10 Eye-Opening Books on Social Issues and Identity

In a world where understanding and empathy are more important than ever, books on social issues and identity have the power to shed light on social issues and help us explore diverse perspectives. By delving into the pages of thought-provoking literature, we can broaden our horizons, challenge our beliefs, and foster a deeper understanding of the complexities of the human experience.

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Books on Social Issues and Identity

In this blog post, I present a curated list of ten remarkable books on social issues and identity that tackle various social issues and delve into the intricacies of identity. These books on social issues and identity not only entertain but also educate and inspire, making them essential reads for those seeking to expand their understanding of the world. So, let’s dive in!

Books on Social Issues and Identity

To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee

To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee

A lawyer’s advice to his children as he defends the real mockingbird of Harper Lee’s classic novel – a black man falsely charged with the rape of a white girl. Through the young eyes of Scout and Jem Finch, Harper Lee explores with exuberant humour the irrationality of adult attitudes to race and class in the Deep South of the 1930s. The conscience of a town steeped in prejudice, violence and hypocrisy is pricked by the stamina of one man’s struggle for justice. But the weight of history will only tolerate so much.

To Kill a Mockingbird is a coming-of-age story, an anti-racist novel, a historical drama of the Great Depression and a sublime example of the Southern writing tradition. One of the most remarkable books on social issues and identity.

The Color Purple - Alice Walker

The Color Purple – Alice Walker

Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, “The Color Purple,” explores the lives of African American women in the early 20th century. Through the unforgettable character of Celie, Walker tackles issues of racism, sexism, and domestic abuse. The book’s powerful narrative and emotional depth invite readers to contemplate the intersections of race, gender, and identity, highlighting the resilience of the human spirit in the face of adversity. A huge one among the most remarkable books on social issues and identity.

Half of a Yellow Sun - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Half of a Yellow Sun – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Winner of the Orange Broadband Prize for Fiction 2007, this is a heartbreaking, exquisitely written literary masterpiece.

Ugwu, a boy from a poor village, works as a houseboy for a university professor. Olanna, a young woman, has abandoned her life of privilege in Lagos to live with her charismatic new lover, the professor. And Richard, a shy English writer, is in thrall to Olanna’s enigmatic twin sister. As the horrific Biafran War engulfs them, they are thrown together and pulled apart in ways they had never imagined.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s masterpiece, winner of the Orange Prize for Fiction, is a novel about Africa in a wider sense: about the end of colonialism, ethnic allegiances, class and race – and about the ways in which love can complicate all of these things. A modern one among books on social issues and identity.

The Hate U Give - Angie Thomas

The Hate U Give – Angie Thomas

Angie Thomas’s debut novel, “The Hate U Give,” addresses the pressing issue of police brutality and systemic racism through the eyes of sixteen-year-old Starr Carter. After witnessing the fatal shooting of her unarmed friend by a police officer, Starr finds herself torn between speaking out and protecting her community. This compelling and timely story encourages readers to examine the consequences of racial bias and the power of activism. For the young ones among books on social issues and identity.

The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood

The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood

Offred is a Handmaid in The Republic of Gilead, a religious totalitarian state in what was formerly known as the United States. She is placed in the household of The Commander, Fred Waterford – her assigned name, Offred, means ‘of Fred’. She has only one function: to breed. If Offred refuses to enter into sexual servitude to repopulate a devastated world, she will be hanged. Yet even a repressive state cannot eradicate hope and desire. As she recalls her pre-revolution life in flashbacks, Offred must navigate through the terrifying landscape of torture and persecution in the present day, and between two men upon which her future hangs.

Masterfully conceived and executed, this haunting vision of the future places Margaret Atwood at the forefront of dystopian fiction among books on social issues and identity.

Evicted Poverty and Profit in the American City - Matthew Desmond

Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City – Matthew Desmond

Arleen spends nearly all her money on rent but is kicked out with her kids in Milwaukee’s coldest winter for years. Doreen’s home is so filthy her family call it ‘the rat hole’. Lamar, a wheelchair-bound ex-soldier, tries to work his way out of debt for his boys. Scott, a nurse turned addict, lives in a gutted-out trailer. This is their world. And this is the twenty-first century: where fewer and fewer people can afford a simple roof over their head. A non-fiction among books on social issues and identity.

I Am Malala - Malala Yousafzai

I Am Malala – Malala Yousafzai

When the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley, one girl fought for her right to an education. On Tuesday, 9 October 2012, she almost paid the ultimate price when she was shot in the head at point-blank range.

Malala Yousafzai’s extraordinary journey has taken her from a remote valley in northern Pakistan to the halls of the United Nations. She has become a global symbol of peaceful protest and is the youngest ever winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.

I Am Malala will make you believe in the power of one person’s voice to inspire change in the world. A winner of Nobel Peace Prize among books on social issues and identity.

Behold the Dreamers - Imbolo Mbue

Behold the Dreamers – Imbolo Mbue

New York, 2007. After two long years apart, Jende Jonga has brought his wife Neni from Cameroon to join him in the land of opportunity. Drawn by the promise of America they are seeking the chance of a better life for them and their son.

When Jende lands a dream job as chauffeur to a Lehman Brothers executive, Neni finds herself taken into the confidence of his glamorous wife Cindy. The Edwards are powerful and privileged: dazzling examples of what America can offer to those who are prepared to strive for it.

