By: Annie Suhy, OverDrive Collection Development Analyst
No matter where you fall on the political spectrum, we can all agree that the times they are a-changin’. Regardless of whether you are in favor of the current political changes happening in our country or fearful of them, many of us are turning to books for the answers we seek. For most of us, the books we choose to read strengthen and reinforce our own ideas and opinions. For the brave and open-minded, books can serve as a chance to walk around in someone else’s shoes; to see the world from a different or opposing point of view. In uncertain times, books allow us to arm ourselves with information when we otherwise feel powerless; to connect us to a network and a world beyond ourselves when we might otherwise feel alone. Across the country and even the world, many readers are reaching for books that provide such insight, many of which feature controversial topics, dystopian themes, historical struggles, hot button issues, and books on and by the new President. A few titles currently experiencing a resurgence in popularity include:
*1984 by George Orwell
A prophetic and haunting tale that exposes the worst crimes imaginable: the destruction of freedom and truth.
*Animal Farm by George Orwell
George Orwell’s classic satire of the Russian Revolution has become an intimate part of our contemporary culture, with its treatment of democratic, fascist, and socialist ideals through an animal fable.
*Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
This title emerged as a premier moral apologia for capitalism, a defense that had an electrifying effect on millions of readers who had never heard capitalism defended in other than technical terms.
*Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
With a storyteller’s genius, the author weaves ethical controversies in a compelling narrative that dawns in the year 632 AF (After Ford, the deity).
*Defying Hitler by Sebastian Haffner
When the famous German author Sebastian Haffner died at age ninety-one in 1999, a manuscript was discovered among his unpublished papers that offers a compelling eyewitness account of the rise of Hitler and Nazism.
*It Can’t Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis
A cautionary tale about the fragility of democracy, it is an alarming look at how fascism could take hold in America.
*The Origins of Totalitarianism by Hannah Arendt
A recognized classic, this book traces the emergence of modern racism as an “ideological weapon for imperialism,” begining with the rise of anti-Semitism in Europe in the nineteenth century and continuing through the New Imperialism period from 1884 to World War I.
*Tell the Truth & Shame the Devil by Lezley McSpadden
This revelatory memoir by the mother of Michael Brown, the African American teenager killed by the police officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri, in 2014, sheds light on one of the landmark events in recent history.
Over and over, the delegates to the Philadelphia Convention clashed and compromised. Slavery, a bill of rights, legislative representation—all the battles over these issues are enshrined in the language of the Constitution.
Trump: The Art of the Deal by Donald Trump
An unguarded look at Trump in action—how he runs his organization and how he runs his life—as he meets the people he needs to meet, chats with family and friends, clashes with enemies, and challenges conventional thinking.
We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
One author’s exploration of what it means to be a woman today and an of-the-moment rallying cry for why we should all be feminists.
Titles with an asterisk can be included in a customizable Simultaneous Use plan from Blackstone Audio so they are always available to patrons for check out with no waiting. The OverDrive Collection Development Librarians have created a “Books You Need to Read” Simultaneous Use package featuring many sought after titles for the new political era. Contact your Collection Development Specialist for more information or to order this custom package.
For more, explore these lists: