perfect subject and perfect timing…almost certainly the most important book of the year.” In his review, Gwande Atul heaps praise on the biography’s subject, Doudna, by calling her “a heroine for the ages.”
Wilson is a Mdewakaton descendant enrolled on the Rosebud Reservation. The Seed Keeper is an ‘intergenerational narrative of the U.S. government’s deliberate destruction of Native ways.” An earlier book by Wilson--Spirit Car: Journey to a Dakota Past—won a Minnesota Book Award and is also in Coffman’s collection.
Speaking of hitting it out of the park, Minneapolis-based Milkweed Editions not only published The Seed Keeper but in 2013 published the very popular Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer. For this book of essays on Native folkways involving plants, Kimmerer won the 2014 Sigurd F. Olson Nature Writing Award.
Library Committee member Veena Deo, a former Milkweed Editions board member, donated a copy of Kimmerer’s book to our library. When not signed out to another resident, find the book on the library’s upper level in the Nature/Environment section.
There you’ll find books by some of the world’s best travel writers— Ian Frazier, Jan Morris, and Paul Theroux, to name a few. If I’m looking for armchair travel and humor both, one of my favorite reads of all time is Bill Bryson’s A Walk in the Woods. It’s a great title to read out loud to someone; there are portions that will make you laugh until you cry. Good medicine.
While I’m thinking about the Library’s upper level, I am reminded of some shelving improvements I made in late 2020. In the interest of improving access to books on African American and Native American issues, I expanded shelf space devoted to both topics. Look for these sections in the upper level’s northeast corner. Of course, there are also works by African American and Native American authors in the BIOGRAPHY, FICTION, and POETRY sections.
While we’re talking about improvements, I need to tell you about a shelving change in the history sections on the lower level. Here, everything needed a rejiggering. Gone is the section devoted solely to WORLD WAR II. This allowed me to create an expanded MILITARY HISTORY section. Now all books on US wars and military incursions are shelved in this new section.
Have questions about how the 1666 Coffman Library works? Explore our website. Still need answers? Contact either of the Library Committee Co-Chairs, Katie Weiblen or Carol Van Why.
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