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The Livingston Diversity Council seeks to celebrate and educate the community through providing information on recommended reading.

Recommended reading...

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
by Mark Haddon

Christopher Boone, the autistic 15-year-old narrator of this revelatory novel, relaxes by groaning and doing math problems in his head, eats red-but not yellow or brown-foods and screams when he is touched. Strange as he may seem, other people are far more of a conundrum to him, for he lacks the intuitive "theory of mind" by which most of us sense what's going on in other people's heads. When his neighbor's poodle is killed and Christopher is falsely accused of the crime, he decides that he will take a page from Sherlock Holmes (one of his favorite characters) and track down the killer.


For further reading...

A long way goneA Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier
by Ishmael Beah

This absorbing account by a young man who, as a boy of 12, gets swept up in Sierra Leone's civil war goes beyond even the best journalistic efforts in revealing the life and mind of a child abducted into the horrors of warfare. Beah's harrowing journey transforms him overnight from a child enthralled by American hip-hop music and dance to an internal refugee bereft of family, wandering from village to village in a country grown deeply divided by the indiscriminate atrocities of unruly, sociopathic rebel and army forces. Beah then finds himself in the army—in a drug-filled life of casual mass slaughter that lasts until he is 15, when he's brought to a rehabilitation center sponsored by UNICEF and partnering NGOs. The process marks out Beah as a gifted spokesman for the center's work after his "repatriation" to civilian life in the capital, where he lives with his family and a distant uncle. When the war finally engulfs the capital, it sends 17-year-old Beah fleeing again, this time to the U.S., where he now lives. (Beah graduated from Oberlin College in 2004.) Told in clear, accessible language by a young writer with a gifted literary voice, this memoir seems destined to become a classic firsthand account of war and the ongoing plight of child soldiers in conflicts worldwide. (Feb.)

Anywhere but hereAnywhere but here
by Tim Bugansky

A bitter newspaper reporter holds court in a decrepit bar in a dying Rust Belt town. A peasant family disintegrates within a tropical society on the verge of revolution. A bus driver laments his job during a uniquely monotonous trip through the dreary Midwestern landscape. A shell-shocked war correspondent wanders aimlessly in frigid French Canada. An Ecuadorian woman toils in an American sweatshop, only to return to despair and infidelity at home. These and other characters both ordinary and extraordinary populate
Anywhere but Here. Set in a variety of locales - from Ohio to South America - the stories and vignettes that comprise this collection raise questions about identity, permanence, and the quiet struggle to find meaning in a seemingly senseless world. In an age of globalization and instant interconnection, Anywhere but Here offers a subtle examination of events and emotions that divide us but, at the same time, unite us in shared isolation.

Diversity BluesDiversity Blues
by Gladys Gossett Hankins (Author)

Using accounts from dozens of individuals who have experienced problems stemming from workplace diversity, author Gladys Hankins, an experienced Human Resources Manager and diversity facilitator, offers solutions to the race- and gender-based problems facing corporations and other organizations. Diversity Blues offers answers for managers and employees alike for eradicating problems through a proactive, constructive process, helping to create prejudice - and discrimination-free work environments in which all organization members are free to contribute fully and grow.

The World is FlatThe World is Flat
by Thomas L. Friedman (Author)

The Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times columnist and best-selling author of The Lexus and the Olive Tree gives a bold, timely, and surprising picture of the state of globalization in the twenty-first century.

In this brilliant #1 bestseller, "the most important columnist in America today" (Walter Russell Mead, The New York Times) demystifies the brave new world for readers, allowing them to make sense of the often bewildering global scene unfolding before their eyes. With his inimitable ability to translate complex foreign policy and economic issues, Thomas L. Friedman explains how the flattening of the world happened at the dawn of the twenty-first century; what it means to countries, companies, communities, and individuals; and how governments and societies can, and must, adapt. The World Is Flat is the timely and essential update on globalization, its successes and discontents, powerfully illuminated by one of our most respected journalists.

A Thousand Splendid Suns is a breathtaking story set against the volatile events of Afghanistan’s last thirty years—from the Soviet invasion to the reign of the Taliban to the post-Taliban rebuilding—that puts the violence, fear, hope, and faith of this country in intimate, human terms. It is a tale of two generations of characters brought jarringly together by the tragic sweep of war, where personal lives—the struggle to survive, raise a family, find happiness—are inextricable from the history playing out around them.

Propelled by the same storytelling instinct that made The Kite Runner a beloved classic, A Thousand Splendid Suns is at once a remarkable chronicle of three decades of Afghan history and a deeply moving account of family and friendship. It is a striking, heart-wrenching novel of an unforgiving time, an unlikely friendship, and an indestructible love—a stunning accomplishment. For more information and or audible clips go here: http://www.khaledhosseini.com/index.html

Invisible ManInvisible Man by Ralph Ellison
A nameless young black man wends a tortuous path from a southern town—where a local white men's club mockingly awards him a scholarship to a black college—to the streets of New York City, where everybody, black and white, left and right, man and woman, seems to have their own ideas about who he is and what purpose he can serve. Evenhandedly exposing the hypocrisies and stereotypes of all comers, Invisible Man is far more than a race novel, or even a bildungsroman. It's the quintessential American picaresque of the 20th century.

The curious incident of the dog in the night-timeThe Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
by Mark Haddon

Christopher Boone, the autistic 15-year-old narrator of this revelatory novel, relaxes by groaning and doing math problems in his head, eats red-but not yellow or brown-foods and screams when he is touched. Strange as he may seem, other people are far more of a conundrum to him, for he lacks the intuitive "theory of mind" by which most of us sense what's going on in other people's heads. When his neighbor's poodle is killed and Christopher is falsely accused of the crime, he decides that he will take a page from Sherlock Holmes (one of his favorite characters) and track down the killer. As the mystery leads him to the secrets of his parents' broken marriage and then into an odyssey to find his place in the world, he must fall back on deductive logic to navigate the emotional complexities of a social world that remains a closed book to him. In the hands of first-time novelist Haddon, Christopher is a fascinating case study and, above all, a sympathetic boy: not closed off, as the stereotype would have it, but too open-overwhelmed by sensations, bereft of the filters through which normal people screen their surroundings. Christopher can only make sense of the chaos of stimuli by imposing arbitrary patterns ("4 yellow cars in a row made it a Black Day, which is a day when I don't speak to anyone and sit on my own reading books and don't eat my lunch and Take No Risks"). His literal-minded observations make for a kind of poetic sensibility and a poignant evocation of character. Though Christopher insists, "This will not be a funny book. I cannot tell jokes because I do not understand them," the novel brims with touching, ironic humor. The result is an eye-opening work in a unique and compelling literary voice.

The Faith ClubThe Faith Club
By Ranya Idliby, Suzanne Oliver, Priscilla Warner

After September 11th, Ranya Idliby, an American Muslim of Palestinian descent, faced constant questions about Islam, God, and death from her children, the only Muslims in their classrooms. Inspired by a story about Muhammad, Ranya reached out to two mothers to try to understand and answer those questions for her children. After just a few meetings, however, it became clear that the women themselves needed an honest and open environment where they could admit—and discuss—their concerns, stereotypes, and misunderstandings about one another. After hours of soul-searching about the issues that divided them, Ranya, Suzanne, and Priscilla grew close enough to discover and explore what united them.

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