There is a non-fiction reading group that meets monthly (mostly) on the first Monday of each month. For June 5th, we have chosen “The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu and Their Race to Save the World’s Most Precious Manuscripts” by Joshua Hammer
To save precious centuries-old Arabic texts from Al Qaeda, a band of librarians in Timbuktu pulls off a brazen heist worthy of Ocean’s Eleven.
In the 1980s, a young adventurer and collector for a government library, Abdel Kader Haidara, journeyed across the Sahara Desert and along the Niger River, tracking down and salvaging tens of thousands of ancient Islamic and secular manuscripts that had fallen into obscurity. “The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu” tells the incredible story of how Haidara, a mild-mannered archivist and historian from the legendary city of Timbuktu, later became one of the world’s greatest and most brazen smugglers.
In the past, the group has read a wide variety of non-fiction titles, ranging from science (Brief answers to the Big Questions by Steven Hawking), the natural world (What It’s Like to Be a Bird by David Allen Sibley, An Elephant in my Kitchen by Francoise Malby-Anthony), memoirs (Educated by Tara Westover, Becoming by Michelle Obama), and social issues (Caste, the Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson, and This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate by Naomi Klein).
If you are interested in joining the group, contact firstname.lastname@example.org and we will add you to the distribution list for voting and the Zoom link for the meeting. All are welcome.
Those involved in the group are sent a list of books with descriptions for consideration in future discussions. We have multiple votes that can be used all for one book or spread out among several. The book with the highest number of votes is chosen.