For this round of book selection, we wanted to make a conscious effort to include the voices, views, and opinions from authors who come from, or identify with, under-represented groups in our country. At any point in time, elevating the voices of those who are marginalized or not as often heard is helpful for all of us to expand our perspectives. Thank you to my girls for recommending this excellent idea to ensure our authors are diverse and the perspectives we read are broadened. 💖💖💖
The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett is our pick for July—the pick of book clubs everywhere this year, and for good reason! The story’s focus on race in a unique way is very relevant to conversations many of us are having now—both about the history of race in America and the role race plays in police violence and economic disparities. Bennett’s writing has been highly acclaimed and you can find The Vanishing Half on Oprah’s list of most anticipated books of 2020.
It’s a rare gift to be able to dig beyond the dirt and gossip of lives viewed superficially to get to the inner human story, to delve beyond the sensational into difficult issues, and to view flawed characters with understanding rather than judgment or condemnation.‘The Vanishing Half’ Counts The Terrible Costs Of Bigotry And Secrecy”, NPR
Exhalation by Ted Chiang
In August we are reading Exhalation by Ted Chiang. I am super pumped for this collection of short stories because I have been craving some sci-fi! Exhalation is Chiang’s second short story collection, his first included the short story upon which the film Arrival is based. And if that wasn’t enough to peak your interest, author Blake Crouch offers this glowing review:
Ted Chiang has no contemporary peers when it comes to the short story form. His name deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as Carver, Poe, Borges, and Kafka. Every story is a universe. Every story is a diamond. You will inhale Exhalation in a single, stunned sitting, because true genius doesn’t come along nearly as often as advertised. This is the real thing.Blake Crouch, author of Dark Matter
The Secret of Sugar Water by Feminista Jones
September’s book, The Secret of Sugar Water, is a collection of poems by Feminista Jones, award-winning author, blogger, public speaker, community activist, and semi-retired social worker. Our book club hasn’t read a poetry collection yet, so I’m excited to dive into the genre as a group! Jones’ work “centers on Black American culture, critical race theory, intersectionality, women’s health and well-being.” Jones also sits on the board of the Wayfinder Foundation, a grant-making organization that invests in women making a difference in their underserved communities, and The Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice. I’m really looking forward to reading what Feminista Jones has to say!