Each month, I provide Ms. readers with a list of new books being published by writers from historically excluded groups.
The aims of these lists are threefold:
- I want to do my part in the disruption of what has been the acceptable “norm” in the book world for far too long—white, cis, heterosexual, male;
- I want to amplify amazing works by writers who are women, Black, Indigenous, Latinx, APIA/AAPI, international, LGBIA+, TGNC, queer, disabled, fat, immigrant, Muslim, neurodivergent, sex-positive or of other historically marginalized identities—you know, the rest of us; and
- I want to challenge and encourage you all to buy, borrow and read them!
You’ve read the other “Best of” lists—now read the other one. You know, for the rest of us.
Each year, I review my monthly Reads for the Rest of Us lists and choose my favorite books of the year. It was such a wonderful challenge to review all the lists and choose my top 50, but here they are.
I hope you had a vibrant, positive, restful, loving and joyful year—and I wish you all the best in 2022.
American Muslim woman, attorney and political philosopher, Rafia Zakaria has written this unflinching and necessary indictment of white feminism and demand for a more radical, inclusive, transnational Black and Brown feminism.
This is the extraordinary story of three generations of Black women and the cotton sack that held the evidence of their lives as it was passed down among them. With the bag, its contents and meager archival records, historian Tiya Miles intricately weaves together the stories of these women, from 1850s enslavement in South Carolina to freedom decades later. Unique and unforgettable, this volume is also a critique of the importance of archives and those who are routinely left out, to the detriment of us all.
This expansive and meticulously researched volume provides the context and history we need to not only understand the current moment of rebellion against police brutality and systemic racism, but to maintain the momentum on the way to necessary and lasting change.
Set during the Korean fight for independence from Japan in the early 1900s, this kaleidoscopic debut is powerful, romantic and wholly unforgettable.
For this year’s Poetry for the Rest of Us column in April, I tried something a bit different: Instead of the usual blurb, I focused my thoughts about each collection into three words (okay, or phrases—it was hard!). For this collection I chose, “Pathways, coming of age, queer tenderness.”
In her latest illuminating call-to-action, award-winning writer and activist Harsha Walia examines how migration is part and parcel of colonization, capitalism and climate change.
This essential history highlights the thousands of conventions organized by Black activists and held across the country to fight for civil rights and social justice throughout the 19th century. Contributors include P. Gabrielle Foreman, Daina Ramey Berry, Erica L. Ball and more.
In their intimate memoir in letters, the brilliant Akwaeke Emezi candidly shares their reflections on gender, embodiment, queerness, creativity and relationships with the same fierce dedication and candor that defines their bestselling novels.
Welcome to a new kind of novel, one that doesn’t shy away from the complex realities of genders, parenthood, love and relationships. This is a refreshing debut.
With Do Better, racial justice educator and spiritual activist Rachel Ricketts has provided a guidebook for self-care and healing while doing the exhaustive labor that comes with fighting white supremacy.
This is the first collection of writings from Echoing Ida, a collective of Black women and nonbinary writers who report on reproductive justice, health, motherhood, justice and more.
What better introduction to feminism than one written by the founding members of the Crunk Feminist Collective? Get one for your little cousin and then borrow it to read for yourself.
Dawnie Walton’s immersive debut centers a dynamic star of the 1970s Afro-punk scene as she gives her oral history to a journalist decades later and uncovers universal themes of sexism, racism, creativity and truth.