An Epic Reading List for the #Resistance


After Trump was elected last fall, I put out a call to my friends on Facebook to help me create a reading list for educating and empowering myself. Specifically, I asked for recommendations of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry that would help me work toward justice and equality–with a focus on racial justice, immigration, disability rights, economic justice, and/or anything regarding feminisms, collaboration/coalitions, organizing, LGBTQ stuff, etc.

What I got was better than I could’ve ever imagined. The comment thread grew and grew, with book recommendations ranging from racial justice to feminist/womanist theology to socially critical poetry.

So, without further adieu, please find below the (only slightly curated) recommendations from my awesome friends. Hope you find something here that moves and inspires you!



2030: The Real Story of What Happens to America by Albert Brooks

Almost Famous Women: Stories by Megan Mayhew Bergman

The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

Caramelo by Sandra Cisneros

The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

Drown by Junot Diaz

The Fifth Sacred Thing by Starhawk

The Gate to Women’s Country by Sheri S. Tepper

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

The Iguana Tree by Michel Stone

Ishmael: A Novel by Daniel Quinn

Kindred by Octavia Butler

Rubyfruit Jungle by Rita Mae Brown

The Sellout by Paul Beatty

Stone Butch Blues: A Novel by Leslie Feinberg


African Truth Commissions and Transitional Justice by John Perry and T. Debey Sayndee

All Our Relations: Native Struggles for Land and Life by Winona LaDuke

American Slavery, American Freedom by Edmund S. Morgan

The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X

Bad Feminist: Essays by Roxane Gay

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Black Skin, White Masks by Frantz Fanon (Author) and Richard Philcox (Translator)

Borderlands/La Frontera by Gloria Anzaldúa

Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer

The Bright Continent: Breaking Rules and Making Change in Modern Africa by Dayo Olopade

Building a Movement to End the New Jim Crow by Daniel Hunter

Church in the Round: Feminist Interpretation of the Church by Letty Russell

A Colony in a Nation by Chris Hayes

The Cross and the Lynching Tree by James H. Cone

Cultivating Peace: Becoming a 21st Century Peace Ambassador by James O’Dea

Culture and Imperialism by Edward Said

Do It Anyway: Finding Personal Meaning and Deep Happiness by Living the Paradoxical Commandments by Kent M. Keith

Emilie Townes (Womanist Theologian)

Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond

The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks About Race by Jesmyn Ward (Ed.) (Essays and Poetry)

For the Common Good: Redirecting the Economy Toward the Community, the Environment, and a Sustainable Future by Herman E. Daly and John B. Cobb, Jr.

The Future Is Mestizo: Life Where Cultures Meet by Virgilio Elizondo

George MacDonald by C.S. Lewis (Author/Editor)

God is Red: A Native View of Religion by Vine Deloria, Jr.

Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J.D. Vance

How to Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran

Intellectuals and Society by Thomas Sowell

The Invention of the White Race by Theodore W. Allen

Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson

The Man Made of Words: Essays, Stories, Passages by N. Scott Momaday

The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter Godwin Woodson

My Own Country: A Doctor’s Story of a Town and Its People in the Age of AIDS by Abraham Verghese

The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture, Volume 4: Myth, Manners, and Memory by Charles Reagan Wilson (Ed.)

The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture, Volume 24: Race by Thomas C. Holt, Laurie Beth Green, and Charles Reagan Wilson (Eds.)

The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander

The New Mind of the South by Tracy Thompson

Orientalism by Edward Said

The Other Wes Moore by Wes Moore

Out of Place by Edward Said

A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn

Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrapi (Graphic Novel/Memoir)

The Powers that Be: Theology for a New Millenium by Walter Wink

Proper Confidence: Faith, Doubt, and Certainty in Christian Discipleship by Lesslie Newbigin

Public Faith in Action: How to Think Carefully, Engage Wisely, and Vote with Integrity by Miroslav Volf

Reaching Out by Henri Nouwen

Reel to Real: Race, Sex, and Class at the Movies by bell hooks

Representations of the Intellectual by Edward Said

Rising Tide: The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 & How It Changed America by John M. Barry

Seven Theories of Human Nature: Christianity, Freud, Lorenz, Marx, Sartre, Skinner, Plato by Leslie Stevenson

Sex Object: A Memoir by Jessica Valenti

The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism by Naomi Klein

A Short History of Reconstruction by Eric Foner

Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman by Lindy West

Slavery’s Constitution by David Waldstreicher

The Snow Leopard by Peter Matthiessen

Southern Horrors: Women and the Politics of Rape and Lynching by Crystal Feimster

The Subject of Film and Race by Gerald Sim

This Bridge Called My Back by Cherríe Moraga and Gloria Anzaldúa

The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath by Sylvia Plath (Author) and Karen V. Kukil (Editor)

Understanding Islam: An Introduction to the Muslim World by Thomas W. Lippman

We Were the Least of These: Reading the Bible with Survivors of Sexual Abuse by Elaine A. Heath

Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community? by Martin Luther King, Jr.

White Theology: Outing Supremacy in Modernity by J. Perkinson

Why We Can’t Wait by Martin Luther King, Jr.

Witnessing Whiteness: The Need to Talk About Race and How to Do It by Shelly Tochluk

Words of Fire: An Anthology of African-American Feminist Thought by Beverly Guy-Sheftall (Ed.)

Zami: A New Spelling of My Name (A Biomythography) by Audre Lorde


Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine.

The Complete Poems of Anna Akhmatova by Anna Akhmatova

Shake Loose My Skin by Sonia Sanchez

Somebody Blew Up America & Other Poems by Amiri Baraka

Woman Hollering Creek by Sandra Cisneros

Other recommendations from around the web


Got more to add to this list? Share in the comments below!


Photo Credit: © Shelly Prevost. Used under a Creative Commons (CC-BY-2.0) license.


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