The handful of books I am currently most excited about are right here on this page. I read widely, though, and hate to ever remove a book from my list of suggestions, so I've categorized my archived picks. Scroll down and click on the links to find more of my recommendations!
A deeply moving fusion of personal discovery and political manifesto, Reading with Patrick tells of Michelle Kuo's years teaching in the Mississippi Delta and her resulting awakening. Having been raised in the Midwest the child of ambitious, upper-middle class Taiwanese immigrants and educated at Harvard, the poverty, cultural deprivation, and racism Kuo encountered in that sliver of eastern Arkansas constituted a revelation. She writes insightfully and informatively abut every aspect of her experience, from her consequent depression to the history of the Delta, to the administrative challenges of the schools. At the center of it all, though, is young Patrick, her brightest and most promising pupil, whose innate literacy she carefully nurtures during her two-year stint. When she lears just before receiving her law degree that Patrick has been convicted of murder, Kuo is compelled to return and to determine where she went wrong. By teasing out the details of the crime and its prosecution over a course of visits and letters, Kuo reveals a startling, elemental portrait of mass incarceration. This is a truly astonishing memoir. I was hooked from the first page, read it in a weekend, and was an instant evangelist. Read this book.