Remember back in grade school when Pizza Hut had the Book It program? If you read five books, then you got a personal pan pizza for free. Well, I never did get that personal pan. Why? I never put the time in to read. Ugh! It was so easy, too! One fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish. Boom. Hook me up with a pepperoni and cheese please!
Oh, the missed opportunities!
I can’t say I’m an avid reader as an adult either. This probably goes against the very fabric of loving to write. However, my schedule is so busy that I barely have time to write let alone sit down and read. Imagine my surprise when the reading bug bit me last night.
I was at my grandfather’s house searching for a book I bought him for Christmas. It’s called The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander. I’ve been wanting to read this book for quite some time. I hear it outlines what can be considered as modern day slavery, and the school-to-prison pipeline system. It may not sound interesting to some, but it behooves us all to be educated on the issues we face.
I was unable to find the book. Who knows what Granddaddy did with it? However, I found plenty of material to feed my need.
My grandfather’s basement is a mini library full of knowledge. Most of the books are old, and I never really paid attention to the selection. The book shelves received nothing more than a glance as a passed in my room to play my Xbox. This time was different. I found works I’ve never read, books from my childhood, and memories tucked away behind other books. I found my first Bible (I forgot we still had it), and my junior/senior yearbooks. After the nostalgia wore off, I started looking at classic works I’ve never read. It’s a shame that I’m 31 and I haven’t read Catch 22. Yet, I use the phrase (or similar phrasing) all the time. The Souls of Black Folks by W.E.B. DuBois is an essential read for everyone. I’ve only read a couple of pages, and I’m shocked at how much his words resonate today. This book was written in the late 1800s/early 1900s.
I saw so many titles that I started picking books off of the shelves. I walked out of there with nine books, and I intend to read every last one of them. Even Tom Sawyer which I have pretty much memorized.
This is probably one of the most boring posts I’ve written, but I don’t care. Sometimes there’s more to life than Xbox, the gym, and work. Sometimes we need to expand our minds and sharpen our intellect. Sometimes we need more.
While I enjoy all three activities, I need some mental gymnastics, too. I’ll also be able to study writing styles and incorporate them on my blog.
Here’s my list.
- The Souls of Black Folks – W.E.B. DuBois
- The Last Season – Phil Jackson
- Tom Sawyer – Mark Twain
- Black Like Me – John Howard Griffin
- The Ditchdiggers Daughters – Yvonne S. Thornton
- Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
- Soul On Ice – Eldrige Cleaver
- Friday Night Lights – H. G. Bissinger
- Black Boy – Richard Wright
That’s my summer reading. I plan on getting it done. I guess that’s the book worm in me.
What’s on your summer reading list?