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Podcast Episode #2: Final Thoughts

The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu has been completed! Gaby and I are doing our second podcast episode wrapping up our thoughts on the book. One of our biggest concerns was how the rise of Islamic fundamentalism was going to conflict with Haidara’s mission. It wasn’t until later in the book that terrorists took over Timbuktu and threatened all of the work that Haidara has done to amass hundreds of thousands of manuscripts. 

The book narrowed its focus to a few characters and how they interacted with each other. In a literary sense, that is exactly what the book needed. I wrote previously that the book felt scattered and hard to follow, but as the story went on it became easier to comprehend. Even though the book was mostly journalistic, Joshua Hammer was able to give the characters an arc that we would usually find in fictional stories. 

Most importantly for me was that the author does not force a political agenda down the reader’s throat. He discusses facts that represent both conservative and liberal viewpoints. Gaby and I had no idea what we were getting into when we decided to cover this book. To our surprise we got an even handed account of Middle Eastern history with the added thrill of conflict resolution. I am glad I had the opportunity to learn about Abdel Kader Haidar, this book is a must read for anybody who wants to hear the story of one truly “bad-ass” librarian. 

We are also annoucing our next book club read- Ta Nehisi Coates’ Between the World and MeWe will provide more infromation on his book this coming Friday, and our first podcast review will come out next week!

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