At California Humanities we love books! Here’s what some of us are reading over the winter break:
Julie Fry is reading the following:
Isabel Allende – Eva Luna
Eva Luna is the daughter of a professor’s assistant. Though she has no wealth, she trades her stories like currency with people who are kind to her. In this novel, she shares the story of her own life and introduces readers to a diverse and eccentric cast of characters.
Héctor Tobar – The Tattooed Soldier
Tobar’s debut novel, set in the 1992 L.A. riots, follows the life of Antonio Bernal, a Guatemalan refugee haunted by memories of his wife and child.
Paul Beatty – The Sellout
A satire about a young man’s isolated upbringing and the race trial that sends him to the Supreme Court.
Elizabeth Fenn – Encounters at the Heart of the World: The History of the Mandan People
A riveting account of Mandan history, landscapes, and people, Fenn’s narrative is enriched and enlivened not only by science and research but by her own encounters at the heart of the world.
Mom to-be, Erin Menne is reading the following:
Innosanto Nagra – A is for Activism
A board book that teaches generosity, compassion, and consideration for others.
Innosanto Nagra – Counting on Community
A companion book which turns a simple counting book into an inspiring call to action.
Julius Lester – Let’s Talk Race
This book is great for getting kids to talk directly about how being of a certain race influences their personal story, then asks kids to think about how people are the same, as well as how they are different.
Doreen Rappaport – Martin’s Big words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
This is a good beginner’s guide to MLK’s life and work and is beautifully illustrated
Jody Sahota just added the following to her list:
Issa Rae – The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl
Being an introvert in a world that glorifies cool isn’t easy. But when Issa Rae, the creator of the Shorty Award–winning hit series “The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl,” is that introvert—whether she’s navigating love, work, friendships, or “rapping”—it sure is entertaining.
Felicia Kelley is reading the following:
J.D, Vance – Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis
Marine veteran, Yale Law School graduate and now Silicon Valley executive and San Francisco resident, Vance’s memoir details his boyhood in America’s industrial rustbelt and the family, community and culture which shaped him. This memoir gives outsiders a look into the world of the white industrial working class and illuminates the deep cultural divide revealed by the recent elections.
Orhan Pamuk – Snow
A novel by the Nobel Prize – winning author explores Turkey’s complex multicultural history and current political struggles through the lens of a poet trapped in a remote rural town during a weeklong blizzard. Perfect winter reading!
Albert Camus – The Myth of Sisyphus
One of those books I missed in college, this classic exploration of existentialism is recommended post-election reading by John Roth, Claremont College philosophy professor (emeritus) and former California Humanities board member.