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THE BOOK OF OTTO AND LIAM

One of our recommended books is The Book of Otto and Liam by Paul Griner

Liam is the boy, lying in the hospital, in grave condition, a bullet lodged in his head. Otto is his father, a commercial artist whose marriage has collapsed in the wake of the disaster. Paul Griner’s brave novel taps directly into the vein of a uniquely American tragedy: the school shooting. We know these grotesque and sorrowful events too well. Thankfully, the characters in this drama are finely drawn human beings—those who gain our empathy, those who commit the unspeakable acts, and those conspiracy fanatics who launch a concerted campaign to convince the world that the shooting was a hoax.

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THE SECOND LIFE OF MIRIELLE WEST

One of our recommended books is The Second Life of Mirielle West by Amanda Skenandore

A story of resilience, repulsion, and the Roaring 20’s based on the little-known history of Carville, America’s only leper colony, by RUSA Award-winning author and registered nurse Amanda Skenandore.

Based on the little-known true story of America’s only leper colony, The Second Life of Mirielle West by RUSA Award-winning author Amanda Skenandore brings vividly to life the Louisiana institution known as Carville, where thousands of people were stripped of their civil rights, branded as lepers, and forcibly quarantined throughout the entire 20th century.

For Mirielle West, a 1920’s socialite married to a silent film star,

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THE MOVEMENT

One of our recommended books is The Movement by Petra Hůlová

The Movement’s founding ideology emphasizes that women should be valued for their inner qualities, spirit, and character, and not for their physical attributes.

Men have been forbidden to be attracted to women on the basis of their bodies. Some continue with unreformed attitudes but many submit—or are sent by their wives and daughters—to the Institute for internment and reeducation. However, the Movement also struggles with women and their “old attitudes,” with many still undergoing illegal cosmetic surgeries and wearing makeup. Our narrator, an unapologetic guard at one of these reeducation facilities, describes how the Movement started,

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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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PASTELS AND PEDOPHILES

One of our recommended books is Pastels and Pedophiles by Mia Bloom and Sophia Moskalenko

Two experts of extremist radicalization take us down the QAnon rabbit hole, exposing how the conspiracy theory ensnared countless Americans, and show us a way back to sanity.

In January 2021, thousands descended on the U.S. Capitol to aid President Donald Trump in combating a shadowy cabal of Satan-worshipping pedophiles. Two women were among those who died that day. They, like millions of Americans, believed that a mysterious insider known as “Q” is exposing a vast deep-state conspiracy. The QAnon conspiracy theory has ensnared many women, who identify as members of “pastel QAnon,” answering the call to “save the children.”

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HOMELAND ELEGIES

One of our recommended books is Homeland Elegies by Ayad Akhtar

This “beautiful novel . . . has echoes of The Great Gatsby”: an immigrant father and his son search for belongingin post-Trump America, and with each other (Dwight Garner, New York Times).

A deeply personal work about identity and belonging in a nation coming apart at the seams, Homeland Elegies blends fact and fiction to tell an epic story of longing and dispossession in the world that 9/11 made. Part family drama, part social essay, part picaresque novel, at its heart it is the story of a father,

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