5 Books that deserve more shine (and 5 that can go away)


The other day, I hit 200 followers, and 1,000 likes! Thanks everyone for all of the support! Here’s to 200 more followers!

I wasn’t diggin’ this week’s Top 10 Tuesday topic, so I switched it up a little bit. I actually think I’m pretty good at representing the books I love, and the books I hate (no one’s ever accused me of hiding my opinions…). Instead of simply doing 10 great books  I haven’t mentioned recently, I’m doing 5 books that deserve more shine, and 5 books that can exit stage left. As always, feel free to leave some additions in the comments!

5 Books That Deserve More Shine

1.Discourse on Colonialism, by Aime Cesaire: Have you ever read a book and wished you had the author’s smarts? That’s how I felt after reading Discourse on Colonialism. Aime Cesaire, one of the fathers of the negritude intellectual movement, was an absolutely brilliant man. This book was required reading during my first semester of college, alongside Pedagogy of the Oppressed (see below) and Wretched of the Earth. Each of these books are mighty all on their own, but together? They pack a mean punch.

2. An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States, by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz: I have a confession, y’all. I haven’t finished this book yet. Historical books take me twice as long to read, because I contextualize the history I’m reading within the history I already know. However, I haven’t heard nearly enough about this book, considering how much I like it already.

3. Pedagogy of the Oppressed, by Paulo Freire: Anyone who knows me is aware that this is one of my top 10 most influential books– ever. It’s an extremely heavy read, as you can likely tell from the title, but Paulo Freire is a genius. This book was required reading in the first semester of college, alongside Discourse, but it really deserves a reread.

4. Jubilee, by Margaret Walker: Brown Girl Reading and One Small Paw hosted a Black History Month readalong for Jubiliee. I couldn’t join, because I already had a crammed dance card, but this is yet another book that I recommend. It’s a big one, I warn you, but its entirely worth it. This book was required reading freshman year of high school, and was probably my favorite pick of that entire year.

5. The Things They Carried, by Tim O Brien: Yet another of my required books, this time for 12th grade English class. It’s one of the few books over which my non-reading boyfriend and I can bond. Yes, it’s about war, but it’s more about the people who fight these wars.


5 Books That Can Exit Stage Left

1. Chronicles of Narnia, by C.S. Lewis: I tried to read this series. I really did. It’s just such a snooze fest, that I didn’t even particularly want to see the movies, either. I’ve enjoyed other C.S. Lewis books, though, such as The Four Loves.

2. Heart of Darkness, by Joseph Conrad: One of the worst assignments of 10th grade was having to juxtapose Heart of Darkness with Ellison’s Invisible Man. Each student was given a different book to compare and contrast with Ellison– I thought it was somewhat insensitive essay my teacher to make Heart of Darkness among the choices. If I had the chance to write that paper again, I’d write the hell out of that essay, but at 14, I don’t think I was quite ready. I just ended up…angry and confused.

3. 50 Shades of Grey, by E.L James: I’m not one of the people who thought 50 Shades of Grey was awful. I was highly entertained throughout the trilogy, even though I’d never date Christian or Anastasia Grey. That said, the book seemed to inspire way too much adoration and vitriol from both sides of the aisle. It’s really not enough of a series to feel that strongly about, guys. Lets just let it fade away, and make room for more Sylvia Day.

4. Faces at the Bottom of the Well, by Derrick Bell: This is the only book from our book club that I haven’t enjoyed thus far. I just wasn’t a fan of the book’s format, and the author’s writing style. I like books that say what they need to say, and I thought the use of allegory detracted from this. I’m not sure if there is/was hype surrounding this book, but I just wish this book would have stayed away from my book club. Which is really a shame, because it had so much to say.

5. The Giver, by Lois Lowry: I never, ever, ever understood the hype around The Giver. It just wasn’t special. It’s mandatory reading where I live, as part of our middle grade dystopian unit. Just the idea of putting The Giver alongside real books such as Brave New World and 1984 makes me cringe.

What books do you wish had gotten a little bit more shine? Which books do you wish people would stop talking about ? Let me know in the comments below!

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  1. […] 5 Books that deserve More Shine (and 5 that can go away) […]


  2. Adiradanique

    I’ve been eyeing a copy of Discourse on Colonialism for a while now at my local secondhand store. I feel as if I need to own a copy before I start reading it so I can highlight as I go. As for the books you said can exit stage left smh I partially agree about Chronicles of Narnia, but my only suggestion is to read the ones with the four kids in them otherwise, the books are totally boring and confusing. The Giver though was good for what it was to me as a kid. LOL I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy it. I think if you’re a true dystopian fan, it’s probably too watered down. I never liked that genre too much so I was perfectly fine with this middle-grade version of dystopian fiction.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The ending of The Giver really killed it for me! As for Discourse… it’s really a mandatory read. It’s a really short book, but don’t expect to read it quickly. You’re absolutely right about wanting to highlight and whatnot. That’s the only way to really read any of the Negritude writers!


  3. alloftheseprompts

    I admit I read none of the top five, but I agree so hard with numbers 2 and 3 on the latter list. I love The Giver, though.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Yay congrats! 🙂
    Love your list, the Paulo Freire was such a rewarding read but whoa it nearly killed, not what you’d call easy reading ;D Love the Indigenous People’s History, would likely take me ages, but sunds so good. I think if that’s something you’re into, the Decolonizing Methodologies book is also brilliant, if you haven’t read it yet. I’m reading bits and bobs of it for months now, but it’s great, just love that I get to savor these now after college.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That definitely sounds like something I’d be interested in! And goodness, Freire is not an easy read. At all!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m so glad you shook it up for this Top 10 Tuesday. I was starting to get tired of all these posts that looked the same. lol

    I’m not sure how I would feel reading Narnia as an adult, but I read it for the first time as a 14 year old and still loved it!! It’s honestly the series that made me fall in love with Fantasy. But there are certainly better books out now.

    I read Heart of Darkness when I was a pretentious little twerp who tried to impress his peers by reading all these fancy older books. I think I managed to convince myself that I actually enjoyed Heart of Darkness. At least that’s how I remember it. One of these days I should reread it to see if I actually do think it’s a worthwhile text. But I probably won’t get around to it ever again — just a guess judging by my TBR pile.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I tried to read Narnia around age 14 too, and it just didnt work for me! I wanted it to though, so I could be like the other kids. My mother bought me the first couple, and I dont think I got through them all. Perhaps as an adult, I’d like them, since I have an increased appreciation for CS Lewis in my adulthood.


  6. Aw, I love The Giver, and I would totally count it as a “real book.”

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I sputtered a bit over your calling Narnia a snooze fest 😉 but I’m totally with you on The Giver! My TTT

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I feel like I’m the only person who didnt like Narnia! Sigh.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Lol it’s ok. I’m one of the only people who didn’t like The Book Thief 🙂


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