A few to start. Please share ideas!
On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons From the Twentieth Century, by Timothy Snyder
The Founding Fathers tried to protect us from the threat they knew, the tyranny that overcame ancient democracy. Today, our political order faces new threats, not unlike the totalitarianism of the twentieth century. We are no wiser than the Europeans who saw democracy yield to fascism, Nazism, or communism. Our one advantage is that we might learn from their experience.
You’re More Powerful Than You Think: A Citizen’s Guide to Making Change Happen, by Eric Liu
Is this the America you want? If not, here’s how to claim the power to change your country. The strategies of reform and revolution he lays out will help every reader make sense of our world today. If you want to be more than a spectator in this new era, you need to read this book.
Eric Liu’s Ted Talk, There’s No Such Thing as Not Voting
We Should All Be Feminists, Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche
…a personal, eloquently-argued essay — adapted from her much-viewed Tedx talk of the same name. The award winning author of Americanah and Half of a Yellow Sun.With humor and levity, here Adiche offers readers a unique definition of feminism for the twenty-first century – one rooted in inclusion and awareness.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Tedx Talk, We Should All Be Feminists
And some non-political:
Rise of the Rocket Girls: The Women Who Propelled Us, from Missiles to the Moon to Mars, by Nathalia Holt
In the 1940s and ’50s, when the newly minted Jet Propulsion Laboratory needed quick-thinking mathematicians to calculate velocities and plot trajectories, they didn’t turn to male graduates. Rather, they recruited an elite group of young women who, with only pencil, paper, and mathematical prowess, transformed rocket design, helped bring about the first American satellites, and made the exploration of the solar system possible.
Year of Yes, by Shonda Rhimes
The megatalented creator of Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal and executive producer of How to Get Away with Murder chronicles how saying yes for one year changed her life – and how it can change yours, too.
With three hit shows on television and three children at home, the ubertalented Shonda Rhimes had lots of good reasons to say no when an unexpected invitation arrived. Hollywood party? No. Speaking engagement? No. Media appearances? No.
And there was the side benefit of saying no for an introvert like Shonda: nothing new to fear.
Then Shonda’s sister laid down a challenge: Just for one year, try to say yes to the unexpected invitations that come your way. Shonda reluctantly agreed – and the result was nothing short of transformative. In Year of Yes, Shonda Rhimes chronicles the powerful impact saying yes had on every aspect of her life – and how we can all change our lives with one little word. Yes.
A Man Called Ove, by Fredrik Bachman
Meet Ove. He’s a curmudgeon – the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him “the bitter neighbor from hell”. But behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove’s mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul. All of which will change one cranky old man and a local residents’ association to their very foundations.