Our book club, the Community for Understanding and Hope Book Group, specializes in books about race in America. Here are the 84 books that we’ve read so far.

We had our annual potluck and book selection meeting on Thursday. I’ll share, first, the ten books that we’ll be reading in the coming year (our short list) and the many books that didn’t make the cut this year (our long list).

I’m so looking forward to reading these books:

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult

Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

Becoming Ms. Burton by Susan Burton, Cari Lynn

No One is Coming to Save Us by Stephanie Powell Watts

The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace: A Brilliant Young Man Who Left Newark for the Ivy League by Jeff Hobbs

Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah

The Social Life of DNA: Race, Reparations, and Reconciliation After the Genome by Alondra Nelson

Nobody: Casualties of America’s War on the Vulerable, from Ferguson to Flint and Beyond by Marc Lamont Hill

We were sorry to leave these on the table — maybe, next year!

Life on Mars by Tracy K. Smith

Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America by Michael Eric Dyson

Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J.D. Vance

Whistling Past the Graveyard by Susan Crandall

Tell the Truth & Shame the Devil by Lezley McSpadden, Lyah Beth Leflore

On the Run: Fugitive Life in an American City by Alice Goffman

The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin

Gathering of Waters by Bernice L. McFadden

A Kind of Freedom by Margaret Wilkerson Sexton

Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward

Policing the Black Man: Arrest, Prosecution, and Imprisonment by Angela J. Davis (editor)

Policing Ferguson, Policing America: What Really Happened… and What the Country Can Learn From It by Thomas Jackson

Called to Rise by David O. Brown

Chokehold: Policing Black Men by Paul Butler

Kennedy and King: The President, the Pastor, and the Battle over Civil Rights by Steven Levingston

A Colony in a Nation by Chris Hayes

Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond

Have you read any of these books? What did you think?


Comments

Book Lists — Long and Short! #WeNeedDiverseBooks #BookClub — 3 Comments

  1. I’ve read Small Great Things, and whilst admiring Jodi Poccult’s desire to show how racism ruins lives, I felt the story was rather contrived. A black hospital nurse is banned by racist parents from looking after their child, but she has to in an emergency, during which time the child dies. The nurse ends up in court, I am not sure if it is for killing the child, or for not attempting to save it. The fact that she’s in court before any internal investigation has been carried out, or postmortem performed, stretched credulity. However, it’s a good story, well told, and may help some people reassess the way they behave with others.

    • Thanks, Michelle Ann! That’s a helpful concern to have in mind as we go into the reading and, especially, the discussion of the story.

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