From Liberation to Tyranny
“Revolutionary Monsters: Five Men Who Turned Liberation Into Tyranny”
By Donald T. Critchlow
This short, yet informative read follows the rise of five world leaders who became brutal dictators after promising liberation and democracy. It proves tyranny knows no geographical, racial, or ideological bounds, and shows how each rose to power in a similar fashion.
Regnery History, 2021, 206 pages
On the Nazis’ Most Wanted List
Challenged with a prosthetic leg, American-born Virginia Hall was the first Allied woman deployed behind enemy lines. She was at the heart of the French Resistance. A masterful spy, her story is one of heroism, personal triumphs, dogged persistence, and passion for freedom. Purnell’s account of Hall’s story reads like a fast-paced thriller. Her deeds are on a Homeric level, full of action, adventure, intrigue, and treachery. This read will make you proud. Virginia Hall is an amazing heroine worth knowing.
Viking, 2019, 368 pages
Kentucky’s Books and Blues
“The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek”
By Kim Michele Richardson
The character of Cussy Mary Carter is fictional. The world she lives in is not. Set against the backdrop of Kentucky’s Pack Horse Library Project, created in the 1930s by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Cussy is one of those courageous women who delivered books to households nestled in the hills of Appalachia. She’s also colored and marked as untouchable, one of the last remaining true blue-skinned people of Kentucky. Cussy’s story of stunning strength is heart-wrenching yet hopeful.
Sourcebooks Landmark, 2019, 320 pages
A Timeless Classic
“The Consolation of Philosophy”
Eventually executed on false charges of treason, the Roman statesman Boethius wrote this book of reflections in 523 A.D. while in prison. Here he creates a dialogue between himself and Lady Philosophy. Through her, Boethius contends that happiness stems from virtue and the wisdom of the heart, and not from fickle Fortune. “Consolation” heavily influenced scholars and writers for the next thousand years and is still read today.
Penguin Classics, 1999, 155 pages
Escape From North Korea
“In Order to Live: A North Korean Girl’s Journey to Freedom”
By Yeonmi Park
It’s hard for people in a free society to imagine what it’s like to live in a communist country. Most books about communism don’t succeed at conveying this perspective, but this one does. Park’s escape from North Korea will shake you to the core. It’s an incredible story of overcoming the worst of humanity and coming out whole.
Penguin Books, 2016, 288 pages
Redefining Life Balance
‘Take Back Your Time: The Guilt-Free Guide to Life Balance”
By Christy Wright
Christy Wright frames the idea of life balance not as dividing your time or energy between work and home equally all the time, but as feeling a sense of balance in your heart and mind even when life gets busy, and “doing the right things at the right time.”
It’s a great book for the overwhelmed mom, the professional with too much on her plate, or anyone who is feeling frazzled or pulled in too many directions. Wright guides you back on the path from busy to balanced, simply, practically, and with kind-hearted encouragement.
Ramsey Press, 2021, 240 pages
Classic Bedtime Reads for All Ages
“Great Stories Remembered”
Ed. by Joe Wheeler
A book full of old-fashioned short stories perfect for family read-alouds. Instilling character through its memorable lessons, this collection of tales provides unique plot twists rarely seen in today’s technologically dulled era.
Focus on the Family Publishing, 1996, 400 pages
Carefree Childhood at Its Finest
By Maud Hart Lovelace
From visiting neighbors in dress-up clothes to conquering shyness on the first day of school, the woes and hilarity of turn-of-the-century life in fictional Deep Valley, Minnesota, is captured from a child’s perspective.
Harper Trophy, 1940, 112 pages