Literary Arsenal – 45 Books In Our Editor’s Personal Library

When I was traveling a couple of years ago, I sent about a quarter of my library to my mother’s house in the Rocky Mountain region. My books sat in her guestroom for a year before I called her and inquired about have them sent back to me.

I’m back to writing full time after a brief stint of teaching, and with the attainment of many writing and reporting assignments, I feel naked without my collection to help me sort through and research to hone the basis of my thesis and tones for my essays, screenplays, and stories.

Whether I’m writing about a Black women jazz musician, an ethereal novella or writing an essay to assist other writers in finding methods to smooth their literary paths, I’ve known since I was a girl that a robust library of diverse books (that only you can curate via your own tastes and literary needs) is essential to growing into a successful writer.

When I received the full list of books that are patiently waiting to be reunited with my eager and voracious fingers, palms and eyes, I thought it would be good to share some of the books I own and love.

Not many people get to see my process. I wanted to take a bit of the veil down between myself and other readers and writers to ensure that we, in even the smallest of ways, stay connected.

Jordannah Elizabeth

Editor in Chief of TERSE. Journal


I’ve organized 45 of my books into seven different categories for your convenience.




Black Looks

Bell Hooks


The Source of Self Regard

Toni Morrison


The Training School for Negro Girls

Camille Acker


Bone Black: Memories of Girlhood

bell hooks



Roxane Gay


Jazz Diasporas: Race, Music, and Migration in Post-WW II Paris

Rashida Braggs


Beyond Respectability: The Intellectual Thought of Race women

Brittney C. Cooper


Difficult Women

Roxane Gay


Diversifying Democracy

Harriett Lee Elam-Thomas




The Dialectic of Sex

Shulamith Firestone


Women & Equality; Changing Patterns in American Culture

William H. Chafe


The Chalice and the Blade; our History, Our Future

Riane Eisler


Making Spaces Safer; A Guide to Giving Harassment the Boot

Shawna Potter



Maria Mies and Vandana Shiva


Anarchy and the Sex Question; Essays on women and emancipation

Emma Goldman


Thinking Fragments: Psychoanalysis, Feminism, and Postmodern in the West

Jane Flax


Masculinity Studies & Feminist Theory

Judith Kegan Gardiner




Reiki, 108 Questions and Answer

Paula Horan


The Ultimate Guide to the Rider Waite Tarot

Johannes Fiebig


Chakra Therapy For Personal Growth

Keith Sherwood




Knocking the Hustle; Against the Neoliberal Turn in Black Politics

Lester K. Spence


FlyBoy 2: The Greg Tate Reader

Greg Tate


Flyboy in the Buttermilk

Greg Tate


Loose Canons: Notes on the Culture Wars

Henry Louis Gates, Jr




A Farewell to Arms

Ernest Hemingway


Still Life with Woodpecker

Tom Robbins


Richard II



Henry IV Part 1



Death Kit

Susan Sontag


Naked Lunch

William S. Burroughs


Plexus: The Rosy Crucifixion

Henry Miller




The New Journalism

Robert Boynton


Role Models

John Waters


Modernity & Self-Identify: Self and Society in the Late Modern Age

Anthony Giddens


Sound Figures: Crossing Aesthetics

Theodor Adorno


The Twilight of American Culture

Morris Berman


Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human

Harold Bloom


What Great Teachers do Differently

Todd Whitaker


Writing in Society

Raymond Williams




The Sabotage Manuals (Poetry)

Ida Borjel


Can I Kick It? (Poetry)

Idris Goodwin


Crossfire (Poetry)

Stacey Yann Chin


Everything Must Go (Poetry)

Kevin Coval/Langston Allston


Once (Poetry)

Alice Walker


Black Queer Hoe (Essays & Poems)

Britteney Black Rose Kapri

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