In an increasingly digital age, it’s a great time to give a good read to someone for the holidays.  If you order really late in the game, there’s always Amazon Prime for overnight delivery, but when time is really short, there’s nothing like your local bookstore to pick up a special read, usually wrapped on site, for a last minute gift.  Here are some of our current favorites in no particular order:

The Second Amendment: A Biography by Michael Waldman. Originally published in hardcover in 2014 and soft cover in 2015, this book is an objective review of the changing interpretations of the second amendment over its life cycle in the Constitution. Waldman claims the Second is one of the most misunderstood amendments and continues to draw cross-fire from many who have never even read it, yet like to interpret it. Waldman traces the Amendment from the original debates about it by James Madison and George Mason through the debates following Sandy Hook.  It is a good read for people on either side of the gun debate.

Do It Anyway: The New Generation of Activists by Courtney E. Martin.  If you ever thought Millenials were just a selfish, materialist, lazy generation, this book can turn you around and give you hope. Martin, a Millenial journalist, profiles eight different activists of her generation from all different walks of life. It’s a great book to inspire young adults who wonder if one person can make a difference — Yes — and if their generation can affect change — Yes, again.  Published in 2010 but inspirational for anyone in 2016 looking to be embolden to take action, or contribute in their own way.

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates. Written as a letter to his son, Coates explores what it means to be African American in these United States, and how the term “We the People” means different things to different people. Coates is most recently known for his piece in Atlantic magazine on an extended interview with President Obama. Not always an advocate, and not always a critic, Coates explores the nuances of being a Black man in America (the 2015 book) and a Black president (the 2016 article).  For whites frequently mystified why Africa-Americans interpret events differently from themselves, Coates is an insightful guide.

Becoming Wise: An Inquiring into the Mystery and Art of Living by Krista Tippett. Best known as the host of her NPR show and podcast On Being, Tippett is a warm, inviting and leading voice on the importance of listening and discourse, especially in a world bombarded by an endless 24/7 news cycle. She reveals her findings and insights from years of conversations with “graceful minds.” In this new 2016 release, she’s finally been convinced to let us peek behind the scenes into her own insights from an amazing career interviewing the world’s most thoughtful and thought provoking thinkers of our time.

Our Revolution by Bernie Sanders. The newest book on this list, Sanders lays out his case for why his movement was so important and is still relevant. Chapters are devoted to health care, education, criminal justice, immigration reform and the media. Sanders book may be the most pertinent to the overall Little Hinges USA mission as — spoiler alert — it ends with his clear challenge to every citizen:”No. we will not be able to accomplish those goals if we look at democracy as a spectator sport, assuming others will do it for us. They won’t. The future is in your hands. Let’s get to work.”

As 2017 unfolds, we’re hoping to issue deeper book reviews on all of these and other titles in coming weeks. If you’re a reader, we’re looking for reviewers who may want to share their feelings about their own latest reads that inspire the conversation about democracy, civil actions, and civil liberties.  Just email us and let us know what’s on your night stand and how you feel about it.