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What to Read in 2020

In February 2020, Stuff by Raleigh MagazineLeave a Comment

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This year, 2020, is an important one. The presidential election is on the horizon and 2020 marks the beginning of a new decade. Microsoft founder Bill Gates reminds us that we often overestimate what we can achieve in a year but underestimate what can achieve in a decade. In the spirit of intentionality, we ask ourselves: Who are we? What do we stand for? Who do we hope to become as a community and people? 

In attempting to explore these urgent, life-long questions, I asked friends and mentors who I admire one question: What books should our community read right now? 

From a restaurant general manager to a pastor, this collection gives us a glimpse into a few of the important topics we face in our time. We hope they challenge you, inspire you, and more importantly, we hope they invite you to to ask yourself: Who are you? What do you stand for? Who do you hope to become? 

Enjoy reading!

—Vansana Nolintha, Co-Founder, Bida Manda, Brewery Bhavana

Beneath My Feet, Writers on Walking 
Edited by Duncan Minshull 

We need to walk and write more. And this perfectly small, beautiful book illuminates the creativity and life that is found in the simple act of walking. 

—Johnny Burleson, Chief Advancement Officer, NC Museum of Art

A Place for Us
By Fatima Farheen Mirza 

“A Place for Us” is a book about an Indian Muslim immigrant family who moved to California. The teenage children are coming of age when 9/11 happens. The book is about prejudice, xenophobia and young people finding their way: how they want to stay true to their family heritage and traditions and how they want to break away. The novel is also about love, the role of faith, identity and belonging.

—Ashley Griffith, Pastor of Community Life

Spying on the South
By Tony Horwitz

Horwitz literally retraces the path Frederick Law Olmstead took as a reporter and journalist through the South before the Civil War. Through Appalachia, down the Mississippi River, into bayou Louisiana and across Texas to the contested Mexican borderland, what Olmstead saw and learned and told versus what Horwitz experiences today in our radically divided country shows we are as polarized now as we were then, if not more so.

—Linda Noble, Graphic Designer 

All About Love 
By Bell Hooks

This book is a critical read in a time when people feel increasingly isolated, searching for connections that are meaningful and lasting. Bell Hooks unpacks love in a way that helps us deconstruct the pop culture and social construct of this life-defining connection. As she explains, “love is an act of will—namely, both an intention and an action.”

—Luisa Jaramillo, General Manager, Brewery Bhavana 

Dying of Whiteness
Jonathan Metzl

A meditation on how the historical construction of white identity shapes the current political beliefs and realities around topics such as gun control and Medicaid expansion. Weaving transcripts of conversations and focus groups with white people directly affected by failures in the medical system and suicide by guns with insightful analysis of the factors which shape and constrain political beliefs around these issues, this book tackles complex political realities without losing sight of the human stakes these issues exact on our lives and body politic. 

—Dane Emmerling, PhD student, Behavior Health, UNC

Books are available at Brewery Bhavana

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