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Posted on Feb 12, 2019 in Top Picks, What We're Reading Now

What We’re Reading Now, February 12th Edition

The dreary February days have us wishing we could curl up with a great book all. day. long. If you need inspiration for your TBR stack to get you through the last few weeks of winter, here are our top picks for this week. Happy reading!

Parkland, by Dave Cullen

One year after the tragic events of Parkland, Florida, Dave Cullen, New York Times bestselling author of Columbine, delivers this moving account of the survivors-turned-activists of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School tragedy.

Nineteen years ago, Dave Cullen was one of the first on the scene at Columbine High. The account he wrote of the Columbine shooting caused him to suffer from secondary PTSD, and he vowed not to return to that type of crime scene. But something was different about Parkland. Cullen was stunned by the way these survivors turned their grief into activism–pushing back against the NRA and their elected officials, and inspiring millions of Americans to join them in their movement.

Cullen speaks through the voices of the key participants in the #neveragain movement that has transformed an unspeakable tragedy into unwavering hope. Their story speaks to a pivotal moment in our nation as these survivors call for real change.

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Grateful American, by Gary Sinise

Growing up in suburban Chicago, Gary Sinise auditioned on a whim for a school production West Side Story. Soon after, his career in acting took off. He and a few friends created one of the most important theater companies in America, the Steppenwolf Theatre Company, which launched the careers of actors like John Malkovich, Joan Allen, Gary Cole, and Laurie Metcalf. Gary moved easily into television and film, eventually taking on a role that would once again prove to be life-changing: Lieutenant Dan.

His role in the Academy Award-winning Forrest Gump has come to define his career, but the military community’s embrace of the character of the disable veteran sparked a deep realization in the actor that America’s veterans were not receiving the gratitude, honor, and respect their sacrifices should have earned them. After the September 11 attacks, Gary made it his mission to work on behalf of those who serve this country, eventually founding the Gary Sinise Foundation, whose mission is to serve and honor America’s defenders, veterans, first responders, their families, and those in need.

This book is the story of how Gary Sinise found this true calling, and followed it.

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90 Seconds to a Life You Love, by Joan I. Rosenberg

In her 30 years as a practicing psychologist, Dr. Joan Rosenberg has found that there are 8 feelings that block most people from success: sadness, shame, helplessness, anger, embarrassment, disappointment, frustration, and vulnerability. Knowing how to deal with these intense and uncomfortable feelings can bring you confidence, strength, and emotional resilience. Why, then, do we so often move disconnect from these feelings? Doing so disconnects us from what we desire, undermining our ability to realize our ambitions.

Many neuroscientists believe that the lifespan of a feeling is approximately 90 seconds. Dr. Rosenberg teaches us that if we make ourselves aware of these unpleasant feelings and ride the 90-second wave of the sensations associated with the feelings, we can achieve the confidence we seek. By staying present in these 8 uncomfortable feelings rather than disconnecting from them, we can handle life’s challenges and pursue whatever we want.

Dr. Rosenberg offers a practical guide on building core emotional strength and gives you the tools you need to realize your goals and achieve a life you love.

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To Night Owl from Dogfish, by Holly Goldberg Sloan and Meg Wolitzer

Avery is a bookworm–she’s intense, and she’s afraid of lots of things, like deep water. Bett is a surfer girl–fearless, outgoing, and loves the ocean. Avery lives in New York. Bett lives in California. And they’re both being raised by single, gay dads.

When their dads fall in love, Bett and Avery are sent (against their will) to sleepaway camp together. Their dads hope the two might become friends, or–with any luck–sisters. Think modern-day The Parent Trap.

But things don’t go quite as expected, for the girls or their dads. But the girls do grow closer, and soon they can’t quite imagine life without each other. Can they figure out a way to stay together? Like The Parent Trap before it, To Night Owl from Dogfish tells a story of love and family, with a lot of fun along the way.

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Finding Dorothy, by Elizabeth Letts

Bestselling author Elizabeth Letts offers a novel that tells the story behind the story of the unforgettable movie The Wizard of Oz.

As soon as seventy-seven-year-old Maud Gage Baum learns her late husband’s book is being adapted for the big screen, she knows she has to get on that set. Her husband Frank died nineteen years before, and Maud is the only one who knows the secrets behind the beloved book.

With alternating narratives between 1938 Hollywood and 1871 Fayetteville, New York, where Maud grew up, the book offers an engrossing fictional account of a remarkable woman’s life. From her upbringing as the daughter of a suffragette to her time at Cornell University as one of the Ivy League’s first women, from her romance with Frank to her time on the prairie, there’s much to glean from this story behind the story.

The author of two bestselling nonfiction books, The Eighty-Dollar Champion and The Perfect Horse, Elizabeth Letts brings her research and storytelling skill adeptly to her first fiction book.

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