What Joseph’s Reading – Summer 2021

I feel like 2021 has gone really fast and really slow at the same time. With the year being halfway through, it’s a bit sad how little reading I’ve been able to get done.  Summer’s really here now though, so I finally have some time to catch up on the stuff accumulating on my nightstand.

I’m currently reading Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds by adrienne maree brown.  This book was sitting on my bookshelf unread until our equity consultant suggested it and reminded me that I had it.  I’ve been struggling with seeing the same old strategies being employed and wanted to find something new, which I think this book does.  It suggests a radically different way of conceptualizing how to be in connection to one another, our community, and the planet; presenting a different way to look at change and going about it.

Also on my nightstand is Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction Stories from Social Justice Movements.  This is an anthology of short stories inspired by the work of Octavia Butler.  adrienne maree brown is also one of the editors.  The stories themselves are attempting to envision a new and liberated future.  I pick the book up and read one of the pieces whenever I have time, so I’m only halfway through it, but it’s been really enjoyable so far.  I think it’s an important reminder that imagination is a requirement in our work towards liberation.

A giant nerd at heart, I spend a lot of reading comic books.  The American comic book industry has been a white, male-dominated space for most of its history, so I’ve been intentionally seeking out diverse characters, plots, and writers.  For Pride Month, I started reading Cosmoknights by Hannah Templer.  It’s a sci-fi story about a “ragtag band of space gays” fighting the patriarchy.  To further diversify the stories I’m reading, I picked up the first issue of Shang-chi vs the Marvel Universe, written by Gene Luen Yang and illustrated by Dike Ruan (two Asian men).  I’m also revisiting the Black Panther series by Ta Nehisi Coates.

I’m always interested in book, podcast and comic recommendations so email me if you think there’s anything I’d like or if you just want to talk about some of the works listed here.

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