Select book title to view more details below:
Together Vivek Murthy
Always HomeFanny Singer
Mutual Rescue Carol Novello
The Home PlaceJ. Drew Lanham
The Giver of Stars
The Music ShopRachel Joyce
Humans are social creatures: In this simple and obvious fact lies both the problem and the solution to the current crisis of loneliness. In his groundbreaking book, the 19th surgeon general of the United States Dr. Vivek Murthy makes a case for loneliness as a public health concern: a root cause and contributor to many of the epidemics sweeping the world today from alcohol and drug addiction to violence to depression and anxiety. Loneliness, he argues, is affecting not only our health, but also how our children experience school, how we perform in the workplace, and the sense of division and polarization in our society.
But, at the center of our loneliness is our innate desire to connect. We have evolved to participate in community, to forge lasting bonds with others, to help one another, and to share life experiences. We are, simply, better together.
The lessons in
Together have immediate relevance and application. These four key strategies will help us not only to weather this crisis, but also to heal our social world far into the future.
Spend time each day with those you love. Devote at least 15 minutes each day to connecting with those you most care about.
Focus on each other. Forget about multitasking and give the other person the gift of your full attention, making eye contact, if possible, and genuinely listening.
Embrace solitude. The first step toward building stronger connections with others is to build a stronger connection with oneself. Meditation, prayer, art, music, and time spent outdoors can all be sources of solitary comfort and joy.
Help and be helped. Service is a form of human connection that reminds us of our value and purpose in life. Checking on a neighbor, seeking advice, even just offering a smile to a stranger six feet away, all can make us stronger.
Dr. Vivek H. Murthy served as the 19th Surgeon General of the United States from December 15, 2014 to April 21, 2017.
As America’s Doctor, Dr. Murthy created initiatives to tackle our country’s most urgent public health issues. In 2017, Dr. Murthy focused his attention on chronic stress and isolation as prevalent problems that have profound implications for health, productivity, and happiness. Partnering with the Veterans Health Administration, he brought together leading thinkers, researchers, and practitioners to identify scientifically proven ways we can cultivate emotional well-being and fitness to help us thrive among the most challenging circumstances.
In addition to his role as America’s Doctor, as the Vice Admiral of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, Dr. Murthy commanded a uniformed service of 6,600 public health officers, serving the most underserved and vulnerable populations in over 800 locations domestically and abroad. He worked with thousands of Commissioned Corps officers to strengthen the Corps and protect the nation from Ebola and Zika and to respond to the Flint water crisis, major hurricanes, and frequent health care shortages in rural communities.
Dr. Murthy’s commitment to medicine and health began early in life. The son of immigrants from India, he discovered the art of healing watching his parents - Hallegere and Myetriae Murthy - treat patients like family in his father’s medical clinic in Miami, Florida.
Dr. Murthy received his bachelor’s degree from Harvard and his M.D. and M.B.A. degrees from Yale. He completed his internal medicine residency at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and later joined Harvard Medical School as faculty in internal medicine.
Dr. Murthy resides in Washington, D.C. with his wife, Dr. Alice Chen, and their two young children.
A cookbook and culinary memoir about growing up as the daughter of revered chef/restaurateur Alice Waters: a story of food, family, and the need for beauty in all aspects of life.
In this extraordinarily intimate portrait of her mother-and herself-Fanny Singer, daughter of food icon and activist Alice Waters, chronicles a unique world of food, wine, and travel; a world filled with colorful characters, mouth-watering traditions, and sumptuous feasts. Across dozens of vignettes with accompanying recipes, she shares the story of her own culinary coming of age and reveals a side of her legendary mother that has never been seen before. A charming, smart translation of Alice Waters’s ideals and attitudes about food for a new generation,
Always Home is a loving, often funny, unsentimental, and exquisitely written look at a life defined in so many ways by food, as well as the bond between mother and daughter.
Fanny Singer is a writer, editor, and co-founder of the design brand, Permanent Collection. In 2013, she received a Ph.D. on the subject of the British pop artist Richard Hamilton’s late work from the University of Cambridge. In 2015, she and her mother, Alice Waters, published
My Pantry, which she also illustrated. Having spent more than a decade living in the United Kingdom, Fanny recently moved back to her native California. Based in San Francisco, she travels widely, contributing art reviews and culture writing to a number of publications including Frieze,
The Wall Street Journal Magazine, Apartamento, T Magazine, and
Art Papers, among others.
