We love the Chapel Hill Public Library’s annual summer reading challenge. This year, the library’s reading challenge is called Summer Blast and involves family Fun Fridays, family movie matinees, and adult programming (including book speed dating.)

For each five books you read this summer, you get a raffle ticket. There’s also a free book (!) and sticker packs. Can you think of anything better? We can not.

To get you started on your summer reading journey, we’ve picked out some great books about housing and transportation that you can get directly from the Chapel Hill Public Library! Enjoy summer reading!

The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of how our government segregated America (library copy)

A recent review from a Chapel Hill community member: “A great view on the history of U.S. housing policies that are rooted in systematic racism, and how these practices continue to impact people of the United States today. Rothstein puts an emphasis on how while yes, individual acts of racism and bigotry contributed to a segregated country, the U.S. government intentionally segregated Americans through laws and policies at the federal, state, and local level. Rothstein effectively outlines events leading up to and following the civil rights movement, but does not deeply explore current practices that continue to segregate our cities and schools. This book doesn’t thoroughly examine the segregation present today and the systematic and structural racism that continues to disadvantage people of color, but is a great book to help understand the housing background which the United States is built upon.”

Paved Paradise: How Parking Explains the World (library copy)

This summer read is by a Slate journalist, who investigates into how parking, parking structures, and parking planning dominate the American life and landscape.

Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City (library copy)

A review by a Chapel Hill community member: “Not only is Evicted informative, interesting, and important, it is well-written and easy to follow. The majority of the book introduces readers to folks facing eviction in Milwaukee with some historical and current-day information both about the city and the country as a whole mixed in. The book closes with Desmond’s suggested solutions to the crisis and while I do not consider myself an expert on the topic by any means, they seem reasonable and doable to me. Regardless, something needs to be done and done quickly. Everyone should have the right to affordable and safe housing despite circumstance.”

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Melody Kramer is a Peabody-award winning journalist whose work has appeared on NPR and member stations around the country, as well as in publications ranging from National Geographic to Esquire Magazine....