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  • Writer's pictureBenay Hicks

What We’re Reading While We’re Hunkered Down

By Daniele Berman, Communications and Events Manager

It’s long been our habit at Book Harvest to start any meeting by sharing what we’re reading. I only wish I had taken notes over all the years — we’d have a pretty great booklist by now if I had! While we’re all hunkered down at home, I took a virtual roll call of our staff to see what they and their families are reading this rainy weekend:

Charlia Vance, Executive Assistant, picked up The Life and Times of Persimmon Wilson by Nancy Peacock from our office bookshelf before she left. In her review of the book, Lee Smith, member of our Authors’ Circle, said, “Nancy Peacock grabs her reader by the throat and makes him hang on for dear life as the action moves from a Louisiana sugar plantation to life among the western Comanches, bringing to blazing life her themes of race and true love caught in the throes of history. [This is] is as deeply moving and exciting an American saga as has ever been penned.” That sounds like it’ll make for an exciting weekend!


Amy Franks, Education Partnerships Manager, reports that she is continuing her toggle between several books this weekend. She is listening to Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi and revisiting milk and honey by rupi kapur. The other one in the mix is When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty without Hurting the Poor…and Yourself  by Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert. Her daughter Ayejah is reading The Alchemist by Paul Coelho, the story of the journey of a boy, a dreamer and a seeker, who goes in search of treasure and discovers so much more. From this photo, it looks like they’ve already hunkered down and gotten started reading!

Nadiah Porter, Community Partnerships and Operations Manager, is reading Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverence by Angela Duckworth, which she also picked up in our office. According to Amazon, in this book pioneering psychologist Angela Duckworth shows anyone striving to succeed—be it parents, students, educators, athletes, or business people—that the secret to outstanding achievement is not talent but a special blend of passion and persistence she calls “grit.” Nadiah and her daughters decided to get out of town for the storm, and she reports that her girls are too excited by their new surroundings to have thought about what to read yet!


Rachel Stine, Program Director, has plenty of options for her weekend reading, all from the library: Tribes by Seth Godin, Creative Change: Why We Resist It…How We Can Embrace It by Jennifer Mueller, Ph.D., and Yum & Yummer by Greta Podleski. Of the last title, she says, “I love this cookbook because it has really creative recipes and gorgeous pictures. Even if I don’t make the food, at least I enjoy looking at it!” Maybe looking at delicious food will be a good enough substitute for cooking it if the power goes out?

Isabel Geffner, Advancement Director, reports that she will be reading the Sunday New York Times Magazine section. We’ll expand our definition of “booklist” to include this selection…as long as she’s reading it in print!


As for me, I’m reading The Girl in the Spider’s Web by David Lagercrantz. It’s a continuation of Stieg Larsson’s Millennium series, which I read many years ago and found just weird enough to be intriguing, so I figured the next installment would make for good stuck-at-home reading this weekend! My daughter Anastasia also stocked up in our office before we closed down. And as you’ll see from the photo, she found plenty to keep her busy!

Whatever you’re reading this weekend, we hope you and your loved ones are staying safe and dry!

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