Books Worth a Read
Updated: Jul 3, 2020
Now more than ever do people have the time to catch up on their to-read list. I was originally about to compile a list of easy reads and inspirational novels, but considering the pressing issues regarding race, sexuality, and equality in America, we at Project Angel Island felt it necessary to suggest a few books that are both educational and relevant to current events.
How to Be an Anti-Racist by Ibram X. Kendi
Kendi’s nonfiction book is an informative work that discusses the roots of racism, racism through the ages, and the actions one can take to be actively anti-racist. Intermingled with contemporary history and personal anecdotes,How to Be an Anti-Racist is a moving and compelling book that masterfully blurs the line between facts and feelings, demonstrating the need for emotion and fact to go hand in hand in the formation of laws and the betterment of humanity.
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
The Hate U Give is a novel written by Angie Thomas about a young Black girl named Starr. It discusses the impact of white privilege, microaggressions against people of color, protest, prejudice, economic divisions on the basis of race, and police brutality, to name a few.The Hate U Give is a great book for younger readers to indulge in, as the pop-culture references and the mannerisms that Starr and her family have are easily relatable and set the story in the present time while simultaneously tackling the harder subject topics listed above and more.
The Beauty Myth: How Images of Beauty are Used Against Women by Naomi Wolf
We have all heard people say things like “She aged so well!” Naomi Wolf’s bookThe Beauty Myth argues why this social mentality, that women automatically lose some countenance value as they age, and more misogynistic mentalities are damaging to all women.The Beauty Myth discusses internal misogyny, self value, and social control placed upon women. In these ways, Wolf discusses how modern societal standards are just as restrictive as the traditional roles of being a housewife or homemaker.
We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
In her humorous and quick-witted bookWe Should All Be Feminists, Adichie answers the question: What does feminism mean today? Filled with personal accounts as a Black woman alongside factual arguments, Adichie writes about the marginalization of women and how it is not only detrimental to females – it is a detriment to men too. This book drives home the concept that female rights are not exclusive to women; they are human rights tha teveryone deserves.
The Gay Revolution: The Story of the Struggle by Lillian Faderman
In The Gay Revolution: The Story of the Struggle, Faderman writes about the ongoing struggle for equal rights for the LGBTQ+ community since the 1950s. As supplements to the stories of protests in the 60s, counter reactions in the 70s and 80s, and the AIDS epidemic that stigmatized the community, Faderman provides interviews with then-current politicians, public figures, and members of the LGBTQ+ community at the time to provide firsthand accounts of the environment at the time. In her book, Faderman demonstrates how the fight for equality in the LGBTQ+ community is far from over.
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
In her debut novel, Albertalli writes about Simon, a gay boy who has yet to come out.Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda is a coming-of-age story about self truth and acceptance of oneself, despite one’s flaws and quirks. Simon struggles with the perceptions of his peers and the stigma surrounding the LGBTQ+ community, and his growing feelings for someone he believes is unattainable. This is a good book for younger readers who crave relatable yet moving stories with LGBTQ+ characters.
Generation Z: A Century in the Making by Corey Seemiller
It’s safe to say that Gen Z is one of the most criticized generations by older generations yet. From its fluency with technology to its constant documentation of current events via social media, Generation Z has gotten a lot of flack. Seemiller’s book dives into the influences that shaped Gen Z’s attitudes, beliefs, aspirations, and motivations from both a historical and scientific perspectives. ButGeneration Z: A Century in the Making is not only an analysis of today’s youth; it serves as an inspirational prophecy of what is to come in the future thanks to the legacy of Generation Z.
it’s a gen z thing by Kaitlyn Thitibordin
Our last book on this list is one that I wrote. I wrote this book to show older generations how the stereotypes placed upon Generation Z by them are both wrong and hurtful. As a part of Gen Z, I know that we are more than others make us out to be. We are strong, resourceful, and competitive, not weak, lazy, and apathetic. I compiled a group of true stories of my peers to show the depths in which Gen Z can go.
by Kaitlyn Thitibordin
Co-Founder & Creative Director