December 2023 Staff Recommendations

Book Pick: Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing

In his memoir, actor Matthew Perry reflects on the difficult period after a health scare. He contemplates his childhood, his claim to fame, and his journey through addiction. The Friends actor explores the impact the show had on him and his castmates as well. Despite the fame and success that Friends and subsequent productions brought him, Matthew struggled with his sobriety, which continually affected his livelihood. Recommended by Darcy, she notes, “I listened to the Audible version of this book, and Matthew Perry reads it, himself.  Hearing him describe his pain, which clearly started in childhood, and his efforts to mask it through fame and then through alcohol and opioids just broke my heart.  He was such an incredibly funny, talented and smart person and even with all of the fame, money and accolades, he just could not believe he was good enough.”

Podcast Pick: This Land

Rebecca Nagle is the host of This Land, a podcast that discusses a culmination of custody battles over the adoption of Native American children. This Land explores how these custody battles are threatening American Indian tribes and the rights that defend them. Emily recommends this title and says, “This podcast was such a quick listen even though it’s nine episodes because it was so gripping and unearthed not just how the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) is being challenged but the whole issue of Native Tribal Sovereignty is under attack, with child welfare acting as just a small piece of the puzzle. It also brought an illuminating perspective to the issues of attachment versus cultural identity with respect to children in the foster system that is important to keep in mind as we advocate for children’s best interests.”

Webinar Pick: Dr. Bernice A. King Q. & A.

Dr. Bernice A. King is the daughter of Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King. She is a lawyer and a minister as well as the CEO of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center For Nonviolent Social Change (The King Center). Reverend and Professor Keith Magee serves as moderator in this webinar where he addresses Dr. King’s children’s book It Starts With Me. Together Magee and King tackle what systemic change means for children and the trauma that comes with the social injustice that children may face. Amy recommends this title and speaks of Dr. King’s work, “She focuses on the importance of children knowing that change starts from within, and how we as adults need to demonstrate to a child how to use our voices and incite appropriate change. Dr. Bernice Albertine King also discusses how we need to ensure we are using our voices for justice and love and the importance of separating the person from the issue/injustice. Relationships are so important, everyone is an individual, we can learn so much from each other, and we as adults need to teach children how to have good relationships full of kindness, respect, and openness.”