L.E. Shore Memorial Library: Mon/Wed/Fri/Sat 10-5 | Tues/Thu 10-8 | Sun 12-4 Visit The Blue Mountains Library on FaceBookFollow The Blue Mountains Library on Twitter
Craigleith Heritage Depot | Mon/Sat 10-5 | Tue/Thu/Fri/Sun 12-5 | Wed 3-8 Visit The Craigleith Heritage Depot on FaceBookFollow The Craigleith Heritage Depot on Twitter
Staff Picks

Library Catalogue /Sign In

 

Staff Picks

Want 'Staff Picks' emailed to you right when they’re published? Sign up here.

Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson

Posted: by Madeline on January 31, 2017

Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson

This non-fiction book was chosen for the “Books on Deck Community Book Club” January 2017 read, and we met to discuss it in the Craigleith Heritage Depot’s turret room on January 25. Although “Just Mercy” by Bryan Stevenson was published in 2014 and is set in the United States of America, its subject matter remains incredibly relevant today and for Canadians and Americans alike.

The book follows Stevenson, who is both the author and main character, as he exits law school and founds the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), which “challenges poverty and racial injustice, advocates for equal treatment in the criminal justice system, and creates hope for marginalized communities” (statement from the organization’s website). Although the EJI starts very small, it has grown to a large organization with numerous successful projects and cases behind it. The book charts this progress, along with Stevenson’s growth as a legal professional.

The case that “Just Mercy” follows most closely is that of Walter McMillan, a poor African American man in Alabama who was sentenced to the death penalty for a crime he did not commit. Stevenson takes on his case early on in the book, and he subsequently touches upon it again and again as the book progresses. McMillan provides a very personal, human face for the injustices that many of Stevenson’s clients experience and his is a truly compelling thread in the story.

Stevenson uses an engaging narrative style, somewhat unusual for a non-fiction book but effective for his purposes. The book confronts some of the darkest issues with the American justice system: racism, sexism, drug use, sexual assault, poverty, abuse of people with disabilities, and several other intersecting forms of oppression. Without Stevenson’s steady message of mercy, hope, and perseverance, many readers would find this book entirely upsetting, frustrating, and off-putting. You may still find it so, and that is because it can definitely still be a difficult read at times. However, it can be important to read things that make us uncomfortable because then we can start to figure out how we can work to create positive change.

Please note that the next meeting for “Books on Deck Community Book Club” is open to everyone, members and non-members alike. Although the book club is essentially full due to popular demand, anyone can join our discussion on February 22, 2017 in honour of Black History Month if they have read the chosen book: “The Invention of Wings” by Sue Monk Kidd.

Place a hold on “Just Mercy” by Bryan Stevenson.

 

Victoria by Daisy Goodwin

Posted: by Alex on December 29, 2016

Victoria by Daisy Goodwin

MORE

Queen of the Tearling Trilogy by Erika Johansen

Posted: by Emma on December 27, 2016

MORE

Faithful by Alice Hoffman

Posted: by Emma on November 21, 2016

Faithful by Alice Hoffman

MORE

Station Eleven & Fates and Furies

Posted: by Emma on September 26, 2016

Two books so good they are almost indescribable.

Station Eleven & Fates and Furies

MORE

NW by Zadie Smith

Posted: by Emma on August 29, 2016

NW by Zadie Smith

MORE

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

Posted: by Emma on October 27, 2015

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

MORE

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Posted: by Emma on July 31, 2015

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

MORE

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry

Posted: by Emma on July 15, 2015

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry

MORE

The Martian by Andy Weir

Posted: by Emma on March 3, 2015

The Martian by Andy Weir

MORE

Life After Life by Kate Atkinson

Posted: by Emma on December 17, 2014

Life After Life by Kate Atkinson

MORE

Rules of civility by Amor Towles

Posted: by Emma on November 10, 2014

 Rules of civility by Amor Towles

MORE

Time-Travel Fiction

Posted: by Emma on September 9, 2014

Time-Travel Fiction

MORE

The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton

Posted: by Emma on May 27, 2014

The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton

MORE

Where'd you go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

Posted: by Emma on May 22, 2014

Where'd you go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

MORE

The Fault in our Stars by John Green

Posted: by Emma on March 10, 2014

The Fault in our Stars by John Green

MORE

Mistress of the Art of Death by Ariana Franklin

Posted: by Emma on February 7, 2014

Mistress of the Art of Death by Ariana Franklin

MORE

Review: 419 by Will Ferguson

Posted: by Emma on January 28, 2014

Review: 419 by Will Ferguson

MORE

Most-Read Fiction in 2013

Posted: by Emma on January 3, 2014

A list of the top-circulating books of 2013

Most-Read Fiction in 2013

MORE

Review: Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

Posted: by Emma on November 25, 2013

Review: Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

MORE

Lynn Coady Wins the Giller Award!

Posted: by Elisa on November 6, 2013

Grab a Giller at the Library

Lynn Coady Wins the Giller Award!

MORE

A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan

Posted: by Emma on October 21, 2013

A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan

MORE

Review: Wild by Cheryl Strayed

Posted: by Emma on October 2, 2013

Review: Wild by Cheryl Strayed

MORE

Best Historical Fiction

Posted: by Emma on September 11, 2013

Best Historical Fiction

MORE

Review: The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith

Posted: by Emma on August 23, 2013

Review: The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith

MORE

Great Adaptations

Posted: by Emma on August 8, 2013

Books to Read Before They Hit the Big Screen

Great Adaptations

MORE

Review: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Posted: by Emma on June 27, 2013

Review: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

MORE

Want Staff Picks emailed to you right when they’re published? Sign up here.

©2017 The Blue Mountains Public Library. All Rights Reserved.
All data is subject to errors, omissions or revisions & is not warranted.

We gratefully acknowledge the support of the Town of the Blue Mountains and the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport.

Site Design & Development by Running Tide
Funded by a grant from the Trillium Foundation