Each month, a fiction and nonfiction book suggestion will be posted with links to order on Amazon or through other book sellers. You can order a book for yourself, as well as order a copy to be mailed directly to a loved one in prison (note that some prisons do not allow hardcover books). The books can create topics of discussion for our community email list and with your loved one. Many people find that reading the same book as a loved one in prison is a meaningful way to do something together and that it gives them a shared experience to talk about.
Books for December 2017
Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler
Amazon description: “Octavia E. Butler, the grande dame of science fiction, writes extraordinary, inspirational stories of ordinary people. Parable of the Sower is a hopeful tale set in a dystopian future United States of walled cities, disease, fires, and madness. Lauren Olamina is an 18-year-old woman with hyperempathy syndrome–if she sees another in pain, she feels their pain as acutely as if it were real. When her relatively safe neighborhood enclave is inevitably destroyed, along with her family and dreams for the future, Lauren grabs a backpack full of supplies and begins a journey north. Along the way, she recruits fellow refugees to her embryonic faith, Earthseed, the prime tenet of which is that ‘God is change.’ This is a great book–simple and elegant, with enough message to make you think, but not so much that you feel preached to.”
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander
Amazon description: “Once in a great while a book comes along that changes the way we see the world and helps to fuel a nationwide social movement… [T]his book directly challenges the notion that the election of Barack Obama signals a new era of colorblindness. With dazzling candor, legal scholar Michelle Alexander argues that ‘we have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it.’ By targeting black men through the War on Drugs and decimating communities of color, the U.S. criminal justice system functions as a contemporary system of racial control—relegating millions to a permanent second-class status—even as it formally adheres to the principle of colorblindness.”
Let us know if you have suggestions for books for future months.