What We Are Reading Today: Hidden Valley Road by Robert Kolker

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Updated 28 November 2020

What We Are Reading Today: Hidden Valley Road by Robert Kolker

This is a harrowing and intricate nonfiction account of an all-American family of 12 (10 boys and two girls) born between 1945 and 1965. 

Bestselling and award-winning author Robert Kolker presents an interesting story about this large Colorado family plagued by schizophrenia. 

He also explores some of the research that has been done on this fairly common but devastating mental illness that affects one in one hundred people.

With clarity and compassion, Kolker uncovers one family’s unforgettable legacy of suffering, love, and hope. 

“Meticulous research combined with unbiased treatment of the facts leads to a very devastating true story like no other,” said a review in goodreads.com. “It is written clearly and gives a broad picture of ways to define and cure a disease which terrifies us.” 

“For a family, schizophrenia is, primarily, a felt experience, as if the foundation of the family is permanently tilted,” Kolker writes. 

His is a feat of narrative journalism but also a study in empathy; he unspools the stories with enormous compassion while tracing the scientific advances in treating the illness.

What We Are Reading Today: Mediocre by Ijeoma Oluo

Updated 16 January 2021

What We Are Reading Today: Mediocre by Ijeoma Oluo

From the author of the New York Times bestseller So You Want to Talk About Race, a history of white male America and a scathing indictment of what it has cost us.
After the election of Donald Trump, and the escalation of white male rage and increased hostility toward immigrants that came with him, New York Times-bestselling author Ijeoma Oluo found herself in conversation with Americans around the country, pondering one central question: How did we get here?
Oluo answers that question by pinpointing white men’s deliberate efforts to subvert women, people of color, and the disenfranchised. Through research and interviews, Oluo investigates the backstory of America’s growth, from immigrant migration to our national ethos around ingenuity, from the shaping of economic policy to the protection of sociopolitical movements that fortify male power. In the end, she shows how white men have long maintained a stranglehold on leadership and sorely undermined the pursuit of happiness for all, according to a review at goodreads.com.