Off the Shelf: Top Picks for Winter Reading

(Message From the Dean) Off the Shelf: Top Picks for Winter Reading

Off the Shelf: Top Picks for Winter Reading

Dear Students,

We hope you are well. As finals come to an end, we write in response to requests from a number of you for recommendations of books to read over winter break. Some of you have asked for suggestions to follow up on to your interest in topics— like race and racism, and diversity, equity, and inclusion, introduced during our Community Days program for 1Ls at the beginning of the Fall Semester.

While we will recommend a few selections for you to consider from books we have read and believe you might benefit from, we also suggest you consider taking a look at a listing of books that have been at the center of a variety of state and local controversies in recent years. Many people have referred to these books as being “banned” because of their removal from school libraries, curricula, and reading lists. If you are interested in seeing some of these titles, you might look at the “Books Unbanned” website hosted by the Brooklyn Public Library (BPL). Dean Crowell has served on the BPL Board of Trustees for 20 years and is a former Board Chair. Professor Thomas, who is also the Board Chair of the African American Policy Forum (AAPF), recently went on AAPF’s “Books Unbanned” From Freedom Riders to Freedom Readers book tour to distribute 6,000 free copies of banned books in 24 cities from Milwaukee to Jacksonville.

Dean Crowell’s and Professor Thomas’s Short List of Books for Winter Break

Some titles are listed as “Banned Books,” some are not.

All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson. 2020. Memoir.

Dear Martin by Nic Stone. 2017. Fiction.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. 2017. Fiction. (2018 Movie)

Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson. 2014. Non-Fiction. (2019 Movie) 

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. 1960. Fiction. (1962 Movie)

On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong. 2019. Fiction.

Reconstruction: America’s Unfinished Revolution by Eric Foner. 1988. Non-Fiction.

This Is Your Time by Ruby Bridges. 2020. Non-Fiction.

Please let us know if you have any questions. Happy holidays and our best wishes for an exceptional new year!

Anthony W. Crowell
Dean and President
Professor of Law

Ann F. Thomas
Otto L. Walter Distinguished Professor of Tax Law
Co-Chair, Faculty Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee