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What to read
What to Read

Need a reading recommendation? Well, you've come to the right place. Each month our What to Read page highlights a few of our recent favorites, plus the latest best-sellers to hit our shelves and the hottest "coming soon" titles. 

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Best-Sellers Fiction  |   Best-Sellers Nonfiction  |   Coming Soon Fiction  |   Coming Soon Nonfiction

Celebrate Global Diversity Awareness Month

Here are some recommended books that celebrate the diversity of cultures and ethnicities.
 

THE ABCS OF DIVERSITY: HELPING KIDS (AND OURSELVES!) EMBRACE OUR DIFFERENCES

Borrow this bookBY CAROLYN B. HELSEL AND Y. JOY HARRIS-SMITH

Learn the language of diversity and raise kids who respect differences and honor similarities. This book equips parents, teachers and community leaders to have intergenerational and intercultural conversations about the differences between us. In addition to discussions of race, intercultural dialogue involves understanding our differences related to political affiliation, gender, class, religion, ability, nationality and sexual orientation.
 
The ABCs of Diversity helps parents and teachers of children, youth, and young adults navigate conversations about differences so they can raise up individuals committed to respectful civic engagement. Such intercultural dialogues can support communities as they work for the mutual well-being of all. This book includes specific resources and activities for people of various ages that parents and community leaders can employ to encourage compassion and empathy, making this an ideal resource for teachers, parents, ministry personnel, nonprofit leaders, human resources directors and librarians.

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THE BEAUTY OF YOUR FACE

Borrow this bookBY SAHAR MUSTAFAH

A Palestinian American woman wrestles with faith, loss and identity before coming face-to-face with a school shooter in this searing debut. A uniquely American story told in powerful, evocative prose, The Beauty of Your Face navigates a country growing ever more divided. Afaf Rahman, the daughter of Palestinian immigrants, is the principal of Nurrideen School for Girls, a Muslim school in the Chicago suburbs.
 
One morning, a shooter – radicalized by the online alt-right – attacks the school. As Afaf listens to his terrifying progress, we are swept back through her memories: the bigotry she faced as a child, her mother’s dreams of returning to Palestine and the devastating disappearance of her older sister that tore her family apart. Still, there is the sweetness of the music from her father’s oud as well as the hope and community Afaf finally finds in Islam. The Beauty of Your Face is a profound and poignant exploration of one woman’s life in a nation at odds with its ideals.

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DIVERSITY AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Borrow this bookEDITED BY VANESSA RATTEN AND LEO-PAUL DANA

While there has been an increased interest in minorities and their contribution to society, the literature on minorities and underrepresented communities is still weak. This edited volume discusses entrepreneurship in the context of minorities and the role they play in society.
 
The book looks at underrepresented communities, such as LGBTQ+, disadvantaged, ethnic minority, religious entrepreneurs, medically limited, indigenous, refugees, young/old and other socioeconomic segments. It provides a holistic, comprehensive overview of how diversity in entrepreneurship facilitates increased levels of innovation, becoming among the first to take a broad perspective of minority entrepreneurs.

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ON DIVERSITY: THE ECLIPSE OF THE INDIVIDUAL IN A GLOBAL ERA

Borrow this bookBY RUSSELL JACOBY

Diversity. You’ve heard the term everywhere – in the news, in the universities, at the television awards shows. Maybe even in the corporate world, where diversity initiatives have become de rigueur. But what does the term actually mean? Where does it come from? What are its intellectual precedents? Moreover, how do we square our love affair with diversity with the fact that the world seems to be becoming more and more, well, homogeneous?
 
With a lucid, straightforward prose that rises above the noise, one of America’s greatest intellectual gadflies, Russell Jacoby, takes these questions squarely on. Discussing diversity (or lack thereof) in language, fashion, childhood experience, political structure and the history of ideas, Jacoby offers in plain language a surprising and penetrating analysis of our cultural moment. In an age where our public thinkers seem to be jumping over one another to have the latest correct opinion, Jacoby offers a most dangerous, and liberating, injunction: to stop and think.

