What’s Joan Zimmerman Reading?

Joan Zimmerman with Madame Johnson Sirleaf

We asked Southern Shows, Inc founder Joan Zimmerman what she reads, and she confessed that she’s recently switched to reading e-books on her NOOK…but she still buys hard copies of the keepers. Here are a few of Joan’s keepers:

Madame President: The Extraordinary Journey Of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, by Helene Cooper. I had the good fortune to meet Madame Johnson Sirleaf, when she visited Charlotte in 2007, ten months after becoming the first female elected head of state in Africa’s history.   She was absolutely inspiring, and her book – which takes us into the lives of Liberian women, as well as momentous events in Liberia – is equally inspiring.  Little wonder she is called Liberia’s greatest daughter.  And, by the way – one of the attractions in Charlotte was that her son worked for Wachovia, now Wells Fargo.

The Road to Little Dribbling: Adventures Of An American In Britain, by Bill Bryson. Bill Bryson’s work, no matter the topic, is always entertaining.  Having grown up in England, the title ‘The Road to Little Dribbling’ got my attention.  It did not disappoint.  Mind you, you will need to understand British humor; and realize that the American and British descriptions of people, places, and things are – shall we say- different.  For instance, be aware that a charming and quaint cottage to the Brits, to us would be old and inconvenient.  Light, fun, and a must–read if you are planning a trip to the English countryside.

Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption, by Bryan Stevenson. I became aware of ‘Just Mercy,’ by attorney Bryan Stevenson, during the unsettling racial tensions in Charlotte in 2016.  After reading  the first few pages I immediately ordered ten copies, and shared with friends.  This is a realistic, unbiased, educated, and eye-opening story about the redeeming quality of mercy, injustices – intended and unintended – and how caring individuals can make a difference.  A New York Times review said, “Just Mercywill make you upset and it will make you hopeful.”The reviewer was right.

In This Grave Hour, by Jacqueline Winspear. A British wartime mystery—I love them.  The story is set in 1939 London, in the earliest days of WWII in Europe.  The Secret Service sleuth is a woman, Maisie Dobbs, and her search to find the killer of a man who escaped occupied Belgium during WWI is a good read; providing insights to both man’s inhumanity to man, and man’s amazing ability to sacrifice everything to help others in a time of need.  A good, quick, and interesting read.

All Rivers Run To the Sea: Memoirs, by Elie Wiesel. I met Elie Wiesel several times in Charlotte, and along with an Echo Foundation group spent time with him in Boston.  Just being in his presence, hearing his stories, listening to his philosophies made me want to know more.  I’ve read all his books, but this one, published in 1995, is my favorite.  Along with the horrors he survived he shares beautiful stories of Jewish family life and friendship.  Everyone should read this book – and hope what happened in the life of Elie Wiesel never happens again.

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