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Surviving 2020: Books That Will Make You Believe in Humanity

These books were to be featured at our Literary Soiree with Elizabeth Strout on October 29th, 2019.

The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World By Melinda Gates Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781250313577
Published: Flatiron Books - April 23rd, 2019

Informative, inspirational, enlightening, encouraging! I feel like my world view expanded with each chapter. Her voice of strong, quiet conviction is powerful. It’s amazing how much she shares of her own heart through her experiences around the world working with many different people. Packed with statistics, science, personal experiences, successes and failures, Melinda Gates has written a manifesto. —Jenny

The Education of an Idealist: A Memoir By Samantha Power Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062820693
Availability: Not On Our Shelves, But Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Dey Street Books - September 10th, 2019

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The House of Broken Angels By Luis Alberto Urrea Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316154895
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Back Bay Books - March 5th, 2019

I have to admit that I have a weakness for family epics. There is something so powerful about connecting to characters’ lives in the place that is most emotional, complex and personal. So when I read The House of Broken Angels I was not surprised that I fell in love with the extended cast of characters of the Las Cruzes family but little did I know that their feelings of belonging, loyalty and forgiveness would deeply permeate and change my own view of humanity. Dave Eggers says that it is "one of the most vivid and engrossing family epics of the last twenty years" and I agree. — Casey

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The Friend (National Book Award Winner): A Novel By Sigrid Nunez Cover Image
ISBN: 9780735219458
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Riverhead Books - February 5th, 2019

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Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World By Tracy Kidder Cover Image
ISBN: 9780812973013
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - August 31st, 2004

Dr. Paul Farmer sleeps about two hours a night. At Harvard, he finished in the top of his class though barely attended—already in Haiti, providing medical services in the horrific poverty from which he could not look away. Mountains Beyond Mountains mesmerizingly conveys Farmer’s obsessive altruism and his unrelenting mission to strike out not only disease, but all the world’s ambivalence about inequality. —Julia

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The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu: And Their Race to Save the World's Most Precious Manuscripts By Joshua Hammer Cover Image
ISBN: 9781476777412
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster - April 4th, 2017

A book about the past mixed with the politics of the today, all told through captivating reporting. It celebrates the true thrilling story of the people who smuggled old, rare books and scripts out of West Africa as they confront the new dangers of the present. Badass Librarians is both inspiring and page-turning. — Ian

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How We Fight for Our Lives: A Memoir By Saeed Jones Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781501132735
Published: Simon & Schuster - October 8th, 2019

Saeed Jones has written a memorable, powerful coming-of-age memoir, with his keen awareness of the intersection of multiple identities: to be black, to be gay, to know that being both of these can be deadly in this world. It is as much a testament to surviving the world as it is to surviving one’s own self, as Jones demonstrates with his compelling writing. Even more, it is an ode to single motherhood, an account of the determination it takes to change one’s life, and what one’s life can look like after being changed. — Billy

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Erosion: Essays of Undoing By Terry Tempest Williams Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780374280062
Published: Sarah Crichton Books - October 8th, 2019

Terry Tempest Williams’s latest work is powerful, poetic, and absolutely necessary—an offering for how to understand, survive, grieve, and challenge our current political and environmental crises, acting as both balm and tonic. Written with an open heart, a seeking mind, and unfathomable honesty, these essays range from conservation activism to life in the desert, from plumbing the depths of personal grief to public outrage. She speaks to the natural erosion of all things, and how in that loss, there is also strength and reformation, a way to hope. — Melinda