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Heidi Daniel, Pratt Library CEO, Talks Summer Reading

Photo courtesy Enoch Pratt Free Library

So, read a good book lately?  If that’s the case, today’s the day on Midday that we’d like to hear about it. 

Tom's guest is Heidi Daniel, CEO of the Enoch Pratt Library here in Baltimore, a position she has held for about a year.  She took the reins last summer from Carla Hayden, who was selected by then President Barack Obama to head the Library of Congress.

We’re at about the halfway point in the lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer.  And we think it's a good day to talk books, to get some of Heidi’s suggestions, and yours!



An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

Oprah’s Book Club pick.   The story of a couple torn apart when the husband is arrested for a crime he didn’t commit.

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee

National Book Award Finalist.  Four generations of a poor Korean immigrant family fight to control their destiny in 20th-century Japan, exiled from a home they never knew.

John Woman by Walter Mosley

Novel of ideas about the sexual and intellectual coming-of-age of an unusual man who goes by the name Woman.  (Mosley will be coming to the Pratt on October 4 to promote the book, which is being published in September)

There, There by Tommy Orange

New York Times Bestseller.  Orange’s debut novel is about twelve Native American characters all attending the Big Oakland Pow Wow for different reasons.  


Educated by Tara Westover

New York Times Bestseller and Book Club pick.  The memoir of a young girl who was kept out of school by her survivalist family, and goes on to earn a PhD from Cambridge University.

Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

Named one of the best books of the year by the New York Times.  Daily Show host’s memoir details his upbringing in South Africa, where he was born to a white father and black mother, which at the time was a crime punishable by up to 5 years in prison.  A funny, inspiring coming-of-age story.

Under Fire by April Ryan

A behind the scenes look at what goes on in the Trump White House and how April Ryan, a veteran White House correspondent, has become part of the story.  (Ryan is coming back to the Pratt September 11 to talk about the new book, which is due out in early September) 

The Power of Presence by Joy Thomas Moore, featuring (her son) Wes Moore

A great read for parents.  Joy Moore’s "seven pillars of presence" -- which all parents can use to positively influence their children --  includes discussions on faith, freedom, connectedness.  (Also due out in September, and mother and son Joy & Wes Moore will be appearing at the Pratt on September 26)


Dear Martin by Nic Stone

A New York Times Bestseller, and a William C Morris Young Adult Debut Finalist.  Justyce McAllister is a teen who looks to the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  He writes a journal to Dr. King to find out if the civil rights leaders’ teachings hold up in a modern society.  (This book was  chosen as part of a new initiative being launched between community partners that will be announced this fall. Start reading now!)

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

New York Times Bestseller, and just selected as Jimmy Fallon’s book club summer read, even though it is YA. Draws from Nigerian folklore with a strong female protagonist seeking to restore the magic that has been banned from the world.  Great character interaction, unique setting and lots of action!

Solo by Kwame Alexander

A young musician goes on a quest to find his roots.  A compelling story of family ties, and a hidden secret that has Blade questioning everything.  (Author Kwame Alexander is a frequent visitor to the Pratt Library.)


Julian is a Mermaid by Jessica Love

A beautifully illustrated picture book about a little boy who loves mermaids and wants to be one.  His abuela takes him on a magical adventure to show him that anyone can be a mermaid.

Amina’s Voices by Hena Khan

A Washington Post Best Children’s Book.  When middle schooler Amina’s mosque is vandalized, she uses her singing voice to bring her diverse community together.

Charlie & the Mouse by Laurel Snyder

Easy Reader, 4-8 year olds.  Four stories involving two imaginative brothers.  Great book for siblings.  Well illustrated.

Schomburg: The Man Who Built a Library by Carole Boston Weatherford

Tells the true story of Arturo Schomburg, who collected works of art, literature, music and more from across Africa and curated a history-making collection for the New York Public Library.  Written in free verse and accompanied by detailed oil paintings.

Host, Midday (M-F 12:00-1:00)
Rob is Midday's senior producer.