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A moving and scientific look at the curative powers--both physical and mental--of rescuing a shelter animal, by the president of Humane Society Silicon Valley.
Mutual Rescue profiles the transformational impact that shelter pets have on humans, exploring the emotional, physical, and spiritual gifts that rescued animals provide. It explores through anecdote, observation, and scientific research, the complexity and depth of the role that pets play in our lives. Every story in the book brings an unrecognized benefit of adopting homeless animals to the forefront of the rescue conversation.
In a nation plagued by illnesses--16 million adults suffer from depression, 29 million have diabetes, 8 million in any given year have PTSD, and nearly 40% are obese--rescue pets can help: 60% of doctors said they prescribe pet adoption and a staggering 97% believe that pet ownership provides health benefits. For people in chronic emotional, physical, or spiritual pain, adopting an animal can transform, and even save, their lives.
Each story in the book takes a deep dive into one potent aspect of animal adoption, told through the lens of people's personal experiences with their rescued pets and the science that backs up the results. This book will resonate with readers hungering for stories of healing and redemption.
Carol Novello is the founder of Mutual RescueTM, a national initiative that highlights the life-changing power of human-animal relationships. The initiative's first short film, "Eric & Peety," went viral around the world with over 100 million views and was named the number #1 video news story in CA by the NY Times in 2016. She is currently expanding the initiative into a new, national non-profit brand to collaborate with local animal shelters and rescue groups and their communities across the country and bring new funding into the sector through corporate sponsorships. Her first book Mutual Rescue: How Adopting a Homeless Animal Can Save You, Too was published in April 2019, with international versions of the book released in Germany and Italy in 2020.
Mutual Rescue was created during the nearly decade long tenure that Carol served as President of Humane Society Silicon Valley (HSSV) from 2010 to 2020. She also served one year on their Board of Directors prior to that role. Through her leadership, HSSV became the first "model shelter" – the first organization in the nation to meet all guidelines set forth by the Association of Shelter Veterinarians. Her work at HSSV also resulted in significant increases in the rescue organization's adoption numbers, save rates and the number of animals receiving extended care. In 2016, she was one of nine animal welfare leaders across the country to receive the first Maddie Hero Award created by Maddie's Fund for recognizing innovation and leadership in the sector. She is also currently serving as a member of the Board of Directors at CUDDLY, Inc, a for-profit company that has created a fundraising and wishlist platform focused on the animal welfare sector.
Prior to entering the field of animal rescue, Carol was a senior executive at Intuit where she held numerous positions including President of MasterBuilder Software, Vice President/General Manager of QuickBooks Online and Vice President of Marketing for QuickBooks and Small Business Services. Carol earned her MBA from Harvard Business School and her BA in English and Economics from Dickinson College.
She currently resides in Serenbe, a community outside of Atlanta, GA and shares her home with two rescue cats, Bode and Herbie.
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Winner of the 2017 Southern Book Prize
Winner of the Reed Award from the Southern Environmental Law Center
Finalist for the John Burroughs Medal
Named a “Best Scholarly Book of the Decade” by The Chronicle of Higher Education
“In me, there is the red of miry clay, the brown of spring floods, the gold of ripening tobacco. I am, in the deepest sense, colored.” From these fertile soils—of love, land, identity, family, and race—emerges
The Home Place, a big-hearted, unforgettable memoir by ornithologist J. Drew Lanham.
Dating back to slavery, Edgefield County, South Carolina—a place “easy to pass by on the way to somewhere else”—has been home to generations of Lanhams. In
The Home Place, readers meet these extraordinary people, including Drew himself, who over the course of the 1970s falls in love with the natural world around him. As his passion takes flight, however, he begins to ask what it means to be “the rare bird, the oddity”—to find joy and freedom in the same land his ancestors were tied to by forced labor, and then to be a black man in a profoundly white field.
By turns angry, funny, elegiac, and heartbreaking,
The Home Place is a remarkable meditation on nature and belonging, at once a deeply moving memoir and riveting exploration of the contradictions of black identity in the rural South—and in America today.
