About Community Reads
Community Foundation of North Louisiana invites any and all in the community to join Community Reads, a book club led by CFNLA. We encourage community members to join us as we read about issues like poverty, education, addiction, mental health, blight, and criminal justice reform. Each quarter, CFNLA will announce a new book selection. At the end of the quarter, we will invite up to 25 community members to participate in a group discussion and dialogue about the book. Discussion events will take place in both the Shreveport-Bossier area and Ruston. Interested community members may join the book club or simply sign up to receive Community Reads updates at the link above.
Need a copy of the book? Visit the Shreve Memorial Library website to find and reserve digital, print, and audiobook editions.
Summer 2020 Selection: American Dirt, by Jeanine Cummins
Please join us as we read American Dirt. Published in January of 2020, this book has already sparked a national conversation not only about immigration, but also about the racial disparities among authors and who has the right to tell a story. We chose this book because we believe both topics are timely and warrant discussion in our community.
About the Book
Lydia Quixano Pérez lives in the Mexican city of Acapulco. She runs a bookstore. She has a son, Luca, the love of her life, and a wonderful husband who is a journalist. And while there are cracks beginning to show in Acapulco because of the drug cartels, her life is, by and large, fairly comfortable.
Even though she knows they’ll never sell, Lydia stocks some of her all-time favorite books in her store. And then one day a man enters the shop to browse and comes up to the register with a few books he would like to buy—two of them her favorites. Javier is erudite. He is charming. And, unbeknownst to Lydia, he is the jefe of the newest drug cartel that has gruesomely taken over the city. When Lydia’s husband’s tell-all profile of Javier is published, none of their lives will ever be the same.
Forced to flee, Lydia and eight-year-old Luca soon find themselves miles and worlds away from their comfortable middle-class existence. Instantly transformed into migrants, Lydia and Luca ride la bestia—trains that make their way north toward the United States, which is the only place Javier’s reach doesn’t extend. As they join the countless people trying to reach el norte, Lydia soon sees that everyone is running from something. But what exactly are they running to?
Being hailed as “a Grapes of Wrath for our times” and “a new American classic,” Jeanine Cummins’s American Dirt is a rare exploration into the inner hearts of people willing to sacrifice everything for a glimmer of hope.
Discussion Event – Shreveport-Bossier
*NEW DATE* Save the date for our next discussion event on Tuesday, September 15, at 5:30 PM. Join our email list to receive updates about book club selections and events.
Discussion Event – Ruston
Community Reads is now in Ruston! The American Dirt discussion event details will be announced soon. Please sign up for the newsletter to receive updates.