In Partnership with the Santa Barbara Public Library
Calling all book nerds! We are hosting a 2020 Reading Challenge. We are challenging you to read one book per month that fits into a specified theme. Download this handy worksheet and keep track of the books you read throughout the year that fulfill our challenge. Every month, we will feature our book of the month – a book on that month’s theme that we are reading and encourage you to read with us. In March, we will host the first of four discussion meetups — one per quarter — at Municipal Winemakers (22 Anacapa St.) on March 25, 6pm. RSVP here! We’ll swap books (bring your favorites to pass along) and reveal the next Indy Book Club selection. These meetups are open to all and you do not have to have read the books of the month to come! Bring your completed sheet to our last book club meetup of 2020 to be entered for a chance to win a bookish prize! Also, We have partnered with the Santa Barbara Public Library, which will carry extra copies of the book of the month and join us for the meetups.
To find out more about the Indy Book Club, keep an eye on the print issue and this page, as we will be announcing more details as they unfold. Get started by picking up this month’s pick and joining our Goodreads group!
This award-winning debut novel by Yaa Gyasi is a beautifully written story about lineage and circumstance. The tale begins in 1770s Ghana with two half-sisters whose fates diverge dramatically — one marries a high-ranking British slaver, while the other is sold into slavery. Gyasi’s thoughtful, evocative prose takes readers on a journey from the sisters’ parallel lives through the generations of their descendants to the present day. The book explores myriad themes, including colonialism, imperialism, segregation, women’s roles, identity, and heritage.
“You want to know what weakness is? Weakness is treating someone as though they belong to you. Strength is knowing that everyone belongs to themselves.”
― Yaa Gyasi, Homegoing
Here are some other recommendations for Black History Month that you may be interested in.
When she directly addressed her rapist in a 7,100-word courtroom statement, her words went viral and sparked a national dialog about rape on college campuses. Her statement — addressed to Brock Turner, who had raped her in 2015 while she was unconscious on Stanford’s campus — was read millions of times and translated worldwide. Known as “Emily Doe,” “unconscious intoxicated woman,” and “Brock Turner’s victim” in the yearlong, national media–fraught rape trial, the sexual-assault survivor released her true identity last September — UCSB alumna Chanel Miller.
Miller decided to go public in her memoir, Know My Name. The book’s cover, blue with golden cracks, is inspired by the Japanese art of kintsugi. The art form mends broken pottery with gold, making it more beautiful than before it was broken. It’s an apt metaphor for Miller’s survival story and the healing she sought after the assault and public trial: “She reclaims her identity to tell her story of trauma, transcendence, and the power of words,” her publisher, Viking, wrote.
Brock Turner was found guilty of three counts of felony sexual assault, for which the maximum sentence was 14 years. Judge Aaron Persky, who has since been recalled by voters, sentenced Turner to only six months in county jail.
If you enjoy reading memoirs, here are some other recommendations that you may be interested in.
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