What I'm Reading in 2017 (Pt. 1 of X)

If someone had told me in high school that, once I graduated from college, I'd have little time to read for pleasure, I want to believe that I'd have read more. But every time I think back to my reading experience in high school, I focus specifically on my junior year. That year was my laziest. I barely made it through reading Shakespeare and Sophocles and Richard Wright with a C in our accelerated English course. But Cs get degrees, so here I am.

Anyway, I have a considerable amount of books that have a range of proximities to the academic work that I do. Someone a while back asked me what I'm reading, and I said I would write a list. This includes academic and non-academic; fiction and non-fiction; physical and digital books that I either have sitting on my desk, on my nightstand, on my dining table, or my coffee table, or pulled out on my bookshelves, all of them with some kind of bookmark, all waiting to be read.

No guarantee I'll make it through the whole list, although it's still early. Some of these I've read before, some of these I intended to read last year, but never got around to it. Obviously, the list is nowhere near final.


  • Star Wars: Aftermath, series by Chuck Wendig
  • The Underground Railroad, by Colson Whitehead
  • The Three-Body Problem, by Cixin Liu (translated by Ken Liu)
  • 1984, by George Orwell
  • Invisible Man, by Ralph Ellison
  • Iron City, by Lloyd L. Brown


  • The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration, by Isabel Wilkerson (S/O to my reading buddy!)
  • Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy, by Heather Ann Thompson
  • Talking to Strangers: Anxieties of Citizenship since Brown v. Board of Education, by Danielle S. Allen
  • Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II, by Douglass A. Blackmon
  • The Other Blacklist: The African American Literary and Cultural Left of the 1950s, by Mary Helen Washington
  • Dark Matters, by Simone Brown
  • Hammer and Hoe, by Robin D.G. Kelley
  • The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime, and the Making of Modern Urban America, by Khalil Gibran Muhammad
  • Stranger Intimacy: Contesting Race, Sexuality, and the Law in the North American West, by Nayan Shaw
  • The Straight State: Sexuality and Citizenship in Twentieth-Century America, by Margot Canaday
  • Invisible Man, Got The Whole World Watching: A Young Black Man's Education, by Mychal Denzel Smith
  • The Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan, by Rick Perlstein
  • The Defender: How The Legendary Newspaper Changed America, by Ethan Michaeli
  • Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Society, by Hard Diamond
  • Lower Ed: The Troubling Rise of For-Profit Colleges in the New Economy, by Tressie McMillan Cottom
  • Ebony & Ivy: Race, Slavery, and the Troubled History of America's Universities, by Craig Steven Wilder
  • Empire of Cotton: A Global History, by Sven Beckert
  • The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism, by Edward E. Baptist
  • Knights of the Razor: Black Barbers in Slavery and Freedom, by Douglass Walter Bristol, Jr.

I'm keeping a running tab of my reading throughout the year and update my progress in future blog posts, mainly in order to hold myself accountable to read more in my spare time.