We here at the Equal Rights Amendment Coalition are BIG readers, as you may have guessed, and we wanted to share some of our personal favorite reads. Are you adding any of these to your TBR list? What are you favorites?

Our President & CEO, Zakiya Thomas, loves I Was So Mad by Mercer Mayer and Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neal Hurston. Their Eyes Were Watching God is considered a classic of the Harlem Renaissance -- the novel explores main character Janie Crawford's growth from a vibrant yet voiceless teenage girl into a woman in control of her own destiny.

Chrisi West, our Communications Director, recommends Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row by Anthony Ray Hinton, and Blood and Politics: The History of the White Nationalist Movement from the Margins to the Mainstream by Leonard Zeskind. The Sun Does Shine is a powerful and revealing story of hope, love, justice, and the power of reading by a man who spent 30 years on death row for a crime he didn't commit.

Velu Ochoa, Social Media Manager & Digital Strategist, suggests Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay and In Defense of Witches: The Legacy of the Witch Hunts and Why Women Are Still on Trial by Mona Chollet. Bad Feminist, a New York Times bestseller, is a collection of essays spanning politics, criticism, and feminism from one of the most-watched young cultural observers her generation.

Working alongside Velu at the ERA and FFWE, Christine Sykes loves John Dies At The End by David Wong, Children of the Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi, and The Dharma Bums by Jack Kerouac. Dharma Bums concerns duality in Kerouac's life and ideals, examining the relationship of the outdoors, mountaineering, hiking, and hitchhiking through the west US with his "city life" of jazz clubs, poetry readings, and drunken parties. 

Hunner Rezek, Social Media Assistant, recommends Atomic Habits by James Clear, and is also joined by one of our consultants, Abi Ranganathan in suggesting You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero. You Are A Badass is a refreshingly-entertaining how-to guide full of bite-sized chapters with inspiring stories, sage advice, easy exercises.

Our Finance, Operations, & Development Manager and Executive Assistant to the President Vivien Pong nominates both Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang and Minor Feelings by Cathy Park Hong as her two favorite reads. Minor Feelings is the poet's searing account of life as an Asian American. Drawing on her own experiences alongside penetrating insights, it paints a picture of the purgatorial status that Asian Americans still face.

One of our Consultants Marc Sokol recommends Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good by Adrienne Maree Brown and The Personality Brookers: The Strange History of Myers-Briggs and the Birth of Personality Testing by Merve Emre. Pleasure Activism recounts a politics of healing and happiness that explodes the dour myth that changing the world is just another form of work. Drawing on the black feminist tradition, the author challenges us to rethink the ground rules of activism.

Our interns also had plenty of suggestions: Sana Mamtaney enjoyed The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros as well as Seven Days in June by Tia Williams. The House on Mango Street is the remarkable story of Esperanza Cordero, a young Latina girl growing up in Chicago, inventing for herself who and what she will become.

Jennifer Horn loved Open Water by Caleb Azumah Nelson and Do They Hear You When You Cry by Fauziya Kassindja. A true story of persecution, friendship, and ultimate triumph, Do They Hear You When You Cry chronicles the struggles of two extraordinary women: Fauziya Kassindja, who fled her African homeland to escape female genital mutilation only to be locked up in American prisons for 16 months; and Layli Miller Bashir, a driven young law student who fought for Fauziya’s freedom.

Feel free to comment some of your best book recommendations, whether they’re your strongest reads of the year or your favorites of all-time!

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