Share 12 Books to Read at the Start of a New Administration

12 Books to Read at the Start of a New Administration

Erica Nelson works in marketing at Hachette Book Group.

As we envision the future of our country, we’re seeking out brilliant and diverse voices to help us understand the challenges that we face—to understand what problems need solving, and what we can do to help make peoples’ lives better. These 12 books show just a sliver of American experiences and history, but they are resources that we as citizens—and our newly elected leaders—can turn to. They help us to understand how we’ve gotten to where we are today and grasp the consequences of how decisions made today will shape our future.


Dreamland
by Sam Quinones

In 2014, more than 47,000 drug overdose deaths occurred in the United States. To put that in perspective, that’s about 128 deaths every day. DREAMLAND tells the riveting story behind this rising statistic—how the unfettered prescribing of pain medications like OxyContin, and the massive influx of cheap and potent black tar heroin, have assaulted communities across America.

Dreamland
Sam Quinones

In 2014, more than 47,000 drug overdose deaths occurred in the United States. To put that in perspective, that’s about 128 deaths every day. DREAMLAND tells the riveting story behind this rising statistic—how the unfettered prescribing of pain medications like OxyContin, and the massive influx of cheap and potent black tar heroin, have assaulted communities across America.

MENTIONED IN:

12 Books to Read at the Start of a New Administration

By Erica Nelson | January 20, 2017

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Muslim Girl
by Amani Al-Khatahtbeh

This harrowing and candid memoir from the founder of MuslimGirl.com is a Muslim American’s coming-of-age story in the wake of 9/11. In MUSLIM GIRL, Amani Al-Khatahtbeh shares an honest and deeply necessary counterpoint to Islamophobia and the current rhetoric about the Middle East.

Muslim Girl
Amani Al-Khatahtbeh

This harrowing and candid memoir from the founder of MuslimGirl.com is a Muslim American’s coming-of-age story in the wake of 9/11. In MUSLIM GIRL, Amani Al-Khatahtbeh shares an honest and deeply necessary counterpoint to Islamophobia and the current rhetoric about the Middle East.

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Just Like Us
by Helen Thorpe

JUST LIKE US is a powerful account of four young Mexican American women coming of age in Denver. All 4 girls were born in Mexico and have grown up in the United States, but only 2 have documents. Helen Thorpe offers insight into both the most powerful and the most vulnerable members of American society as they grapple with the same dilemma: Who gets to live in America? And what happens when we don’t agree?

Just Like Us
Helen Thorpe

JUST LIKE US is a powerful account of four young Mexican American women coming of age in Denver. All 4 girls were born in Mexico and have grown up in the United States, but only 2 have documents. Helen Thorpe offers insight into both the most powerful and the most vulnerable members of American society as they grapple with the same dilemma: Who gets to live in America? And what happens when we don’t agree?

MENTIONED IN:

12 Books to Read at the Start of a New Administration

By Erica Nelson | January 20, 2017

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Becoming Nicole
by Amy Ellis Nutt

The inspiring true story of a transgender girl, her identical twin brother, and an ordinary American family’s extraordinary journey to understand, nurture, and celebrate the uniqueness in us all. From the Pulitzer Prize–winning science reporter Amy Ellis Nutt, BECOMING NICOLE is a story of standing up for your beliefs and yourself—and inspires readers to do the same.

Becoming Nicole
Amy Ellis Nutt

The inspiring true story of a transgender girl, her identical twin brother, and an ordinary American family’s extraordinary journey to understand, nurture, and celebrate the uniqueness in us all. From the Pulitzer Prize–winning science reporter Amy Ellis Nutt, BECOMING NICOLE is a story of standing up for your beliefs and yourself—and inspires readers to do the same.

MENTIONED IN:

12 Books to Read at the Start of a New Administration

By Erica Nelson | January 20, 2017

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Nickel and Dimed
by Barbara Ehrenreich

In 1998, Barbara Ehrenreich joined the millions of Americans who work full time, year round, for poverty-level wages. In NICKEL AND DIMED she works as a waitress, as a cleaning woman, as a nursing home aide, and in a Walmart—but when she works two jobs, seven days a week, she still struggles to pay rent and buy groceries. Her stunning account shows just how hard it can be to make ends meet in working-class America.

Nickel and Dimed
Barbara Ehrenreich

In 1998, Barbara Ehrenreich joined the millions of Americans who work full time, year round, for poverty-level wages. In NICKEL AND DIMED she works as a waitress, as a cleaning woman, as a nursing home aide, and in a Walmart—but when she works two jobs, seven days a week, she still struggles to pay rent and buy groceries. Her stunning account shows just how hard it can be to make ends meet in working-class America.

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All American Boys
by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely

In this Coretta Scott King Honor Award–winning novel, 2 teens—one black, and one white—grapple with the repercussions of an act of police brutality. Caught on camera, the violence sends shock waves throughout their school, their community, and ultimately the entire country. It’s a heartbreaking novel that seems ripped from the headlines.

