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Quotes of the Day

The Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man’s Love Affair with Nature

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Promise Me, Dad

Author: Joe Biden  In November 2014, thirteen members of the Biden family gathered for their traditional Thanksgiving celebration. But this year felt different from the previous. Joe and Jill Biden's eldest son, Beau, had been diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor fifteen months earlier, and his survival was uncertain. 'Promise me, Dad,' Beau had told his father. 'Give me your word that no matter what happens, you're going to be all right.' Joe Biden gave him his word. Promise Me, Dad chronicles the year that followed, which would be the most momentous and challenging in Joe Biden's extraordinary life and career. Vice President Biden traveled more than a hundred thousand miles that year, across the world, dealing with crises in Ukraine, Central America, and Iraq. While Beau fought for, and then lost his life, the Vice President balanced the twin imperatives of living up to his responsibilities to his country and his responsibilities to his family, while contemplating the insistent and urgent question of whether he should seek the presidency in 2016. Even in the worst times, Biden was able to lean on the strength of his long, deep bonds with his family, on his faith, and on his deepening friendship with the man in the Oval Office, Barack Obama.
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The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

Author: William Kamkwamba  When William Kamkwamba was just 14 years old, his family told him that he must leave school and come home to work on the farm - they could no longer afford his fees. This is his story of how he found a way to make a difference, how he bought light to his family and village, and hope to his nation. Malawi is a country battling AIDS, drought and famine, and in 2002, a season of floods, followed by the most severe famine in fifty years, brought it to its knees. Like the majority of the population, William's family were farmers. They were totally reliant on the maize crop. By the end of 2001, after many lean and difficult years, there was no more crop. They were running out of food - had nothing to sell - and had months until they would be able to harvest their crop again. Forced to leave school at 14 years old, with no hope of raising the funds to go again, William resorted to borrowing books from the small local library to continue his education. One day, browsing the titles, he picked up a book about energy, with a picture of a wind turbine on the front cover. Fascinated by science and electricity, but knowing little more about the technology, William decided to build his own. Ridiculed by those around him, and exhausted from his work in the fields every day, and using nothing more than bits of scrap metal, old bicycle parts and wood from the blue gum tree, he slowly built his very own windmill. This windmill has changed the world in which William and his family live. Only 2 per cent of Malawi has electricity; William's windmill now powers the lightbulbs and radio for his compound. He has since built more windmills for his school and his village. When news of William's invention spread, people from across the globe offered to help him. Soon he was re-enrolled in college and travelling to America to visit wind farms. This is his incredible story. William's dream is that other African's will learn to help themselves - one windmill and one light bulb at a time - and that maybe one day they will be able to power their own computers, and use the internet, and see for themselves how his life has changed after picking up that book in the library.
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My Life, My Purpose: A Tanzanian President Remembers

Author: Benjamin William Mkapa His Excellency Benjamin Mkapa was Tanzanian’s third president, elected under the first multi-party general election in Tanzania.  His memoirs range from his childhood, time as president, and his continuing post-retirement involvement on the international stage of development and peace mediation.
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Blown Together By The Winds Of Change

Author: Donough Mahon  Donough ‘Drongo’ Mahon had produced a magnificent memoir covering three continents, and featuring dozens of caricatures and drawings of the many fascinating characters from his life in South Africa, Tanzania, and Brazil. Born in South Africa, his family moved to Tanganyika in 1947 farming coffee in the shadow of Mount Meru. Here he developed his interest in agriculture, leading him on his long agrosafari through Europe, Africa, and South America. 'Drongo’  was also a charter pilot, flying extensively in East Africa and a manufacturer of razor wire in Brazil, where he now resides with his wife and family. This wonderful and colourful account of his family and friends takes readers on a journey to a past ‘old’ Africa and gives readers an insight into times that were carefree and uninhibited, unlike today's modern world.
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The Soul of a Woman

Author: Isabel Allende  The wise, warm, defiant new book from literary legend Isabel Allende - a meditation on power, feminism and what it means to be a woman When I say that I was a feminist in kindergarten, I am not exaggerating. As a child, Isabel Allende watched her mother, abandoned by her husband, provide for her three small children. As a young woman coming of age in the late 1960s, she rode the first wave of feminism. She has seen what has been accomplished by the movement in the course of her lifetime. And over the course of three marriages, she has learned how to grow as a woman while having a partner, when to step away, and the rewards of embracing one's sexuality. So what do women want? To be safe, to be valued, to live in peace, to have their own resources, to be connected, to have control over their bodies and lives, and above all, to be loved. On all these fronts, there is much work to be done, and this book, Allende hopes, will 'light the torch of our daughters and granddaughters with mine. They will have to live for us, as we lived for our mothers, and carry on with the work still left to be finished.'
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Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of NIKE

Author: Phil Knight  ‘A refreshingly honest reminder of what the path to business success really looks like… He tells his story as honestly as he can. It’s an amazing tale. It’s real.’ - Bill Gates In 1962, fresh out of business school, Phil Knight borrowed $50 from his father and created a company with a simple mission: import high-quality, low-cost athletic shoes from Japan. Selling the shoes from the boot of his Plymouth, Knight grossed $8000 in his first year. Today, Nike's annual sales top $30 billion. In an age of start-ups, Nike is the ne plus ultra of all start-ups, and the swoosh has become one of the most ubiquitous and recognisable symbols in the world today. For the first time, Phil Knight spells out the complete story behind that success, peeling back the gloss of a global multinational to reveal the pitfalls and glories of founding – and building – Nike. From the almost accidental nature of the company logo to the vast complexities of a leading edge business split around the globe, Shoe Dog is very much a business bible for the 21st century.
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BECOMING

By Michelle Obama
Now including a “Note to Self” letter to her younger self, a book club guide with 20 discussion questions and a 5 question Q&A with Michelle Obama. In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her-from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it-in her own words and on her own terms.
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Surprised by Joy

Author: C. S. Lewis  For many years an atheist, C. S. Lewis vividly describes the spiritual quest that convinced him of the truth and reality of Christianity, in his famous autobiography. "In the Trinity Term of 1929 I gave in, and admitted that God was God ... perhaps the most dejected and reluctant convert in all England." Thus Lewis describes memorably the crisis of his conversion. 'Surprised by Joy' reveals both that crisis and its momentous conclusion that would determine the shape of Lewis's entire life.
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