Looking for something new to read? Here are some of our top books that we’re reading this month.
Book of the month!
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Since its publication, The Hate U Give has become a YA classic. Starr leads a double life but seems to be able to compartmentalise her life: she attends a fancy school in the suburbs but lives in a poor neighbourhood. THUG follows our heroine Starr’s life as the walls between the two sides of her life start crumbling when she and her childhood friend get pulled over by the police on their way home from a party and one of the officers fatally shoots her friend. After the event, she hesitates. Should she speak out and seek justice for her friend? Or should she stay quiet and not attract attention to herself and her family? This book, although written for a teen audience, will appeal to people of all ages because of its sensitive treatment of important issues such as racism and police brutality. This is one I often revisit. Starr is an incredibly vivid character and Thomas expertly unpicks her thoughts to portray the complexity of the situation she experiences. I believe it will become timeless and is an honest reflection on the injustices that still affect black people and how racism blankets and affects their lives.
The Good Immigrant USA Edited by Nikesh Shukla and Chimene Suleyman
This collection of essays reflects the experiences of first- and second-generation immigrants in the US. Writers from all corners of the world living in the US open up about their experiences of racism, their “otherness”, and their occasional feelings of isolation.The participants reflect on how their race, religion and nationality have affected the way they experience the so-called “American dream”. These stories and opinions needed to be out there and will hopefully act as food for thought for many.
The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
South Carolina, 1960s. Lily lives with her violent dad haunted by the vague memory of her mother’s death, the only light in her life Rosaleen, their black servant. When Rosaleen gets in trouble with the racists in town, they both run away to Tiburon in the hopes of finding out more about Lily’s mother. They end up staying with three black sisters who will introduce them to the world of beekeeping and the Black Madonna. Incredibly moving, a tale of love and friendship!
Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge
In 2014, Eddo-Lodge wrote on her blog expressing her frustration with the way the debate around racism was being shaped by those not affected by it. This book stemmed from that one post. It touches on topics such as how black history seems to have been suppressed, the need for an intersectional approach to feminism and how the public sphere is dominated by white people. It is a timely, necessary and interesting exploration of the issues and how they might be counteracted.