Wednesday, November 18, 2020

The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu


The Hidden Treasures of Timbuktu

By Laurie Allee
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It sure feels like the world is bereft of heroes right now.    With that in mind, I have a wonderful book recommendation to offer hope: The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu.   

Author Joshua Hammer tells the true story of how, during a time of great unrest, a mild-mannered book archivist named Abdel Kadel Haidara smuggled 350,000 priceless texts out of Timbuktu, saving them from certain destruction by Al Qaeda.  This heroic heist is one of the most exciting adventures I've ever read, and moving testimony to ordinary people and their ability to change (and save) the world.  I don't want to give too much away because you need to dive into this rip-roaring adventure and experience it yourself.  

It is an exciting page-turner, worthy of a Hollywood treatment, but it's also a beautiful testament to our higher angels, and what happens to us when we heed them.  Hammer's prose is thrilling -- part reportage, part history, part travelogue and all wonderful.  Haidara's patience and bravery will restore your faith in people.  Bookworms will adore this book, but everyone can enjoy the adventure.  

Read a sample here.

Listen to a sample here.

To watch a slew of videos about the lost libraries of Timbuktu, click here for my curation.

Watch Joshua Hammer discuss his book here.

Every month I embed a bookish film to watch for free!  See this month's selection here.