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Connection Selection: 'These Truths: A History of the United States' by Jill Lepore

Each month, the Southwest Community Connection will publish a list of the most popular Adult and Young Adult books at our two local Multnomah County Public Library branches: Hillsdale, 1525 S.W. Sunset Blvd., and Capitol Hill, 10723 S.W. Capitol Highway.

Former First Lady Michelle Obama's memoir "Becoming" took the top spot at Capitol Hill but fell off the most-lent list at Hillsdale. A memoir of a very different life, "Educated," by Tara Westover, takes the top spot at Hillsdale. "Kingdom of The Blind" by Louise Penny and "Transcription" by Kate Atkinson have some staying power.

CONNECTION STAFF RECOMMENDATION: In 1923, two men in America started a magazine that would offer readers a week's worth of news that could be read in one hour. One hundred articles per issue, 400 words per article. At first they wanted to call it "Facts" but they ended up calling it "Time." That's the kind of history you'll find in "These Truths: A History of the United States" by Jill Lepore. You say 789 pages of American history sounds more like a dreary school assignment? Hardly. Lepore packs this book full of interesting and important items. Take polling. She points out that when George Gallup first started taking polls the response rate was 90 percent. By the 1980s, the number of Americans answering pollster's questions was down to 60 percent. In the 2016 election, the percentage was down to single digits. No wonder the polls were so wrong. Lepore includes a series of memos written in the early days of Fox News, one of which directed news writers and reporters to refer to U.S. Marines as "sharpshooters" rather than "snipers" because "snipers carries a negative connotation." Lepore's included nearly 100 pages of notes, so you'll know this isn't "fake history."  BG

Capitol Hill adult books:

1.      "Becoming" by Michelle Obama 

2.      "Kingdom of the Blind" by Louise Penny 

3.    "Fear " by Bob Woodward 

Capitol Hill YA/juvenile books:

1.      "Amulet, Book 1" by Kazu Kibuishi 

2.      "I Am Invited to a Party! " by Mo Willems 

 3.   "Big Nate: Welcome to My World" by Lincoln Pierce  

Hillsdale adult books:

1.      "Educated" by Tara Westover 

2.      "Unsheltered " by Barbara Kingsolver

3.      "Transcription" by Kate Atkinson 

Hillsdale YA/juvenile books:

1.      "Roller Girl " by Victoria Jamieson 

2.      "Amulet, Book 4" by Kazu Kibuishi 

3.    " "Dog Man Unleashed" by Dav Pilkey 

Books in high demand can be put on hold at Multnomah County Library branches if you have a library card. For more information on library programs and services, go to

Bill Gallagher


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