Good Reads: Books Considered by the Selection Committee
1984, by George Orwill
“Orwell saw, to his credit, that the act of falsifying reality is only secondarily a way of changing perceptions. It is, above all, a way of asserting power.”—The New Yorker.
House of Purple Cedar, by Tim Tingle
This novel describes the struggles of Choctaws in pre-statehood Oklahoma, through the eyes of a young girl who witnesses the burning down of New Hope Academy boarding school. Filled with hope in the most tragic of circumstance, HoPC is Tingle's testament to Choctaw elders who continue to watch over the well-being of the Choctaw Nation and its people.
The Book of Harlan, by Bernice L. McFadden
“McFadden’s impressive achievement offers us a window into the often very difficult lives of African Americans from the Jim Crow era up to the present--and, unexpectedly, in wartime Germany. Highly recommended for showing us that however badly black citizens have historically been treated, black lives matter.”
All the Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr
From the highly acclaimed, multiple award-winning Anthony Doerr, the beautiful, stunningly ambitious instant New York Times bestseller about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II.
Just Mercy, by Bryan Stevenson
A powerful true story about the potential for mercy to redeem us, and a clarion call to fix our broken system of justice—from one of the most brilliant and influential lawyers of our time.
Life is Not an Accident: A Memoir of Reinvention, by Jay Williams
This big-hearted memoir by the most promising professional basketball player of his generation details his rise to NBA stardom, the terrible accident that ended his career and plunged him into a life-altering depression, and how he ultimately found his way out of the darkness.
The Terrorist's Son: A Story of Choice, by Zak Ebrahim
An extraordinary story, never before told: The intimate, behind-the-scenes life of an American boy raised by his terrorist father—the man who planned the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
Detroit: An American Autopsy, by Charlie LeDuff
If Detroit is America's vanguard in good times and bad, then here is the only place to turn for guidance in our troubled era. While redemption is thin on the ground in this ghost of a city, Detroit: An American Autopsy is no hopeless parable. LeDuff shares an unbelievable story of a hard town in a rough time filled with some of the strangest and strongest people our country has to offer. Detroit is a dark comedy of the absurdity of American life in the twenty-first century, a deeply human drama of colossal greed and endurance, ignorance and courage.
Behind the Beautiful Forevers, by Katherine Boo
The even-handedness that stems from Katherine Boo's natural and abundant empathy is one of the many appeals of Behind the Beautiful Forevers, her gorgeous book on one of Mumbais slums, Annawadi. The book contains a particularly important message for those who have monopolized the ear of the Indian governments key leaders, and who place their hopes for the poor in financial handouts and empowerment through legal rights.
The Good Food Revolution, by Will Allen
Despite financial challenges and daunting odds, Allen built the country's preeminent urban farm-a food and educational center that now produces enough produce and fish year-round to feed thousands. Employing young people from the neighboring housing project and community, Growing Power shows how local food systems can help troubled youths, dismantle racism, create jobs, bring urban and rural communities closer together, and improve public health. Today, Allen's organization helps develop community food systems across the country.
The Good Food Revolution
All The Light We Cannot See
The Terrorist's Son: A Story of Choice
Life is Not an Accident