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  • Writer's pictureBenay Hicks

Seven Books and Counting

By Leanora Minai, Director, Communications and Editor, Working@Duke and Duke Today, Office of Communications, Duke University

(This Editor’s Note appeared in Working@Duke, the publication for Duke University employees.)

This year, I set a personal goal to read more books.

As of this writing, I’m on my seventh book: “Dead Wake,” which is about the sinking of the luxury ocean liner Lusitania during World War I and the events surrounding the sinking. I’m a big fan of the author, Erik Larson, and consider him an ace at narrative nonfiction.

I’ve read a variety of books so far this year, including “All the Light We Cannot See” by Anthony Doerr. He recently won the Pulitzer Prize for this work of fiction about a blind girl during World War II. I was so struck by the book’s ending. I cried and needed to take a walk around the block in my neighborhood.

That’s what books do. They provide a window into worlds we may never know. They expand our minds and provide a respite from the daily hustle and bustle.

With summer here, we offer Duke flair for your summer reading, where you’ll find a list of books written by our faculty, as well as the Class of 2019 summer reading book.

Also this summer, the Working@Duke team is volunteering at Glenn Elementary School in Durham for “Books on Break,” a program through Book Harvest, which provides books to at-risk children. Pris Toms, staff assistant in our office, had the idea to volunteer. We’ll go to the school, set up donated books and help children pick 10 books to read over the summer.

“This expands their horizons and gives them a sense of accomplishment and insight and ability to go farther than their own surroundings,” Toms said.

If you want to read more, check out our libraries on campus. As a Duke employee, you can borrow for free. And there’s always the public library, where I’ve become a regular.

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