Reading has always been more than a hobby for me; it’s a form of self-care, education, and communication. For this reason, the process of reading a book is more of a ritual that starts the moment I begin researching what I want to get my hands on next! As any avid reader knows, with the new year comes new lists of anticipated books. After consulting Tajja Isen’s article on Book Riot “How (Not) to Read Best of Book Lists,” I’ve adapted it for the best way (not) to write a book list.
Although my reading list gets a lot longer every time a list (just like this one!) is published, I can’t help peeking at what else is out there. In 2017, I set a personal goal to read more books from women, people of color, and non-Western voices. From Junot Diaz to Assata Shakur and Yoko Tawada, and many others, the challenge I set for myself was a lot easier (and a lot more interesting!) than I could have ever imagined. This year, I’ve decided I want to have more conversations about what I’m reading by engaging with others who share similar interests. That’s how I found Booked For Review, and the reasons I have joined as a contributor. Check out the list below and look out for my reviews as these five exciting works are published throughout 2018!
- When They Call You a Terrorist, out January 16
by Patrisse Khan-Cullors, asha bandele and forward by Angela Davis
From the co-founders of the Black Lives Matter movement comes a powerful memoir about humanity, fighting for justice, and the power of vulnerability. During a time when BLM has been framed as dangerous, Khan-Cullors story reminds us of the roots of the movement through the lived-experience of those who started it. Set for release over Martin Luther King Jr. weekend, I cannot wait to hear directly from the activists who have dedicated themselves to the fight for racial justice.
- Not that Bad, out May 1
by Roxane Gay
If you haven’t already read Roxane Gay’s work, what are you doing? From her best-selling essay collection, “Bad Feminist,” to TWO her recent books published in 2017, “Difficult Women” and “Hunger,” Gay has been very busy these past few years. This collection of essays, edited by Gay, brings together stories of sexual and gender-based violence. It is sure to be an intense read, but could not be a timelier contribution to the most pervasive issues affecting society today.
- Feel Free, February 6
By Zadie Smith
After reading Zadie Smith’s short story “Lazy River,” in the New Yorker, I knew I had to get my hands on some of her other work. This collection focuses on culture and politics, exploring big picture questions such as “What is the social network really about?” and “Why do we love libraries?” Admittedly, I haven’t yet had a chance to read her highly praised 1999 book, “White Teeth,” but it is also on my list!
- The Pisces, May 1
If I’m being completely honest, I was drawn to the title because I happen to be a Pisces! This twisted love story follows Lucy, who is dealing with the aftermath of a break up, a move to Los Angeles, and her anxiety. I’m trying to read more fiction this year, and while this book sounds like it’s a bit all over the place, it sounds like a fun way to try something completely different.
- Lake Michigan, March 12
In the spirit of challenging myself in 2018, I am trying to read more poetry. Lake Michigan, from Daniel Borzutzky seems like a great place to start with 19 lyrics poems telling a larger story about a prison camp located in Chicago. Exploring big topics such as economic policy, racism, and militarized policing in the context of a changing city, the themes echo from Borzutzky’s Performance of Becoming Human, which won the National Book Award for Poetry in 2016.