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Book Club Selects 2021-22 Books #WeNeedDiverseBooks

By Joyweesemoll @joyweesemoll

The Community for Understanding and Hope Book Group has been meeting since June of 2008 - over 13 years. In that time, we've read 120 books, specializing in books about race in America.

For the second year in a row, we had to give up our traditional potluck. In our virtual meeting, we still had a great time talking about and choosing our books for the coming year.

I'll share the winners list, first, and, then, the long list of other books we considered. At the end, I'll link to posts with lists from previous years.

Here are the books we'll read in 2021 and 2022:

  • Four Lost Cities: A Secret History of the Urban Age by Annalee Newitz
  • An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz
  • Yellow Bird: Oil, Murder and a Woman's Search for Justice in Indian Country by Sierra Crane Murdoch
  • Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X Kendi
  • Color of Money: Black Banks and the Racial Wealth Gap by Mehrsa Baradaran
  • So You Want to Talk about Race by Ijeoma Oluo
  • The Butterfly Effect: How Kendrick Lamar Ignited the Soul of Black America by Marcus J. Moore
  • The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together by Heather McGhee
  • Unbound: My Story of Liberation and the Birth of the Me Too Movement by Tarana Burke
  • The 1619 Project by Nikole Hannah-Jones

We made some hard choices, given that these were the books we left behind:

  • The Movement Made Us by David Dennis Jr
  • Deep Delta Justice: A Black Teen, His Lawyer, and Their Groundbreaking Battle for Civil Rights in the South by Matthew Van Meter
  • The Kidnapping Club: Wall Street, Slavery, and Resistance on the Eve of the Civil War by Jonathon Daniel Wells
  • The Wall Between by Anne Braden
  • Damaged Heritage: The Elaine Race Massacre and A Story of Reconciliation by J. Chester Johnson
  • The Wrong Side of Murder Creek: A White Southerner in the Freedom Movement by Bob Zellner
  • Exit West by Mohsin Hamid
  • Maladies of Empire: How Colonialism, Slavery, and War Transformed Medicine by Jim Downs
  • Second Founding: How the Civil War and Reconstruction Remade the Constitution by Eric Foner
  • Black Radical: The Life and Times of William Monroe Trotter by Kerri K. Greenidge
  • The Wages of Whiteness: Race and the Making of the American Working Class by David R. Roediger
  • American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins
  • The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead
  • The Second: Race and Guns in a Fatally Unequal America by Carol Anderson
  • The Young Lords: A Radical History by Johanna Fernandez
  • Daughters of Smoke and Fire by Ava Homa
  • Stolen: Five Free Boys Kidnapped into Slavery and Their Astonishing Odyssey Home by Richard Bell
  • The Failed Promise: Reconstruction, Frederick Douglas, and The Impeachment of Andrew Johnson by Robert S. Levine
  • 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus by Charles C Mann
  • The House of Broken Angels by Luis Alberto Urrea
  • The Dead are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X by Les Payne and Tamara Payne
  • Overground Railroad: The Green Book and the Roots of Black Travel in America by Candace Taylor
  • A Slap in the Face by Abbas Khider
  • Begin Again: James Baldwin's America and Its Urgent Lessons For Our Own by Eddie S. Glaude Jr.

I've written posts like this multiple years, here are previous ones:

I'll start now collecting titles to consider next year. Let me know of any books that you think my book club would like.

Book Club Selects 2021-22 Books #WeNeedDiverseBooks

About Joy Weese Moll

a librarian writing about books

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