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A PLACE AT THE TABLE

Borrow this bookBY SAADIA FARUQI AND LAURA SHOVANI

Sixth graders Sara and Elizabeth could not be more different. Sara is at a new school that is completely unlike the small Islamic school she used to attend. Elizabeth has her own problems: Her British mum has been struggling with depression. The girls meet in an after-school South Asian cooking class, which Elizabeth takes because her mom has stopped cooking, and which Sara, who hates to cook, is forced to attend because her mother is the teacher.
 
The girls form a shaky alliance that gradually deepens, and they make plans to create the most amazing, mouth-watering cross-cultural dish together and win a spot on a local food show. They make good cooking partners … but can they learn to trust each other enough to become true friends?

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A PLACE FOR US

Borrow this bookBY FATIMA FARHEEN MIRZA

As an Indian wedding gathers a family back together, parents Rafiq and Layla must reckon with the choices their children have made. There is Hadia, the headstrong eldest daughter, whose marriage is a match of love and not tradition. Huda, the middle child, is determined to follow in her sister’s footsteps. And their estranged son, Amar, returns to the family for the first time in three years to take his place as brother of the bride.
 
What secrets and betrayals have caused this close-knit family to fracture?

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SUCCESS THROUGH DIVERSITY: WHY THE MOST INCLUSIVE COMPANIES WILL WIN

Borrow this bookBY CAROL FULP

In our fast-changing demographic landscape, companies that proactively embrace diversity in all areas of their operations will be best poised to thrive. Renowned business leader and visionary Carol Fulp explores staffing trends in the U.S. and provides a blueprint for what businesses must do to maintain their competitiveness and customer base, including hiring in new ways, aligning managers around diversity, providing new kinds of leadership development and engaging employees to embrace differences.
 
Using detailed case histories of corporate cultures – such as the NFL, Eastern Bank, John Hancock, Hallmark Health and PepsiCo – as well as her own experiences in the workplace and in advising companies on diversity practice, Fulp demonstrates how people of different races and ethnicities represent an essential asset to contemporary companies and organizations.

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TAKING ON DIVERSITY: HOW WE CAN MOVE FROM ANXIETY TO RESPECT – A DIVERSITY DOCTOR’S BEST LESSONS FROM THE CAMPUS

Borrow this bookBY RUPERT W. NACOSTE

In this enlightening book, a campus diversity doctor relates stories that people have shared with him about their anxieties in situations involving people who are in some way different than themselves. Rupert W. Nacoste regularly counsels students at North Carolina State University about their problems dealing with diversity of all kinds, including gender, race, ethnicity and sexual orientation. Here he shares his most effective techniques for handling the unavoidable realities of being in a neo-diverse community, whether that means in college or America as a nation.
 
The author demonstrates how we can maintain fairness and respect while still acknowledging our differences. By doing so, we can all learn to meet challenges using sensitivity to different perspectives, open-minded attitudes and the recognition that diversity in America is here to stay.

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WE ARE A GARDEN: A STORY OF HOW DIVERSITY TOOK ROOT IN AMERICA

Borrow this bookBY LISA WESTBERG PETERS; ILLUSTRATED BY VICTORIA TENTLER-KRYLOV

This lyrical and extremely timely picture book illuminates the many different migrants who have made their homes in North America through the centuries.

Long ago a strong wind blew. It blew people, like seeds, to a new land.

The wind blew in a girl and her clan, where herds of mammoths still wandered the frozen tundra. It later blew a boy and his family across frigid waters, and they spread across the new land. Over time, the wind continued to disperse newcomers from all directions. It blew in men who hoped to find gold, and it blew in slave ships and immigrant families. And so it continued, for generations and generations. Here is a moving and tender picture book that beautifully examines centuries of North American history and its people.

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