What We Are Reading Today: Men We Reaped

Updated 13 July 2019

What We Are Reading Today: Men We Reaped

Author: Jesmyn Ward

Men We Reaped is one of the rare non-fiction books that seems destined to be a literary classic.
National Book Award Winner Jesmyn Ward “intertwines the story of her life growing up poor and Black in rural coastal Mississippi with the lives of five young men – including her brother – who died within a two-year span soon after she finished college,” said a review in goodreads.com.
Ward “writes with fire and passion as she captures the day-to-day and systemic injustices that she and her family faced and the struggles they went through,” it said.
“What’s also clear is the deep love and roots that tie her to the people and place where she was raised. This book will break your heart, make you think, and get you angry — all at once,” said the review.
The author details the difficulty of growing up poor and black in rural Mississippi.
She “writes powerfully about the pressures this brings, on the women who stand in for family in a society where the men are often absent.”
The memoir places personal tragedy against the backdrop of systemic racism and poverty.


What We Are Reading Today: Barack and Joe

Updated 19 October 2019

What We Are Reading Today: Barack and Joe

Author: Steven Levingston

Barack and Joe is an intimate look at the making of the powerful partnership between former US President Barack Obama and former Vice President Joe Biden.
Based on original interviews, media reports, memoirs and other accounts, Barack and Joe is the first book to tell the full story of their historic relationship and its substantial impact on the Obama presidency and its legacy.
Author Steven Levingston “does a great job recounting the veepstakes process of Obama picking Biden to be his running mate,” said a review in goodreads.com.
In a review for The New York Times, Jason Zengerle said that Levingston “spends much of Barack and Joe dwelling on the public-facing aspect of — and public response to — their ‘bromance. He quotes from both men’s Twitter and Instagram accounts; late-night hosts, cable news gasbags and Internet meme-makers are all frequently cited.”
Levingston is the non-fiction book editor of the Washington Post and author of Kennedy and King, Little Demon in the City of Light and The Kennedy Baby.