BusBoys and Poets

After I remembered the sexual abuse in my family, and as I get older, I’m triggered by books that have sex or violence.  I don’t know how I ever read them in the first place; I read The Shining, Helter Skelter, The Stand, a biography of Adolph Hitler, etc. Don’t ask why. It was probably because the books reminded me of my parents.

I’ve read two of the books on this list: The Big Sea and Malcolm X.  Hughes’s book has a fair amount of  history in it. Malcolm X was a little too academic for me, but I did learn Malcolm X wasn’t who I thought. He definitely wasn’t. The man…you’ll have to read it yourself. I own Things Fall Apart and The Dewbreaker and plan  to read them eventually.

I hope you enjoy the list. I love lists.

Fiction

A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
Pulitzer Prize-winning novel tells the story of Ignatius J. Reilly and is known as a masterpiece of human folly and tragedy

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Tells the story of the rise and fall, birth and death of the mythical town of Macondo through the Buendia family, a masterpiece of fiction.

The Dew Breaker by Edwidge Danticat
This book moves between the lives of Haitians in Haiti in the 1960s and New York City today. It’s an unforgettable story of love, regret and hope. 

Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
Probably the best-known African novel and one of the world’s most influential literary masterpieces.

Stone Butch Blues by Leslie Feinberg
Published in 1993, this novel is considered to be the finest account written about the complexities of a transgendered existence. 

Walden by Henry David Thoreau
A collection of quotations by Thoreau, famous author, naturalist, and transcendentalist.

The Cut by George Pelecanos
The Cut is the latest confirmation of why Pelecanos is “perhaps America’s greatest living crime writer” (Stephen King)

Non-Fiction

Borderlands/La Frontera by Gloria Anzaldua
Essays and poems written by Gloria Anzaldua’s experience as a Chicana, a lesbian, and writer challenge the way we think about identity. 

Radio Free Dixie: Robert E. Williams and the Roots of Black Power by Timothy Tyson
The story of Robert F. Williams, one of the most influential black activists of the generation that toppled Jim Crow laws.

Reborn: Journals and Notebooks 1947-1962 by Susan Sontag and David Rieff
The first three volumes of Susan Sontag’s journals and notebooks that reveal one of the most important writers and thinkers of the 20th century.

A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn
Historian Howard Zinn tells America’s story from the point of view of America’s “othered” – women, factory workers, African-Americans, Native-Americans, working poor and immigrant laborers. 

The Big Sea: An Autobiography by Langston Hughes
Langston Hughes recounts memorable years in Harlem and Paris. Princeton Professor Arnold Rampersad writes the introduction.

Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein
Naomi Klein challenges the myth of Milton Friedman’s free-market economic revolution.  Klein shows how Friedman and his followers have harnessed terrible shocks and violence to implement their policies. 

Malcolm X by Manning Marable
Marable’s acclaimed biography of Malcolm X does justice to one of the most influential and controversial figures of the twentieth century American history. 

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