L. Moraga and Gloria E. Anzaldúa, eds.

We Gon’ Be Alright: Notes on Race and Resegregation by Jeff Chang

You Can’t Touch My Hair: And Other Things I Still Have to Explain by Phoebe Robinson


* This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it’s a good place to start. And, I am always look for more suggestions!!!

Top Ten Tuesday: 2016 Releases I Meant to Read

logo-TopTenTuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted at The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s theme was 2016 releases I meant to read but somehow, inexplicably… didn’t. I based this list on my memory and two posts I made last year about my most anticipated releases for the first and second half of 2016.


All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation by Rebecca Traister (March 1st)

The City of Mirrors by Justin Cronin (May 24th)

Dear Emma by Katie Heaney (March 1st)

Everfair by Nisi Shawl (August 16th)

Every Anxious Wave by Mo Daviau (February 9th)


Hamilton: The Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeremy McCarter (April 12th)

How to Ruin Everything: Essays by George Watsky (June 14th)

If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo (May 3rd)

In the Country We Love: My Family Divided by Diane Guerrero (May 3rd)

Lumberjanes, vol. 5: Band Together by Noelle Stevenson (December 13th)

Top Ten Tuesday: YA Novels I’ve Added to My TBR

logo-TopTenTuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted at The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s theme was books I’ve recently added to my TBR, but since I don’t normally read young adult novels, I decided to list fifteen titles that I’ve added to my TBR within the last six months!


Asking for It by Louise O’Neill

Ask Me How I Got Here by Christine Heppermann

The End of Fun by Sean McGinty

The Geek’s Guide to Unrequited Love by Sarvenaz Tash

The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig


Girl Mans Up by M-E Girard

Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven

If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo

I Woke Up Dead at the Mall by Judy Sheehan

The Leaving by Tara Altebrando


The New Guy (And Other Senior Year Distractions) by Amy Spalding

Rani Patel in Full Effect by Sonia Patel

Seven Ways We Lie by Riley Redgate

Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum

These Vicious Masks by Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas

Top Ten: TV Series Premiering in 2016 I Want to Watch

logo-TopTenTuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s theme was a fall TV freebie, so I chose ten fifteen series premiering in fall 2016 or winter 2017 for which I am most definitely setting a series recording on my DVR.


Atlanta, September 6 on FX
Two cousins with different views on art versus commerce on their way up through the Atlanta rap scene.

Queen Sugar, September 6 on USA
Two sisters move to the heart of Louisiana to claim an 800-acre sugarcane farm inheritance from their recently departed father.

Quarry, September 9 on USA
A Marine returns home from Vietnam in 1972 only to find himself being shunned by those he loves and demonized by the public.

Pitch, September 22 on Fox
A young pitcher becomes the first woman to play in the Major Leagues.

Luke Cage, September 30 on Netflix
Given super strength and durability by a sabotaged experiment, a wrongly accused man escapes prison to become a superhero for hire.

TimelessConviction, October 3 on ABC
A brilliant young attorney is blackmailed to head up NYC’s new Conviction Integrity Unit and investigate cases where people may have been wrongly convicted.

Timeless, October 3 on NBC
An unlikely trio travels through time to battle unknown criminals in order to protect history as we know it.

FrequencyFrequency, October 5 on CW
A police detective discovers that she can speak via a ham radio with her estranged father who died twenty years prior, and the two decide to work together to change the history of tragic events to come while also getting the chance to heal their complicated relationship.

Insecure, October 9 on HBO
The awkward experiences and racy tribulations of a modern-day African-American woman.

TheCrownThe Crown, November 4 on Netflix
Queen Elizabeth II is a 25-year-old newlywed faced with the daunting prospect of leading the world’s most famous monarchy while forging a relationship with legendary Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill.

Making History, 2017 on Fox
Three friends from two different centuries try to balance the thrill of time travel with the mundane concerns of their present-day lives.

PowerlessPowerless, 2017 on USA
An insurance company deals with the destruction left by DC Superheros.

Still Star-Crossed, 2017 on ABC
A period drama that picks up where Romeo and Juliet left off, charting the treachery, palace intrigue, and ill-fated romances of the Montagues and Capulets in the wake of the young lovers’ tragic fate.

RiverdaleRiverdale, 2017 on CW
A subversive take on Archie, Betty, Veronica, and their friends, exploring the surrealism of small town life – the darkness and weirdness bubbling beneath Riverdale’s wholesome facade.

Time After Time, 2017 on USA
The adventures of young H.G. Wells and his time machine.

Top Ten: Books Featuring High Schoolers

logo-TopTenTuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted at The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s theme was a back to school freebie, so I chose books featuring high school students because, to me, nothing screams “back to school” more than public school.


The Bad Mother’s Handbook by Kate Long

Broken Monsters by Lauren Beukes

Epic Fail by Claire LaZebnik

Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team, and a Dream by H.G. Bissinger

Ms. Marvel, Vol. 1: No Normal by G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona

Paper Towns by John Green

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl

Top Ten: Books Set Outside the US

logo-TopTenTuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted at The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s theme was a rewind, so I chose to cover July 19th’s list: top ten books set outside the US. Although I mostly read books set in England, I was able to find ten books set wholly (or partly) in ten different countries (and also another planet).


Czech Republic: The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon

England: A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

France: A Very Long Engagement by Sébastien Japrisot

Germany: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

India: The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie


Iran: Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

Italy: Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

Mexico: 2666 by Roberto Bolaño

Turkey: Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

Mars: The Martian by Andy Weir

Top Ten: Things Books Have Made Me Want to Do or Learn

logo-TopTenTuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted at The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s theme was top ten things books have made me want to do or learn about after reading them, but I tweaked it slightly to include things I actually learned or did rather than things about which I got curious or still want to do.


1. I want to learn to be be more socially & racially aware of my privilege because of Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates.

2. I want to learn to be braver and more proactive (and have less regrets) because of When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi.




3. I’m learning to say the ‘f’ word with pride because of We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

4. I’m learning to be more forgiving of myself because of Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay.




5. I learned that there are just some things about which I can’t read because of Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov.

6. I learned that I can’t relate to teenagers anymore because of Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley.




7. I want to study abroad because of The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan.

8. I want to live in NYC because of Fourth Comings by Megan McCafferty.




9. I wanted to Google because of A Spy Among Friends: Kim Philby and the Great Betrayal by Ben Macintyre.

10. I wanted to tumble down the romance rabbit hole because of Lip Lock by Susanna Carr.