October is National Book Month! Join us as we promote the joy and value of reading. At ALLMemphis, it’s no secret that our team loves to dive into fictional worlds. Below, we’ve compiled a list of our team’s favorite books or what they’re currently reading – check them out!
Our fearless leader and executive director, Krista, is a lifelong reader. One of her favorite series is “Fablehaven” by Brandon Mull. The fantasy series follows young teen siblings as they work through various puzzles to discover a preserve for nearly extinct magical creatures hidden on their grandparent’s property. The siblings work to save the creatures – and the world – from evil.
“When I do get the chance to read for pleasure, I really enjoy a fun, light book that can transport my mind away from the busy life I have. ‘Fablehaven’ does just that! It is a fantasy series geared toward the adolescent reader, but I found myself completely invested in the new magical world. Anyone who loves to escape to a world different from the one we live in here would enjoy this series.”
Kristi, our director of curriculum and instruction, enjoys the classics. Her favorite book is “Animal Farm” by George Orwell. The book tells the story of a group of farm animals that rebel against their farmer in the hopes of creating a more equal and free society. The book explores the nuances and complexities of themes such as freedom, equality, and leadership.
“I love the way this book breaks down complex societal issues using simple language that is accessible and meaningful to both children and adults.”
Up next is Haley, our external relations manager! Her favorite read is “The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois” by Honorée Fanonne Jeffers, which weaves together multigenerational stories to create a beautiful picture of a family. The book explores the complexities of living in the modern U.S. as a Black American – specifically, it explores W.E.B. DuBois’ idea of double-consciousness.
“I’m a sucker for complex, multigenerational stories, and the authors who are able to weave those together are genius. This book is no exception. I’m loving reading the stories told in the American South and the complicated dynamics that define the region.”
When Lulu is not helping ALLMemphis as our data and technology specialist, you may find her with a good book in her hand! Her current favorite is “Homegoing” by Yaa Gyasi. This beautiful historical fiction follows multiple descendants of an Asante woman, Maame, throughout their lives and journeys away from home.
“This book is emotional and suspenseful, and it has all the good things I look for in a book. ‘Homegoing’ is a captivating page-turner that really makes you think.”
Sometimes, there’s nothing better than an emotional book – and our program specialist manager, Hillarie, agrees. Her current favorite is “The Nightingale” by Kristin Hannah, which follows two sisters with opposite personalities as they struggle to survive in France during World War II. It’s an emotional story that highlights the bonds of sisterhood and the resilience of the human spirit.
“The stories of hope and perseverance that are evident in World War II book settings often inspire me to live a life of joy, rather than fear. The message of living life and helping others is incredibly evident…I highly recommend!”
Sharing experiences and learning more about the people around us is extremely valuable, and autobiographies allow us to do just that. Deidra, an ALLMemphis program specialist, enjoys Michelle Obama’s memoir, “Becoming,” which follows her life – from early childhood to when she found her voice as a leader and First Lady.
“It reminds people that getting to your goals in life is a journal. As you enter into each new season in life, it is setting you up to become whatever it is you’re destined to be.”
A good memoir can introduce us to new ideas or different perspectives. Elizabeth, one of our program specialists, is currently enjoying the memoir “Educated” by Tara Westover. The book details Westover’s life and journey to education and emphasizes the importance of using education to expand our viewpoints on the world. It serves as a wonderful reminder that, while education is essential, it is not always equally accessible to all.
“Westover’s story underscores the power of education and self-liberation.”
Taking refuge in literature is one of the most stress-relieving activities. Ravynn, a program specialist, wholeheartedly believes in the ability of a good book to take your mind to relaxing, freeing places. Her current favorite read – Max Lucado’s “Traveling Light” – does just that. The faith-based book focuses on teaching readers how to unburden themselves of their everyday baggage.
“This book brings to our awareness how much we weigh ourselves down with all the unnecessary cares of the world from one day to the next. It was such an eye-opener to see how Max defined certain habits in our lives as ‘baggage’ and how we can lighten our load to be more spiritually aware of the path we are meant to travel.”
Next up is Kilikakina, our newest program specialist! Kilikakina’s current favorite book is “White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism” by Robin DiAngelo. The story serves as a great reminder of the value literature has – beyond joy and relaxation. Books can help open minds and shift perspectives. The book discusses key topics in the fight against racism, including how racism is often unconscious and systemic.
“I recommend this book to anyone looking to confront their internal bias or learn more about modern racism in America.”
No matter what your favorite book is, the value of reading is infinite. ALLMemphis encourages everyone to invest in themselves by setting aside time for reading. Learn more about our mission and why we believe in the power of literature on our website.