Memoirs Offer Chance to ‘Meet’ the Most Interesting People in History | Independent Verde

Generally, my reading interests lean towards fiction.

However, lately I have turned to non-fiction, especially memoirs.

My interest was piqued when I heard Joy Harjo, United States Poet Laureate; Cicely Tyson, famous actress; and Ruby Bridges, an American civil rights activist, share their stories at a virtual conference hosted by the American Library Association.

To learn more about these amazing women, their lives and their perseverance, I have consulted the following books from the Yavapai Library Network: “Crazy Brave: A Memoir” by Joy Harjo, “Just as I Am: A Memoir” by Cicely Tyson , and Ruby Bridges Going to School: My Real Story by Ruby Bridges.

After reading these books, I decided to ask my colleagues at the library three questions.

Which famous person, living or deceased, would you like to meet?

Why did you choose this person?

What would you ask him?

Here are their responses.

Judy Poe, Library Director: There are so many people I would love to meet … Edward Abbey, John Muir, James Wesley Powell, William Faulkner, Virginia Woolf, Picasso, Van Gogh, Frieda Kahlo, Leonardo da Vinci, Mary Oliver, Elizabeth Bishop, Nina Simone, Galileo, Charles Darwin, Jerry Garcia and Edgar Allen Poe. It is impossible for me to answer this question.

Eric Petersen, Deputy Director of the Library: I would like to meet Johann Sebastian Bach. His music is one of my favorites. He was a true genius, craftsman and artist. I would ask him how he managed his life so that he could do everything.

Viviane Kraus, Youth Services Librarian: I would like to meet Harriet Tubman. I chose Harriet because she risked her life to save so many others. I asked her how she had survived the fear and how she had overcome this fear.

Stacie Rivera, Volunteer Coordinator: I change every day. Today I would like to meet Simone Biles. I chose her because she has overcome so much in her life and is so successful. I would ask her how she developed so much determination and discipline. How does she stay positive?

Teri Ruiz, Programs and Marketing Coordinator: I would like to meet the unknown mastermind who designed and built the Great Pyramid. I would ask him “why?”

Jim Thomas, Facilities Manager: I chose Nikola Tesla because all of his inventions, whether credited or not, were intended to help all mankind. I would ask him two questions. Since you were so ahead of your time with your ideas, where did those ideas come from? Was it just theories you had or did something happen to make you feel like these things were possible?

If you want to read biographies and memoirs, check out the many resources available on the Yavapai Library Network. If you need help finding or making a reservation, please contact the library. We are here to help.

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About Bernice D. Brewer

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