Summer Reads

Many people have emailed me or direct messaged me on social media to ask me, “What are you reading?”  or “Do you have any book recommendations?”  I quickly respond and then later think ,” Oh , no, you forgot to tell them about this book!”  I contemplate sending them another message and then I think  this person is going to think you are insane if you keep messaging about books! So, I thought maybe I should create a list so that I can share some of my faves.  These are not all of my favorites just a few.  I have so many favorites that I can’t share them all.

The Hate You Give by Angie CollinsThe_Hate_U_Give-5

I read Angie Collins’ debut novel this summer and I simply fell in love with the protagonist, Starr.  She is an intelligent young black girl who lives in a very tough neighborhood but attends private school in a ritzy area.  She has to learn to balance these two worlds all while dealing with a tragic event in her life.  This story will hit close to home in light of recent events on the news and it is a great way to broach the conversation of racial inequity in schools, police brutality,  and the idea of double consciousness.  I highly recommend this book.  Although it is young adult literature, I recommend it for adults too.

Ready Player One 


by Ernest Cline

This book will have you on the edge of your seat.  Initially, when I read the summary, I thought that I would not like it because I don’t like video games and I didn’t like Sci-Fi and Fantasy until I read this book!  I couldn’t put it down and I even persuaded my husband to read it . Although I think, he was hooked at video games and virtual reality.  Cline takes you on an adventure and you will never view your world in the same light after reading this book.  This is one of my top ten of all novels and I am currently reading Armada by Ernest Cline.  There have been talks that this will be turned into a movie and I am patiently waiting.  I recommend Ready Player One for all but especially for teenage reluctant readers who love video games.

The Misadventures of An Awkward Black Girl by Issa Rae


If you enjoyed the hit HBO series “Insecure”, then you will love this book!  This was my first audiobook and I listened to it night and day.  I have never been able to finish and audiobook but I couldn’t stop listening to Rae’s witty banter about topics that I have never heard discussed outside of my mind. You’ll find yourself thinking , “Oh, my God, I thought I was the only one!”  I was laughing out loud as I washed dishes which startled my 4-year old on many occasions.  Issa Rae deals with difficult topics like divorce, body image, racism, love and “talking white” with poignancy and humor.  This book will not disappoint so pick it up today from your local library or bookstore.

Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vancehillbilly

“There is no group of Americans more pessimistic than working-class whites. Well over half of blacks, Latinos, and college-educated whites expect that their children will fare better economically than they have. Among working-class whites, only 44 percent share that expectation.”  From reading this I learned so much about how we are so different yet so alike. I connected with his childhood on so many levels.  I saw my family in his family.   Many people feel that Trump won the election because he appealed to working class whites who had been ignored by political parties in the past.   J. D. Vance takes the reader into a world that is not regularly discussed.  He shares the trials and tribulations of his childhood that led to him studying law at Yale.  This book will enlighten and inspire you.

The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquezunknown americans

Henriquez takes us on a journey through the lives of immigrants.  In a time when our country is divided on so many issues, this novel told through multiple perspectives helps to shed light on the plight of immigrants in America.  We share their joys, pains, and struggles as we hear their stories.Working in a school where over 70% of my students are Latino and immigrants, I had a deep interest in the novel.  My students always share their stories with me so I felt I knew a great deal before reading but I was wrong.  Their is still more to learn.  The author doesn’t hold back and addresses the issues head on so that no one will remain the same.   The stories of these unknown Americans will change your life forever.

Americanah by Chimamanda Ndiche


If you don’t know the difference between an African-American and an American African you will after reading this book. Americanah is the story of a Ifemelu, a young Nigerian woman.  Ifemelu leaves Africa and comes to America.  She begins writing a blog about race and her experiences in America being African and not black.  Unlike the immigrants in Cristina Henriquez’s The Book of Unknown Americans, Ifemelu didn’t come to the U.S. running from poverty.  Instead she is , “raised well fed and watered but mired in dissatisfaction.”  This is one of my all time favorites.  This book was selected by my book club and I am forever grateful.  I enjoyed it so much that I had to find out more about this author.  As a result, I read, Purple Hibiscus, Half of a Yellow Sun, and I am looking forward to reading We are all Feminists.  I was also intrigued when Beyonce featured Ndiche one her hit single “Flawless”.  Everyone knows I love Beyonce so this was a no brainer. I had to read all of her books.  I was not disappointed by any especially Americanah.


For more of my top selections follow me on GoodReads. Happy Reading!cropped-cicely-lewis-ed-s.png

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