I’ve always loved to read, and even as an adult; one of my favorite past times is to curl up with a book or a magazine. One of the best parts of any month is when my Real Simple magazine arrives in the mail and I’m able to take time to read the whole magazine from cover to cover.
I don’t just read magazines, however. My graduate coursework has me constantly reading articles from journals on education, leadership, organizations, and I try to read news articles every day. But at the end of the day, I’m in love with books. Here are my favorite books- those that I’ve read over time that truly pushed my thinking forward and changed my life.
- The Bible- As a believer, this is the most important book that I own. Reading the Bible has given me clarity, peace, comfort, and revelation. Each time I read it, I learn something new; and I’m challenged to become better.
- The Autobiography of Malcolm X- Perhaps in stark contrast to the book choice above, but this book truly allowed me to understand Malcolm X as a person, and what he believed in regards to civil rights and his faith. Most importantly, I was able to see Malcolm X as he was, and not as he was taught to me or projected to me by my teachers and history books.
- The Souls of Black Folk- I didn’t read this until college, and I was immediately struck by how relevant it was, nearly 100 years later. As with many, DuBois’ articulation of double-consciousness resonated with me. The idea of the “Talented Tenth” made me uncomfortable, and it forced me to reexamine the role that I, as an educated black woman, play in my community, my family, and the world.
- Up From Slavery- I wasn’t a Booker T. Washington fan; and as a teacher, there are still parts of me that subscribe to DuBois’ belief in liberal arts education. However, I HAD to respect the story and the hustle (if you want to call it that) of Booker T. Washington. That, by itself, is amazing; and it increased the amount of respect that I had for Booker T. Washington.
- A Lesson Before Dying- I’m not sure how I ended up reading this book, but I’ve read it every year for the past 5 years. It always helps me to adjust my focus as a teacher in a rural area; as someone who graduated from college, left, and then came back to my home state; and it allows me to think about the responsibility I have to educate others- whether formally or informally.
- Strength to Love and Why We Can’t Wait- the rhetoric of Dr. King is powerful, insightful, and expresses the need for change much better than many things that I’ve read. These books are tied because I don’t know that I could honestly choose between them.
- The Shack- this book was recommended to me by a friend during a difficult time, and it transformed the way that I viewed and approached my faith. I would HIGHLY recommend this for anyone who needs to view their faith in a different way.
There are MANY, MANY more books that I could list here..and perhaps I’ll revisit this list later on. However, those are my *top top* favorites! What are your favorite books?