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DISTANT FATHERS

One of our recommended books is Distant Fathers by Marina Jarre

This singular autobiography unfurls from author Marina Jarre’s native Latvia during the 1920s and ’30s and expands southward to the Italian countryside. In distinctive writing as poetic as it is precise, Jarre depicts an exceptionally multinational and complicated family: her elusive, handsome father—a Jew who perished in the Holocaust; her severe, cultured mother—an Italian Lutheran who translated Russian literature; and her sister and Latvian grandparents. Jarre tells of her passage from childhood to adolescence, first as a linguistic minority in a Baltic nation and then in traumatic exile to Italy after her parents’ divorce. Jarre lives with her maternal grandparents,

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DANCING WITH THE OCTOPUS

One of our recommended books is Dancing with the Octopus by Debora Harding

Named one of the Best True Crime Books by Marie Claire, Dancing with the Octopus is a harrowing, redemptive and profoundly inspiring memoir of childhood trauma and its long reach into adulthood.

One Omaha winter day in November 1978, when Debora Harding was just fourteen, she was abducted at knifepoint from a church parking lot. She was thrown into a van, assaulted, held for ransom, and then left to die as an ice storm descended over the city.

Debora survived. She identified her attacker to the police and then returned to her teenage life in a dysfunctional home where she was expected to simply move on.

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GICHIGAMI HEARTS

One of our recommended books is Gichigami Hearts by Linda Legrade Grover

Long before there was a Duluth, Minnesota, the massive outcropping that divides the city emerged from the ridge of gabbro rock running along the westward shore of Lake Superior. A great westward migration carried the Ojibwe people to this place, the Point of Rocks. Against this backdrop—Misaabekong, the place of the giants—the lives chronicled in Linda LeGarde Grover’s book unfold, some in myth, some in long-ago times, some in an imagined present, and some in the author’s family history, all with a deep, tenacious bond to the land, one another, and the Ojibwe culture. Within the larger history, Grover tells the story of her ancestors’ arrival in Duluth over two hundred years ago.

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WE ARE NOT BROKEN

One of our recommended books is We Are Not Broken by George M. Johnson

George M. Johnson, activist and bestselling author of All Boys Aren’t Blue, returns with a striking memoir that celebrates Black boyhood and brotherhood in all its glory.

This is the vibrant story of George, Garrett, Rall, and Rasul — four children raised by Nanny, their fiercely devoted grandmother. The boys hold one another close through early brushes with racism, memorable experiences at the family barbershop, and first loves and losses. And with Nanny at their center, they are never broken.

George M. Johnson capture the unique experience of growing up as a Black boy in America,

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OF BEARS AND BALLOTS

One of our recommended books is Of Bears and Ballots by Heather Lende

Heather Lende was one of the thousands of women inspired to take an active role in politics during the past few years. Though her entire campaign for assembly member in Haines, Alaska, cost less than $1,000, she won! And tiny, breathtakingly beautiful Haines isn’t the sleepy town it appears to be. Yes, the assembly must stop bears from rifling through garbage on Main Street, but there is also a bitter debate about the fishing boat harbor and a vicious recall campaign that targets three assembly members, including Lende. In Of Bears and Ballots we witness the nitty-gritty of passing legislation,

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OCTOBER CHILD

One of our recommended books is October Child by Linda Bostrom Knausgard

From 2013 to 2017, Linda Boström Knausgård was periodically interned in a psychiatric ward where she was subjected to electroconvulsive therapy. As the treatments at this “factory” progressed, the writer’s memories began to disappear. What good is a writer without her memory? This novel, based on the author’s experiences, is an eloquent and profound attempt to hold on to the past, to create a story, to make sense, and to keep alive ties to family, friends, and even oneself. Moments from childhood, youth, marriage, parenting, and divorce flicker across the pages of October Child. This is the story of one woman’s struggle against mental illness and isolation.

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