By Toni Ameslav, MSW, Social Worker
Now that Seattle weather is changing from summer to fall, you might be thinking about spending more time indoors, and what’s a better way to spend your time indoors than reading! I’m offering a few suggestions below which should appeal to a wide variety of reading tastes. All of these books are available through the Seattle Public Library.
NOMADLAND: SURVIVING AMERICA IN THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY, by Jessica Bruder. Nonfiction. This book was so well-written and interesting that I read it twice and gained even more insight the second time. It’s the true story of American women and men in their 60s and 70s from all walks of life who have lost jobs, are barely getting by on Social Security or for other reasons decide to leave the American dream behind. They take to the road in their refurbished RVs, campers or vans and travel the country finding short-term, low-paying jobs in National Forest campgrounds or Amazon warehouses. They are resilient, creative people who create community and a sense of belonging with other nomads. Bruder, the author, even bought a van herself and spent months on the road following some of these nomads and having her own adventures. I haven’t seen the for a fascinating glimpse into the lives of American elders who are not taking cruises or playing golf!
A FEVER IN THE HEARTLAND: THE KU KLUX KLAN’S PLOT TO TAKE OVER AMERICA, AND THE WOMAN WHO STOPPED THEM, by Timothy Egan. Nonfiction. Egan is a Seattle author who has written a compelling account of the rise and fall of the Klan, beginning
in Indiana in the 1920s. He focuses on the man who was responsible for its spread across the country from its origins in the Heartland and its reach to the highest levels of government, academia and religious institutions. He relates the courage of a few individuals and the woman whose singular courage and suffering brought the Klan to its knees. Egan’s book is an important addition to the literature about this sad period in American history.
THE LIBRARIANIST, by Patrick deWitt. Fiction. This is a delightful story about Bob Comet, a retired librarian in Portland, who begins volunteering at a senior center after encountering a confused older woman who has lost her way back to the residential senior center where she lives.