7 BOOKS BY MOC THAT WILL ENLIGHTEN YOU

 
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EIGHT YEARS IN POWER BY

TA-NEHISI COATES

This book is a total of 16 stories one can say. It is based on 8 essays that Ta-Nehisi wrote and they each come with a chapter on where he was in his life, what was happening politically and socially, and why he felt compelled to tell the story. It focuses on Obama’s 8 years as President. It’s been impactful for me because it is the African American History class I was never given. And it gives me more insight into what I already felt innately about America, race and class. It also made me take off the rose glasses I had for Obama, even though I love him forever, but a reminder that all leaders are flawed.

THE ALCHEMIST BY PAULO COELHO

I read this book when I was 21 and going through a really confusing time between finishing college and dating someone who at the time was not the right person for me [we have since then squashed any wrongdoing]. This book really made me think about my journey in life, so much so that I got a tattoo that says ‘Maktub’ on my left shoulder, to remind me not to fear because it is already written.

THE COLOR OF WATER BY JAMES MCBRIDE

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This is one of the first books I read about race, class and love. James writes about being a biracial child with a Jewish mother. He goes on a quest to try and understand her history and her family. He was in search of a piece of himself. I can understand what it feels like to be from two places, and live in the grey. I read this book when I was very young and till this day it is one my favorite books. It’s a reminder that our parents travel far to give us the best they could possibly give us with what they have.

THE FOUR AGREEMENTS BY DON MIGUEL RUIZ

This book is on my to read list. Anyone I know who’s read it has said it’s transformed the way they approach their life. “In The Four Agreements, bestselling author don Miguel Ruiz reveals the source of self-limiting beliefs that rob us of joy and create needless suffering. Based on ancient Toltec wisdom, The Four Agreements offer a powerful code of conduct that can rapidly transform our lives to a new experience of freedom, true happiness, and love.”

THE FIRE NEXT TIME BY JAMES BALDWIN

I am told this is necessary and mandatory reading. My fiance read it and said that even though it was written decades ago he felt like it could have been written yesterday. That’s how I feel about the Miseducation of Lauryn Hill… I love classic things, but I wish the times had changed for the better. “A national bestseller when it first appeared in 1963, The Fire Next Time galvanized the nation and gave passionate voice to the emerging civil rights movement. At once a powerful evocation of James Baldwin's early life in Harlem and a disturbing examination of the consequences of racial injustice, the book is an intensely personal and provocative document. It consists of two "letters," written on the occasion of the centennial of the Emancipation Proclamation, that exhort Americans, both black and white, to attack the terrible legacy of racism.”

THE LINE BECOMES A RIVER BY FRANCISCO CANTU

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I came across this book while researching new Latinx authors. I read the synopsis and immediately knew that this was something I needed to add to my reading list for the fall. I did some light research on it and saw that immigration activists had protested some of his book tour stops. I think it’s important to get acquainted with what their saying as well as read the book. “For Francisco Cantú, the border is in the blood: his mother, a park ranger and daughter of a Mexican immigrant, raised him in the scrublands of the Southwest. Driven to understand the hard realities of the landscape he loves, Cantú joins the Border Patrol. He and his partners learn to track other humans under blistering sun and through frigid nights. They haul in the dead and deliver to detention those they find alive. Plagued by a growing awareness of his complicity in a dehumanizing enterprise, he abandons the Patrol for civilian life. But when an immigrant friend travels to Mexico to visit his dying mother and does not return, Cantú discovers that the border has migrated with him, and now he must know the full extent of the violence it wreaks, on both sides of the line.”

THE RELUCTANT FUNDAMENTALIST BY MOHSIN HAMID

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As I looked for books South Asian authors, I came across this novel. It was described as the best depiction of what life was like for South Asian people post 9/11. It made me think of a recent conversation we had at work where we discussed where we each were on that day. No one forgets. “Changez is living an immigrant’s dream of America. At the top of his class at Princeton, he is snapped up by an elite valuation firm. He thrives on the energy of New York, and his budding romance with elegant, beautiful Erica promises entry into Manhattan society at the same exalted level once occupied by his own family back in Lahore. But in the wake of September 11, Changez finds his position in his adopted city suddenly overturned, and his relationship with Erica shifting. And Changez’s own identity is in seismic shift as well, unearthing allegiances more fundamental than money, power, and maybe even love.”