Okay friends, I know you all have been eagerly waiting for a new list of books that I loved reading. I apologize that it’s been so long. I will admit that I’m trying to read more than just historical fiction. I’ve expanded my horizons and I’ve been reading a lot of non-fiction and those aren’t books that can be read quickly.
Specifically, I’ve been making an effort to read about systemic racism. Racism has always existed, but lately you can’t watch a news broadcast without hearing about police violence against Black people and the latest racial slurs yelled at Asians. This has left me feeling helpless — how can I create change when I’m just one person? Will racism ever end?
Sometimes the best (and only) thing we can do is try to understand and educate ourselves.
So with that being said, here are some of the books I read last year that I continue to think about.
Books about racism
Caste: The Origins of our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson
If you see this book in a bookstore, it can look intimidating. But once you read it, you will learn how race has shaped unspoken caste systems. When you think of caste systems, India’s division of classes might come to mind. However, Wilkerson provides evidence and examples of how caste systems continue to be present and how it affects humans beyond the colour of their skin.
I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown
All I can say is Chapter 5, Whiteness at Work! Brown articulated what it can feel like to be a woman of colour in an office setting. This book was easy to digest and I read through it in one sitting. If you want to educate yourself about race, this is a good one to start with.
Seven Fallen Feathers: Racism, Death, and Hard Truths in a Northern City by Tanya Talaga
As Canadians, we need to understand the systemic racism and discrimination against Indigenous peoples across the country. This book shares the stories of seven Indigenous students who moved to Thunder Bay to study high school. All tragically died under various and in some cases, unknown, circumstances. There is a lot that we will never be able to understand, but this book combines historical information with the stories of these students to tell the broader truth of racism towards Indigenous peoples.
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Occasionally, I bring it back to high school days and read a YA novel. For any non-readers out there, YA means Young Adult. The Hate U Give is a story about Starr, a young African-American girl living on the rough side of town, while attending a prestigious and privileged high school. She witnesses her friend getting fatally shot by a police officer, an experience that brings up a lot of complexities and trauma. Although this is a YA novel, there is a lot of depth to the story that captures the experiences of violence against Black people.
Other books I loved
Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle by Dr. Emily Nagoski
All women need to read this book. Dr. Nagoski discusses burnout with scientific facts, but in a way that makes sense. It’s like you’re at brunch with your girlfriends, but there is an expert in the room who is serving you mimosas, validating your feelings, and telling you the facts of why it is the way it is.
The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner
This one is for all of my regency sisters and brothers out there. The Jane Austen Society is the cutest book about the cutest village and their love for Jane Austen. The book shares the story of villagers of different ages and from different walks of life, who come together to preserve the history of Jane Austen. All Austen lovers will nerd out.
Promise Me, Dad: A Year of Hope, Hardship, and Purpose by Joe Biden
This book is so beautifully written and gives you a glimpse of President Joe Biden’s life. After I read this book I would tell people that Joe Biden is truly “the Tom Hanks of politics”.
So these are some of my recent faves. Right now I’m extremely behind on my goal of 45 books this year. I’ve read eight books, but Goodreads says I should be at 11 now. If you want to follow along on my book journey, add me as a friend on Goodreads.