Dana Spiotta is one of those writers who inspires intense devotion in readers. Once I had read one book by her, I eagerly sought out everything else she had ever written. Her newest novel, Innocents and Others, tells the interlocking stories of a documentary filmmaker, a director of mainstream "chick flicks," and a blind woman who spends her days calling random people on the telephone. It builds upon many of the themes established in her... (read more)Recommended by Marlena W.
In The New Jim Crow, Michelle Alexander argues that mass incarceration is the single most pressing civil rights issue of the 21st century. Tracing the history of the prison boom from the Reconstruction to the War on Drugs, Alexander's informative and enraging account will open your eyes and spur you to action.Recommended by Marlena W.
First and foremost, The Fire Next Time is the most powerful account of being black in America that I have ever read. However, it is also a beautiful exploration of love, hate, history, death, and the universal human need to make art in order to heal. Baldwin delves into the darkness of humanity without ever once turning away from the light.Recommended by Marlena W.