The Best Books I’ve Read for a Class

As an English major, I am constantly reading books for class. The majority of my classes require me to read at least two books per class, and many of the books have left a lasting impact on the class and my perception of life. These books focus on a variety of topics and themes such as racial problems, mental health, and the LGBTQIA+ community. Trigger warnings are necessary for all of these books. 


1. Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

(Photo By Cultural Front)


Written as a letter to his son, Ta-Nehisi Coates writes an autobiography where he describes the racial injustices he suffered as an African American man. Coates details his life as a child and his fears of being African American because of police brutality and gangs. Coates contrasts his life in America to living in Paris and feeling safer. To me, this book is so important because it made me realize the historical racial injustices Black Americans suffered, and the contemporary problems that plague their lives. This book helped me understand, to an extent, Coates’ perspective and view of America, which is vastly different from mine, especially during the time of Black Lives Matter

Trigger warning for police brutality.

You can purchase Between the World and Me here

2. Edinburgh by Alexander Chee

(Photo by Amazon)


Edinburgh follows Fee, a Korean American musical prodigy, who joins an all-boys choir group. Fee and the other boys are molested by their choir instructor, and the book follows Fee and the other boys trying to deal with the trauma the instructor caused. This book is one of the saddest, most emotionally draining books I’ve read for a class. That being said, I could not put it down because I wanted to make sure Fee was going to be okay. 

Trigger warning for pedophilia, suicide, and depression.

You can purchase Edinburgh here.


3. I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sanchez

(Photo by Amazon)


I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter was, perhaps, the most significant book to me. The book is about Julia, a Mexican American teenager living on the south side of Chicago, who experiences the loss of her sister (who Julia thought was the perfect Mexican daughter). Julia doesn’t have the best relationship with her parents, so she relies on writing as an emotional and mental outlet. But, this is not enough, and Julia comes to a mental breaking point. This book was so realistic to me, and I related to Julia a lot which made it one of my favorites. 

Trigger warning for depression, suicide, and anxiety.

You can purchase I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter here.