A native of Edgefield, South Carolina, J. Drew Lanham is the author of
The Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man’s Love Affair with Nature, which received the Reed Award from the Southern Environmental Law Center and the Southern Book Prize, and was a finalist for the John Burroughs Medal. He is a birder, naturalist, and hunter-conservationist who has published essays and poetry in publications including
Orion, Audubon, Flycatcher, and
Wilderness, and in several anthologies, including
The Colors of Nature, State of the Heart, Bartram’s Living Legacy, and
Carolina Writers at Home. An Alumni Distinguished Professor of Wildlife Ecology and Master Teacher at Clemson University, he and his family live in the Upstate of South Carolina, a soaring hawk’s downhill glide from the southern Appalachian escarpment that the Cherokee once called the Blue Wall.
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Alice Wright marries handsome American Bennett Van Cleve, hoping to escape her stifling life in England. But small-town Kentucky quickly proves equally claustrophobic, especially living alongside her overbearing father-in-law. So when a call goes out for a team of women to deliver books as part of Eleanor Roosevelt’s new traveling library, Alice signs on enthusiastically.
The leader, and soon Alice's greatest ally, is Margery, a smart-talking, self-sufficient woman who's never asked a man's permission for anything. They will be joined by three other singular women who become known as the Packhorse Librarians of Kentucky.
What happens to them--and to the men they love--becomes an unforgettable drama of loyalty, justice, humanity, and passion. These heroic women refuse to be cowed by men or by convention. And though they face all kinds of dangers in a landscape that is at times breathtakingly beautiful, at others brutal, they’re committed to their job: bringing books to people who have never had any, arming them with facts that will change their lives.
Based on a true story rooted in America’s past,
The Giver of Stars is unparalleled in its scope and epic in its storytelling. Funny, heartbreaking, enthralling, it is destined to become a modern classic--a richly rewarding novel of women’s friendship, of true love, and of what happens when we reach beyond our grasp for the great beyond.
Jojo Moyes is a British novelist who studied at Royal Holloway, University of London. She won a bursary financed by The Independent newspaper to study journalism at City University and subsequently worked for The Independent for 10 years. In 2001 she became a full time novelist.
She is one of only a few authors to have twice won the
Romantic Novel of the Year Award by the
Romantic Novelists' Association and has been translated into twenty-eight languages.
She is married to journalist Charles Arthur and has three children.
View a reading group guide and a link to a Q&A with Jojo Moyes.
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Named one of the best books of the year by The Times (UK) and The Washington Post.
It is 1988. On a dead-end street in a run-down suburb there is a music shop that stands small and brightly lit, jam-packed with records of every kind. Like a beacon, the shop attracts the lonely, the sleepless, and the adrift; Frank, the shop’s owner, has a way of connecting his customers with just the piece of music they need. Then, one day, into his shop comes a beautiful young woman, Ilse Brauchmann, who asks Frank to teach her about music. Terrified of real closeness, Frank feels compelled to turn and run, yet he is drawn to this strangely still, mysterious woman with eyes as black as vinyl. But Ilse is not what she seems, and Frank has old wounds that threaten to reopen, as well as a past it seems he will never leave behind. Can a man who is so in tune with other people’s needs be so incapable of connecting with the one person who might save him? The journey that these two quirky, wonderful characters make in order to overcome their emotional baggage speaks to the healing power of music—and love—in this poignant, ultimately joyful work of fiction.
Rachel Joyce is the author of the Sunday Times and international bestsellers
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, Perfect, The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy, The Music Shop and a collection of interlinked short stories,
A Snow Garden & Other Stories. Her new novel,
Miss Benson's Beetle, is out now. Rachel's books have been translated into 36 languages and two are in development for film.
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Book prize and longlisted for the Man Booker Prize. Rachel was awarded the Specsavers National Book Awards 'New Writer of the Year' in December 2012 and shortlisted for the 'UK Author of the Year' 2014. Rachel has also written over 20 original afternoon plays and adaptations of the classics for BBC Radio 4, including all the Bronte novels. She moved to writing after a long career as an actor, performing leading roles for the RSC, the National Theatre and Cheek by Jowl. She lives with her family in Gloucestershire.
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Now your family can discuss together the themes of the Silicon Valley Reads selection - a wonderful way to encourage reading and thinking with a new perspective.