London’s BIG READ launched on 1 March and is dedicating the whole month to showcase six books by writers whose work has significant relevance for London’s multicultural society. The initiative is encouraging Londoners to read at least one of the six books and then vote for the one they think all Londoners should read. The winner will be awarded London’s BIG READ for 2018.
The shortlisted books are:
Black and British: A Forgotten History by David Olusoga
An vital re-examination of a shared history, Black and British is a rich and revealing exploration of the extraordinarily long relationship between Britain and the people of Africa and the Caribbean.
Brit(ish) by Afua Hirsch
Brit(ish) explores the complex relationship Britons have with the past and present which has culminated in a crisis of identity. For example, revelling in being a nation of abolition whilst conveniently forgetting the major role played in slavery. Afua Hirsch examines how this came to be in a personal and provocative investigation, with a call for change.
Self Made by Bianca Miller-Cole & Byron Cole
If you want to make a success of running your own business, then Self Made is definitely the one for you. Packed with practical tips and advice on things like personal branding, Self Made is an inspiring and encouraging read.
Diversify by June Sarpong
Focusing on those groups often marginalised in our society, including women, those living with disabilities, and the LGBTQ community, June Sarpong explores how a new approach to how we work, learn and live can help us reach our maximum potential, lessen the pressure on the state and solve some of the most stubborn challenges we face.
Julius Ceasar and Me by Paterson Joseph
Actor Paterson Joseph found his experience of playing Brutus in Julius Caesar to be a defining point in his career, as well a transformative experience. In this book, he shares the details of the rehearsal process and his experience of working with a majority black cast.
The Belt Boy by Kevin Lueshing & Mike Dunn
A harrowing – and yet ultimately inspirational – account of childhood cruelty and how one of its most unlikely victims, who later became a tough British boxing champion, courageously confronted the hideous scars inflicted during a tortured upbringing.
I’ve started with David Olusoga’s Black and British, which is quite a hefty tome so I may not get to the others – at least not this month, but I’m liking the look of Brit(ish) and Self Made. If you’re also taking part in this challenge, let me know in the comments what you’re reading and what you think.