Stories of hope and resilience

For LiveWell
Friday, February 10, 2017

At this time of reflection, nationally and within our communities, and especially within our homes, I wanted to offer a selection of books that I am turning to for hope and resilience in this new year.

I thank you for the difference you make every day by supporting your small businesses within your community and wish you peace, health, great books, and the ongoing pursuit of your personal passions for 2017.

The Unsettling of America

Start with this classic from Wendell Berry.

“So this is my hope, that things will never get so bad that a well-intentioned person can’t do what is right in front of them to do. If they are working on what is right in front of them, then the work is local work,” said Mary Berry, daughter of Wendell Berry, founder of the Berry Center in northern Kentucky. “My father says that hope is a virtue. That to have it, we must work at it.”

All the Real Indians Died Off

At this time when the world is watching the peaceful revolt at Standing Rock, this book addresses the many myths surrounding our understanding of Native American history and our contemporary struggles.

A Young People’s History of the United States

The classic from historian Howard Zinn, now in a very approachable edition with iconic photographs from our history. Intended for younger readers, but it is excellent for all.

The Bean Trees

This classic novel from Barbara Kingsolver remains a favorite return for pure enjoyment. Wonderful writing and true-to-life characters, the ultimate tale of hope and resilience.

White Dog Fell from the Sky

Another magnificent read of wonder from Maine author Eleanor Morse. A fictional story of Botswana and South Africa in 1976, with beautiful writing of unimaginable suffering, strength and wisdom.

The White Cat and the Moon

This retelling of a classic Irish poem, based on the true story, is our vote for the most beautiful book of 2016. So simple and pure, it can only take your breath away.

Out of the Woods

Sit down with the kids to get swept away by a true story of humans and animals coming together in a time of terror. Rebecca Bond’s story and illustrations should make this a classic.

Everything I Want To Do is Illegal and Folks, This Ain’t Normal

For a true fix on hopeful changes, read a couple of books from Joel Salatin, renowned author and farmer featured in Fresh, and prepare for the screening of the new documentary about Salatin and his farm. Polyfaces will be shown at Red River Theatres on Jan. 12 at 6:30 p.m. Salatin will be visiting the state as the keynote speaker for this year’s NOFA-NH Winter Conference at Rundlett Middle School on Jan. 28. Attendees will have the rare opportunity to participate in workshops with the farmer that has single-handedly changed the face of small-scale local farming in this country. For more information about the movie, contact Red River Theatres, and for the NOFA-NH conference contact NOFANH.org/winterconference.

(Katharine Nevins is co-owner of MainStreet BookEnds of Warner, an independent, family-run, community bookstore since 1998.)