But when the financial world is rocked by the collapse of Lehman Brothers, all four lives are dramatically upended. As faultlines appear in both marriages and secrets bubble to the surface they must all decide how far they will go in pursuit of their dreams. And what will they sacrifice along the way? A contemporary one among books on social issues and identity.

Between the World And Me - Ta-Nehisi Coates

Between the World and Me – Ta-Nehisi Coates

BETWEEN THE WORLD AND ME is Ta-Nehisi Coates’ attempt to answer those questions, presented in the form of a letter to his adolescent son. Coates shares with his son – and readers – the story of his own awakening to the truth about history and race through a series of revelatory experiences: immersion in nationalist mythology as a child; engagement with history, poetry and love at Howard University; travels to Civil War battlefields and the South Side of Chicago; a journey to France that reorients his sense of the world; and pilgrimages to the homes of mothers whose children’s lives have been taken as American plunder.

Masterfully woven from lyrical personal narrative, reimagined history and fresh, emotionally charged reportage, BETWEEN THE WORLD AND ME offers a powerful new framework for understanding America’s history and current crisis, and a transcendent vision for a way forward. One of my faves among books on social issues and identity.

Educated - Tara Westover

Educated – Tara Westover

Tara Westover’s memoir, “Educated,” recounts her journey from a childhood in a strict and isolated survivalist family in rural Idaho to pursuing higher education at prestigious institutions. Through her inspiring story, Westover illuminates the transformative power of education and the resilience of the human spirit. This book prompts readers to reflect on the value of knowledge, the pursuit of personal growth, and the boundaries imposed by societal expectations. A memoir among books on social issues and identity.

The power of literature lies in its ability to transport us to new worlds, challenge our perspectives, and ignite empathy within us. The ten books on social issues and identity mentioned above offer profound insights into the human experience, encouraging readers to question societal norms, confront biases, and advocate for a more equitable world. As we immerse ourselves in these books on social issues and identity, let us remember the transformative power of empathy and the potential for positive change that lies within each of us.

By exploring these eye-opening books on social issues and identity, we embark on a journey of self-reflection and societal awareness—a journey that can lead to greater understanding, compassion, and a commitment to social justice. So, grab a cup of tea, find a cosy reading spot, and let these thought-provoking books on social issues and identity open your mind and expand your horizons.

Check out my other lists about books!

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  2. Great Novels by Poets
  3. Feel-Good Cozy Mystery Series
  4. Summer Books – 20 Sexy Novels
  5. Autumn Books – 20 Cozy Novels
  6. Winter Books- 20 Atmospheric Novels
  7. Spring Books – 20 Lovely Novels
  8. 20 Captivating Gothic Books
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  10. 20 Best Campus and Academic Novels
  11. 25 Intriguing Dark Academia Books
  12. 20 Literary Romance Novels
  13. 20 Best Food Culture and Food History Books
  14. Comforting Food Memoirs
  15. Top 5 Haiku Books
  16. 15 Best Eco-fiction Novels
  17. Perfect Christmas Books
  18. 20 Best Turkish Books
  19. Standalone Fantasy Books
  20. Fantasy Book Series
  21. Novels Based on Mythology and Legends
  22. Tarot Books to Learn From
  23. Books About Astrology
  24. Books About Esotericism
  25. Books for Book Clubs
  26. Magical Realism Books
  27. Mindfulness Books
  28. Captivating Reincarnation Books
  29. Remarkable Break-Up Novels
  30. Books for Travel Lovers
  31. Brilliant Mythology Books
  32. Egyptian Mythology Books
  33. Train Journey Books
  1. Books Set in Museums
  2. Books Set in Hotels
  3. Books Set on Islands
  4. Books Set in Forests
  5. Novels Set in Ancient Egypt
  6. Novels Set in Bookshops
  7. Novels Set in Libraries
  8. Books Set in the English Countryside
  9. Books Set in Edinburgh
  10. Books Set in Oxford
  11. Books Set in Istanbul
  12. Books Set in Rome
  13. Books Set in Portugal
  14. Books Set in Egypt
  15. Books Set in Greece
  16. Books Set in Mexico
  17. Books Set in South Africa
  18. Books Set in New York
  19. Books Set in Paris
  20. Books Set in Barcelona
  21. Books Set in Berlin
  22. Novels Set in China
  23. Books Set in Tokyo
  24. Books Set in Bali
  1. Novels Under 100 Pages
  2. Novels Under 150 Pages
  3. Novels Under 200 Pages
  4. Novels About Older Woman, Younger Man Relationships
  5. Novels About Fortune Telling
  6. Novels About Translators and Interpreters
  7. Novels About Books
  8. Best Books About Books
  9. Novels About Vincent Van Gogh
  10. Novels About Leonardo da Vinci
  11. Books About Picasso
  12. Novels About Marriage
  13. Novels About Food
  14. Novels About Writers
  15. Novels About Music
  16. Books About Witches
  17. Books About Divorce
  18. Novels About Ernest Hemingway
  19. Best Books About Birds
  20. Best Books About Walking
  21. Best Books About Tea
  22. Books on Social Issues and Identity
  23. Novels About Scents & Perfume
  24. Exciting Thriller Novels of All Time
  25. Books on Art and Creativity
  26. Mind-Expanding Philosophy Books
  27. Historical Fiction Novels
  28. Beautiful Poetry Collections
  29. Powerful Books About Peace
  30. Beautiful Romance Novels

Are there any books on social issues and identity you’d like to add to this list? Would you please share in the comments section below?

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