Monday, July 2, 2018

Diana's picks

Recovery: Freedom from Our Addictions by Russyell Brand 
Addiction can effect anyone and comes in all shapes and sizes. Russell Brand shares his story of addiction in brutal honesty on how he worked each of the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous in his life since his recovery in 2002.  A long lasting value of this book is the author’s personal story, which makes it powerful and incredibly engaging.  This is a story of hope against hopelessness and Brand is vulnerable, honest, compassionate as well as funny in telling of his story.  

From Addiction to Serenity by Vaughn W
Experience can be the driver of teaching when a life purpose comes out of the abyss of addiction.  Vaughan, a world war II veteran and Michigan native utilized his struggle of reaching sobriety as a life career to share with others and help them understand the long road of addiction and a path toward finding inner serenity.  Utilizing personal experience, Vaughan developed a recovery prototype, which became a prominent model at Marquette General and St Mary’s hospital.  Vaughn celebrated 50 years of continuous sobriety and wrote this book in his retirement years with a desire to show that there is still hope when facing an uphill battle every day of your life.

Forged in Crisis by Nancy Koehn
For leaders in the 21st century, there is only one pressing question: What set of skills are necessary to lead in a crisis? Does history have the answers? Harvard Business School historian professor Nancy Koehn surveyed some of history’s greatest leaders and made an incredible discovery: courageous leaders are not born but made, and the power to lead resides in each of us.  Leaders include Ernest Shackleton; Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass and Rachel Carson.  Forged in Crisis is an insightful read that can teach anyone how to develop remarkable leadership skills. 

The Woman’s Hour: The Great Fight to Win the Vote by Elaine Weiss
A journalist by trade, Elaine Weiss weaves the historical context on the political battle in the State of Tennessee in 1920 over the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution. What strengthens the narrative are the author’s minibiographies of primary characters in this “furious campaign”—Carrie Chapman Catt (“it was [her] her life’s mission—to guide American women to the promised land of political freedom”), Alice Paul, Josephine Pearson, and Presidents Warren G. Harding and Woodrow Wilson—as well as of the less-well-known players (mostly Tennessee politicians and lobbyists). Pearson is the most visible of the women who opposed suffrage, believing that it posed a danger “to the American family, white supremacy, states’ rights, and cherished southern traditions.” Perhaps the most famous of the anti-suffragists was reform-minded journalist Ida Tarbell, whom Weiss chronicles briefly. The author clearly explains how the opposition by women—a stance that will surprise some modern readers—derived partly from their desire to be sheltered from politics, partly from the negative influence of men in their lives, and partly from racism (providing ballots to white women would open the floodgates of black women voters).

-Diana Menhennick, Reference Department

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