Not signed up yet for YALSA’s 2016 Hub Reading Challenge? Read the official rules and sign up on the original post. Anything you’ve read since the awards were announced counts, and the challenge runs until 11:59pm EST on June 23, so sign up now!
This has not been my most successful Hub Challenge year, due a lot to the 500+ page adult book I’m working on and my discovery that I like video games, but I am trying! I’m a little behind but the two most recent titles that I’ve read I have really enjoyed. First was Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates. I actually started it in February and then put it down. At the time, I wasn’t able to commit my full attention to is and I felt like the book – which is a letter to his son about police violence, institutional racism, and the joy and pain of African American and black cultures – deserved more. So I waited a week or two and started again when I had fewer distractions. It’s a very interesting and different for me since I have very little experience with the situations that Coates describes: I’m white and from a relatively privileged background. But I think it’s so important to read outside your experience in order to have empathy, compassion, and just plain knowledge of people different from you. Coates’ writing is lyrical and moving and worth taking time to digest. I hope this book is required reading while also hoping that someday our lives will be such that African American sons won’t need books like this from their fathers.
On a slightly different track, I also listened to Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan on audiobook and can highly recommend it. It makes sense that this was an Odyssey Honor title since I can’t imagine reading this without musical excerpts. The audiobook includes different readers and harmonica music to make the story of three lives changed by one magical harmonica during WWII come to life! The book made me tear up multiple times and the story and production are amazing. If you’re looking for a great family listen for a road trip this summer, I would start here.
Next up for me is another audio, this time from the Top Ten Amazing Audiobooks list: Randall Munroe’s What If? Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions. Munroe’s webcomic xkcd is a favorite and I’m looking forward to his blend of science and humor. Plus, Wil Wheaton, nerd spokesmen and former U.S.S. Enterprise crewmember narrates so it’s sure to be fun!
What are you reading? Add your thoughts in the comment below and join in the conversation on social media, too! We’re chatting on Instagram, Twitter, and the 2016 Hub Challenge Goodreads group. When you’ve completed the Challenge, be sure to fill out this form.
— Anna Tschetter, currently reading Queen of the Night by Alexander Chee