Emilie Hogan’s Best Reads of 2016

headshotMy name is Emilie Hogan, and I have lived in Evanston since 2005.  I am very happily married to my wonderful spouse, Bill Hogan, and the mother of four terrific daughters ages 15, 12, 10 and 8.  I am the Director of Advocacy and Community Engagement for the Frances Willard Historical Association, a Board member of Books & Breakfast, and a community organizer, activist and volunteer.  My hobbies are reading and CrossFit and my passion is learning new things.  I am an endlessly curious person!  I absolutely love the Evanston Public Library, and it is one of my very favorite places in town along with Bennisons, Boltwood and the Frances Willard House.

1)  Kindred by Octavia Butler (1979)

This is the story of a woman who travels back in time to help her ancestors on a slave plantation.  The story will challenge your thoughts about family loyalty and keep you on the edge of your seat from the first sentence.

2)  A Brief History of Misogyny: The World’s Oldest Prejudice by Jack Holland (2006)

Holland starts at the beginning of time and surveys misogyny (briefly) through all cultures, times, and religions.  What results is a comprehensive picture of the destructive and insidious role that misogyny has played throughout history.  It is a particularly timely read.

dreams-from-my-father3)  $2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America by Kathryn J. Edin and H. Luke Shaefer (2015)

This is a very readable account of how the very poorest in the United States survive, the history of poverty policy in the United States, and what needs to be done to really make change.  You will never look at poverty in the same way.

4)  Dreams From My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance by Barack Obama (1995)

I listened to this book, which is read by President Obama.  Hearing him read it is incredibly moving and entertaining (he is a great reader) and made me feel like we were close friends.  In addition, it is fascinating to reflect on his early life after eight years of his Presidency.

5)  To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (1960)

I listened to the audio version of this book, which is read by Sissy Spacek.  She is absolutely fantastic.  Even if you have read the book before, Spacek’s performance reveals nuances in Lee’s writing that you might not have noticed in the print version.

 

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