If you wonder why people are buzzing about the presidential prospects of a 37-year-old mayor of a midsize Midwestern city, read Pete Buttigieg’s memoir, Shortest Way Home. Buttigieg may be the intellectually deepest and most thoughtful of the Democratic presidential crop, despite his age. A history and literature major at Harvard and Rhodes Scholar, his deep love of novels comes through as he eloquently traces his roots in South Bend, interest in government, enlistment in the Navy reserves and deployment to Afghanistan, ascent to the mayoralty and, on the eve of his re-election, decision to come out as a gay man. A refreshing voice and a talented Millennial worth watching as he contemplates a run for the White House.
In this extraordinary memoir, Yip-Williams chronicles the years following her diagnosis with stage IV cancer. She confronted the disease with everything she had: rage—especially on behalf of her young daughters and husband—fear, guilt, grief, and, occasionally, hope. A realist, Yip-Williams had a complicated relationship with hope, that source of “joy, terror, and despair.” Seeing it taunt with mirages of cures and miracles, she didn’t trust it. Yet if she failed to grab for every additional day of life, however iffy the treatment—would she be giving up? Is that how she wanted her children to remember her? By speaking so honestly about the physical, emotional, and spiritual toll of living with cancer, Yip-Williams put the disease on her terms—the very opposite of giving up.
Despite an impoverished upbringing, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Nadia Murad grew up happy as a Yazidi--a minority group in northern Iraq--surrounded by her community in the village of Kocho. This life ended in 2014 when ISIS captured her village and the horrors of genocide and enslavement came crashing down on her. With such bravery, she provides a firsthand account of the unimaginable hardships she endured, including the massacre of the Yazidi and her repeated rapes and beatings while enslaved by ISIS. This is a heartrending story of perseverance under the most horrific of circumstances.