read: 1 February 2020
This book should have been a lot better. Hammer is a journalist who, I think, stumbled on the story of the librarians and their quest to save all these books that had been lovingly collected in Mali and environs. He writes about it but also writes about the serious civil unrest happening around that time. Which, I sort of get, the climate is part of what you have to know about to understand what the threat was to the books. But really? This was two books sort of smooshed together and I only wanted to read one of them. The stories about the kidnappings and which warlord said what to whom did not interest me and were not actually critical to the librarian story. And ultimately, there’s mostly one librarian and I wanted to hear more about the books and what happened next. By the end of this book, the books aren’t even back. A good but ultimately disappointing book.
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