October 7, 2019
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7 books mayors across the country are reading

What titles are on the nightstands of city leaders? Everything from the Bible to Batman.

A Michigan mayor is reading two bestsellers: the Bible and Becoming by Michelle Obama. Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images.

The Renewal Project is talking to mayors across the country to find out what makes their communities so special. During our conversations, we always ask them what they’re reading or what books they recommend. Here’s a list of their favorites.

Bryan Barnett, Rochester Hills, Michigan: “The book that I read the most is the Bible, that’s an important book for me. The non-religious book I’ve read most recently is Michelle Obama’s Becoming. I found it to be an interesting read. Me and the rest of America!”

Jane Castor, Tampa, Florida: “My favorite is To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.”

Svante Myrick, Ithaca, New York: “Can I give you two? Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson. I thought I knew the story … really moving. And The White Knight by Sean Murphy, which is a new Batman story about the Joker. It’s pretty cool.”

Ted Terry, Clarkston, Georgia: “That would have to be The Silk Roads: A New History of the World by Peter Frankopan. It’s a really fascinating book that tells the history of the world through trade and commerce.”

Lucy Vinis, Eugene, Oregon: “I have an aging mother, she’s 96 and in the final chapter of her life, and I just read Being Mortal by Atul Gawande and I will recommend it to everybody. I think it’s incredibly insightful and helpful as we think about how to care for our senior citizens as they age, and also how we address the medical needs of terminal illnesses. It sounds depressing, but it’s actually a very good book. It’s a page turner.”

The Renewal Project

The Renewal Project, made possible by Allstate, tells the stories of individuals and organizations who are solving problems in their communities.