Summer 2018 Reading List

Today marks the last day of my Spring quarter, meaning I've completed my first year of graduate school! It's hard to believe I'm about a third of the way through my program; it feels like just yesterday I started my first class. 

Now that my last paper has been submitted, I'm officially in summer mode. I'm anticipating space and time to enjoy my first summer in L.A. and though I'll be working full time, I can put the school work to the side for a few months. One of my goals is to read all the books I've wanted to read but didn't have time for! So many of you have asked about books I'd recommend, especially related to race and culture. Here's a list to get you started!

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1. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

I read this in a week or two - super easy read. It's a novel that follows the life of an African American girl who must reconcile her culture and neighborhood with her private school life, which predominantly consists of middle class white people. There is language and some adult material, though it helped me understand the perspective of someone coming into my world. 

2. Blind Spot: Hidden Biases of Good People

I just started this one! One of my classmates recommended this book. I love reading anything I can find on the subject of unconscious bias, and this one is easy to read, and less heady than some of the other materials I've studied. Don't read this if you don't want to be convicted by your own biases!

3. A Different Mirror: A History of Multicultural America

This was my favorite book I read all quarter. It made me cry and get angry at some points, but it's incredibly valuable to look at our nation's history from a minority perspective. I learned things in this book I NEVER heard before. It reads a bit like a history book, but the author also published a version of the book for youth - I hear it's easier to read. 

4. So You Want to Talk About Race?

I have not read this book yet, though I can't wait to dive in. A friend of mine recommended this and I've read this it's a great bridge between people of color and white Americans looking to understand the complexities of race. The author seems pretty straight-forward and takes on some heavy issues like police brutality, micro-aggressions, Black Lives Matter, and white privilege. 

5. The Gorilla and the Bird: A Memoir of Madness and Mother's Love

This has been on my list for quite a while! This book is actually about mental illness, another part taboo topic in our culture. There are elements of both race and culture present, and the main character is actually from my home town. I can't wait to share what I think about this one!

6. Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI

Some of my old co-workers turned me on to this book. It was named the best book of the year by Amazon and the Wall Street Journal. The book is about the Osage Indians in Oklahoma and one of the greatest and most under-reported tragedies in our nation's history. I'm looking forward to pick this up this summer. 

7. Waking Up White, and Finding Myself in the Story of Race

I haven't read this book yet, either, though I came across it on Amazon. I'm a sucker for a good memoir, and the reviews of this book said it was vulnerable, funny, and "cringe-worthy." I imagine I have similar experiences as the author, who grew up as a white American and started to realize the impact of race in our country in her young adult years. 

8. Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? And Other Conversations About Race

Listed as another bestseller, this book has been recommended by several people. The author is a psychologist and talks about the importance of addressing racial identity in our culture. 

9. The Leavers

This is a novel about an undocumented Chinese immigrant and her son's journey to finding belonging in a culture that is not his own. I haven't read it yet, though a good friend recommended it! It's a story of loss, sacrifice, and adoption. I'm sure I'll cry my way through it!

10. Intercultural Ministry: Hope for a Changing World

I read this book in my U.S. Ethnicities class and found it so practical and helpful. If you work in any sort of intercultural setting, in the church or outside, this is a great resource. It's also ready to read as many authors contributed to it and tell their own stories in each chapter.