‘National Reading Day’ Non-Fiction Must Reads

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Flavio Ensiki

Today is National Reading Day in the U.S. Before you curl up with your favorite magazine or a new book, remember how you learned to read and consider paying it forward to a young reader.

National Reading Day aims to help Pre-K through third grade students develop the literacy skills they need to become lifelong learners. United Way and other nonprofit groups, schools, libraries, parents and volunteers participate in a variety of activities with younger readers on National Reading Day.

Here are a few picks that you must read this year!

History Picks:

Founding Fathers:  Brief Lives of the Framers of the United States Constitution-M. E. Bradford

One was a shoemaker, surveyor, lawyer, jurist, lay theologian, and statesman. Two became president, one vice president. Over half were experienced in the legal profession. The majority were well off and, for their time, well educated. And when they came together in Philadelphia in 1787, they produced the framework for the most influential document in the history of the United States.

Yet, says M. E. Bradford, the fifty-five original Framers of the U.S. Constitution didn’t view themselves as demigods out to “invent” a country. Instead they tackled the nuts and bolts of constitution building by relying on a shared philosophical legacy inherited from more than 1,000 years of British history and culture.

In this concise and valuable reference work—the only compilation of biographical sketches for all fifty-five Framers who attended the Philadelphia Convention—Bradford examines the Framer’s constitutional theories, their visions for the newly founded union, and their opinions on ratification of the document that would address such paramount issues as national revenue, public debt, currency, removal of trade barriers between the states, and provisions for the common defense.

Delving into the political and philosophical principles of the founders, Bradford illuminates their motives, thoughts, and actions and illustrates how their political decision-making was influenced by religion, education, environment, economic circumstances, and personal background.

First Ladies: An Intimate Group Portrait of White House Wives- Margaret Truman

Whether they envision their role as protector, partner, advisor, or scold, First Ladies find themselves in a job that is impossible to define, and just as difficult to perform. Now Margaret Truman, daughter of President Harry Truman and an acclaimed novelist and biographer in her own right, explores the fascinating position of First Lady throughout history and up to the present day.
With her unique perspective as the daughter of a First Lady, Ms. Truman reveals the truth behind some of the most misunderstood and forgotten First Ladies of our history, as well as the most famous and beloved. In recounting the charm and courage of Dolley Madison, the brazen ambition of Florence Harding, the calm, good sense of Grace Coolidge, the genius of Eleanor Roosevelt, the mysterious femininity of Jackie Kennedy, and the fierce protectiveness of Nancy Reagan, among others, Margaret Truman has assembled an honest yet affectionate portrait of our nation’s First Ladies–one that freely acknowledges their virtues and their flaws.

Contemporary Picks


Power Forward Reggie Love by  Reggie Love 

Reggie Love is a unique witness to history, whose introduction to Washington was working in Junior Senator Barack Obama’s mailroom. As “body man” to Obama during his first presidential campaign, Love’s job was to stay one step behind the candidate, but think and act three steps ahead during a typical eighteen-hour workday. As President Obama’s personal aide during that momentous first term, Love sat yards from the Oval Office and often spent more time with the President than anyone else. While his experiences were unique, the lessons he learned during his tenure with the President are universal. Persistence. Responsibility. Passion for a cause greater than yourself. In short, maturity.
Love has been singularly lucky in his mentors. At Duke University, where he was a walk-on and a captain of its fabled basketball team, Love learned from Coach Krzyzewski that sports builds character—from President Obama, Love learned that how you conduct your life defines your character.

Accountability and serving with honor were learned during unsought moments: co-coaching with Malia Obama’s and Sasha Obama’s basketball team with the President; lending Obama his tie ahead of a presidential debate; managing a personal life when no hour is truly your own. From his first interview with Senator Obama, to his near-decision not to follow the President-elect to the White House, Love drew on Coach K’s teachings as he learned to navigate Washington. But it was while owning up to (temporarily) losing the President’s briefcase, playing pick-up games in New Hampshire to secure votes, babysitting the children of visiting heads of state, and keeping the President company at every major turning point of his historic first campaign and administration, that Love learned how persistence and passion can lead not only to success, but to a broader concept of adulthood.

Power Foward is a professional coming of age story like no other.

Pressing Reset

Source: Book cover / Book Cover

Pressing Reset by Reverend  Frederick D Haynes III (Available Now)

We all experience dark periods where we may lose our way, but it doesn’t mean that is where we are meant to stay. Just as we have become accustomed to re-booting our computers when we experience a frozen screen, the purpose of this book is to remind the reader that there is always a way to “press reset” to move forward.

Pressing reset is an attitude and process that can allow us to focus on the divine design and purpose God has intended for our lives.

Death Row Chaplain  Reverend Earl Smith and Mark Schlabach 

From a former criminal and now chaplain for the San Francisco 49ers and the Golden State Warriors, comes a riveting, behind-the-bars look at one of America’s most feared prisons: San Quentin. Reverend Earl Smith shares the most important lessons he’s learned from years of helping inmates discover God’s plan for them.
In 1983, twenty-seven-year-old Earl Smith arrived at San Quentin just like everyone thought he would. Labeled as a gang member and criminal from a young age, Smith was expected to do some time, but after a brush with death during a botched drug deal, Smith’s soul was saved and his life path was altered forever.

From that moment on, Smith knew God had an unusual mission for him, and he became the minister to the lost souls sitting on death row. For twenty-three years, Smith played chess with Charles Manson, negotiated truces between rival gangs, and bore witness to the final thoughts of many death row inmates. But most importantly, Smith helped the prisoners of San Quentin find redemption, hope, and to understand that it is still possible to find God’s grace and mercy from behind bars.

Edgy, insightful, and thought provoking, Death Row Chaplain teaches us God’s grace can reach anyone—even the most desperate and lost—and that it’s never too late to turn our lives around.

The Francis Miracle John L  Allen Jr. 

There is no other organization whose inner workings are more secretive than the Vatican – the spiritual and physical center – of the Catholic Church. Now, with a dynamic new leader in Pope Francis, all eyes are upon the church, as this immensely popular Pope seeks to bring the church back from the right to center, in what can almost be described as a populist stance, blurring the lines between politics, religion and culture. With topics including women, finance, scandal, and reform at the fore, never before have so many eyes been upon the church in what could be its defining moment for modern times.

Now the most respected journalist covering the Vatican and the Catholic Church today, John L. Allen, reveals the inner workings of the Vatican to display the vast machinery, and the man at the helm in a way that no other writer can.

Encounters With Police: A Black Man’s  Guide To Survival Eric C Boyles, Esq. Adrian  O. Jackson , Patrolman

This book provides advice to African American boys and men on how to survive encounters with police. This book provides ideas on how to think about interaction with police to lower the chances of escalation. The book also provides information on legal and administrative rights citizens have to redress police misconduct so no hostilities occur at the time of encounter. The book provides practical step-by-step guidelines on how to respond to police when pulled over for traffic stops and when stopped for questioning outside of traffic encounters. Eric Broyles is an attorney and Adrian Jackson is a police officer.

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