Books to Challenge You

By Rediscovered Books

By Rediscovered Books

After a week of sheltering in place, I was ready to take a break from escapist fiction. I wanted books that would give me something to think about and chew on for a while. Here's a list what I've been reading. I chose these books to challenge me, make me think critically, and maybe change my outlook on the world. 

-Gwen

Recollections of My Nonexistence: A Memoir

Rebecca Solnit

$26.00 $23.40

Rebecca Solnit's newest work is a memoir, but it hits just as hard as Men Explain Things to Me. I read this in one day, taking breaks between each major section. Her prose reaches out and pulls you into her world, making painfully accurate observations about what being a woman in America is really like and how some things have changed, and others haven't. She gives language to things I have experienced, but never been able to put into words.

The Great Believers

Rebecca Makkai

$16.00 $14.72

Read a book that stars as its central characters people who were deeply and personally affected by the last pandemic this country saw: HIV/AIDS. With this book, Makkai ripped my heart open and then sewed it back together again.

Race Against Time: A Reporter Reopens the Unsolved Murder Cases of the Civil Rights Era

Jerry Mitchell

$28.00 $25.20

I've been listening to this one as an audio book from Libro.fm and have been engrossed in these stories of murders of Civil Rights workers in the 60s that went without justice for decades. Jerry Mitchell, the author, helped re-open a number of cases in Mississippi and here tells the story of exactly how it all happened.

Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You: A Remix of the National Book Award-Winning Stamped from the Beginning

Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi

$18.99 $17.47

This is the young adult version of Ibram X Kendi's "Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America". This book explained the history of racist ideas in a succinct and powerful way, while adding nuance to my understanding of figures like Abraham Lincoln and Malcolm X.

Silent Spring

Rachel Carson

$15.99 $14.71

Never would I have imagined that a book about the casual misuse of organophosphates by the US Government would capture my attention so thoroughly. However, Rachel Carson writes so well and with such detail that I can easily see how this was the book to truly spark the environmental movement in the US.