January was a great reading filled with a wide variety of stories and perspectives. Hopefully you’ll find something to add to your own TBR!
Helen of Troy by Margaret George. For an epic retelling of the original epic that brings to life the women on the sidelines. ⭐⭐⭐
- Can I teach it? No...it’s really long and there are much better mythology retellings to bring into the curriculum.
Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo. For an in-depth examination of diverse group of British women and an ending that packs an emotional punch. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
- Can I teach it? Not in high school, but I could see a college course really diving into this Booker Prize winner.
Interior Chinatown by Charles Yu. For an innovative work of metafiction that beautifully examines and satirizes race in America. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
- Can I teach it? I would! It would be tricky and you’d have to use it in the right class, but the innovative structure and the doors it opens would make it a wonderful classroom read.
Celestial Bodies by Jokha Alharthi. For a beautiful depiction of a changing country through the framework of female-driven family saga. ⭐⭐⭐⭐✨
- Can I teach it? I’d say no just because it is extremely difficult in terms of structure, language, and content. I’d love to find a novel that features similar cultural issues that students would be able to read more easily.
Long Bright River by Liz Moore. For an unputdownable mystery that offers insight into and empathy for the American opioid epidemic. ⭐⭐⭐⭐
- Can I teach it? It doesn’t quite have the literary weight to be worth the time, but you could definitely use this as a choice or book club read for the right students.
Watchmen by Alan Moore. For an award winning graphic novel that approaches questions of good and evil with nuance and wit. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
- Can I teach it? Yes! And I think a lot of schools do. We have to be pretty careful with content at my school, but this is in the Graphic Novel senior elective.
I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika Sanchez. For a poignant and raw depiction of grief and a beautiful depiction of an immigrant family. ⭐⭐⭐⭐
- Can I teach it? Absolutely. This has a lot of trigger warnings (teenage sex, drug use, attempted suicide) but all are presented through a YA filter. It deals with issues teens are already thinking about and need the space to discuss.
Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid. For a breezy read that addresses race, microaggressions, and performative motherhood. ⭐⭐⭐✨
- Can I teach it? No. I need to revisit a sex scene to rememnber just how graphic it is but it could be a good summer reading pick for my Women in Lit class.
The Truants by Kate Weinberg (DNF at 30%). For a dark campus novel featuring a charismatic professor, buried secrets, and tons of Agatha Christie references.
- Can I teach it? I’m guessing it’s a no from the 100 pages I read.
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