In which I review all of the books I had the pleasure of reading these past three months! These are my favorite summer reads!
The Power of a Plant
Stephen Ritz (Founder of Green Bronx Machine)
In The Power of a Plant, Stephen Ritz, founder of Green Bronx Machine, discusses the influence nature and urban agriculture has had on his successful teaching career. Urban agriculture and growing green are the foundation of his teaching (and he does a damn good job at both teaching and urban farming!). Ritz’s philosophy is that healthy food grows healthy minds, and he is proving his philosophy to be correct with all the success he has had with his organization. Stephen Ritz is growing minds and food in our South Bronx — the poorest congressional district in America and a food desert — and I commend and thank him for all he does! Thank you Mr. Ritz for your service to our borough — it was a honor to meet you (See the picture here!). Buy the book here!
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
In this coming-of-age story, Adichie gives us an insight into the world of a successful and canny woman, who migrated to the United States from Nigeria, living out her “American Dream”. Adichie discusses important societal topics in her witty tale such as, the experiences of new Americans and immigrants, what it means to be black in America for the non-black American, and what it means to be a woman, specifically a black woman, in society. And with a thrilling love story involving first loves as well, Americanah truly has it all! No wonder it has won several literary awards and was chosen as New York’s “One Book, One New York” read — the largest community book club. Purchase the book here!
I Am Malala
Malala Yousafzai (Activist and Influencer)
I Am Malala is the story of Malala Yousafzai, the girl who was shot by the Taliban for pursuing an education in war-torn Pakistan. In her book, Malala discusses the power and importance of an education for all, and advocates for allowing young girls and woman to receive an education in countries where they are restricted that right. In her autobiography, Malala talks about how even when she was shot and threatened by the Taliban for going to school, she continued to attend school and receive the education she deserved — she persisted. Now, as an activist for education and women’s rights, Yousafzai travels around the world and speaks to great audiences promoting the right for girls to attend school, with the Malala Fund. She is a true inspiration to myself and many others. Buy her autobiography here!
Kafka on the Shore
In this magical tale, Murakami introduces us to a new and incredible world — a world in which fate connects the most diverse group of people, leeches fall from the sky, and ghosts meet individuals in both dreams and reality. Murakami was way ahead of his time in 2005, presenting questions of gender and transgender rights, and providing great insightfulness about the true reasons for war and violence, in this classic. Fall in love with literature all over again and gain a new understanding of the world with Kafka on the Shore. Purchase it here!
“The truth will abolish fear.” – Ziauddin Yousafzai, father of Malala Yousafzai, teacher and activist