ARESD’s “Exploring Barriers and Boundaries through Books” series continues, with each session involving an engaging discussion of a selected book to explore and better understand the challenges, conflicts, injustices, and emotions faced by -[characters in communities that may be unfamiliar to the reader.

December: selections from “How Long Til Black Future Month” by N. K. Jemisin. Discussion facilitated by Alex Creech on Sunday, Dec. 6 at 2 p.m. According to Hachette Book Group: “Three-time Hugo Award winner and New York Times bestselling author Jemisin challenges and delights readers with thought-provoking narratives of destruction, rebirth, and redemption that sharply examine modern society in her first collection of short fiction, which includes never-before-seen stories.”

Those looking to participate in the book discussion are encouraged to read all the stories; however, our group discussion will be focused primarily on “The Ones Who Stay and Fight,” “Cuisine des Mémoires,” and “Non-Zero Probabilities.” Please note that “The Ones Who Stay and Fight” is a direct response to the 1973 short story, “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas,” by Ursula K. Le Guin and can be found online. While you don’t have to have read it in order to understand “The Ones Who Stay and Fight,” it does help provide a wider context.

January: “A Place for Us” by Fatima Farheen Mirza. This debut novel delves into the struggles and intricacies of assimilation that an Indian American-Muslim family faces as they straddle two different cultures. Discussion facilitated by Sharon Baker, TBA.

Participants are invited to join every book discussion in the series or pick among the selections that are of most interest.

To reserve your spot and receive a Zoom invitation, please send an email to by Friday, Dec. 4 (“Black Future Month”). If you have any questions or would like to facilitate a future book discussion, please contact Sharon Baker at