The Reading List, Week 4, 2018
The second instalment of our weekly rundown of the week's best books by black writers.
By Books Africana Posted in Issue #2, The TBR List on January 27, 2018 0 Comments
CELEBRATION! Previous Introducing... Courttia Newland Next

As we mentioned last week, every week, we will be reviewing books that you need to add to your TBR list. Here are this week’s recommendations:

Wild is the Wind by Carl Phillips

In his book, Wild Is the Wind, the author, Carl Phillips portrays love as once restless, reckless, but still desired because of its revered ability to bring stability. In the bid to achieve this, he gives more credence to estrangement than communion, weighs the past as history against the same as memory, and then dives deep into the ability of the past to teach as well as mislead us. The poems in this book and how they are in sync with the philosophical, meditative and lyric modes are proof that Phillips’ creativity is one that the world of poetry can’t live without. His innovative method and distinct voice are crucial for the craft’s evolution.

Get the book: Amazon


Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly

This is the phenomenal true story of the four African-American female mathematicians at NASA who helped America achieve some of the greatest moments in her space program, through their calculations. It is soon to be a major motion picture that will feature Taraji P. Henson, Janelle Monae, Kirsten Dunst, Kevin Costner and Octavia Spencer.
Ever before John Glenn orbited the earth or Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, there was a group of female mathematicians known as “human computers,” who used pencils, slide rules and adding machines to calculate the numbers that were needed to launch rockets and astronauts into space. Here is an audiobook brings the stories of these women back to life; Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson and Christine Darden were the four black women who lived through the era of Civil Rights, Space Race, the Cold War, and even the gender equality movement. Their work forever changed the face of NASA and that of the country as well.

Get the book: Amazon


The Birds of Opulence by Crystal Wilkinson

The Birds of Opulence by Crystal Wilkinson is the Kentucky Voices series’ latest release, published by the University Press of Kentucky. This Crystal Wilkinson’s second novel is a lyrical, lush new take on the twentieth century legacy of slavery among women. It tackles, as well, the mental and emotional issues that is universally relatable in the twenty-first century: our great and little abuses of loved ones, how we ignore and do not give any importance to the little changes that are actually signs of mental illness, the injury marks that our fears and low self-worth leave on our children.

Get the book: Amazon



Black Bone: 25 Years of the Affrilachian Poets by Bianca Lynne Spriggs (Editor),‎ Jeremy Paden (Editor),‎ Frank X Walker (Contributor)

“The Appalachian region stretches from Mississippi to New York, encompassing rural areas as well as cities from Birmingham to Pittsburgh. Though Appalachia’s people are as diverse as its terrain, few other regions in America are as burdened with stereotypes. Author Frank X Walker coined the term “Affrilachia” to give identity and voice to people of African descent from this region and to highlight Appalachia’s multicultural identity.” By doing this, a group of artists known as the Affrilachian Poets were inspired to work together and use their writing as their voice against the continuous stereotyping of Appalachia as a racial region.
The book, Black Bone is an amazing collection of both new and classic work, featuring pieces from Frank X Walker, Nikky Finney, Gerald Coleman, Crystal Wilkinson, Kelly Norman Ellis, and many others. This collection is proof of a groundbreaking group and its enduring legacy.

Get the book: Amazon


The Matrix by N. Pritchard

The Matrix is a book of concrete poetry. It is one of the few that were published by a major American publishing house. Initially, it was published in the year 1970 by Doubleday. At that time, The Matrix was not very well supported, and suffered being passed over by the international concrete poetry movement. In spite of this, The Matrix, because of its distinct and rewarding poetics, remains a revered item for fans of poetry.

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