Celebrity Picks: Dar Williams' Favorite Reads of 2017

Adrian Liang on December 22, 2017

DarWilliams.JPGSinger-songwriter Dar Williams has spent a great deal of time on the road during her music career, and she's seen much of this country from big city to small town.

Communities seeking to change their situation have grabbed her attention most recently, as she relates in her new book, What I Found in a Thousand Towns. "Powerful proximity" is how she describes the goodwill, pride, and action that pull people closer and help their town grow out of crime and poverty and into a vibrant place where residents want to live.

Williams lists below other books that inspired her to think more about community and change, and you can look here for more authors' favorites.

Dar Williams' favorite reads of 2017

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Detroit Hustle: A Memoir of Life, Love, and Home by Amy Haimerl - Amy documents the rehabbing of a Detroit house, but this completely absorbing book has everything to do with how Detroit is struggling to find its way to becoming a city for its people, not those who would displace its people. I was cheering for her, but I was also cheering for Detroit in this story, and so was she.

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Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time by Jeff Speck - Help is on the way! Yes, this book has to do with urban planning, which might seem like a niche interest, one that I have! But Jeff Speck is part of a fleet of urban planners who are pushing back against 50-plus years of sprawl and bringing back neighborhoods and livable cities, and that affects public health, drug epidemics, inequality and democracy itself. Plus, it was easy for me to read, and it will be for you, too!

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Blasphemy: New and Selected Stories by Sherman Alexie - These short stories are full of honest, often heartbreaking detail. None of his characters feel sorry for themselves. They know how they got where they are, and you can choose not to love them, but I did. “Breaking and Entering” is a brilliant car crash of social media and identity politics. Trust Sherman to bring new wisdom to these fast-moving times.

Photo credit: Tom Moore

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