Recommended Reads's blog

Wild Things: Acts of Mischief in Children's Literature by Betsy Bird, Julie Danielson, and Peter D. Sieruta

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When children's authors mention their profession to inquiring strangers, they often hear, "Oh, that's so sweet!" or something equally cloying. The reality is far from the stereotypical image of cute little animals and happily ever after: Scandal, violence, subversion, rebellion, parody, censorship, and controversy abound.

A Nun on the Bus: How All of Us Can Create Hope, Change, and Community by Sister Simone Campbell

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Sister Simone Campbell has spent virtually her entire life advocating for social justice. In third grade, for example, after her teacher denied a classmate a part in the class play, Sister Simone wrote and directed her own play in which everyone had a part.

I'll Drink to That: A Life in Style, with a Twist by Betty Halbreich with Rebecca Paley

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Sometimes, you have a plan for your life, and it plays out exactly as you imagined. More often, you experience unexpected twists, and you either make the best of them and move forward or regret them and live forever in the past.

Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande

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Thanks to advances in medicine and technology, humans are living longer than ever before. But is that necessarily a good thing?

The Underground Girls of Kabul: In Search of a Hidden Resistance in Afghanistan by Jenny Nordberg

The Underground Girls of Kabul book coverTo be born female in many countries is to be born an outcast, stripped of rights and freedom, abused, exploited, and, often, marked for death. Afghanistan, one such country in which girls have little or no value, serves as the setting for award-winning investigative journalist Jenny Nordberg's book The Underground Girls of Kabul.

Last Chain on Billie: How One Extraordinary Elephant Escaped the Big Top by Carol Bradley

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For decades, elephants have been a primary attraction at circuses, performing impressive stunts to spellbound audiences. Out of the spotlight, however, elephants (and other trained animals) endure a bleak, oftentimes abusive, existence. Last Chain on Billie by Carol Bradley highlights one such elephant's experience that fortunately has a rare happy ending.

Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder by Arianna Huffington

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Arianna Huffington has long been familiar with working long, stressful hours. Author, syndicated columnist, and creator of the online news service The Huffington Post, Huffington used to believe that she was not being productive if she was not squeezing every minute out of every day.

Small Victories: Spotting Improbable Moments of Grace by Anne Lamott

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With her characteristically funny, honest, and irreverent style, Anne Lamott continues her spiritual journey in her latest book, Small Victories: Spotting Improbable Moments of Grace, a follow-up to two of her previous books, Help, Thanks, Wow: The Three Essential Prayers (2012) and Stitches: A Handbook on Meaning, Hope, and

Welcome to Subirdia: Sharing Our Neighborhoods with Wrens, Robins, Woodpeckers, and Other Wildlife by John M. Marzluff

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Maybe you have never thought much about (or of) birds, but these beautiful, amazing, and hardy creatures have thrived on Earth for almost 170 million years and play essential roles in our world. In his new book Welcome to Subirdia, renowned ornithologist and urban ecologist John M.

Boy on Ice: The Life and Death of Derek Boogaard by John Branch

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Never originally considered for a professional hockey career, 15-year-old Derek Boogaard, a painfully shy boy from a small Saskatchewan town, captured the attention of scouts from the Western Hockey League one evening while playing in a junior hockey league game.