Book Lists for All Humans #2


I didn’t expect it to be so soon but here we are, courtesy of this list of Top 10 Books to Make You a Better Person in The Guardian. Four white men (sounding good so far, right?), three men of colour, three white women. Verdict = could do better (the pun wasn’t intended but I’ll take it).

There’s a problem with this list because I don’t know what making someone a ‘better’ person means. Who decides the criteria?

I’ve gone for books that made me think about the world differently (and avoided any I included in list #1 although they’re all relevant too); feel free to interpret it in your own way and leave your suggestions in the comments.

An Untamed State – Roxane Gay
Haiti, kidnapping, rape, privilege, poverty

The Country of Ice Cream Star – Sandra Newman
Dystopia, AAVE, disease, love, war, religion

Under the Udala Trees – Chinelo Okparanta
Love, religion, ‘cures’ for homosexuality, Nigeria, women

Just Call Me Superhero – Alina Bronsky (translated by Tim Mohr)
Disability, friendship, love, sexuality

Blonde Roots – Bernadine Evaristo
Counterfactual slave narrative, race reversal

The Repercussions – Catherine Hall
War photography, Afghanistan, love, women, history

Sofia Khan Is Not Obliged – Ayisha Malik
Hijab, dating, religion, family, writing

Tell No Tales – Eva Dolan
Far right, immigration, politics, crime, corruption

The Book of Memory – Petina Gappah
Race, class, albino, women in prison, perspective

The Glorious Heresies – Lisa McInerney
Working class, feminism, religion, crime, coming of age

(Links to my reviews.)


15 thoughts on “Book Lists for All Humans #2

  1. Now THIS is a great list! Okparanta, Newman, Hall, Gappah, McInerney! Wonderful books that challenge how we think about the world.
    I need to read the others.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This list is wonderful and I will be making purchases. I would add Anna Burns’ No Bones and Eimear McBride’s A Girl is a Half-formed thing. Each helped me connect with women’s writing that took me by surprise.


  3. Anna Burns is an exceedingly superior writer (says someone who published her early unique writing years ago!).
    I’ve read 2 Eva Dolan’s and enjoyed them, now for this one. I also read and appreciated Catherine Hall’s affecting, thoughtful Repercussion, . Now for others from your list.
    Thank you

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Umm… Will you consider Indonesian female writers? Leila S. Chudori and Laksmi Pamuntjak have got their books translated into English. Oh, you’ve got some interesting lists here by the way :)))

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: Nieuwsronde: de goed nieuws editie | De Zesde Clan

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