Social Justice Book Club: Men We Reaped Kick-off & Introductions

Hello hello to all my Social Justice Book Club friends, new and old. I'm so excited to dive into this month's book, Men We Reaped: A Memoir, with all of you. For a bit of background on this book, here's what the publisher has to say about it:
In five years, Jesmyn Ward lost five young men in her life-to drugs, accidents, suicide, and the bad luck that can follow people who live in poverty, particularly black men. Dealing with these losses, one after another, made Jesmyn ask the question: Why? And as she began to write about the experience of living through all the dying, she realized the truth-and it took her breath away. Her brother and her friends all died because of who they were and where they were from, because they lived with a history of racism and economic struggle that fostered drug addiction and the dissolution of family and relationships. Jesmyn says the answer was so obvious she felt stupid for not seeing it. But it nagged at her until she knew she had to write about her community, to write their stories and her own.

To kick off this month's reading, let's get to know each other a bit:

1. Where do you plan on discussing this book the most? Feel free to share links to your blog, social media channels, snap handles, etc. 

I'll be chatting about the book here (with a mid-month discussion post and review & wrap-up post at the end of the month), as well as on Instagram (@kerryamchugh), Twitter (@kerryamchugh), and Litsy (@kerry)*. Don't forget to use the hashtag #SJBookClub for your own social posts so I can be sure to keep up!

2. Where in the world are you reading?

I'm actually starting this month in Connecticut, waiting for a flight home after a 10-day trip that included an overnight train to Chicago, a four-day conference, a flight to CT, a wedding, and a baptism. But once I get home, I'll be tucked up in the lovely Frederick, MD, which is basically Stars Hollow (especially in October).

3. Why did you decide to join in on the reading and/or discussion of this book?

I'm joining because I'm hosting this club, and I'm hosting this club because I think it's important not only to read book that deal with the social injustices of the world, but to discuss them and understand others' reactions to the issues presented. I've had Men We Reaped on my shelf for years (I actually have a signed copy that I picked up at BEA back when it first came out), so I was thrilled when the group voted on this book for our October read.

Last year, Brit Bennett (author of the forthcoming novel, The Mothers, which HOLY SHIT ya'll have to read) reviewed Ta-Nehisi Coates' Between the World and Me in The New Yorker, and brought up Men We Reaped in the context of that discussion on black male bodies, which made me all the more eager to get to Ward's memoir sooner than later (and especially soon after reading Coates' memoir this summer).

4. What, if anything, are you most looking forward to about this book?

I actually don't know much detail about Ward's book, despite it having lingered on my shelf for years and years. But I loved the searing truths she wrote about in her novel, Salvage the Bones, and am looking forward to seeing how her incredible talent as a writer carries through to her nonfiction.

Chime in with your answers on your blog (link up below) or in the comments. Looking forward to reading again with many of you, and getting to know many newcomers!


If you've not yet signed up to participate in this month's reading, it's not too late! Hop on in and join us!


*Litsy's now available on Android devices, too! It's like Instagram for books, and it's my new most favorite social media channel of all.


This is a slightly updated version of this morning's original post, which did not include a link-up, other post links, or images due to an exceptionally crappy internet connection at Bradley Airport this morning. 

No comments

Thanks for stopping by!