It's begun to feel like moving forward in time means moving backwards in ideology, and it's more important than ever to be reading widely and deeply about subjects and characters with which you're not entirely familiar. The American experience is diverse; Americans are diverse; and the books you read should reflect that reality. Plus, reading can increase empathy and knowledge — and there is something to be said about reading bringing people together.
Last month, Bustle kicked off the American Woman Book Club with the inaugural book club pick: Juliet Takes a Breath by the dazzlingly eloquent and hilarious Gabby Rivera. In a conversation at Strand Bookstore in New York City, Rivera and Books Editor Cristina Arreola discussed important and timely subjects like intersectional feminism, the past and future of the LGBTQ+ community, growing up as Latina in the Bronx, and the portrayal of boys of color in media. (Also: hot librarians and feminist literature.) If you missed it, don't worry — you can watch it all on the Book-Lovers on Bustle Facebook page.
One of the most anticipated books of 2016, Brit Bennett's debut novel explores the repercussions of big secrets in small communities. Rebellious and heartbroken Nadia, only 17 years old and mourning her mother's recent suicide, strikes up a relationship with Luke, a pastor's son. But when Nadia gets pregnant, their relationship takes an unexpected detour. As she copes with her decision about the pregnancy, Nadia befriends Aubrey, a pious teenager with a tragic past. Over the next decade, the lives of Nadia, Luke, and Aubrey intersect and intertwine in complicated ways, and the ghosts of their teenage years return to haunt their adult lives.
Remember to check out Bustle on Goodreads to contribute to conversations and book discussions with readers from all over the world. The American Woman Book club is meant to facilitate discourse between readers and friends, so join Bustle in working towards education, empathy and action.
The Mothers by Brit Bennett, $16.11, Amazon