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Alumni share the books and podcasts that move and motivate them

Lauren Schwartz (’15)
Executive Director
Collat Jewish Family Services

Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End, by Atul Gawande. “Dr. Gawande empowers us to make intentional choices and share with spouses and adult children our vision and goals for the end of life. With his frame, I was able to help my father live the life he wanted after his pancreatic cancer diagnosis.”

Surfing the Waves of Alzheimer’s: Principles of Giving That Kept Me Upright, by Renee Brown Harmon. “Renee is a local physician whose husband and medical partner, Harvey, died of early onset Alzheimer’s disease. Her book provides validation, coping strategies, and guidance for any hero caring for a loved one with dementia.”

Take Your Soul to Work: 365 Meditations on Every Day Leadership, a podcast with Erica Brown


Yolanda Lawson (’20)
City of Birmingham

The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row, by Anthony Ray Hinton and Lara Love Hardin. “Many times in the book, Mr. Hinton reminds us to live for today, take no time with family or loved ones for granted, and don’t live with bitterness; live with forgiveness in your heart. It is amazing to me how much more relevant his thoughts are in the times we are living in during this pandemic.”



Ted Debro (’93)
Jefferson County Committee for Economic Opportunity

An American Marriage, Tayari Jones’s novel about three friends whose lives and aspirations change when one is falsely accused, tried, and convicted of a crime based on mistaken identity.

American Dirt, a suspenseful novel by Jeanine Cummins chronicling the journey of a mother and son in Mexico as they flee the cartel for the possibility of safety in the United States.

The Professor and other novels by Robert Bailey. The series connects “a University of Alabama law professor, his students and colleagues, Alabama football and Bear Bryant, and the push for justice in rural Alabama.”



Carol Nunnelly (’87)
Owner and Editor

Down Along with That Devil’s Bones: A Reckoning with Monuments, Memory, and the Legacy of White Supremacy, by Connor Towne O’Neal

Shaking the Gates of Hell: A Search for Family and Truth in the Wake of the Civil Rights Revolution, by John Archibald

Rage, by Bob Woodward

Agent Running in the Field, by John le Carré. “A final mind-twister suspense tale before his death.”