#WorldBookDay: 13 Good Reads ESSENCE Editors Recommend

It's World Book Day! To commemorate the magic of reading and the books that have changed our lives, here are 11 books from ESSENCE editors that have shaped their view of the world.

Lauren Porter Mar, 03, 2016

1 of 13

Lois Lowry's The Giver inspired me to become a writer. I recently re-read it about a year ago as a part of a personal project to re-visit all of the books I read during my childhood. Lowry has a real command of prose and such a vast imagination. It’s just incredibly well written and offers interesting insight into the human experience and the idea of censorship.

Virginia Lowman, Assistant Beauty Editor

2 of 13

I read Nathan McCall’s, Makes me Wanna Holler my junior year of college as a part of the required reading for a memoir class I was taking. All of the reading material on the list was written by white authors, so I was pleasantly surprised to find McCall’s book listed. I was also the only Black student in the class, so I felt pressured to really be informed during class discussions. This was the first book to move me to tears. It’s an honest deep dive into Black culture, gang culture as well as jail culture, but most importantly, the Black human experience and our relentless will to survive and thrive by any means necessary. While I’d like to think that I was “conscious” prior to reading it, I definitely credit this book with making me painfully—and gratefully—aware of the struggle of Black men in America.

Virginia Lowman, Assistant Beauty Editor

3 of 13

One of my favorite quotes is from this book: "I am black, not because of a curse, but because my skin has been able to capture all the cosmic effluvia. I am truly a drop of sun under the earth.”

I read Black Skin, White Masks my junior year of college and I felt so enlightened. This line was so profound, it was so poetic. After reading this I went on to read more of Frantz Fanon's other works and it made me want to further investigate the ideals surrounding post-colonial racism and dehuminazation that effected the world in 1952 when the book was written but also examine it's relevance to the current social climate.

Lauren Porter, Editorial Intern

4 of 13

I thought that this would be a really good summer read and I was right. I was enthralled from start to finish as it was the true definition of a page turner. As I read the last few chapters I ended up crying becuase Carol Rifka Brunt's storytelling was so beautiful. I appreciated the story for the way it talked about love, disease, coping and family. This is a novel that I recommend to all of my friends.

Lauren Porter, Editorial Intern

5 of 13

This is definitely my favorite book I read as a kid, and it’s just as captivating now. It painted mystical a picture of Zimbabwe in the year 2194, complete with robots and genetically mutated super heroes on a mission to bring back a rich general’s kidnapped children. For my inner sci-fi nerd, it was heaven in book form.

Joslyn Winkfield, Photo Editor

6 of 13

This book was such a juicy, guilty pleasure read. It brings to light a lot of the drama, gossip and hypocritical happenings behind the scenes of churches, but also gave a beautiful and realistic perspective on finding long lasting Godly love.

Joslyn Winkfield, Photo Editor

7 of 13

The Alchemist was a lot of the lessons I’d already learned from my parents in book form. Just the idea that all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve whatever it is that you want is something that I’ve seen take place in my life. It’s such a great lesson in paying attention to signs, believing in God and/or a higher power. It’s also a huge lesson in being intentional about what you want, faithful that it will come to you and open to the twists and turns it takes to get there.

Dominique Hobdy, Fashion Contributor

8 of 13

A Wrinkle in Time was one of the first books that I read that kind of showed me just how far your imagination can go. Along with series like Harry Potter, The Chronicles of Narnia, I felt like by telling such an amazing story, the author forced you to stretch your brain as well. Don’t judge but after being assigned to read the book in my elementary school class, I didn’t give it back. I still have it. I’m beyond excited about Ava DuVernay taking on the project for Disney!

Dominique Hobdy, Fashion Contributor

9 of 13

I was introduced to this book in a women’s studies class during my senior year of college. Published in 1963, the book jumpstarted the second-wave of feminism and dissected “the problem that has no name” (translation: the lack of fulfillment that many housewives felt during this era). This book truly unlocked my own inner feminist.

Taylor Lewis, Editorial Assistant 

 

10 of 13

Issa Rae is brilliant, funny and loveably awkward. Being an introvert in a world that glorifies cool isn’t easy, so I can definitely relate to the struggle she talks about in this book. It was refreshing to read a book that reassured me that my quirks were alright and reminded me that there’s room in the world for black girls who’s magic might be a little umm…different.

Alexis Reliford, Assistant Editor, Social Media

11 of 13

This is my all-time-number-one-favorite children's book. Period. I read it at least once every 2-3 months and I still get all EMOTIONAL when I do even though I’m 22. And I mean like an ugly cry. Because it’s all about believing in yourself as you go out into the world it’s gotten me through many tough times and it’s my go-to whenever I’m in a slump.

Alexis Reliford, Assistant Editor, Social Media

12 of 13

Reading this book taught me how to best communicate with the people I love the most and understand the way they communicate with me. That alone was life changing.

Charli Penn, Relationships & Weddings Editor

13 of 13

This book taught me at an early age the true power of a serious of terrible decisions, and the importance of making healthy choices.

Charli Penn, Relationships & Weddings Editor

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