8 Books You Should Read This Winter

By Jayvon Howard

 Photo: A man in a hat and scarf holding a book in one hand while browsing for other books on a table. 

Photo: A man in a hat and scarf holding a book in one hand while browsing for other books on a table. 

Winter is coming!

As the days grow shorter and temperatures begin to decline we often find that the changing weather can disrupt how we spend our days. In colder temperatures we may find ourselves needing to exchange our outdoor living to more indoor activities. If you’re needing something to do, this is a great time to revisit some of your reading lists!

At Econogy we thrive on literature and knowledge to expand our imagination, deepen our experiences and develop a greater understanding of our collective and individual impacts in society.

Here are some of our favorite reads for a winter day:
 

Between the World & Me
By Ta-Nehisi Coates

Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a powerful new framework for understanding our nation’s history and current crisis. Americans have built an empire on the idea of “race,” a falsehood that damages us all but falls most heavily on the bodies of black women and men—bodies exploited through slavery and segregation, and, today, threatened, locked up, and murdered out of all proportion. What is it like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it? And how can we all honestly reckon with this fraught history and free ourselves from its burden?

 

Born on Third Base: A One Percenter Makes the Case for Tackling Inequality, Bringing Wealth Home, and Committing to the Common Good
By Chuck Collins

As inequality grabs headlines, steals the show in presidential debates, and drives deep divides between the haves and have nots in America, class war brews. On one side, the wealthy wield power and advantage, wittingly or not, to keep the system operating in their favor—all while retreating into enclaves that separate them further and further from the poor and working class. On the other side, those who find it increasingly difficult to keep up or get ahead lash out—waging a rhetorical war against the rich and letting anger and resentment, however justifiable, keep us from seeing new potential solutions.

 

The Count of Monte Cristo
By Alexander Dumas

Thrown in prison for a crime he has not committed, Edmond Dantès is confined to the grim fortress of If. There he learns of a great hoard of treasure hidden on the Isle of Monte Cristo and he becomes determined not only to escape, but also to unearth the treasure and use it to plot the destruction of the three men responsible for his incarceration. 

 

Little Book of Circle Processes: A New/Old Approach To Peacemaking
By Kay Pranis

Our ancestors gathered around a fire in a circle, families gather around their kitchen tables in circles, and now we are gathering in circles as communities to solve problems. Peacemaking Circles are used in neighborhoods to provide support for those harmed by crime and to decide sentences for those who commit crime, in schools to create positive classroom climates and resolve behavior problems, in the workplace to deal with conflict, and in social services to develop more organic support systems for people struggling to get their lives together.

 

The Man Who Planted Trees
By Jean Giono

Simply written, but powerful and unforgettable, The Man Who Planted Trees is a parable for modern times. In the foothills of the French Alps the narrator meets a shepherd who has quietly taken on the task of planting one hundred acorns a day in an effort to reforest his desolate region. Not even two world wars can keep the shepherd from continuing his solitary work. Gradually, this gentle, persistent man's work comes to fruition: the region is transformed; life and hope return; the world is renewed.

 

Giovanni's Room
By James Baldwin

Set in the 1950's Paris of American expatriates, liaisons, and violence, a young man finds himself caught between desire and conventional morality. With a sharp, probing imagination, James Baldwin's now-classic narrative delves into the mystery of loving and creates a moving, highly controversial story of death and passion that reveals the unspoken complexities of the human heart.

 

The Sellout
By Paul Beatty

A biting satire about a young man's isolated upbringing and the race trial that sends him to the Supreme Court, Paul Beatty's The Sellout showcases a comic genius at the top of his game. It challenges the sacred tenets of the United States Constitution, urban life, the civil rights movement, the father-son relationship, and the holy grail of racial equality—the black Chinese restaurant.

 

Their Eyes Were Watching God
By Zora Neale Hurston

When Janie, at sixteen, is caught kissing shiftless Johnny Taylor, her grandmother swiftly marries her off to an old man with sixty acres. Janie endures two stifling marriages before meeting the man of her dreams, who offers not diamonds, but a packet of flowering seeds.