Staff Picks: Books
Staff-recommended reading from the
Ten Years Later -- Remembering 9/11
I was doing my morning stretches and listening to NPR, when the news came on. I remember the feel of that September day—sunny, blue skies, warm with no humidity – just like the weather in New York City. I know whom I called, what we said, what I did the rest of that day. And I remember which books I read over the years, to help me make sense of the event.
We each have our own memories of September 11, 2001. KPL has many books and movies that express individual experiences of that day, fictionalized accounts, analytical perspectives. Here are some to consider, as we commemorate the tenth anniversary:
Before & After stories from New York. Thomas Beller, editor
(Many authors tell stories of New York City, before and after the attacks. This anthology includes local author Bryan Charles’ moving account of the agonizingly long descent down a Tower staircase, after the attack.)
Reluctant Hero : a 9/11 Survivor Speaks Out about that Unthinkable Day, What he's Learned, How he's Struggled, and What no one should ever Forget , by Michael Benfante.
(Benfante’s experience of the descent included stopping at the 68th floor to offer help to a woman in a wheelchair. He and a co-worker carried her down 68 flights to safety, emerging minutes before the building exploded. The media turned Benfante into an instant hero, but in the years following, he wrestled with private anguish, depression and alcoholism.)
9-11 : Emergency Relief , Chris Pitzer, editor.
(Several graphic novelists joined together to chronicle their experiences of the day. I didn't own a TV on 9/11, so unlike many others, I didn't view thousands of devastating images of the attacks and their aftermath. This book made 9-11 'real' for me, somehow.)
Arab in America
El Rassi, Toufic.
(El Rassi’s semi-autobiographical graphic novel gave an honest account of life in the United States growing up as an Arab-American, post 9/11.)
9-11 : emergency relief