When Hurston found Cudjo Lewis and asked for his story, he was thrilled that someone would finally tell his story. Hurston provides her own impassioned commentary alongside a vivid portrait she paints of a man devastated, but no longer enslaved. She writes in Cudjo’s own words, immortalizing his dialect, and develops a kinship with him that results in a rare instance where trauma is handled with care and empathy.
Francisco Cantu, the grandson of a Mexican immigrant, decides to join the Border Patrol himself. What we get is a strange narrative where men are trained against the threat of violent drug cartel, but arrest mostly the "little people," or migrants, "people looking for a better life." As he battles bad dreams and personal guilt, Cantu takes you through a casually harsh system, revealing deeply tragic stories.
Caitlin Doughty has written a book that compares all the bizarre, morbid, and fascinatingly gruesome ways that we as human beings handle death. Kicking off right here in Colorado with the nation's only open air pyre, this book is uncomfortable and entrancing — its descriptions of our treatment of the dead highlight numerous ways we approach the human condition, and how we live when others move on.
You may remember Landrieu as the Mayor of New Orleans who ordered the removal of four confederate statues. Whether you agree or disagree with his decision, this book is well worth a read for its examination of the shadow that slavery casts. Landrieu confronts his own assumptions around Southern history, and his journey leads him to realizations that are eye-opening, even for the most vehement liberal.
If you've been reading a lot of books with short blurbs on rebel girls but crave a story with more substance, look no further. Lin Zhao was a supporter of communism until her religion, family, and identity were repeatedly threatened — then she became a badass counter-revolutionary. Thrown into prison and subjected to brutal mental and physical torture, she writes her manifesto out in blood.
I've read my fair share of Norse mythology, but what makes this book so fantastic is that it's written by Neil freaking Gaiman. This means the prose is approachable while still being beautifully crafted, so it reads like one of his works of fiction. He also characterizes the gods in a way that almost makes you guilty for getting a fly-on-the-wall perspective of such mythical figures. Just read it. You know you want to.
Most books I found on lucid dreaming tended to be based in western thinking — until I came upon this one. Andrew Holecek blends the pragmatic approach of western tradition with the philosophical ideas of eastern practices. If you want to learn how to improve skills while you sleep, resolve issues with people who may not be alive, or create a dream body that transcends physical limitations, you need this book.