Newcastle Library user Evan recently finished this year's 10 to Try reading challenge! He agreed to answer some questions about the books he read and share his list with us.
What was your favorite category this year?
I love history, so I really enjoyed the Read a book about history category. I read The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson, which is about an era known as The Great Migration, the early and mid-20th century, when around six million African-Americans fled the South for other parts of the country. I didn't know anything about The Great Migration before, and the level of research Wilkerson did is amazing. She researched for fifteen years, and while she mainly focuses on three people who were a part of the migration, the way she captures the details of their lives and contextualizes their lives as a part of the greater movement makes the scope feel epic.
Which category was the most challenging for you?
We Were Eight Years in Power by Ta-Nehisi Coates was great, but it's no beach read. It's a series of eight essays on topics that can be hard to discuss including slavery reparations and mass incarceration. But what I really appreciated about the book was how skilled Coates is at tying together hundreds of years of American history to make sense of how we got to where we are.
Did you read anything out of your comfort zone for 10 to Try? What was it, and what did you think about it?
I don't typically read poetry; I think many people, myself included, tend to think of poetry as unapproachable and intellectually demanding. Night Sky With Exit Wounds by Ocean Vuong is beautifully written, and Vuong's poetry shows strength and vulnerability. While it was still intellectually demanding like I thought it would be, I would say it was more emotionally demanding but rewarding. I was also interested to see that it was published by Copper Canyon Press, which is located in Fort Worden State Park in Port Townsend.
Check out the rest of Evan's 10 to Try list:
Read a Children's Book
Read a Book About a Subject That Can Be Difficult To Discuss
Read a Book Recommended By KCLS Staff
Read a Book About a Crime
Read a Book by an Immigrant Author
Read a Book by an LGBTQ+ Author
Read a Book About Family