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Library at Lehigh University

Library at Lehigh University

It’s election day. I voted and I hope you did too. Voting isn’t the only way to raise our voices but it’s a big one. I have no idea what the results will be tonight and I’m not watching the returns. Whatever will be will be…whether I obsessively follow the results or don’t.

What I do know is that reading has been a balm for my soul since the 2016 election. So, tonight, I decided to share five books I read and loved this year. Regardless of today’s results, we have much work ahead of us and stories can keep us company as we march onward.

The books are presented in no particular order because I’m a Libra and can’t rank things because I think myself into inaction and/or would feel bad for the ones that end up towards the end of the list. Yeah, my mind is fun.

So, five books and a favorite quote from each:

Beartown by Fredrik Backman: Think of this book as Friday Night Lights but with hockey instead of football.

“Being a parent makes you feel like a blanket that’s always too small. No matter how hard you try to cover everyone, there’s always someone who’s freezing.”

Tin Man by Sarah Winman: The writing in this book is simply gorgeous. It’s a story about love and loss that leaves you feeling hopeful.

“And I wonder what the sound of a heart breaking might be. And I think it might be quiet, unperceptively so, and not dramatic at all. Like the sound of an exhausted swallow falling gently to earth.”

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah: There was a lot of buzz about this one and I’m not sure it completely lives up to the hype but it drew me in immediately and I keep thinking about it months later, so, it makes the list. The ending is a bit too tidy but I’ll let that slide.

“She remembered something Mama had said to her once. Love doesn’t fade or die, baby girl. She’d been talking about Matthew and sadness, but it was equally true for mothers and their children.”

The Great Believers by Rebecca Makai: This book takes place in Chicago during the AIDS crisis and then in the present in Paris. It’s about all kinds of love. It took me awhile to get into it but I appreciated it more after I finished it.

“Being on an airplane, even in coach, was the closest an adult could come to the splendid helplessness of infancy.”

Give a Girl a Knife by Amy Thielen: If you love books about food, this is a good one. Amy grew up in northern Minnesota, became a successful chef in NY, and returned to Minnesota to focus on local cooking. I don’t have a quote for this one, however. I must have been too busy thinking about living off the land. And oops - I don’t have a quote for this one.

Tell me what you’ve read and loved!