Read About Our World

Thank you to Jane Mount of Ideal Bookshelf for working with her community to put together a booklist of recommendations for those looking to understand our world. Reading is always good place to start.

What's the last book that shifted your worldview? For me, reading Trevor Noah's Born a Crime was something of a revelation. I'd been very naive about the realities of life in South Africa. I held a very simplistic view of post-aparthied life that I had never had reason to challenge. That is why books are so important! They challenge us to question what we have always assumed to be true. And there are always more books for us to go deeper, challenge ourselves further, and fully engage.

Books: 
The Fire Next Time (Vintage International) Cover Image
$13.95
ISBN: 9780679744726
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Vintage - December 1st, 1992

"Basically the finest essay I’ve ever read. . . . Baldwin refused to hold anyone’s hand. He was both direct and beautiful all at once. He did not seem to write to convince you. He wrote beyond you.” --Ta-Nehisi Coates
 


Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781984820365
Availability: Backordered
Published: One World - February 25th, 2020

A ruthlessly honest, emotionally charged, and utterly original exploration of Asian American consciousness and the struggle to be human

“Brilliant . . . To read this book is to become more human.”—Claudia Rankine, author of Citizen


America's Original Sin: Racism, White Privilege, and the Bridge to a New America Cover Image
By Jim Wallis, Bryan Stevenson (Foreword by)
$17.99
ISBN: 9781587434006
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Brazos Press - February 14th, 2017

America's problem with race has deep roots, with the country's foundation tied to the near extermination of one race of people and the enslavement of another. Racism is truly our nation's original sin.


The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781620971932
Availability: Backordered
Published: New Press - January 7th, 2020

Named one of the most important nonfiction books of the 21st century by Entertainment Weekly' Slate' Chronicle of Higher Education' Literary Hub, Book Riot' and Zora


Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9781635572957
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Bloomsbury Publishing - March 5th, 2019

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

"This is a book that was begging to be written. This is the kind of book that demands a future where we’ll no longer need such a book. Essential." --Marlon James

“The most important book for me this year.” --Emma Watson

Selected by Emma Watson as the Our Shared Shelf Book Club Pick for January/February 2018


Good Talk: A Memoir in Conversations Cover Image
$20.00
ISBN: 9780399589065
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: One World - March 24th, 2020

A “beautiful and eye-opening” (Jacqueline Woodson), “hilarious and heart-rending” (Celeste Ng) graphic memoir about American identity, interracial families,  and the realities that divide us, from the acclaimed author of The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing.


Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780345528438
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Bantam - August 16th, 2016

“Accessible and authoritative . . . While we may not have much power to eradicate our own prejudices, we can counteract them. The first step is to turn a hidden bias into a visible one. . . . What if we’re not the magnanimous people we think we are?”—The Washington Post

I know my own mind.


Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor Cover Image
By Layla Saad, Robin Diangelo (Foreword by)
$25.99
ISBN: 9781728209807
Availability: Backordered
Published: Sourcebooks - January 28th, 2020

The New York Times and USA Today bestseller This eye-opening book challenges you to do the essential work of unpacking your biases, and helps white people take action and dismantle the privilege within themselves so that you can stop (often unconsciously) inflicting damage on people of color, and in t


So You Want to Talk About Race Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781580058827
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Seal Press - September 24th, 2019

In this New York Times bestseller, Ijeoma Oluo offers a hard-hitting but user-friendly examination of race in America


How to Be an Antiracist Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780525509288
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: One World - August 13th, 2019

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From the National Book Award–winning author of Stamped from the Beginning comes a “groundbreaking” (Time) approach to understanding and uprooting racism and inequality in our society—and in ourselves.


Between the World and Me Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780812993547
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: One World - July 14th, 2015

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NATIONAL BOOK AWARD WINNER • NAMED ONE OF TIME’S TEN BEST NONFICTION BOOKS OF THE DECADE • PULITZER PRIZE FINALIST • NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FINALIST
 


How Does It Feel to Be a Problem?: Being Young and Arab in America Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780143115410
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Books - July 28th, 2009

An eye-opening look at how young Arab- and Muslim- Americans are forging lives for themselves in a country that often mistakes them for the enemy


The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks about Race Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781501126352
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Scribner - June 20th, 2017

A surprise New York Times bestseller, these groundbreaking essays and poems about race—collected by National Book Award winner Jesmyn Ward and written by the most important voices of her generation—are “thoughtful, searing, and at times, hopeful.


White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780807047415
Availability: Backordered
Published: Beacon Press - June 26th, 2018

The New York Times best-selling book exploring the counterproductive reactions white people have when their assumptions about race are challenged, and how these reactions maintain racial inequality.


I'm Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9781524760854
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Convergent Books - May 15th, 2018

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • REESE’S BOOK CLUB X HELLO SUNSHINE BOOK PICK • From a leading voice on racial justice, an eye-opening account of growing up Black, Christian, and female that exposes how white America’s love affair with “diversity” so often falls short of its ideals.
 


When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781250306906
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: St. Martin's Griffin - January 14th, 2020

THE INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER.
New York Times Editor’s Pick.

