“I believe we have an obligation to read for pleasure, in private and in public places. If we read for pleasure, if others see us reading, then we learn, we exercise our imaginations. We show others that reading is a good thing.”—Neil Gaiman
Summer is a great time for reading! In the past, I have mostly read academic works during the brief break between the spring and fall semesters, but this year I’ve decided to create a list of books from multiple genres that touch upon themes such as racism, sexism, discrimination, literacy, autism, and migration. Reading widely allows us to develop empathy and emotional intelligence, and exploring questions related to racism and discrimination through the lens of a graphic novel, for example, is just as valuable as delving into these topics through journalistic fiction and scholarly research.
Here is my current summer reading list:
American Born Chinese
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness
Between the World and Me
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Raising Generation Rx: Mothering Kids with Invisible Disabilities in an Age of Inequality
The View from the Cheap Seats: Selected Nonfiction
Only two items on this list were purchased: The New Jim Crow and The View from the Cheap Seats. All other books were borrowed from my local public library and George Mason University. The ability to purchase an expensive hard cover book is a luxury. This is why it is imperative to support our local libraries whenever possible. It is frightening to me as a scholar and a teacher to imagine a world without free access to books.
“We have an obligation to support libraries. To use libraries, to encourage others to use libraries, to protest the closure of libraries. If you do not value libraries then you do not value information or culture or wisdom. You are silencing the voices of the past and you are damaging the future.”—Neil Gaiman
I will be posting frequently about how I am progressing through this self-made reading list as well as other activities that I am completing throughout the summer months related to editing and publishing. More soon!