More Than Just Romance: Books About Unity & Tolerance for Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is the day of love. But with all the uncertainty, hate and sadness in the world, some people may not be feeling a lot of the love as of late. There needs to be a reminder that there is still hope in the world, as long as we come together and we are tolerant of each other’s differences. And reading is the best way to accomplish that goal.

So if you are looking for something to uplift you that is not a romantic book this Valentine’s Day, here are some great book recommendations that perfectly demonstrate that there is still hope in the world:

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Parkland Speaks: Survivors from Marjory Stoneman Douglas Share Their Stories by Sarah Lerner

This book is perfect, especially since today marks the one year anniversary of this tragic school shooting. Emotional but beautifully compiled. It is a great example of how writing and other art forms can be used as a healing form for grief and trauma. The artwork and the photographs really portray how people can really come together after a tragedy.

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We Are Displaced: My Journey and Stories from Refugee Girls Around the World by Malala Yousafzai

Running away from either war, violence or poverty, these amazing tales never have hope diminish from their hearts. In fact, their harrowing stories encourage them to do more in their communities and try to make the world a better place.

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Girl Rising: Changing the World One Girl at a Time by Tanya Lee Stone

Unfortunately, not all girls are fortunate to receive the education that sometimes we in the developed world take for granted. But this great book, based on the amazing documentary, starts a conversation on how to change girls’ circumstances. These barriers need to be removed to help young girls prosper in their communities.

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Ink Knows No Borders: Poems of the Immigrant and Refugee Experience by Patrice Vecchione and Alyssa Raymond

Expected Release Date: March 12

I am currently reading this now and I am astounded at how powerful these poems are. This book gives us readers the insight of the immigrant and refugee experience. We won’t make assumptions, we won’t adhere to stereotypes. We just listen to their words.

 

 

Why We Can’t Wait and A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches by Martin Luther King Jr.

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that”

Martin Luther King’s stand on non-violence and integration is a perfect example of unity and tolerance.

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The Light of Truth by Ida B. Wells-Barnett

Wells established herself as an advocate for social justice and human dignity by combining irrefutable evidence with deeply personal emotional appeal. (Credit: Penguin Classics)

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It’s Not About the Burqa: Muslim Women on Faith, Feminism, Sexuality and Race by Mariam Khan

Expected Release Date: February 21

When was the last time you heard a Muslim woman speak for herself without a filter?

In 2016, Mariam Khan read that David Cameron had linked the radicalization of Muslim men to the ‘traditional submissiveness’ of Muslim women. Mariam felt pretty sure she didn’t know a single Muslim woman who would describe herself that way. Why was she hearing about Muslim women from people who were neither Muslim, nor female?
Years later the state of the national discourse has deteriorated even further, and Muslim women’s voices are still pushed to the fringes – the figures leading the discussion are white and male.

Taking one of the most politicized and misused words associated with Muslim women and Islamophobia, It’s Not About the Burqa is poised to change all that. Here are voices you won’t see represented in the national news headlines: seventeen Muslim women speaking frankly about the hijab and wavering faith, about love and divorce, about feminism, queer identity, sex, and the twin threats of a disapproving community and a racist country. Funny, warm, sometimes sad, and often angry, each of these essays is a passionate declaration, and each essay is calling time on the oppression, the lazy stereotyping, the misogyny and the Islamophobia.

What does it mean, exactly, to be a Muslim woman in the West today? According to the media, it’s all about the burqa.

Here’s what it’s really about. (Credit: Picador)

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The Things I Would Tell You: British Muslim Women Write Edited by Sabrina Mahfouz

From established literary heavyweights to emerging spoken word artists, the writers in this ground-breaking collection blow away the narrow image of the ‘Muslim Woman’.

Hear from users of Islamic Tinder, a disenchanted Maulana working as a TV chat show host and a plastic surgeon blackmailed by MI6. Follow the career of an actress with Middle-Eastern heritage whose dreams of playing a ghostbuster spiral into repeat castings as a jihadi bride. Among stories of honour killings and ill-fated love in besieged locations, we also find heart-warming connections and powerful challenges to the status quo.

From Algiers to Brighton, these stories transcend time and place revealing just how varied the search for belonging can be. (Credit: Saqi Books)

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Becoming by Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama’s extraordinary and historical memoir opens readers to a world where we really can come together as one. Her insightful wisdom on tolerance and caring for others is an inspiration to the world, most particularly on a global day of love.

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