I think I love book shopping just as much as, if not more than clothes and accessories shopping (which has not occurred in a while due to my newfound desire to save money!), so I’m always excited when I browse the shelves at Barnes and Noble or the small used bookstores in town. In fact, a bad habit I have is I continue purchasing nonfiction books and poetry chapbooks even though I have at least two dozen at any time that are left unread (I just bought these two back in August). Today’s small book haul features two of my most anticipated reads ever because they’re either written by an author in my top 5 writers category or are about prisons and violence (topics about which I adore reading and learning). These books are also highly anticipated because I’ve wanted to buy them for months (Sered’s book) and/or years (Baldwin’s collection). Baldwin Collected Essays should be an essential addition to every household because James Baldwin was one of the greatest writers, thinkers, artists, and activists in history. I picked up the book because I wanted to read his “No Name in the Street” essay and this collection also included some of his other well known pieces such as “Notes of a Native Son” and “The Fire Next Time.” I haven’t gotten through the majority of the anthology yet, but I’m truly enjoying slowly reading this highly anticipated collection. Until We Reckon by Danielle Sered is arguably one of the most important pieces in my book collection on incarceration, joining only The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander and Are Prisons Obsolete? by Angela Davis as my prison reading essentials. This book is so important because it tackles a key question in the quest toward abolition: what do we do with all of the scary, violent people if prisons no longer exist? That’s a question I constantly struggle with, so I’m thankful that such a nuanced book exists as I try to educate myself more on my own beliefs.