In no particular order of preference:
Frederick Cooper, Plantation Slavery on the East Coast of Africa (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1977)
David William Cohen and E.S. Atieno Odhiambo, Siaya: The Historical Anthropology of an African Landscape (London: James Currey, 1989)–the relationship they map between friendship and kinship is VERY Foucauldian and fantastic to think through.
Chris Abani, Becoming Abigail (New York: Akashic Books, 2006)–Abani is always a pleasure!
Terry Eagleton, How to Read a Poem (Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2007)–Would benefit greatly from thinking through “taste,” since his pronouncements on good and bad poetry really do seem arbitrary.
Ian Baucom, Specters of the Atlantic: Finance Capital, Slavery, and the Philosophy of History (Durham: Duke University Press, 2005)–this very difficult book will take me at least six months!
Phillippa Levine, Prostitution, Race & Politics: Policing Venereal Disease in the British Empire (New York: Routledge, 2003).–simply lovely!
Tabitha Kanogo, African Womanhood in Colonial Kenya 1900-1950 (Oxford: James Currey, 2005)–a conceptual minefield.
Jean Davison with the Women of Mutira, Voices from Mutira: Lives of Rural Gikuyu Women (Boulder: Lynne Rienner, 1989)
Charles Reznikoff, Holocaust (Los Angeles: Black Sparrow Press, 1975)–this book NEVER gets any easier to read. Ever. Still as difficult now as the first few times.
As the semester proceeds, I’ll be reading more fiction and poetry, which will be GREAT! I mean, yes, I love history and so-called theory, but literature really feeds my soul the best.