Profound Reads- Part Two

Profound Books - Part 2


The Shepherd's Life by James Rebanks

It is the author's ability to fully articulate what it means for a place to be home, truly home, whether you are there or not, be it for man or beast, to feel it's draw, to feel it's presence(or lack of), to hear its call. That is what makes this book profound to me. -Becky Doherty

A Little Life by Hanya Yanigihara

It was the power of a book written so well, a story told with so much passion and emotion that it literally brought me to my knees, that make this book so profound to me. I didn't learn any life lessons or come to any realizations reading it, it was all about the written word. -Liz Barnum

Here by Richard McGuire

McGuire uses time as a way to show one place in various eras, even eons. It is a graphic novel with few words that gives perspective on our place in the world and how place is shaped by the passing of time. -Percy Sutton

How to Build a Girl by Caitlin Moran

The word "sophomore", sharing roots with "philosophy" and "moron", translates loosely to "wise fool". This is the book from the type of person we see as the most foolish - a teenage girl - and yet through her inexperience and unapologetic view of the world comes the most striking profundity. -Katelynne Shimkus

The Wild Braid by Stanley Kunitz.

"The universe is a continuous web. Touch it at any point and the whole web quivers." Mr. Kunitz seems more vividly alive at the age of 100 than the rest of us in the prime of our lives. This is a lovely and inspiring volume of treasures. Among the most beloved books I've ever read. -Nancy Scheemaker

Barkskins by Annie Proulx

Being raised in America during this past century, a WASP and relatively privileged, my cultural indoctrination extolled the heroic efforts of the settlers in the "New World" and marveled at what was created out of "wilderness." They were certainly heroic but the results of their fortitude I realize now, thanks to Barkskins, was akin to a holocaust. And an environmental disaster. This carefully researched historical novel has profoundly altered my outlook on everything from the pastoral scenes I drive by, the woods I explore, to the small towns and endless cityscapes which I once viewed as bucolic, peaceful, charming and impressive - respectively. Thanks to Annie Proulx and Barkskins, now I cannot help but wonder what the forests would look like today, pre-"invasion". Or how commerce and society would function if land, and all it generates, were not considered commodities.Given the direction the world seems to be going in terms of environmental degradation, climate change, population growth, income inequality Barkskins strikes me as a profound read to clarify the cause/effect of choices made by those in power over the last half millennium. -Heather Belanca

We Wish To Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families by Philip Gourevitch

Over three months in the spring of 1994 800,000 Tutsis were massacred by the Hutu majority at the order of the Rwandan government. Think about that. 800,000 people in three months. That’s a greater rate than the Holocaust and it was done primarily with machetes. Gourevitch doesn’t write about this catastrophic failure of humanity. He shows you, laying bear the calm acceptance many of the Tutsis manifested during this tragedy. The title is a quote taken from a letter written to the Pastor of a Hutu church pleading for aid only a few days before the genocide began. The groundwork for the Tutsi genocide had been laid many decades, even centuries earlier. At multiple points intervention was possible, and indeed asked for. But the UN did nothing, nor did any singular nation. During that fateful spring the entire world announced in a clear, unanimous voice that it simply does not care about black Africans. I read this book about 15 years ago and still can’t talk about it without tearing up. -Nate George

Kristin Lavransdattir by Sigrid Undset

I read it (the 1st time when I was 12 & have read it every few years since. I keep my hard cover set on the top shelf of my closet) It is lesson I learned early- "Life is what you make of it- after you make your choices" The book won the Nobel Prize in 1929 & has never been out of print. -Maeve Noonan