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Jul 5, 2024

Mayor Evans and City leadership share summer reading recommendations

Book shelves at Lincoln Library

Even City leaders take a moment in the summertime to delve into good books. Director of the Rochester Public Library and Monroe County Library System Patty Uttaro rounded up more than a dozen City department heads to share their summer reading recommendations. Explore the following list and check out these books from your local public library:

Mayor Malik D. Evans

Book cover of "Little Book of Aliens" -- Cover has an unknown planet in the foreground and Earth in the background.
  • The Little Book of Aliens by Adam Frank
    Delve into the science behind the search for life beyond Earth with this book from astrophysicist, researcher and professor from the University of Rochester, Adam Frank.

Patty Uttaro, Library Director

  • I Cheerfully Refuse by Leif Enger
    Savor this tale of a bereaved musician embarking under sail on a sentient Lake Superior in search of his departed, deeply beloved, bookselling wife.
  • News of the World by Paulette Jiles
    In the aftermath of the Civil War, an aging itinerant news reader agrees to transport a young captive of the Kiowa back to her people in this exquisitely rendered, morally complex, multilayered novel of historical fiction

Dr. Shirley Green, Department of Recreation and Human Services Commissioner

  • The Light We Carry by Michelle Obama
    In an inspiring follow-up to her acclaimed memoir, former First Lady Michelle Obama shares practical wisdom and powerful strategies for staying hopeful and balanced in today's highly uncertain world.

David Smith, Police Chief

  • Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin
    Recognized as one of the most influential books of the past 50 years, this explores the political genius of Abraham Lincoln, his unlikely presidency, and his cabinet of former political foes.

Stefano Napolitano, Fire Chief

  • Wisdom of the Bullfrog by Admiral William H. McRaven
    This short, inspirational book of advice and leadership lessons that Admiral McRaven collected over his four decades as a Navy SEAL will fascinate readers.

Daniella Veras, Executive Assistant

  • Atomic Habits by James Clear
    This comprehensive guide will help you unlock the power of changing habits to spur personal growth. Daniella says, “One of my favorites for kicking myself back into gear. I might even re-read it, right now!”
  • Sh*t You Need to Know That Nobody Bothered to Tell You: A Perpetual Guide to Life for Everyone by Clark Merrill
    This practical guide offers advice about life’s situations like what to say at a funeral, what to say at a wedding, how to order wine at a restaurant, and more.

Patrick Beath, Corporation Counsel

Cover of the book "The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois; An orange cover with a tree, clouds and sun.
  • Freedom by Jonathan Franzen
    Follow the story of a seemingly perfect couple and how they navigate societal change in the new millennium.
  • The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois by Honorée Fanonne Jeffers
    A sweeping novel of one American family from the colonial slave-trade to the modern era, this novel explores themes of identity, family, and resilience.

Kim D. Jones, Finance Director

  • Begin Again: James Baldwin’s America and Its Urgent Lessons for Our Own by Eddie Glaude Jr.
    Published in 2020, this book explores the aftermath of the Black Lives Matter movement through the lens of James Baldwin’s experiences in the post-Civil Rights Era days.

Dr. Rose M. Nichols, Director of the Department of Human Resource Management

  • Disruptive Thinking by T.D. Jakes
    Think differently and find the courage to challenge the status quo with this mindset-shifting guide to meaningful change.
  • The Heaven and Earth Grocery Store by James McBride
    In 1972, workers in Pottstown, PA discovered a skeleton as they dug the foundations for a new development. Who the skeleton was and how it got there were two of the long-held secrets kept by the neighborhood.

Barbara Pierce, Director of Communications

  • Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt
    Charming, witty and compulsively readable, this book is an exploration of friendship, reckoning, and hope that traces a widow's unlikely connection with a giant Pacific octopus.
  • Radical Candor by Kim Scott
    This book is a compelling exploration of a powerful communication framework that involves being honest, sincere, clear, and kind while also showing personal care and challenging directly.

Suzanne Warren, Office of Management and Budget Director

Cover of "Braiding Sweetgrass"; a pale green braid runs horizontally across the cream-colored cover
  • Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer
    Drawing on her life as an indigenous scientist and as a woman, Kimmerer shows how other living beings—asters and goldenrod, strawberries and squash, salamanders, algae, and sweetgrass—offer us gifts and lessons, even if we've forgotten how to hear their voices.
  • The Quiet Tenant by Clémence Michallon
    This book is a pulse-pounding psychological thriller about a serial killer narrated by those closest to him: his 13-year-old daughter, his girlfriend—and the one victim he has spared.

Josanne Reeves, Chief Legislative Coordinator and Liaison to City Council

  • The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
    This book is a shocking psychological thriller of a woman's act of violence against her husband—and of the therapist obsessed with uncovering her motive.
  • Being Henry by Henry Winkler
    From Emmy-award-winning actor, author, comedian, producer, and director Henry Winkler, this book is a deeply thoughtful memoir of the lifelong effects of stardom and the struggle to become whole.

John Brach, Special Assistant to the Mayor

  • Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
    This groundbreaking tour of the human mind explains the two systems that drive the way we think.
  • The Authenticity Project by Clare Pooley
    This novel shares the story of a solitary green notebook that brings together six strangers and leads to unexpected friendship, and even love.

Nancy Johns-Price, Youth2Work and Youth Engagement Coordinator

"Think Again" book cover, featuring an image of water flowing from a match as if it were a flame
  • Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know by Adam Grant
    This book explores the critical art of rethinking and learning to question your opinions. It asserts that “if knowledge is power, knowing what we don’t know is wisdom.”
  • 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do by Amy Morin
    Master your mental strength—revolutionary new strategies that work for everyone from homemakers to soldiers and teachers to CEOs.

To find any of these books at a City library near you, browse the library’s online catalogue and find locations and hours at