Read-Alikes for ‘The Light We Carry: Overcoming in Uncertain Times’ by Michelle Obama | LibraryReads

The Light We Carry: Overcoming in Uncertain Times by Michelle Obama (Crown) is the top holds title of the week. LibraryReads and Library Journal offer read-alikes for patrons waiting to read this buzziest book.

The Light We Carry: Overcoming in Uncertain Times, by Michelle Obama (Crown), is the top holds title of the week. LibraryReads and Library Journal offer read-alikes for patrons waiting to read this buzziest book.

Former First Lady Michelle Obama follows up her best-selling memoir, Becoming, with an empowering book full of practical wisdom and strategies for staying hopeful and balanced. Packed with fresh stories and insightful reflections, she explores building relationships and community and addresses feelings of self-doubt and helplessness in her latest inspiring read.—LJ Reviews

The Forerunner: A Story of Pain and Perseverance in America by Cori Bush (Knopf; LJ starred review)

This is a powerfully authentic memoir from Bush, the first Black woman to represent Missouri in the U.S. Congress. A St. Louis native, Bush came from a family of community leaders; her dad was an alderman and mayor. She relates harmful early encounters with misogyny targeting Black women and repeated experiences of sexual assault and domestic violence. For months, she and her babies had to live out of her car. Bush spent years as a single mom struggling from paycheck to paycheck before becoming a registered nurse. She faced inhumane and racist treatment by doctors, landlords, police officers, and other powerful figures and endured the systemic racism of the U.S. healthcare system. But she also experienced joy in her two children and her service as a preschool teacher, nurse, pastor, activist, and community organizer at the Ferguson protests in 2014–15. She overcame St. Louis’s political establishment, won election to Congress, and joined the Squad, a group of progressive House Democrats. Her story vindicates her conviction that America needs living wages and a stronger social safety net. VERDICT The life story of this history-making Congressional member eclipses the usual political memoir. Her story is riveting, moving, vivid, and radically vulnerable.—Michael Rodriguez

Inciting Joy: Essays by Ross Gay (Algonquin)

Award-winning poet Gay (Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude) ruminates on the concept and practice of bringing forth joy. Similar to his previous collection, The Book of Delights, the essays are short and potent. In this volume, he makes abundant use of footnotes, which function as a kind of shadow narrative, offering asides, further meanderings, and elaborations. The tone is one of riffing and improvisation, as though Gay is having a lively but leisurely conversation with the reader. He demonstrates that he views the incitement of joy as an act of resistance. Joy is to be found in the collective, whether it be a community garden, a game of pick-up basketball, a writing class, or the sense of kinship one feels when bearing—and surviving—a loss. He writes movingly about his relationship with his father, who passed away in 2004, as well as about some of his own hardships. Humor is seeded throughout the collection, and Gay cites writers ranging from John Edgar Wideman to Gwendolyn Brooks to Robin Wall Kimmerer. The book may make readers wish it didn’t end. VERDICT Gay is a treasure, and his latest offering will delight his fans as well as those new to his work.—Barrie Olmstead

Black Women Will Save the World: An Anthem by April Ryan (Amistad: HarperCollins; LJ starred review)

Veteran journalist Ryan (The Presidency in Black and White) combines a memoir of her recent experiences as a Black woman in the White House Press Corps and a stirring tribute to the sacrifices and triumphs of other leading Black “sheroes.” Ryan chronicles the rise of several Black women political leaders in the United States, including Shirley Chisholm, Stacey Abrams, Keisha Lance Bottoms, and Kamala Harris. She looks at their work on issues of justice and fairness and stresses their struggles to overcome invisibility and erasure in today’s political arena. She also focuses on the sacrifices paid by Black women when faced by bias and discrimination, based on both gender and race; she presents this issue as an ongoing individual, collective, and structural struggle. Ryan also discusses the mistreatment that she herself has endured as a journalist and the negative effects of ongoing microaggressions directed towards her and other Black women leaders. Finally, the book sets out ways to advance civil rights in the United States and includes extensive footnotes. Ryan’s text speaks volumes about Black women’s crucial roles as leaders, truth tellers, and unsung heroes for justice in the United States. VERDICT An informative, inspirational work by a leading political journalist; an essential purchase for public and academic libraries.—Theresa Muraski

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing