Hey, hi, hello! It’s been a while (again). Who would’ve thought law school would be such a time suck? (*insert eye roll here*)
As I mentioned way back in July, I moved to a new city to start law school (which ended up being entirely online, but I’m glad I’m here anyways.) A necessary consequence of this is that I have limited shelf space (read: one small shelf that needs to hold other things, like law books), and I left a great many books at my parents’ house. While said house isn’t too far away, I wanted to be sure I was maximizing space and acknowledging that I probably wouldn’t have too much spare time to read (I was right.) So the tough question became: what to bring?
My initial move-in involved only about 5. I was then home the next week and decided I could fit quite a few more, so I brought some more with me which put me at just 12 (although I have since added a couple). Now that it’s been a couple months, I thought I would share what I have with me and why!
Over the years, I’ve seen so many people talk about the classics they want to read or having goals for reading one classic a month or something along those lines. And recently, that got me thinking about which ones I’ve read already. Considering I just graduated with a degree in English Literature (I just got my diploma in the mail yesterday so it’s ~official~), my list of read classics is longer than I’d ever thought it’d be.
Now, before I start or list my qualifications for a “classic,” I want to give a very English-majory disclaimer: literary classics are a very exclusive academic category that are typically used as a means of gatekeeping literature and defining what is worthy of praise and attention and reputation. The general public typically has no say in what is considered a literary classic, with historically white and male academic circles existing as the sole deciding group in determining a “classic” label. This means that the category, in general, does not reflect the wider population and their experiences. This is not to say that we should just brush off classics; they are (generally) considered classics for a reason, and their place in the literary canon is a result of their impact on the broader literary world. So, yes, we should absolutely read them, but perhaps we should be reading from a place of critique and skepticism, reading them because we want to understand their place in the literary canon, not so we can act superior because we’ve read them.
I’ve been sitting on how I should contribute to the dialogue surrounding systemic racism. As a cisgender white woman, my voice should not be the loudest. But I do have a platform, and even if I didn’t, I have a responsibility to use it to promote Black voices. So, here are some of my favorite books by Black authors.