Mark Lennihan / AP

Today’s Issue:

  • “We’re so used to the idea that [public libraries] exist that we take them for granted and pay little heed to what complex, extraordinary, resource-rich places they are,” Susan Orlean wrote on our forum last week.
  • The Library Book by Susan Orlean was our November Book Club selection. Orlean joined us to discuss the history and future of the American public library.
  • For December, we’re reading Kiese Laymon’s memoir, Heavy.


Introducing Our December Book-Club Pick

Heavy, by Kiese Laymon, is a letter to the author’s mother about growing up a hardheaded black son in the American South. Spurred on yet burdened by his mother’s dreams for him, Laymon charts “the bruising and disorienting experience of navigating America’s unmarked black path to success,” as the academic Christopher J. Lebron wrote in The Atlantic’s November issue. For Laymon and other people of color, Lebron said, walking this path means alternating between “reaching for a sense of power and reaching for a salve for powerlessness.”

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