Library Journal Best Books of 2019.
TIME Magazine's "Best Memoirs of 2018 So Far."
O, Oprah’s Magazine’s “10 Titles to Pick Up Now.”
Politics & Current Events 2018 O.W.L. Book Awards Winner
The Root Best of 2018


An African American and Latinx History of the United States (REVISIONING HISTORY #4) Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780807005934
Availability: Backordered
Published: Beacon Press - December 11th, 2018

An intersectional history of the shared struggle for African American and Latinx civil rights


Citizen: An American Lyric Cover Image
$20.00
ISBN: 9781555976903
Availability: Backordered
Published: Graywolf Press - October 7th, 2014

* Finalist for the National Book Award in Poetry *
* Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry * Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in Criticism * Winner of the NAACP Image Award * Winner of the L.A. Times Book Prize * Winner of the PEN Open Book Award *

ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR:


An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States (REVISIONING HISTORY #3) Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780807057834
Availability: Backordered
Published: Beacon Press - August 11th, 2015

2015 Recipient of the American Book Award

The first history of the United States told from the perspective of indigenous peoples

 


Mindful of Race: Transforming Racism from the Inside Out Cover Image
$17.95
ISBN: 9781683640813
Availability: Backordered
Published: Sounds True - June 1st, 2018

"Racism is a heart disease," writes Ruth King, "and it's curable." Exploring a crucial topic seldom addressed in meditation instruction, this revered teacher takes to her pen to shine a compassionate, provocative, and practical light into a deeply neglected and world-changing domain profoundly relevant to all of us.

With Mindful of Race, Ruth King offers:


Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780812984965
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: One World - August 18th, 2015

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE STARRING MICHAEL B. JORDAN AND JAMIE FOXX • A powerful true story about the potential for mercy to redeem us, and a clarion call to fix our broken system of justice—from one of the most brilliant and influential lawyers of our time.


Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America Cover Image
$24.99
ISBN: 9781250135995
Availability: Backordered
Published: St. Martin's Press - January 17th, 2017

NOW A NEW YORK TIMES, PUBLISHER'S WEEKLY, INDIEBOUND, LOS ANGELES TIMES, WASHINGTON POST, CHRONICLE HERALD, SALISBURY POST, GUELPH MERCURY TRIBUNE, AND BOSTON GLOBE BESTSELLER | NAMED A BEST/MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK OF 2017 BY: The Washington PostBustleMen's JournalThe Chicago Re


Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781568585987
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Bold Type Books - August 15th, 2017

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of How to Be an Antiracist, the National Book Award-winning masterwork revealing how racist ideas were created, spread, and became deeply rooted in American society.


Have Black Lives Ever Mattered? (City Lights Open Media) Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9780872867383
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: City Lights Books - July 4th, 2017

"A must-read for anyone interested in social justice and inequalities, social movements, the criminal justice system, and African American history. An excellent companion to Michelle Alexander's The New Jim Crow and Ava DuVernay's documentary 13th."--Library Journal, Starred review


The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America Cover Image
$17.95
ISBN: 9781631494536
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Liveright - May 1st, 2018

New York Times Bestseller • Notable Book of the Year • Editors' Choice Selection
One of Bill Gates’ “Amazing Books” of the Year
One of Publishers Weekly’s 10 Best Books of the Year
Longlisted for the National Book Award for Nonfiction
An NPR Best Book of the Year
Winner of the Hillman Prize for Nonfiction
Gold Winner • California Book Award (Nonfi


The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration Cover Image
$17.95
ISBN: 9780679763888
Availability: Backordered
Published: Vintage - October 4th, 2011

In this epic, beautifully written masterwork, Pulitzer Prize–winning author Isabel Wilkerson chronicles one of the great untold stories of American history: the decades-long migration of black citizens who fled the South for northern and western cities, in search of a better life.

NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD WINNER

LYNTON HISTORY PRIZE WINNER


Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?: And Other Conversations About Race Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780465060689
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Basic Books - September 5th, 2017

The classic, bestselling book on the psychology of racism -- now fully revised and updated


Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You: A Remix of the National Book Award-winning Stamped from the Beginning Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780316453691
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - March 10th, 2020

The #1 New York Times bestseller and a USAToday bestseller!

A timely, crucial, and empowering exploration of racism--and antiracism--in America


This is NOT a history book.
This is a book about the here and now.
A book to help us better understand why we are where we are.


This Book Is Anti-Racist: 20 Lessons on How to Wake Up, Take Action, and Do The Work Cover Image
By Tiffany Jewell, Aurelia Durand (Illustrator)
$14.99
ISBN: 9780711245211
Availability: Backordered
Published: Frances Lincoln Children's Books - January 7th, 2020

Featured by Oprah's Book Club on the Anti-Racist Books for Young Adults list curated by best-selling author Jacqueline Woodson

A USA TODAY Bestseller

Recommended by ESSENCE, We Need Diverse Books, ellentube, Brit + Co, PureWow, Teen Vogue, Time magazine, and New York magazine

“…a clear