February Reading Plans – one idea…

black-history-month_2

Reading across the interwebs, there have been loads of bloggie book people who have joined in with reading-related challenges and similar goals at various times. I’m not usually a challenge kinda person (although the TBR Challenge is always an appealing one, informal though my own personal one maybe).

So, I was perusing my own TBR when I realized that I had quite a few books on the topic of POC (specifically those of African descent) or by POCs. Add to that the fact that February is Black History Month in the U.S., and I realized that I could, in fact, do my own themed reading month (all very unofficial and flexible though it may be).

With this in mind, I’ve gathered up some titles from my own shelves and thus have collected a small shelf of recommended reading for the next few weeks or so. Seeing as the month is recognizing the history of African-Americans, I’ve limited this themed reading project to books by or about people who are linked with the African continent (and its numerous countries) in one way or another. So – as I tend to get a bit skittish about tackling reading lists and such (even if it is one that I myself have devised), this is a very laid-back (almost falling over) type of project so it may or may not work. We will see. I’m thinking that this will be a rather cool way to spend the next few weeks, and I’m hoping on learning quite a bit along the way.

Here’s the book list that I gathered up from my TBR shelves:

  • Like One of the Family: Conversations from a Domestic’s Life – Alice Childress (1956) F
  • Saturday is for Funerals – Unity Dow and Max Essex (2010) NF
  • The Known World – Edward P. Jones (2003) F
  • Mother Country: Britain’s Black Community on the Home Front 1939-1945 – Stephen Bourne (2010) – NF
  • Kaffir Boy – Mark Mathabane (1986) NF autobio
  • My Traitor’s Heart: A South African Exile Returns to Face his Country, his Tribe, and his Conscience – Rian Malan (2000) NF
  • The Girl who Married a Lion and Other Tales from Africa – Alexander McCall Smith (2004) F
  • 12 Years a Slave – Solomon Northrup (1853) NF
  • The Color Purple – Alice Walker (1982) F – and it’s epistolary!! Be still my heart.
  • Merle and Other Stories – Paule Marshall (1985) F-short stories
  • The Other Side of Truth – Beverley Naidoo (2000) F-YA
  • Native Son – Richard Wright (1940) F
  • They Poured Fire on Us From the Sky: The True Story of three Lost Boys from the Sudan – Benjamin Ajak, Alephonsion Deng, Judy A. Bernstein (2005) NF – autobio
  • Little Bee – Chris Cleave (2008) F
  • Rules of the Wild: A Novel of Africa – Francesco Marciano (1998) F
  • So Long a Letter – Mariama Bâ (1979) F – and it’s epistolary. Be still my heart!
  • A Walk Around the West Indies – Hunter Davies (2001) NF-travel

Other potential titles – these I’ll have to get from the library:

  • Brown Girl Dreaming – Jacqueline Woodson (poetry)
  • Boy, Snow, Bird – Helen Oyeyemi F
  • A Raisin in the Sun – Lorraine Hansberry Play
  • Poetry – Alice Walker? Gwendolyn Brooks? Langston Hughes? Songs of Jamaica – Claude McKay?
  • The Girl who Saved the King of Sweden – Jonas Jonasson (F) “charming”

I’m trying to reach a realistic balance between an overtly negative viewpoint of books to more positive takes. It seems very easy (and pretty superficial) to just pick one side or another, especially with the volatile history of race relations across the world, so if you have a title to recommend for me, please let me know. Happy to add to the list!

 

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