All American Boys
Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely

In this Coretta Scott King Honor Award–winning novel, 2 teens—one black, and one white—grapple with the repercussions of an act of police brutality. Caught on camera, the violence sends shock waves throughout their school, their community, and ultimately the entire country. It’s a heartbreaking novel that seems ripped from the headlines.

MENTIONED IN:

12 Books to Read at the Start of a New Administration

By Erica Nelson | January 20, 2017

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A Curious Mind
by Brian Grazer and Charles Fishman
This fascinating and inspiring book by renowned film and TV producer Brian Grazer celebrates inquisitiveness and the ways in which it deepens and improves us. By asking questions about other people’s experiences and knowledge and, in particular, listening to people we disagree with, the power of curiosity can be a positive force of change in everyone’s life.
A Curious Mind
Brian Grazer and Charles Fishman

Put your curiosity to work.

This brilliant, entertaining, fascinating, and inspiring homage to the power of inquisitiveness is from renowned film and TV producer Brian Grazer. Whether you’re looking to improve your management style at work or become a better romantic partner, these lessons on the power of curiosity can change your life.

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This Changes Everything
by Naomi Klein
This gripping, eye-opening text successfully argues that in order to combat climate change, a restructuring of the global economy is required. Naomi Klein demonstrates—in comprehensible language—that by reducing our greenhouse emissions, we can not only help the planet but also improve our political and economic systems.
This Changes Everything
Naomi Klein

This is an essential text on the future of our planet and the future of the global economy. Naomi Klein argues that climate change can be an opportunity to radically transform our broken economic and cultural priorities.

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Freedom of Speech
by David K. Shipler

A provocative, timely assessment of the state of free speech in America by Pulitzer Prize–winning former New York Times journalist David K. Shipler. Anchored in personal stories—sometimes shocking, sometimes absurd, sometimes dishearteningly familiar—Shipler’s investigations of the cultural limits on both expression and the willingness to listen build to expose troubling instabilities in the very foundations of our democracy.

Freedom of Speech
David K. Shipler

A provocative, timely assessment of the state of free speech in America by Pulitzer Prize–winning former New York Times journalist David K. Shipler. Anchored in personal stories—sometimes shocking, sometimes absurd, sometimes dishearteningly familiar—Shipler’s investigations of the cultural limits on both expression and the willingness to listen build to expose troubling instabilities in the very foundations of our democracy.

MENTIONED IN:

12 Books to Read at the Start of a New Administration

By Erica Nelson | January 20, 2017

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Redeployment
by Phil Klay
Written with a hard-eyed realism and stunning emotional depth, this National Book Award–winning short story collection takes readers to the front lines of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. In REDEPLOYMENT, Phil Klay reveals the intricate combination of monotony, bureaucracy, comradeship, and violence that make up a soldier’s daily life at war, and the isolation, remorse, and despair that can accompany a soldier’s homecoming.
Redeployment
Phil Klay

Taking readers to the front lines of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, this winner of the 2014 National Book Award for Fiction asks us to understand what happened there, and what happened to the soldiers who returned. Written with a hard-eyed realism and stunning emotional depth, this work marks Phil Klay as one of the most talented new voices of his generation.

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Columbine
by Dave Cullen
With a keen investigative eye and psychological acumen, Dave Cullen illustrates how the Columbine High School shootings left an indelible stamp on the American psyche—and how it became the template for nearly 2 decades of “spectacle murders.” In the wake of Orlando, Newtown, Aurora, and Virginia Tech, the imperative to understand the crime that sparked this plague grows more urgent every year.
Columbine
Dave Cullen

In this masterwork of reporting, Dave Cullen takes us back to the event that shocked the nation and arguably began the modern age of gun violence: the 1999 shootings at Columbine High School. Drawing on hundreds of interviews, police files, and tapes, Cullen presents a close-up portrait of the killers, but also of the community and country that they forever changed. Sadly, this is still so relevant today.

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Team of Rivals
by Doris Kearns Goodwin
In TEAM OF RIVALS, acclaimed historian Doris Kearns Goodwin illuminates Lincoln’s political genius and his extraordinary ability to put himself in the place of other men, to experience what they were feeling, to understand their motives and desires. It was this capacity that enabled Lincoln, as president, to bring his disgruntled opponents together to create the most unusual cabinet in history, and marshal their talents to the task of preserving the Union and winning the Civil War.
Team of Rivals
Doris Kearns Goodwin

The acclaimed political biography that helped inspired Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln,” Doris Kearns Goodwin provides a truly engaging and fresh exploration of not only Abraham Lincoln’s life but also his acumen in bringing out the best in his cabinet of rival Republicans. Brilliantly conceived and expertly written, this is a thrilling biography of the most momentous presidency. . . . Page Count: 754

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