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Bookmarked—A TNSF Zoom Event Series 3
April 8, 2022 @ 11:00 am - September 29, 2022 @ 5:00 pm
2022 BOOK CHOICES:
FRIDAY April 8, 2022 @ 11:00 A.M. CENTRAL = West With the Night: a Memoir by Beryl Markham
Beryl Markham’s West with the Night is a true classic, a book that deserves the same acclaim and readership as the work of her contemporaries Ernest Hemingway, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, and Isak Dinesen.
If the first responsibility of a memoirist is to lead a life worth writing about, Markham succeeded beyond all measure. Born Beryl Clutterbuck in the middle of England, she and her father moved to Kenya when she was a girl, and she grew up with a zebra for a pet; horses for friends; baboons, lions, and gazelles for neighbors. She made money by scouting elephants from a tiny plane. And she would spend most of the rest of her life in East Africa as an adventurer, a racehorse trainer, and an aviatrix―she became the first person to fly nonstop from Europe to America, the first woman to fly solo east to west across the Atlantic. Hers was indisputably a life full of adventure and beauty.
And then there is the writing. When Hemingway read Markham’s book, he wrote to his editor, Maxwell Perkins: “She has written so well, and marvelously well, that I was completely ashamed of myself as a writer . . . [She] can write rings around all of us who consider ourselves as writers . . . It is really a bloody wonderful book.”
With a new introduction by Sara Wheeler―one of Markham’s few legitimate literary heirs―West with the Night should once again take its place as one of the world’s great adventure stories.
FRIDAY May 20, 2022 @ 11:00 A.M. CENTRAL = Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE STARRING MICHAEL B. JORDAN AND JAMIE FOXX • A powerful true story about the potential for mercy to redeem us, and a clarion call to fix our broken system of justice—from one of the most brilliant and influential lawyers of our time.
“[Bryan Stevenson’s] dedication to fighting for justice and equality has inspired me and many others and made a lasting impact on our country.”—John Legend
NAMED ONE OF THE MOST INFLUENTIAL BOOKS OF THE DECADE BY CNN • Named One of the Best Books of the Year by The New York Times • The Washington Post • The Boston Globe • The Seattle Times • Esquire • Time
Bryan Stevenson was a young lawyer when he founded the Equal Justice Initiative, a legal practice dedicated to defending those most desperate and in need: the poor, the wrongly condemned, and women and children trapped in the farthest reaches of our criminal justice system. One of his first cases was that of Walter McMillian, a young man who was sentenced to die for a notorious murder he insisted he didn’t commit. The case drew Bryan into a tangle of conspiracy, political machination, and legal brinksmanship—and transformed his understanding of mercy and justice forever.
Just Mercy is at once an unforgettable account of an idealistic, gifted young lawyer’s coming of age, a moving window into the lives of those he has defended and an inspiring argument for compassion in the pursuit of true justice.
FRIDAY June 17, 2022 @ 11:00 A.M. CENTRAL = The Last Slave Ship: The True Story of How Clotilda Was Found, Her Descendants, and an Extraordinary Reckoning by Ben Raines
The incredible true story of the last ship to carry enslaved people to America, the remarkable town its survivors founded after emancipation, and the complicated legacy their descendants carry with them to this day—by the journalist who discovered the ship’s remains.
Fifty years after the Atlantic slave trade was outlawed, the Clotilda became the last ship in history to bring enslaved Africans to the United States. The ship was scuttled and burned on arrival to hide evidence of the crime, allowing the wealthy perpetrators to escape prosecution. Despite numerous efforts to find the sunken wreck, Clotilda remained hidden for the next 160 years. But in 2019, journalist Ben Raines made international news when he successfully concluded his obsessive quest through the swamps of Alabama to uncover one of our nation’s most important historical artifacts.
Traveling from Alabama to the ancient African kingdom of Dahomey in modern-day Benin, Raines recounts the ship’s perilous journey, the story of its rediscovery, and its complex legacy. Against all odds, Africatown, the Alabama community founded by the captives of the Clotilda, prospered in the Jim Crow South. Zora Neale Hurston visited in 1927 to interview Cudjo Lewis, telling the story of his enslavement in the New York Times bestseller Barracoon. And yet the haunting memory of bondage has been passed on through generations. Clotilda is a ghost haunting three communities—the descendants of those transported into slavery, the descendants of their fellow Africans who sold them, and the descendants of their American enslavers. This connection binds these groups together to this day. At the turn of the century, descendants of the captain who financed the Clotilda’s journey lived nearby—where, as significant players in the local real estate market, they disenfranchised and impoverished residents of Africatown.
