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?
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My ‘summer’ doesn’t start until mid August and I won’t have any time for leisure reading until then so here’s my list so far…
Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
Divine Revelation of Prayer by Mary Kay Baxter
Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee
Pepperpot: Best New Stories from the Caribbean
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I need to read Uncle Tom’s Cabin as well
I’m in the process of reading all of the Goosebump books again. It brings back so many memories for me reading them as a kid. Ironically it only takes me 40 minutes to read one entire book whereas when I was a kid it took me several days. I go through phases where I read all the time and then I don’t read at all. Most of the time I’m reading 3 books at the same time.
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