Wednesday, June 20, 2018

10 to 40 Book Challenge (School Year 2017 -18)

The Tayari Jones

This school year was the second year that I challenged my students and my Facebook friends to read 10 to 40 books from September to the last day of school which is mid-June. I got the idea for the book challenge from Donalyn Miller and her wonderful book, The Book Whispers. 

Y’all, it really is TRUE; we can develop new habits. The key is to stick to the habit. Last school year, I read forty-six books, and I could not stop and so I read fourteen books last summer while maintaining quite a busy summer schedule that included quite a bit of work travel.

I went into the school year 2017 -18 completely energized and with a new reading habit that I am completely addicted to. I read fifty-six books all while teaching, riding my bike, stalking writers, and consulting. We can and will make time for whatever is important: PERIOD!

Right now, the literary world is ON FIRE which helps to fuel my love... Y’all, some incredible books are out there in whatever genre that you prefer.

Here is a list of the books that I read this year, and I have tried to do some type of classification:

The Writer that I Just Can’t Enough Of: Roxane Gay. I love her honesty, rawness, the cleverness of her writing, the way that she has her thumb on the pulse of right now. Below are the books that I read that are written by Roxane, and I loved every, single one of them.

1. Bad Feminist: Excellent collection of essays that made me do a lot of thinking about Feminism.
2. Hunger: Memoir about Roxane’s body... This book made me think about a whole lot of things differently.
3. Difficult Women: Wonderful collection of short stories.

Non-Fiction Books that tremendously increased my knowledge base!

4. Moonless, Starless Sky by Alexis Okeowo: Courageous stories of women from the continent of Africa.
5. Promises to Keep by Sharon Robinson: The story of Jackie Robinson told by his daughter Sharon.
6. Evicted by Desmond Robinson: If you want to build your empathy for those who are struggling, read this book.
7. The Awakened Woman by Tererai Trent. You talking about a story of resilience and possibilities....WOW
8. A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah. A true story of a child soldier... heartbreaking!
9. When They Call You A Terrorist by Patrisse Khan-Cullors. This is a memoir about a courageous life... I realized from reading this book that The Black Lives Matter Movement is all about LOVE.
10. Revolutionary Suicide by Huey P. Newton: Gave great insight into the Black Panther Party.
11 and 12 Eloquent Rage by Brittney Cooper: Read it twice and will read it over and over. IT. IS. GOOD.
13. May We Forever Stand by Imani Perry: Excellent overview of an important song in the African American history.
14. The Origin of Others by Toni Morrison: What a good look at a different perspective on some of those “classic novels."
15. We Were Eight Years in Power by Ta-Nehisi Coates: Eight essays over the eight years of President Obama’s presidency.....AMAZING!
16. The Courage to Hope by Shirley Sherrod: This lady was wrongfully fired by the administration of President Obama. What a great story of courage; she should run for the office of President of the Unites States. REALLY!!!

Non-Fiction Books that read like novels:

17. Gucci Mane by Gucci Mane: This is a well-written, though-provoking memoir.
18. Born A Crime by Trevor Noah: Incredible, Incredible memoir.
19. The Sun Does Shine by Anthony Ray Hinton: Y’all, this man was on death row for thirty years for a crime he did not commit... Amazing.
20. Barracoon by Zora Neale Hurston: Love this story about the last living man who was turned into a slave: Cudjo Lewis.
21. Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mom by Amy Chua. Interesting story about parenting.

Self-Help Books:

22. The Will To Change by bell hooks: Great reminder that Black men and women NEED each other.
23. Getting the Love You Want by Harville Hendrix. Trying to make sure that I stay on track with getting the love that I want.
24. Rising Strong by Brene’ Brown: A book about vulnerability... How to “gracefully go through it.”

Fiction Books That Are Written In Verse:

25. Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur: Wonderful book about heartache and finding yourself. Teens love this book.
26. Electric Arches by Eve. L. Ewing: Collection of stories about Black girlhood and womanhood. I love this book with my whole heart.
27. Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds: Great story that will leave you wanting more.
28. The Good Braider by Terry Farish: Great, immigration story.
29. One Last Word by Nikki Grimes: A collection of poetry that gives a new look at some of the great voices of the Harlem Renaissance.
30. The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo: A coming of age novel that I think many young adults will absolutely love; it is completely relatable.

Some Good Old-Fashion Fiction Novels:

31. Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison: The most wonderful novel that is about so much but mainly love.
32. Sing Unburied Sing by Jesmyn Ward: This. Book. Is. A. Must. Read. Love those stories that are set in the American South.
33. An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon. A science-fiction novel about life on a slave ship.
34. An American Marriage by Tayari Jones: Contemporary story of the American life and its complexity.
35. Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng. A great story of how our lives are intertwined.
36. The King is Always Above the People by Daniel Alacron. A pretty, awesome collection of short stories.
37. Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue. A story of folks who immigrant to American and eventually realize that the American Dream may not be for everybody.
38. Augustown by Kei Miller: Amazing Carribean story.
39. Long Divison by Kiese Laymon: One of my students read this book and loved it so, I tried it. It is good. Laymon is a Mississippi writer who is putting a contemporary spin on many societal problems.
40. Underground Railroad  by Colson Whithead. A very good look at The Underground Railroad that is written in a very engaging manner.
41. The High Mountains of Portugal by Yann Martel: This book is all about LOVE.

Young Adult Novels:

42. Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown: A true story about boys trying to get the Olympic Gold in the 1936 Berlin Olympics.
43. Dear Martin by Nic Stone. This is a good look at the life of a teenage boy who wants to know “What would Martin do?"
44. The Brief and Wondrous Wife of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz: The protagonist in this story wants to fall in love.
45. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle: A science fiction novel about fighting a good fight.
46. Children of Blood and Bones by Tomi Adeyemi: This is Black folks Harry Potter and so much more.
47. After the Shot Drops by Randy Ribay: A book about friendship, basketball, and fitting in.
48. Black Panther by Ronald Smith: T’Challa is sent to The South Side of Chicago because of a conflict in Wakanda.

Graphic Novels:

49. Black Panther by Ta-Nehisi Coates: I read all three volumes and the images are AMAZING.
50. American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang: a story about identity and fitting in.
51. March One by John Lewis: A refreshing look at the Civil Rights Movement.

Professional Education Books:

52. Readicide by Kelly Gallagher: This book made me change the way that I teach novels...we don’t want to over-teach or under-teach.
53. Embarrassment by Thomas Newkirk: A great book on how embarrassment may be hindering people, particularly students.
54. No More Independent Reading Without Support by Barbara Moss and Debbie Miller. A good look at how to help students as they read independently.

Books I Could Have Skipped:

55. The Leavers by Lisa Ko: A mom leaves her eleven-year old son and the book SLOWLY unfolds.
56. We’re Going to Need More Wine by Gabrielle Union: A collection of stories about Union’s life which really did not tell much.

I hope that this list will inspire a whole bunch of folks to pick books from this list or a book from any other place and READ, READ, READ... and Inspire someone else to read.


Holler, if you want to know more about any of these books.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...