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Book Lovers Day - Recommendations from our Staff

Posted August 9, 2019 by Team LA 2050

This Book Lovers Day we got help from our staff to create a list of our own bookshelf favorites! Here are our must-haves to add to your own book collection:

The Overstory: A Novel by Richard Powers

Goldhirsh Foundation President Tara Roth admitted she cried in public while reading this Pulitzer Prize winning book. “It's just a beautiful and sad story. You become immersed in all the character's stories and truly care about them."

Sula by Toni Morrison

Tara also recommends this novel that chronicles the friendship of two women over their lifetimes. By taking the characters through different paths in life, Morrison shows what it's like to be a black woman in America.

A Random Walk Down Wall Street: The Time-tested Strategy for Successful Investing by Burton G. Malkiel

Social Innovation Coordinator LeAnn Kelch recommends this book about investing. “As someone who is just starting out in my career, I wanted to learn about how I could (and should) be investing my money. This book is helpful for those who are looking for more than just simple advice and want to understand not just what they should do with their investments, but why. I've learned so much!"

The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America by Richard Rothstein

LeAnn also recommends this book that traces the history and lasting impact of redlining in America - revealing how the government imposed residential segregation and “contributed greatly to our country's pervasive racial and economic inequality."

Wouldn't Take Nothing for My Journey Now by Maya Angelou

From racism, to grieving, to taking time for your own self care, Ms. Angelou gives her raw, real advice to apply to everyday life. “The wisdom, wit, and honesty from her personal experiences helped me learn to love my journey for what it is and take control of it," according to our intern Amanda Guiterrez.

G'morning, G'night!: Little Pep Talks for Me & You by Lin-Manuel Miranda

Amanda also recommends starting your day with Lin-Manuel Miranda's brand of sunshine, “These little affirmations start my day off with motivation and end my night with contentment, and truly make me smile."

Becoming by Michelle Obama

In this book, Obama shares how her experiences growing up in the South Side of Chicago shaped her career and personal life, along with her experiences as first lady. USC Price Fellow Claudia Eccheveria says, “Michelle Obama's memoir is a must read!"

Peace in the Hood: Working with Gang Members to End the Violence by Aquil Basheer and Christina Hoag

Claudia also recommends this book that provides guidelines on how to become an interventionist and promote peace in some of LA's most vulnerable neighborhoods impacted by gang violence.

Ask More: The Power of Questions to Open Doors, Uncover Solutions and Spark Change by Frank Sesno

Consultant Julie Lacouture says this book by journalist Frank Sesno “has some amazing advice about how to ask great questions to spark change. I learned the difference between empathetic questions, accountability questions, diagnostic questions, and when to best use them."

Rising Out of Hatred: The Awakening of a Former White Nationalist by Eli Saslow

Julie also recommends this book that follows a young man who "grew up at the epicenter of white nationalism" (his Dad founded Stormfront and his godfather is David Duke) and came to renounce all of it after attending a small college in Florida. Says Julie: “This is a tremendous story of how small influences can make a huge change and how white-supremacist ideas get repackaged and adopted."

Here (Pantheon Graphic Library) by Richard McGuire

This graphic novel is recommended by intern Amanda Liaw, “It's a surprising book that illustrates the stories that have taken place in the corner of a single room across hundreds and thousands of years. It does an amazing job at drawing out the deep emotional connection we somehow feel to spaces."

Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell

Intern Amy Roth recommends this non-fiction book, “Gladwell's narrative of the complexities of “outliers" in society is gripping and thought-provoking."

The Road to Unfreedom: Russia, Europe, America by Timothy Snyder

Amy also recommends this detailed analysis to draw parallels between history and the present, as he maps out the road to corruption, censorship, and the suppression of democracy throughout Russia's quest for world domination.