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Suggest a Title For Washtenaw Reads 2018

by valerieclaires

Read a good book lately? Suggest it for our next Read! The Washtenaw Reads screening team is meeting throughout the summer to select finalist titles for consideration.

  • The writing should be engaging and thought-provoking. 
  • The subjects discussed should be accessible to readers throughout the community, high-school age and above.
  • The length, price, and availability of the book should be suited to involvement by the general public.
  • The book should be by a living author.
  • Its treatment of issues should encourage readers to discuss the issues further with others, at home, work, reading clubs, and community events.
  • Ideally, the subject should lead to constructive dialogues across our diverse communities.

How To Suggest A Title

To suggest a title for consideration, add a comment below (you must have a user account to comment) or visit the Washtenaw Reads Facebook page. Note: there is no fee, and you do not have to have an Ann Arbor District Library card to create a user account. Thanks for your suggestions!


I recommend, "The Boy at the Top of the Mountain," by John Boyne. He is the same author of the Boy in the Striped Pajamas, which was made into a feature film. The book is intended for a young adult reader, but as a lover of all thing WW2 I couldn't resist, and the book was simply fantastic! Thought provoking, well written, a glimpse of a major (thought evil) historical figure, all seen through the eyes of a young boy.

From the back of the book:
When Pierrot becomes an orphan, he must leave his home in Paris for a new life with his Aunt Beatrix, a servant in a wealthy household at the top of the German mountains. But this is no ordinary time, for it is 1935 and the Second World War is fast approaching; and this is no ordinary house, for this is the Berghof, the home of Adolf Hitler.

I recommend "The Book Thief." It is a great novel, with a wonderfully unique narrator perspective, and discusses important themes of the importance of words, inclusion, and expanding your perspective during one of the most socially tempestuous times in history. It's a historical fiction novel set in Germany during the periods before and during WWII, but follows the tale of a young girl who learns to read through her adoptive father, a hidden jewish friend, a kind mayor's wife, and from the books she steals out of Nazi book burnings. Truly one of the best pieces of literature I've ever come across, and one I would recommend for any book lover.

I recommend The Princess by Sara Loughrige. It is the first book in The Knights of Andrion Series and the author is from Michigan. It follows a young girl as she matures into a young woman and discovers what matters most. She is torn between what society expects of her in her position and what she longs for in her heart. This occurs as relations between the kingdoms deteriorate and every decision she makes has the potential to impact the people of not just her kingdom, but the land of Andrion.

From the back of the book:

In the land of Andrion lie the three Kingdoms: Baltion, Castion, and Destion. With tension between the lands thickening and inner turmoil raging, the Kings must lead their people towards prosperity or watch as their country burns.

Book 1- The Princess
Kaelin never wanted to be a Princess. With a father who is overprotective of his spirited daughter, his efforts to reign her in only drive her beyond the castle walls. Seeking out adventure with her childhood friends in tow, she struggles to find balance between her duties as the Princess and her desire for freedom.

Do you consider non-fiction?

The Soul of an Octopus, by Sy Montgomery, is still with me. I will never look at these creatures the same.

The issues raised here are universal—are "lesser creatures" really lesser? Can an invertebrate and a human being be true friends?

If non-fiction is on the table, you might also consider The Boy Who Played With Fusion, which explores raising prodigy/genius kids and how our society, parents, and schools treat them and deal with them—and how they treat others. It's written by Tom Clynes, an Ann Arbor resident and Knight-Wallace fellow some year back who spoke about the book at the library. For a university town, with education in its forefront, the book raises a lot of questions about intelligence, maturity, learning, and psychology.

Yes, non-fiction is considered. Thank you for the recommendations!

"Glass House: The 1% Economy and the Shattering of the All-American Town" by Brian Alexander
"Tribe" by Sebastian Junger

Marcus Wicker’ SILENCER. It’s a collection of poems that addresses the difficulty of having conversations about race. Wicker’s a young, black poet from the Midwest, and works in Academia, in the arts. It doesn’t seem like it should be difficult to have a productive talk about systemic racism and implicit biases, but it is—Wicker has example after example of ways in which he has been silenced, in which black bodies have been threatened. Throughout, Wicker tries different tactics in terms of talking about race, from telling personal stories, humor, pulling history and evidence, using gorgeous, classic poetic meter and rhyme, and the energetic cadences of hip-hop and rap. Really gorgeous, funny, story-telling verse that makes you think hard about how you engage with race, how we can move forward.

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