Men we Reaped by Jesmyn Ward
Ward writes about losing five men in her life from 2000 to 2004, including her younger brother. All five were claimed by violence in a small town in Mississippi. But Ward’s memoir does more than just recount her own grief; she views the five deaths as a microcosm for the plight of all African American men and indicts society for allowing these racist and socioeconomic injustices to persist.
Letters to an Incarcerated Brother: Encouragement, Hope, and Healing for Inmates and Their Loved Ones by Hill Harper
In the latest in Harper’s letters series, he writes about letters he has received from inmates looking for a successful role model. Harper set out to address the specific needs of inmates and in doing so is inspired to help at-risk youth. He founded an outreach called Manifest Your Destiny in hopes that mentoring will prevent senseless imprisonments.
Tell My Sons by Lt. Col. Mark M. Weber
Weeks into a high-profile tour in Afghanistan, Weber learns that he has stage IV intestinal cancer. After two years of fighting his illness, the 38 year old father of three faces the fact that he is not going to make it home to his family. Weber writes a letter to his boys so that they would know the story of his life and death and the lessons he has learned from it. This book is that letter and an inspirational, touching must-read that addresses the need to live a full life.
And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini
Hosseini made a name for himself with his first two acclaimed novels The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns. His third novel focuses on the bonds among family members and how our choices affect generations. We follow the characters across the globe, learning about who and how they love. The novel is as beautiful as it is emotionally complex and teaches readers the importance of family.
And Sons by David Gilbert
At Charles Henry Topping’s funeral on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, his oldest friend and renowned author Andrew Newbold Dyer breaks down as he delivers the eulogy. From that moment on, Charles’s son Philip gets wrapped up in the Dyer family drama much like his late father before him. Gilbert deals with mortality and how family defines us as individuals.