Reading Black and White

I’m not a nonfiction reader, but this year, I’m trying to be. So far, four out of the six books I’ve read have been nonfiction:

  • The Library Book by Susan Orlean
  • Shale Play: Poems and Photographs from the Fracking Field by Julia Kasdorf and Steven Rubin
  • Born A Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah
  • Calypso by David Sedaris.

Now the next five I have planned also are nonfiction:

  • White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America by Nancy Isenberg
  • Fantasyland: How America Went Haywire: A 500-Year History by Kurt Andersen
  • Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America by Michael Eric Dyson
  • What Truth Sounds Like: RFK, James Baldwin, and Our Unfinished Conversation About Race In America by Michael Eric Dyson
  • When They Call You A Terrorist: A Black Lives Matters Memoir by Patrisse Khan-Cullors and Bandele, with a foreword by Angela Davis

As I write this, I also have on my shelf a physical copy of We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy by Ta-Nehisi Coates and I really need to read it, so I’m adding it to the list.

I borrowed White Trash and Fantasyland from the Free Library of Philadelphia, so I will be reading them first. I own the other four, after buying the three pictured on the bottom as part of a Kindle sale. We also have Fantasyland at our local library so I know I can get a physical copy of that, if I need.

I don’t talk much politics here on the blog, if at all. To be honest, after Trump’s election, I just wanted to crawl under a rock and not come out for (hopefully) the next four years as the world collapsed around all of us. I have had the Coates book for more than a year, but just couldn’t bring myself to read it.

What’s changed? I don’t really know, but I know it’s way past time for me to catch up on what’s going on around us and I’m hoping these books will help me on that journey.

Have you read any of the books I plan on reading? What did you think?

6 thoughts on “Reading Black and White

  1. I’m finding myself turning more to nonfiction nowadays. I haven’t read anything on your list, but Michael Eric Dyson is someone whose work I want to read.


  2. I read lots of nonfiction, but I find myself filled with anxiety when I try to read too much that is political. I feel completely helpless when it comes to politics and I waver between wanting to speak out about all the awfulness in our world I see and wanting to move and escape the mess that America seems to be. I end up doing and saying nothing, except to the few people I know who do more than parrot the hate talk they see on FB and hear on talk radio. That, of course, makes me feel worse.


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