Mary's Pence Summer Reading List 2020 - Mary's Pence

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Mary’s Pence Summer Reading List 2020

2020 Bookmark Amplifying Voices for a More Just World

We are all called to amplify the voices of those experiencing injustice.  Join us in reading some or all of the books we’ve chosen for our Summer 2020 Reading List.

We ask you to share stories and learnings, talk about the books you’ve read, and use the experiences of the authors and storytellers as a lens to consider opinions and ideas that are different from your own. Because we all must play an active part in the ongoing struggle to ensure equality, dignity, and justice.

Summer 2020 Reading List
(Download a printable version)

A Collective Bargain: Unions, Organizing, and the Fight for Democracy
Jane McAlevey (2020)

McAlevey, a labor organizer and scholar, makes the case in A Collective Bargain that unions have played a critical role in addressing racism, corporate greed, and an unjust political system, and unions continue to have a place in the defense of democracy. McAlevey argues that workers — especially organized workers — have political power that extends far beyond the workplace. 

Drug War Capitalism
Dawn Paley (2014)

Through on-the-ground reporting and extensive research, Paley exposes the financial motivations behind the U.S.-led “War on Drugs.” Explaining how the war bolsters international capital, particularly by employing terror to open new territories to privatization and resource extraction, Drug War Capitalism makes a point questioning: Who are the real terrorists?

Everything Inside
Edwidge Danticat (2019) 

Everything Inside is a powerful collection of eight short stories that showcase Danticat’s intimate perspective of the people and culture of her birthplace: Haiti. Touted as “a collection of vividly imagined stories about community, family, and love,” Everything Inside exemplifies why Danticat’s stories have been celebrated and recognized worldwide with accolades and awards.

Evidence of V: A Novel in Fragments, Facts and Fictions
Sheila O’Connor (2019)

Based on the story of O’Connor’s grandmother, the history revealed in Evidence of V exposes how women and girls fell prey to the systemic, little-known trend of institutionalization and criminalization for “immorality.”  The sources from which O’Connor draws to write the narrative are the faint echoes of voices silenced, encouraging us to listen for the quiet cries of modern times. 

Freedom is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine, and the Foundations of a Movement 
Angela Davis (2016)

This collection of interviews and speeches by Davis focuses on the theme of inter/trans-national solidarity. As scholar and activist, Davis locates the increasing militarization of the world’s borders and cities within the racist capitalist system that controls so much of the globe. Freedom is a Constant Struggle is crucial reading for anyone and everyone determined to fight for liberation. 

Grabbing Power: The New Struggles for Land, Food and Democracy in Northern Honduras
Tanya Kerssen (2013)

Grabbing Power explains how land constitutes power and, by extension, democracy and peace. Sketching out the role of foreign and domestic agribusiness in Honduran politics, Kerssen highlights the period after the 2009 coup, both in the elite attacks on marginalized groups and the heroic resistance and victories of the Honduran people in retaining and reclaiming their land.

No Visible Bruises: What We Don’t Know About Domestic Violence Can Kill Us
Rachel Louise Snyder (2019) 

Recipient of the Hillman Prize for Book Journalism, No Visible Bruises details the stories Snyder uncovered during her investigation into private violence and considers the complexities, as well as the implications, for society at large. Considering issues of mental health, poverty, gender, justice and more, No Visible Bruises adds valuable information to the quest to end systemic violence. 

On Fire: The (Burning) Case for a Green New Deal
Naomi Klein (2019)

On Fire, Klein’s 7th book, combines selections from her reporting on climate issues and new essays to connect the climate breakdown to the world’s rampant inequalities. Klein makes a stirring case for the necessity of a new global movement to transform the systems that produced our present existential threat. 

River of Fire, My Spiritual Journey
Sister Helen Prejean, C.S.J. (2019)

River of Fire functions as a memoir and a prequel to Sister Prejean’s other works: Dead Man Walking and Death of Innocents. In River of Fire, she describes the spiritual currents that pulled her, unwittingly, to becoming the “Death Policy Abolitionist Nun.” She presents her transformation as both deeply personal and intertwined with societal and institutional transformations going on around her. 

We Are Not Here to Be Bystanders: A Memoir of Love and Resistance
Linda Sarsour (2020)

Sarsour’s autobiography explores how her life as a Palestinian Muslim America and a feminist empowered her to be a globally recognized activist. Sarsour, who served as one of the co-organizers of the Women’s March, invites others to work for equality. 

Why Storms are Named After People and Bullets Remain Nameless
Tanaya Winder (2017)

This is the 2nd collection of poems by Winder, a performance poet, motivational speaker and entrepreneur from the Southern Ute, Duckwater Shoshone and Pyramid Lake Paiute Nations. Editor Skyler Reed says this book “is for dreamers and survivors. Every verse of Winder’s brings us out of the past and into the possibility and hope of the future.” 

Women Writing Resistance: Essays on Latin America and the Caribbean  
Editor – Jennifer Browdy (2017)

Writing is always an act of resistance and activism, a fact of which the 16 women whose essays and poetry make up Women Writing Resistance are especially aware. The stories they tell of resistance to patriarchy, white supremacy, state terror and neoliberalism are not only inspiring but necessary in these dark and troubled times. 

Interested in joining our virtual book club and discussion groups?
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