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Politics, Robots, and Fictional Escapes: Patron Picks from Open Book Hour

At the Mid-Manhattan Library's latest Open Book Hour—which meets the second Friday of each month at 2 PM—we shared books that we're currently reading, and considered our reading resolutions for the year ahead. Whatever you're reading, please join our next Open Book Hour to trade book recommendations with other readers.

Here are patron picks from our January meeting. Have your own recommendation to add? Feel free to share in the comments section below.


What Happened book cover

Joy recommended What Happened, Hillary Rodham Clinton’s account of the 2016 presidential election, which captured her imagination in a way she had not expected: "Engagingly told. You’ll learn a lot about the drama and issues surrounding the 2016 campaign."






To Be a Machine book cover

George, who was visiting from Russia, was eager to read Fire and Fury, Michael Wolff’s look inside the Trump White House, as soon as he could get his hands on a copy. He had just finished To Be A Machine: Adventures Among Cyborgs, Utopians, Hackers, and the Futurists Solving the Modest Problem of DeathMark O’Connell's exploration of transhumanism, which O'Connell calls "a liberation movement advocating nothing less than a total emancipation from biology itself." The author also examines the possibility that this "would in reality be nothing less than a final and total enslavement to technology."



A Problem from Hell book cover

Priscila recommended former U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power’s "A Problem from Hell": America and the Age of Genocide, which won the Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction in 2003. She found this look at 20th century acts of genocide, and the U.S. responses, to be both informative and profoundly affecting.





My Not So Perfect Life book cover

On a lighter note. Joan enjoyed My Not So Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella and The Twelve Dogs of Christmas by David Rosenfelt. Both novels offered engaging characters and clever plot twists that made for entertaining reading.







A Gentleman in Moscow book cover

My choice was A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles, a book for which I was on the hold list for months. It was absolutely worth the wait. This engrossing novel is a beautifully written character study of a Russian aristocrast placed under house arrest in 1922. Through years of revolution, war, and social upheaval, Count Alexander Rostov remains inside a Moscow hotel, managing to live a full and meaningful life, and captivate readers. 




If you enjoy swapping book recommendations with other readers, please join us Friday, February 9 at 2 PM to share great winter reads. Our February theme is "Straight from the Heart"! Let’s brighten up the dark winter with tales of courage, kindness, and devotion. What books have inspired you or left you with a warm feeling? We’d love to hear about your favorite true or fictional stories of love, friendship, and family.



Patron-generated content represents the views and interpretations of the patron, not necessarily those of The New York Public Library. For more information see NYPL's Website Terms and Conditions.

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