The Human Rights Book Club is focused on discussing local and international human rights issues in a casual and comfortable setting where you will be in good company. The club reads fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. Anyone is welcomed to join at any time, and we look forward to reading with you.
Waking Up White by Debby Irving.
Irving tells the story of her 25 years sensing racial tension in personal and professional relationships, and her worries as a colleague and neighbor that she would offend those she wanted to befriend. As an arts administrator she did not understand why her diversity efforts lacked traction, and as a teacher she found her best efforts to reach out to students and families of color were missing something. After a revelatory moment in 2009, Irving launched an adventure of discovery and insight that would drastically shift her world view. Irving shares both the good and cringe-worthy moments of her story.
Discussion will be held July 20th, 5:15 p.m. at HREI.
Tribe by Sebastian Junger.
Junger combines history, psychology, and anthropology as he explores what tribal societies can teach us about loyalty, belonging, and humanity’s eternal quest to find meaning. He explains the irony that war feels better than peace, that adversity can turn into a blessing, and that disasters are more often more fondly remembered than the good moments in life. Tribe explains why humans are stronger when we come together and how we can achieve that in our presently divided world.
Discussion will be held September 19th, 5:15 p.m. at HREI.
Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance.
J.D. Vance reveals the decline of America’s white working class through the lens of his own family, which ascended to a middle class status after his grandparents fled to Ohio to escape the dreadful poverty in the Appalachian Mountain regions of Kentucky, and the difficulties that came along with their uplifting. As a Marine and Yale Law school graduate, Vance solidified the upward mobility of his family over the generations, but the abuse, trauma, alcoholism, and effects of poverty continued to haunt both his family and Vance himself while his parents, especially his mother, struggled to meet the demands of their new middle class lifestyle. Through this memoir on the chaos that followed Vance’s family he shares how the American Dream has become lost to a portion of the country, and how poverty can cripple a family through generations.
We Should All Be Feminists by Chimanda Ngozi Adichie.
As an adaptation of her Tedx talk of the same name, Nigerian writer Chimanda Ngozi Adichie asks what feminism means in today’s world. This essay explores not just blatant discrimination, but insidious and institutionalized behaviors that marginalize women across the globe, and helps her readers understand the sometimes subtle realities of sexual politics. Her experiences in Nigeria and in the United States give her a strong insight into the gender divide and how it harms not just women, but men as well. Adichie, a best-selling author known for Americanah and Half of a Yellow Sun, brings her style of humor and wit intermixed with serious observations into the field of feminism, and offers her unique definition of feminism which calls for inclusion and awareness. She artfully explains not just what it means to be a woman today, but why we should all be feminists.
Moccasin Thunder: American Indian Stories for Today by Lori M. Carlson.
Ten short stories about contemporary native American teens by members of tribes of the United States and Canada, including Louise Erdrich and Joseph Bruchac.
Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie.
Bestselling author Sherman Alexie tells the story of Junior, a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Determined to take his future into his own hands, Junior leaves his troubled school on the reservation to attend an all-white farm town high school where the only other Indian is the school mascot.
When the Rain Sings: Poems by Young Native Americans
When the Rain Sings: Poems by Young Native Americans was created in partnership with Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers and includes some of the notable talents from Wordcraft’s Mentoring Initiative, a national program created to cultivate the writing abilities of Native youth. NMAI, with support from Wordcraft’s founding director Lee Francis (Laguna Pueblo), asked Native participants from Mentoring Initiatives throughout the United States to use objects and historic images from the museum’s unparalleled collections to spark their imagination. The uplifting, sometimes aching, responses of these poets, who range in age from nine to seventeen, invite readers into a world colored by joy, sadness, and memory.
Tantalize by Cynthia Leitech
Quincie Morris has never felt more alone. Her parents are dead, and her hybrid-werewolf first love is threatening to embark on a rite of passage that will separate them forever. Then, as she and her uncle are about to unveil their hot vampire-themed restaurant, a brutal murder leaves them scrambling for a chef. Can Quincie transform their new hire into a culinary Dark Lord before opening night? Can he wow the crowd in his fake fangs, cheap cape, and red contact lenses — or is there more to this earnest face than meets the eye? As human and preternatural forces clash, a deadly love triangle forms, and the line between predator and prey begins to blur. Who’s playing whom? And how long can Quincie play along before she loses everything?
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