Ahh…another Top Ten Tuesday. I’ve been away for a few weeks because the topics presented didn’t really appeal to me. But hey–what’s past is past, right?
- The Bluest Eye, Toni Morrison. I read this book on my own when I was in high school, and I must admit that it was one of the first books by a Black woman author I’d ever read. Later on I would realize that this was completely unusual, being that I had been through 11 years of education in school and none of my teachers had ever bothered to teach a book written by a Black woman. I was completely enthralled with this novel. I still am. This book is one of the reasons why I am who I am, a Black woman educator who is earning a Ph.D. in literacy education, to make sure that ALL students have access to books that are culturally relevant to them.
- Manuscript Found in Accra, Paulo Coelho. In this book, a philosopher answers questions from people on life and the connections we make to other humans and just existing in general. It’s a very simple format, but the knowledge it imparts is essential reading. When I first read this I was going through a hard time in my life and found this book illuminating. I’ve read it twice since.
- I’m Thinking of Ending Things, Iain Reid. I’ve reviewed this here before and could read and review it again a few more times, just to give it the justice it deserves. Normally I don’t care for books that are too grainy, too ambiguous in their execution but this one is one of the few that actually succeeds in that task. There’s even a website where people can type around and talk about what they think this book means. It’s not the what or the how, but the interpretation of both that’s interesting here.
- The Color Purple, Alice Walker. This is the book I read after The Bluest Eye that continued to open up the world of Black women’s perspectives and ultimately my own. Even though I love the movie, the book is much better.
- The House on Mango Street, Sandra Cisneros. Every now and then I read this book to marvel at its beautiful complexities and remind myself that I’ll never be as good of a writer as Sandra Cisneros.
- Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth, Warsan Shire. If you watched Beyonce’s “Lemonade” visual album, then you’ve already heard this woman’s words. Most of the spoken word on that album was written by Shire and published in her first volume of poems back in 2011. I copped this book back in 2013 after reading Warsan’s poems on Tumblr and kept it in my backpack for the next 3 years, I needed it that much. I read this book often, as a matter of fact, I’ve bought this book for other people several times as gifts.
- A Monster Calls, Patrick Ness. I’ve reviewed this here before and still don’t think I’ll edit it to say anything more than what I have. It’s just something about this book sticks to your bones and won’t let you forget it. It’s truly extraordinary.
- Charlotte’s Web, E.B. White. I read this book so much as a kid that I remember I broke the spine. My mom bought me another one, and the pages became so dog-eared it was barely readable. Needless to say, I truly loved this book growing up. Still do.
- Wonder, R. J. Palacio. I remember reading the last pages of this book in a Panera restaurant and crying so hard that one of the employees approached me and asked if I was alright. I pointed to the book and told her, “you gotta read this.”
- Fly Away Home, Eve Bunting. The first couple words of this picture book completely grab you and shake your soul: “My dad and I live in an airport. That’s because we don’t have a home and the airport is better than the streets.” It’s a book about a young child named Andrew who lives with his dad in the terminal of a busy airport in an unnamed city. The ending brings no resolution but a hint of hope. Needless to say, its definitely a book worth buying.