The wait is over! After many dm’s and questions about the books I post on Instagram and Twitter, I have finally decided to compile my favorites in a list to share. I’ve been a book worm since the ruffled church socks and geek glasses days so I have always viewed reading as a way to relax and escape reality. These books have aided in my growth, provided great entertainment, and even inspired my inner creative. Links to purchase these books have also been provided. I would love to hear feedback on the books via commenting on this post or my social media!
1. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
I read this book during my junior year in high school and instantly fell in love with the story and author (Zora is my girl). Hurston tells the story of Janie Mae Crawford who is approaching marriage. Raised by her grandmother, Janie is told that love is not about the fairy tale ending or actually falling in love but it is built off of what that person can provide for you. Janie has a vastly different view of love. This book showed me the importance of having your own mind when it comes to life decisions. As college students, we often worry that we will disappoint our parents if we do not follow their exact wishes or take the same approaches. Their Eyes Were Watching God taught me how to live my life and love who I want according to my ideals. Definitely a classic that I encourage you all to read.
2. Salt by Nayyirah Waheed
If I could post every poem in this book on my Instagram story and not annoy my followers, I would! These poems range from sharing stories of the diaspora, understanding the multiple identities within one self, and even inspiration for young writers. Nayyirah Waheed is a phenomenal poet and writer. Her use of strong imagery makes the words raise off the page so that you truly internalize them. 10/10 would recommend!
3. i hope this reaches her in time by r.h. sin
After finishing this book within an hour, all I could say was “damn” because this book is heavy with emotion. The book is written as if the author was leaving a voicemail to his past lover which puts the reader in a different head space and scene scenario as they read. r.h. sin is being so painfully transparent with a past relationship that you feel as though you were one of the parties involved. Reading this definitely forced me to reflect on past relationships and relate to multiple poems. A quick, yet heavy read.
4. All the Joy You Can Stand by Debrena Jackson Gandy
This interactive read will step all over your toes which is probably exactly what you need. Gandy does an excellent job of pointing out reasons why we are struggling to obtain actual joy and self love. She gives guidelines and pointers to work through these struggles and achieve true joy in your life. Like mentioned before, you will feel personally attacked throughout the book but it helped me understand character flaws and bad habits that I needed to shake. Grab your sticky notes and highlighter because this is a book that you can re-read and refer back to throughout your life.
5. Barracoon by Zora Neale Hurston
Knowledge is power. We must remember to read books about our history to better understand our culture. I haven’t started this book yet but I know it will be phenomenal because Hurston possessed amazing storytelling skills. From the looks of my social media, this book might be the top summer read. Definitely look forward to hearing feedback on this one as I plan to start reading next week.
I am still reading and on the hunt for more written gems. I will most likely do a part two of this post next month once I find new titles so stay tuned. Happy reading and enjoy these summer months!