Backing Hitler

Robert Gellately

Robert Gellately’s close history of the Nazi period focuses on one particular question: how much did ordinary Germans know about what was going on?

Citizen

Claudia Rankine

Claudia Rankine’s book-length lyric poem is adorned with an image of a torn black hood—a reference that could be any of the many black men and women who have been abused by the white state.

The Underground Railroad

Colson Whitehead

The most talked-about feature of Whitehead’s novel of the underground railroad is the railroad itself: reimagined as an actual railroad, with tunnels and tracks and steam engines and crazed conductors, it makes for stunning, cinematic imagery.

The Handmaid’s Tale

Margaret Atwood

It’s a refrain of late to say that this—Margaret Atwood’s most famous book, now thirty-one years old—is suddenly relevant again.

Sister Outsider

Audre Lorde

More than three decades after this collection was first published, it remains as critical, as relevant, as unremitting as ever.

Black Against Empire

Joshua Bloom & Waldo E. Martin, Jr.

A comprehensive, authoritative, and nuanced look at how the Black Panther Party was born, the nature of its methods and politics, and the many forces that caused it to unravel.

Davis has spent more than five decades fighting for Black liberation, women’s liberation, and prison abolition, and in this brief book she renews those calls in lucid and moral terms.

The Fire Next Time

James Baldwin

“If we…do not falter in our duty now, we may be able, handful that we are, to end the racial nightmare, and achieve our country, and change the history of the world.”

White Rage

Carol Anderson

Anderson traces the repeated push and pull of black advancement and the white response that sought to defeat it, from Reconstruction through Jim Crow, mass incarceration, and the dismantling of the Voting Rights Act.

Disrupting White Supremacy from Within

Jennifer Harvey, Karin A. Case & Robin Hawley Gorsline

Written and edited by a group of white Christian theologians, this book looks at how white supremacy is constructed and maintained, how the church is implicated in that system, and what individuals and communities can do to dismantle it.

Hope in the Dark

Rebecca Solnit

By arguing that hope is a prerequisite of success, Solnit makes the case that even when we are most inclined to despair, we have to choose to hope.

The Fifth Season

N. K. Jemisin

The first book of “The Broken Earth” trilogy, The Fifth Season tells of a world routinely undone by huge, world ending earthquakes.

Networks of New York

Ingrid Burrington

Burrington’s message is that by noticing the physical dependencies that make up the metaphorical “cloud,” you will also notice a few other things.

Zahav

Michael Solomonov & Steven Cook

This has rapidly become my go-to cookbook.

This collection of essays explores what we should call this new geographic epoch marked by fossil-fueled climate change.

Fledgling

Octavia E. Butler

In this, Butler’s last book, she returns to the notion of symbiosis so thoroughly explored in Lilith’s Brood.

Worlds of Exile and Illusion

Ursula K. Le Guin

These three novels, Le Guin’s earliest, explore the experiences of visitors on three different planets.

Aurora

Kim Stanley Robinson

Aurora follows a generational space ship as it travels to a far away solar system in search of a planet that can be safely terraformed.

Field Notes from a Catastrophe

Elizabeth Kolbert

Kolbert’s essays span Kyoto, Bush-era climate denialism, ocean acidification, Canadian tar sands, and melting glaciers.