Happy 2018 everyone!
Every year, I try to set reading goals by developing a book list and reading as much as I can. Admittedly, I’m not as disciplined as I could be, I’m easily distracted by the internet and my reading and writing are sporadic, but my goal this year is to develop a writing schedule and reading schedule.
I must do this if I want to improve my writing, so…without further ado, here is what I hope to read in 2018 and what I read in 2017:
What Will I Read 2018:
1.) Lays in Summer Lands by John Willis Menard: Published in 1879, this Gilded era book includes poetry about the life and dreams of the first African-American elected to Congress, although he wasn’t seated.
2.) Brown in Baltimore: School Segregation and Limits of Liberalism by Howell S. Baum. This nonfiction work describes how liberal, post-Brown v. Board of Education policies in Baltimore City, which included optional integration, contributed to present day – re-segregation and inequality in Baltimore City public schools.
3.) Brown Girl Dreaming: This work of poems by Jacqueline Woodson shares the experience of Woodson, growing up in the southern and northern United States and chronicles her experience in the Civil Rights and Black Power era of the 1960s/70s.
4.) Pudd’ nhead Wilson by Mark Twain: This short novel by Mark Twain tells the story of a desperate, enslaved woman who makes a fateful decision to spare her mixed-race child from the dangers of enslavement. It takes a look at the complexities of race and society in the 19th century.
5.) Weapons of Math Destruction by Cathy O’Neil: This is a non-fiction book about the use of data and how it fosters social inequality.
6. Cold Running Creek by Zelda Lockhart: This novel, which is set in the Civil War period, tells the story of a young woman from the Choctaw Nation, who must flee persecution and forced relocation. She manages to survive, but her daughter, who is of African-descent must endure racial mistreatment and enslavement.
7.) A Streetcar Named Desire: A play by Tennessee Williams, is the story of Blanche DuBois, who is considered promiscuous, and the influence of her brother-in-law.
8.) You Can’t Touch My Hair and other things I have to explain: A book by Phoebe Robinson tells the story of a Black woman’s experience with prejudice, microaggressions and tokenism.
9.) Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: Two lovers flee Nigeria, which is military-ruled and the young woman comes to America, where she must cope with the racism and dynamics of a post 9-11 America.
10.) The parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler:
This dystopian novel is set in the future and centers around an African-American daughter of a pastor, who must battle to survive the chaos of a failed economy and economic crisis. Quite relevant to our current time.
11.) Rose Madder by Stephen King: This is a horror novel about a woman, who must leave a marriage, which is engulfed in abuse and mistreatment.
12.) Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell: This classic novel is a story, which was originally written as a serial from 1864-65. The story centers around a young woman in England, who is the daughter of a doctor. She falls in love with a man and must contend with a rival.
If I can get through the other reads, these are other books I’d like to read.
Overall, I read 13 new books, which is pretty good, that’s about a little more than 1 book per month. It’s notable that most of my reading, I did as a full-time graduate student. I would read at least 10-15 pages a night and it added up over time. I am working full time so my 2018 list may not look like this next year, as I do most of my reading on the weekend and I have a short attention span.
- From Poor Law to Welfare State: I skimmed this and learned quite a bit and hopefully will be able to use the material for future posts.
- Ladivine by Marie Ndiaye
- The Subterraneans
- Cutting for Stone
- Go Set a Watchmen
- I know Why the Caged Bird Sings
- Souls of Black Folk
- Citizen by Claudia Rankine
- The Beautiful and the Damned by Fitzgerald
- A History of How Love Conquered Marriage
- Montford Point Marines by Melton McLaurin
- The Book of Night Women by Marlon James
- How Porn Hijacked Our Sexuality by Gail Dines
I still need to write posts for The Beautiful and the Damned, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, From Poor Law to Welfare State. My favorite book was a tie between I know Why the Caged Bird Sings and Book of Night Women. I may do another post on both of these books as well.