From these parallel stories emerges a profound depiction of America as it struggles to grapple with the traumatic past of slavery and the ways in which racial oppression continue to this day. And yet, at its heart, The Last Slave Ship remains optimistic – an epic tale of one community’s triumphs over great adversity and a celebration of the power of human curiosity to uncover the truth about our past and heal its wounds.
FRIDAY July 22, 2022 @ 11:00 A.M. CENTRAL = The Boys: A Memoir of Hollywood and Family by Ron Howard
“This extraordinary book is not only a chronicle of Ron’s and Clint’s early careers and their wild adventures, but also a primer on so many topics—how an actor prepares, how to survive as a kid working in Hollywood, and how to be the best parents in the world! The Boys will surprise every reader with its humanity.” — Tom Hanks
“I have read dozens of Hollywood memoirs. But The Boys stands alone. A delightful, warm and fascinating story of a good life in show business.” — Malcolm Gladwell
Happy Days, The Andy Griffith Show, Gentle Ben—these shows captivated millions of TV viewers in the ’60s and ’70s. Join award-winning filmmaker Ron Howard and audience-favorite actor Clint Howard as they frankly and fondly share their unusual family story of navigating and surviving life as sibling child actors.
“What was it like to grow up on TV?” Ron Howard has been asked this question throughout his adult life. in The Boys, he and his younger brother, Clint, examine their childhoods in detail for the first time. For Ron, playing Opie on The Andy Griffith Show and Richie Cunningham on Happy Days offered fame, joy, and opportunity—but also invited stress and bullying. For Clint, a fast start on such programs as Gentle Ben and Star Trek petered out in adolescence, with some tough consequences and lessons.
With the perspective of time and success—Ron as a filmmaker, producer, and Hollywood A-lister, Clint as a busy character actor—the Howard brothers delve deep into an upbringing that seemed normal to them yet was anything but. Their Midwestern parents, Rance and Jean, moved to California to pursue their own showbiz dreams. But it was their young sons who found steady employment as actors. Rance put aside his ego and ambition to become Ron and Clint’s teacher, sage, and moral compass. Jean became their loving protector—sometimes over-protector—from the snares and traps of Hollywood.
By turns confessional, nostalgic, heartwarming, and harrowing, THE BOYS is a dual narrative that lifts the lid on the Howard brothers’ closely held lives. It’s the journey of a tight four-person family unit that held fast in an unforgiving business and of two brothers who survived “child-actor syndrome” to become fulfilled adults.
FRIDAY August 26, 2022 @ 11:00 A.M. CENTRAL = The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown
In the 1930s, the United States was in the grips of the Great Depression. A huge chunk of America’s population was unemployed; industry and agriculture were in ruins. During the 1930s, rowing was one of the most popular sports in the country—as popular as football or basketball in the 21st century. Most of the country’s best crew programs were based out of East Coast collegessuch as Harvard or Yale. Around the same time, Adolf Hitler rose to power in Germany. Based on the advice of his Minister of Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, Hitler realized that he could score a major public relations victory by hosting the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin—and in so doing giving his Third Reich the image of being a benevolent, enlightened state despite its murderous treatment of “non-Aryans” and its plans for war and domination in Europe.
In the early 1930s, a young, insecure student named Joe Rantz enrolled at the University of Washington. Joe came from a working-class family from a small town; as a result, he felt that he didn’t really fit in with his wealthier, elitist classmates. Joe’s mother, Nellie, died when Joe was a small child, and his father, Harry Rantz, was an unreliable man who’d abandoned Joe on more than one occasion. After Nellie’s death, Harry married a woman named Thula LaFollette, had several children with her, and then decided to move out with Thula and his younger children, leaving the adolescent Joe to take care of himself. As a result of his harsh circumstances, Joe grew up lonely but also highly self-reliant. He chopped wood to earn money, fished in rivers to find food, and somehow managed to maintain excellent grades in school throughout his teen years. Joe also had a steady girlfriend,
FRIDAY September 30, 2022 @ 11:00 A.M. CENTRAL = The Complete Maus
PULITZER PRIZE WINNER • The definitive edition of the graphic novel acclaimed as “the most affecting and successful narrative ever done about the Holocaust” (Wall Street Journal) and “the first masterpiece in comic book history” (The New Yorker).
A brutally moving work of art—widely hailed as the greatest graphic novel ever written—Maus recounts the chilling experiences of the author’s father during the Holocaust, with Jews drawn as wide-eyed mice and Nazis as menacing cats.
Maus is a haunting tale within a tale, weaving the author’s account of his tortured relationship with his aging father into an astonishing retelling of one of history’s most unspeakable tragedies. It is an unforgettable story of survival and a disarming look at the legacy of trauma.