One of the editorial project directors at Essence has curated a list of ‘must-read’ books for the month of April. Their list, Patrik’s Picks, includes a great cross section of fiction, personal growth, and a young adult book we highly recommend. If you’ve already read either of these books, please share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Five Must-Read Books Recommended by Essence
|I DON’T BELONG TO YOU by Keke Palmer|
As a successful music artist, actress, and talk show host, from inner city Chicago, Keke has always used her social media following and platform for real talk about the issues that matter most to her generation, but now she is speaking out candidly and for the first time about the secrets, struggles, and practices that have guided her to succeed. On the surface, it may appear that Keke has it made, but under the success, she has grappled with the same issues all young women wrestle with–identity, pressure, self-worth, love, sexuality, heartbreak, and family.
With this in mind, she created I Don’t Belong To You–an inspirational guide that encourages young people to change their mindset and live with more freedom, confidence, and love as they navigate the rough terrain of the twenty-first century. Full of revealing stories from Keke’s personal and professional life, this book tackles twelve topics–sexuality, race, anxiety, success, bullying, and body image to name a few–with refreshing honesty.
|WIVES, FIANCEES, AND SIDE-CHICKS OF HOTLANTA by Sheree Whitfield|
“….This is a fun quick read, and readers will hope for more tales…Fans of Cydney Rax may enjoy newcomer Whitfield.”– Booklist
From Sheree Whitfield, one of the stars of Bravo TV’s hit show The Real Housewives of Atlanta, comes a debut novel that’s a page-turning mix of rumor, fiction, and a tantalizing dash of reality…
Sasha Wellington has put herself on the fast track to success. Fresh out of college, she’s got her career as a fashion designer and entrepreneur all planned out. Her only wild card is choosing which city to launch from. When fate points her to Atlanta, she sets out to make her dreams come true…Can she stick to her game plan, or will Hotlanta derail her future—and reveal a side of herself even she didn’t know existed?
|MICRO-RESILIENCE by Bonnie St. John|
“By reframing your thinking in the way St. John and Haines describe, you can learn to bounce back from setbacks and create a life of power and meaning.” – Daniel Pink, Author
Learn powerful, science-based techniques to boost focus, drive and energy hour-by-hour throughout the day–every day.
As leadership consultants and executive trainers, Bonnie St. John and Allen P. Haines have heard the same complaints from clients for years; periodic burnout, lack of focus and low energy. So they dug into the latest research on neuroscience, psychology, and physiology looking for big answers. Instead, they found small answers; proof that small adjustments in daily routines, including thought patterns, food and drink, rest and movement can fight the forces that sap our energy and store focus and drive. They call these amazing efficient restorative techniques “micro-resilience.” Thousands of men and women from all walks of life have already found effortless ways to incorporate these little changes into the busiest of schedules. Dozens of entertaining anecdotes from real people using micro-resilience demonstrate that when our brains fire faster, our energy increases and we can cope with almost any surprise, pressure or crisis.
|THE HATE YOU GIVE by Angie Thomas|
|“This story is necessary. This story is important.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Heartbreakingly topical.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.
Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gang banger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.
But what Starr does–or does not–say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.
|AND THEN THERE WAS ME by Sadeqa Johnson|
|Bea and Awilda have been best friends from the moment Awilda threw her fourteen-year-old self across Bea’s twin-sized bed as if they had known each other forever. Bubbly, adventurous Awilda taught sheltered, shy Bea how to dress, wear her hair and what to do with boys. She even introduced Bea to her husband, Lonnie, in college, who pledged to take good care of her for the rest of their lives. But philanderer Lonnie breaks that promise over and over again, leaving Bea to wrestle with her self-esteem and long time secret addiction.
Recently Lonnie has plopped the family in a New Jersey upper-class suburb, which lacks the diversity that Bea craves but has the school district and zip code envy that Lonnie wants. The demands of carrying a third child and fitting into this new environment while pretending that her husband is not cheating on her again is more than she can handle. And just when she thinks things can’t get any worst, the ultimate deception snaps the little thread that was holding her life together and all comes tumbling down.
Sadeqa Johnson’s And Then There Was Me is the story of love and friendship, heartache and betrayal. It’s the journey of a woman stripped down to her lowest point and needing to find the will to press on.
What do you think? Did Patrick leave off a book that really impacted you? Share your thoughts below.