At Little Free Library HQ, it comes as no surprise that the staff is full of readers. Whether we’re swapping copies of our most beloved titles or sharing recommendations and reviews at the lunch table, books are central to what we do and who we are.
This month we’re going behind the scenes at the LFL office to show our supporters who’s working to send out orders, add little libraries to the world map, connect communities to improve book access, and more, by talking to our staff about their picks for Black History Month reads.
Role: Operations Assistant, Pink-Obsessed Bookworm, Pageant Queen
Recommendation: “I’m only halfway through Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly, but I’m learning so much!”
Role: Shipping Expert, Tea Connoisseur, Office Kiwi
Recommendation: “The best thing about Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James is that it’s the first of a trilogy, so there are two more books to come! The closest thing I can compare it to is The Lord of the Rings, but at the same time it is completely original and like nothing else I’ve ever read.”
Role: Technology Guru, Social Media Savant, Finance Podcast Addict
Recommendation: “Early in Ghettoside, the author, Jill Leovy, shares the statistic that black men make up about 6% of the population but they’re victim to nearly 40% of the homicides. Leovy spent years embedded in the Los Angeles Police Department before writing this book. It’s an eye-opening look into the gangs and violence of South Central L.A.”
Role: Executive Director, Casual Friday Champion, Ringmaster of the Circus
Recommendation: “While my son was an recent college graduate when I read Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates, so considerably older than Ta-Nehisi’s son, I found the book forced me to consider how fortunate he is to not have to navigate Ta-Nehisi’s world. The book also does a great job of connecting America’s past with today’s society. I was looking on Amazon for something to read and searched for Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s books after seeing him on some morning news show and found Astrophysics for People in a Hurry. Perhaps hard to believe but I thought I wanted to major in physics in college (that lasted less than a semester) but have always been intrigued by big, cosmic things, hence the selection. It was a great read. Straightforward, not simplistic but thankfully no calculus required.”
Role: Director of Communications, Action Book Club Frontwoman, Avocado Toast Empress
Recommendation: “March is a phenomenal graphic novel trilogy exploring the Civil Rights Movement from the personal perspective of U.S. Congressman John Lewis. I was lucky enough to meet John Lewis and illustrator Nate Powell and let them know their book was on our recommended reading list for the Action Book Club. And because I can’t pick just one, other favorite Action Book Club picks by African American writers include Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson, For Black Girls Like Me by Mariama J. Lockington, The Crossover by Kwame Alexander (which once saved my family on a long road trip), On the Come Up by Angie Thomas and the excellent The Travelers by Regina Porter.”
Role: Program Coordinator of Products and Retail, Compost King, Big Hockey Guy
Recommendation: “A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines is the first book I ever picked up from a Little Free Library!”
Role: Programs Director, Wish-Granter, Instant Pot Maven
Role: Community Engagement, Rabblerouser, Mixed Nut Enthusiast
Role: Business Services Associate, Book Nerd, World Map Wizard
Recommendation: “I heartily recommend Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi not only for its amazing story but the unique narrative structure and voice. I’m really looking forward to Yaa Gyasi’s new title, coming in fall 2020!”
We’re not the only ones celebrating! Little Free Library stewards across the country are sharing books by black authors in honor of Black History Month and highlighting their recommendations as well. Incorporating your book-sharing box in holiday celebrations is a great way to keep your neighbors engaged and excited about sharing books. If you don’t have a Library yet, learn how to start one here.