Book Studies

About Book Studies

Regular book studies (Zoom and in-person) address topics of faith, justice, and peacemaking. Recent studies have focused on:

Breathe

by Imani Perry

There are so many wonderful books out there and more come out every day! After MUCH research, we have chosen the book “Breathe” by an outstanding woman writer, Imani Perry (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imani_Perry ) who we were thrilled to discover! She has written several other books that look wonderful also.This book is addressed to her two sons, focusing on a black mother’s approach to raising two black sons in America today. (2020 NAACP Image Award Nominee – Outstanding Literary Work (Nonfiction) Best-of Lists: Best Nonfiction Books of 2019 (Kirkus Reviews) · 25 Can’t-Miss Books of 2019, focusing on a black mother’s approach to raising two black sons in America today. (2020 NAACP Image Award Nominee – Outstanding Literary Work (Nonfiction) Best-of Lists: Best Nonfiction Books of 2019 (Kirkus Reviews) · 25 Can’t-Miss Books of 2019

We offer this book as a kind of “book end” balance to the Coates book, as it parallels the letter form and the topics that Coates covers, but from a woman and mother’s perspective. Though a short book we will give it the time it needs. During the study of this book, we can consult as a group as to what longer more ambitious book we would like to choose next and/or ideas you might have on whether we want to stay with book studies or together move on to some other methods of learning and inter-acting.

As always, this book is available in many forms. Here is  the Amazon link, but of course feel free to purchase it from independent book sellers if you so choose. Breathe: A Letter to My Sons: Perry, Imani: 9780807076552: Amazon.com: Books   (many good reviews and summaries)

YouTube very brief clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=neXKhi9XwJA

Living as prayer. I think that is when I am at my best. Because seeing through prayer provides a remarkable clarity. Not in the doctrinal sense, but because it is, at best, the lens of a love for every tattered inch of this earth.” ― Imani Perry

“The time for unearthing is always now.” Breathe is beautiful and powerful, and it’s the best memoir I’ve read all year. I read this book slowly, to soak it in instead of rushing to “create content.” This letter to her sons is also a meditation that reckons with what it means to be Black in America. It’s cerebral and emotional in all the best ways literature can be.” Amazon Reviewer

Since we know you need time to purchase and start reading the book, we will not begin until Monday February 21 at 7 pm EST. Each Monday evening session will last for about 90 minutes.  The zoom room opens at 6:45 pm for chatting.  As usual, all are welcome, but we would like you to let us know if you will be coming, so we can send you the Zoom link. The book can likely be read in a day or two, but we are sure it will be bring forth much pondering and class discussion. If possible, by the first session try to read the first 50 pages, (the section called “Fear”) by the first class though we will likely not cover it all at that class. As usual, mark or underline parts you would like to bring up for discussion during class. And as usual you are welcome to come to as many or few sessions as you are able. Come whenever you can as YOU make the study worthwhile! Any questions or concerns, feel free to contact us, and please invite others. 

Hope to see you soon!

Please contact facilitators Dean and Judi Martineau for Zoom connection and more details at topdot@gmail.com 

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The New Jim Crow

by Michelle Alexander

 

The October Book Study will focus on The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander, described by critics as:  “An extraordinary book,” “Devastating,” and “An instant classic.”  

Seldom does a book have the impact of The New Jim Crow.  Since it was first published in 2010, it has won numerous awards and was on the New York Times bestseller list for nearly 250 weeks.  It’s been cited in judicial decisions, read in countless faith-based and secular book clubs, and adopted in campus and community reads.  It has inspired artists, philanthropists, policymakers, community leaders, and a generation of racial justice activists motivated by Michelle Alexander’s searing indictment of our criminal justice system and her unforgettable argument that  “we have not ended racial caste in America: we have merely redesigned it.”

This book is as relevant as it was when published, especially because the author has brought this already excellent book up to date with a ringing preface and added content. Please make sure to read  the 2020 10th anniversary edition of The New Jim Crow (Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness) by Michelle Alexander.  In addition to her powerful preface, it has additional refinements of the first edition.                         https://www.amazon.com/New-Jim-Crow-Incarceration-Colorblindness/dp/1620971933 

 We will meet on Zoom on  Monday evenings beginning October 11 at 7:00 Eastern, 6:00 Central, and plan for each session to last  90 minutes.

Please contact facilitators Dean and Judi Martineau for Zoom connection and more details at topdot@gmail.com 

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The Sum of Us (Completed)

by Heather McGhee
Heather McGhee’s specialty is the American economy—and the mystery of why it so often fails the American public. From the financial crisis to rising student debt to collapsing public infrastructure, she found…

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Between the World and Me (Completed)

by Ta-Nehisi Coates
In a profound work that pivots from the biggest questions about American history and ideals to the most intimate concerns of a father for his son, Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a powerful new framework for…

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