At Chalkboard, we believe that books are a powerful portal into new perspectives! As Dr. Seuss says, “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go!” Here’s what Chalkboard staff is reading this summer.
Annie: I’m diving back into a second read of The Brothers K by David James Duncan. I first read it over 15 years ago and I actually cried when I realized I was down to only having a few pages left. I’m really curious to see if I still connect the same way now. I’m also looking for someone to read Survival Math by Mitchell S. Jackson with me! It just seems like something I’ll want to discuss with someone, you know? I’m helping to facilitate Chalkboard’s Distinguished Educators Council, and they’ve decided to read White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo together this summer, so I will also be picking that up.
Ashley: I can’t stop telling everyone I know to read Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer! The author is a botanist, an indigenous woman, and a mother, and this book offers such a generous vision of what it does and can mean for all of us to be native to place. I’ve also been getting a lot out of Decolonizing Wealth by Edgar Villanueva and Heavy by Kiese Laymon. These are the kind of books that make me grateful and hopeful about the work I’m doing, engaging in important conversations and change.
Bahia: I’m reading Race After Technology by my amazing friend Ruha Benjamin. This book explores how racism and bias have been transmuted into technology and the biased algorithms used to track and exploit people on our everyday devices, social media outlets and systems. My daughter and I are also enjoying The Well-Read Black Girl together, which is an anthology of essays by Black women writers, on the theme of recognizing ourselves in literature, edited by Glory Edim.
Janet: I have a whole stack of books going at the moment, including Mindful of Race by Ruth King and My Grandmother’s Hands by Resmaa Menakem. Both of these books dive deep into the dynamics of oppression, working through racialized trauma, and understanding the complexity of racial identity and the ways these currents move through our lives and histories.
Jenny: I’m reading Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward, which is so beautifully written, I can’t put it down. I’ve also just started How Long 'til Black Future Month? by N.K. Jemisin, a collection of short stories in the speculative fiction genre by a Black author. The first story describes a utopian society full of joy and acceptance where children are taught how not to hate. The story stretched my imagination in a hopeful and challenging way.
Julie: I am part of a family full of huge soccer fans, so we have just gone to the library and requested every single book written by a member of the US National Women’s team in celebration, as well as Forward and Wolfpack, both by Abby Wambach!
Mike: I’ve been really geeking out on the 50th Anniversary of Apollo 11! Did you know the moon has a smell?! I’ve always been fascinated by space, but my interest was piqued when I took my family to see the Apollo 11 movie, in theaters this summer. I loved this recent Smithsonian article on What You Didn’t Know About the Apollo 11 Mission and really wish I had been in Washington, DC to Watch the Apollo 11 Anniversary Show That Was Projected Onto the Washington Monument!
Whitney: This month I’m taking some vacation and digging into All the Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr. My sister bought the book for my daughter Hazel, who in turn bought a copy for me. She is eagerly anticipating my take on something she found so stunning and beautiful, including giving me a weekly goal for number of pages read!