Sunday, March 25, 2012

MAILBOX MONDAY: Two books to make me think about the real world.

Mailbox Monday is a weekly meme created by Marcia from A girl and her books (formerly The Printed Page) where book lovers share the titles they received for review, purchased, or otherwise obtained over the past week. It is currently on tour, and for the month of March it is being hosted by The Diary of an Eccentric. Visit the link to see what other bloggers are reading!

It has been awhile since I've participated in Mailbox Monday - I've been slacking off. But I just bought two books that are not my usual fare, so I'm interested in sharing the word about them and to get any input from anyone who has read them. My go-to reads are historical fiction. These are nonfiction and deal with contemporary problems. They won't be escapist at all, but I hope they'll be inspiring.

The first is Grace and Grit: My Fight for Equal Pay and Fairness at Goodyear and Beyond by Lilly Ledbetter with Lanier Scot Isom.

Here is the summary from the jacket copy:

The courageous story of the woman at the center of the historic discrimination case that inspired the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act--her fight for equal rights in the workplace, and how her determination became a victory for the nation.

Lilly Ledbetter was born in a house with no running water or electricity in the small town of Possum Trot, Alabama. She knew that she was destined for something more, and in 1979, Lilly applied for her dream job at the Goodyear tire factory. Even though the only women she’d seen there were secretaries in the front offices where she’d submitted her application, she got the job—one of the first women hired at the management level.

Though she faced daily discrimination and sexual harassment, Lilly pressed onward, believing that eventually things would change. Until, nineteen years later, Lilly received an anonymous note revealing that she was making thousands less per year than the men in her position. Devastated, she filed a sex discrimination case against Goodyear, which she won—and then heartbreakingly lost on appeal. Over the next eight years, her case made it all the way to the Supreme Court, where she lost again: the court ruled that she should have filed suit within 180 days of her first unequal paycheck--despite the fact that she had no way of knowing that she was being paid unfairly all those years. In a dramatic moment, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg read her dissent from the bench, urging Lilly to fight back.

And fight Lilly did, becoming the namesake of President Barack Obama's first official piece of legislation. Today, she is a tireless advocate for change, traveling the country to urge women and minorities to claim their civil rights. Both a deeply inspiring memoir and a powerful call to arms, Grace and Grit is the story of a true American icon.

The second is: Rescuing Regina. The Battle to Save a Friend from Deportation and Death by Josephe Marie Flynnn, SSND

Here is the summary from the jacket copy:

What is it like to be a young mother threatened with deportation to the country whose government has imprisoned you and whose soldiers have raped and tortured you? You don't want to leave your children behind, but how can you take them with you, knowing that your homeland, ruled by chaos and violence, is notorious for murdering failed asylum seekers?

Regina Bakala found herself in just this situation ten years after escaping the Congo and settling in the United States. Upon arrival, Regina had worked with an immigration lawyer, then joyfully reunited with her husband, also a Congolese torture survivor, and had two children. Life was challenging but full of hope until the night there was a knock on the door and immigration agents burst in. They forced Regina from her home as her family watched, then locked her in prison to await deportation to certain death.

In Rescuing Regina, author Josephe Marie Flynn tells Regina's powerful story -- and how her husband, a pit-bull lawyer, a group of volunteers, and a feisty nun set aside political differences to galvanize a movement to save her. Revealing what she uncovered about US immigration policies and the dangers faced by those escaping war crimes, Flynn exposes an America most never see:  a vast underbelly of injustice, a harsh detention and deportation system, and a frighteningly arbitrary asylum process. In their battle for justice, Regina and Josephe not only confronted dangerous obstacles but also reawakened emotions and traumas from the past. Rescuing Regina is also a tale of friendship , faith, hope, and the transformative journey of two friends.


  1. Grace and Grit sounds really interesting. Enjoy both books.

  2. Wow, these both sound like wonderful stories of courage and victory. Thanks for sharing. Here's MY MONDAY MEMES POST

  3. Both of these look really interesting. Happy reading!

    1. An interesting mailbox,enjoy!