Wednesday, February 17, 2021

A short reading list for my friends at ProQuest

Today for lunch, I was hanging out (no socially distant) with some folks from ProQuest. We were talking books, so of course, I have to hook'em up with a short book list. (Here's a slightly extended list). 

So here are 5 books that are good ones to dive into: 

1. Short stories. Heads of the Colored People (2018) by Nafissa Thompson-Spires. A fun and funny and darkly comedic collection of short stories.  

2. Novel: The Nickel Boys (2019) by Colson Whitehead. He remains one of my favorites. He's usually a humorous writer, but he takes up a serious subject here. The writing remains top-notch.

3. History/biography: Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom (2018) by David Blight. This massive biography on Douglass is outstanding. I thought I knew a lot about Douglass, but after reading this book, I had humbly accept my status as a mere amateur Douglass scholar. Thanks Blight. 

4.  Novel: Song of Solomon (1977) by Toni Morrison. I planned to produce a list and leave Morrison off. But, who would I be not to include one by the G.O.A.T? Many literature scholars say Beloved (1987) is arguably one of the best novels ever written. Nah, they're wrong. Song of Solomon is the best novel.

5. Autobiography: The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass (1845) by Frederick Douglass. It's an oldie but goody. Douglass is such a wonderful connector to so many different strands in African American literature and history. People make lists and sometimes take Douglass's book for granted. Not me. He rounds out our short list.

• A few books to consider (A 2020 list for ProQuest)

1 comment:

Ted Diamond said...

Thank you so very much!

I really enjoyed your talk. Having recently finished reading David Blight's bio of Frederick Douglass (my first read on Mr. Douglass), I was riveted.

I look forward to tackling these readings.