If all of New York City could read one book together, which book should be chosen? You decide!
Visit the One Book, One New York page to see book summaries and video testimonials from celebrities like Danielle Brooks and Larry Wilmore.
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Publisher's description: Ifemelu and Obinze are young and in love when they depart military-ruled Nigeria for the West. Beautiful, self-assured Ifemelu heads for America, where despite her academic success, she is forced to grapple with what it means to be black for the first time. Quiet, thoughtful Obinze had hoped to join her, but with post-9/11 America closed to him, he instead plunges into a dangerous, undocumented life in London. Fifteen years later, they reunite in a newly democratic Nigeria, and reignite their passion--for each other and for their homeland.
Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
In the John Jay Library at Stacks E185.615 .C6335 2015
Publisher's description: In 150 years since end of the Civil War and the ratification of13th Amendment, the story of race and America has remained brutally simple one, written on flesh: it is story of the black body, exploited to create the country's foundational wealth, violently segregated to unite the nation after civil war and today still disproportionately threatened, locked up and killed in the streets. How can America reckon with its fraught racial history? Between The World And Me is Ta-Nehisi Coates' attempt to answer that question.
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
In the John Jay Library at Stacks PS3554 .I259 B75 2007
Description: Oscar is a sweet but disastrously overweight, lovesick Dominican ghetto nerd. From his home in New Jersey, where he lives with his old-world mother and rebellious sister, Oscar dreams of becoming the Dominican J. R. R. Tolkien and, most of all, of finding love. But he may never get what he wants, thanks to the curse that has haunted Oscar's family for generations, dooming them to prison, torture, tragic accidents, and, above all, ill-starred love. Oscar, still waiting for his first kiss, is just its most recent victim. Diaz immerses us in the tumultuous life of Oscar and the history of the family at large, rendering with genuine warmth and dazzling energy, humor, and insight the Dominican-American experience, and, ultimately, the endless human capacity to persevere in the face of heartbreak and loss.
The Sellout by Paul Beatty
In the John Jay Library at Stacks PS3552 .E19 S45 2015
Publisher's description: Raised by a single father, a controversial sociologist at Riverside Community College, he spent his childhood as the subject in psychological studies, classic experiments revised to include a racially-charged twist. He also grew up believing this pioneering work might result in a memoir that would solve their financial woes. But when his father is killed in a shoot-out with the police, he realizes there never was a memoir. All that's left is the bill for a drive-thru funeral and some maudlin what-ifs. Fueled by this injustice and the general disrepair of his down-trodden hometown, he sets out to right another wrong: Dickens has literally been removed from the map to save California further embarrassment. Enlisting the help of the town's most famous resident--the last surviving Little Rascal, Hominy Jenkins, our narrator initiates a course of action--one that includes reinstating slavery and segregating the local high school--destined to bring national attention. These outrageous events land him with a law suit heard by the Supreme Court, the latest in a series of cases revolving around the thorny issue of race in America.
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
Description: The American classic about a young girl's coming-of-age at the turn of the century. This P.S. edition features an extra 16 pages of insights into the book, including author interviews, recommended reading, and more. -- Serene was a word you could put to Brooklyn, New York. Especially in the summer of 1912. Somber, as a word, was better. But it did not apply to Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Prairie was lovely and Shenandoah had a beautiful sound, but you couldn't fit those words into Brooklyn. Serene was the only word for it; especially on a Saturday afternoon in summer.