Village Books & Paper Dreams - Fairhaven
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VB Reads...Community Conversations

Inspired by Unity Village, the HomesNOW! project in Fairhaven, we invite you to join us for a limited run book group focusing on topics concerning homelessness. We'll meet from 5-6pm on the 3rd Tuesday of each month, September through April (except December). Meetings take place in the Readings Gallery at Village Books in Fairhaven.

Tuesday, January 21, 5:00pm

Breakfast at Sally's: One Homeless Man's Inspirational Journey by Richard LeMieux

Once a happily married businessman, avid golfer, and the proud owner of several luxury cars and three boats, conservative-minded Richard LeMieux saw his fortune change almost overnight. In this astonishingly heartfelt memoir, he describes his descent into homelessness and his struggle to survive personal and economic disaster. Evicted from his home in 2002 and living with his dog, Willow, in a beat-up old van, LeMieux finds himself penniless and estranged from his family and friends. He dines at the Salvation Army (aka Sally’s), attempts suicide, and is treated at a mental hospital where he is diagnosed with depression.

Writing on a secondhand manual typewriter, first at a picnic table in a public park, and then wherever he can, LeMieux describes his odyssey and the quirky, diverse, and endearing cast of characters found among the homeless people of Bremerton, Washington, and, by extension, everywhere else. Breakfast at Sally’s is a rare inside-look at how the other America lives, and how one man, beaten down and alone, was able to reconnect, find good people, and ultimately, with their help, to persevere.

Breakfast at Sally's: One Homeless Man's Inspirational Journey Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9781632203465
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Skyhorse - May 12th, 2015

Tuesday, February 18, 5:00pm

In this lyrical debut, Ryan Berg immerses readers in the gritty, dangerous, and shockingly underreported world of homeless LGBTQ teens in New York. As a caseworker in a group home for disowned LGBTQ teenagers, Berg witnessed the struggles, fears, and ambitions of these disconnected youth as they resisted the pull of the street, tottering between destruction and survival.

Focusing on the lives and loves of eight unforgettable youth, No House to Call My Home traces their efforts to break away from dangerous sex work and cycles of drug and alcohol abuse, and, in the process, to heal from years of trauma. From Bella's fervent desire for stability to Christina's irrepressible dreams of stardom to Benny's continuing efforts to find someone to love him, Berg uncovers the real lives behind the harrowing statistics: over 4,000 youth are homeless in New York City—43 percent of them identify as LGBTQ.

Through these stories, Berg compels us to rethink the way we define privilege, identity, love, and family. Beyond the tears, bluster, and bravado, he reveals the force that allows them to carry on—the irrepressible hope of youth.

No House to Call My Home: Love, Family, and Other Transgressions Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781568585680
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Bold Type Books - August 23rd, 2016

Tuesday, March 17, 5:00pm

Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century by Jessica Bruder

From the beet fields of North Dakota to the campgrounds of California to Amazon's CamperForce program in Texas, employers have discovered a new, low-cost labor pool, made up largely of transient older adults. These invisible casualties of the Great Recession have taken to the road by the tens of thousands in RVs and modified vans, forming a growing community of nomads.

Nomadland tells a revelatory tale of the dark underbelly of the American economy--one which foreshadows the precarious future that may await many more of us. At the same time, it celebrates the exceptional resilience and creativity of these Americans who have given up ordinary rootedness to survive, but have not given up hope.

Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9780393356311
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - September 4th, 2018

Tuesday, April 21, 5:00pm

Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother's Will to Survive by Stephanie Land

At 28, Stephanie Land's plans of breaking free from the roots of her hometown in the Pacific Northwest to chase her dreams of attending a university and becoming a writer, were cut short when a summer fling turned into an unexpected pregnancy. She turned to housekeeping to make ends meet, and with a tenacious grip on her dream to provide her daughter the very best life possible, Stephanie worked days and took classes online to earn a college degree, and began to write relentlessly.

She wrote the true stories that weren't being told: the stories of overworked and underpaid Americans. Of living on food stamps and WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) coupons to eat. Of the government programs that provided her housing, but that doubled as halfway houses. The aloof government employees who called her lucky for receiving assistance while she didn't feel lucky at all. She wrote to remember the fight, to eventually cut through the deep-rooted stigmas of the working poor.

Maid explores the underbelly of upper-middle class America and the reality of what it's like to be in service to them. "I'd become a nameless ghost," Stephanie writes about her relationship with her clients, many of whom do not know her from any other cleaner, but who she learns plenty about. As she begins to discover more about her clients' lives-their sadness and love, too-she begins to find hope in her own path.

Her compassionate, unflinching writing as a journalist gives voice to the "servant" worker, and those pursuing the American Dream from below the poverty line. Maid is Stephanie's story, but it's not her alone. It is an inspiring testament to the strength, determination, and ultimate triumph of the human spirit.

Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother's Will to Survive Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780316505093
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Hachette Books - January 21st, 2020