Let’s Read Together: Summer Reading Recommendations

woman reading on the beach

Looking for some great summer reading recommendations?

Here are 5 books that I highly recommend you add to your list of must reads.

Picking Cotton book

Picking Cotton: Our Memoir of Injustice and Redemption

Picking Cotton is the gripping true story of Ronald Cotton, a black man, exonerated, thanks to DNA, after being falsely accused of rape by Jennifer Thompson-Cannino, a white woman.
For those that want a first hand look at the devastating effects of false identification and unconscious bias, read this.

Between The World And Me book

Between The World and Me

I don’t know what to say other than Ta-Nehisi Coates is a master with words. He does a masterful job of sharing the story of his life with his son so that his son, and the world can understand his fears as the father of a black boy. This book is a wonderful gift to his son and I am so glad he decided to share it with the rest of the world.

A Lesson Before Dying Book

A Lesson Before Dying

I read this in college, cried like a baby, and was a loyal fan of Ernest Gaines from that point forward. A Lesson Before Dying is a fictional story about a twenty-one-year-old uneducated black field worker sentenced to death after being wrongfully accused and convicted of the robbery and murder of a white man. If you don’t cry, you are heartless :-).

A Raisin In The Sun book

A Raisin In The Sun

Lorraine Hansberry did a masterful job of showing the competing interest and desires of a black family trying to escape poverty and enjoy a piece of the American Dream. Each character has an idea about how the $10,000 from a life insurance policy should be spent. Do they purchase a home in an all-white neighborhood? Do they invest in a business? Do they invest in education? You have to read the play to find out. It has been years since I read it. It might be time for me to revisit this families story.

Black Like Me book

Black Like Me

Black Like Me is the story of a man that goes to extremes to understand what it is like to be black in America. In 1959 John Howard Griffin underwent medical treatment to change his skin color so that he could pass as a black man and travel through the south to experience, first hand, and report what life as a black man was like.

So, there are my recommendations! What are yours?

Much Love,


Published by Tonza D. Ruffin

Perfectly Imperfect but VERY PROUD WOMAN, MOM, LAWYER, and AUTHOR, but most importantly...LIFE LOVER! I laugh loud, I work hard, I play hard, I am adventurous, I am curious, I am driven, I have moments of deep insecurity, I am loving, I am vulnerable, I am explosive (not one of my finer qualities), I dance around my house alone, I am an awful perfectionist which makes my insecurity worse, I sing out loud in my car without any concern for whose watching, I have trust issues, I do not live through my children, I no longer try to force my children into the mold that I created so that I could feel validated as a mother, I am a risk-taker, I am guarded in my personal life, I am kind, I am grateful. I am so excited about the rest of my life!

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