Reading Recommendations: 102 Minutes, The Untold Story of the Fight to Survive Inside the Twin Towers, Jim Dwyer and Kevin FlynnAt 8:46a.m. on September 11, 2001, 14,000 people were inside the twin towers, reading e-mails, making trades, eating croissants at Windows on the World. Over the next 102 Minutes, each would become part of a drama for the ages, one witnessed only by the people who lived it, until now.Of the millions of words written about this wrenching day, most have been from the outside looking in. New York Times reporter Jim Dwyer and Kevin Flynn have taken the opposite, and far more revealing approach. Reported solely from the prospective of the people inside the towers, 102 Minutes is the epic account of ordinary men and women who saved themselves and others. Among them:• The construction manager and his colleagues, who pried open doors and freed dozens of people trapped high in the north tower.• The police officer who was a few blocks away, filing his retirement papers, but grabbed back his badge and sprinted to the buildings.• The window washer stuck in an elevator fifty floors up with five other people, who used a squeegee to escape.• The secretaries who led an elderly man down eighty-nine floors, and the young executives who carried a disabled woman from the 68th floor.From thousands of interviews with rescuers and survivors, pages of oral histories, countless phone, e-mail, and emergency radio transcripts; Dwyer and Flynn have assembled a gripping narrative.This saga of the men and women, 12,000 in all who escaped, and the 2,749 who perished, will touch your heart as never before.
And, Middletown, America, One Town's Passage from Trauma to Hope, Gail SheehyThe single event that we knew as 9/11 is over, but the shock waves continue to radiate outward, generated by orange alerts, terrorism lock-downs, and the shrinking of personal liberties we once took for granted. The stories in this book, of real people faced with extraordinary trauma and gradually transcending it, are the best antidote to our fears. Middletown, America is a book of hope.All Americans were hit with some degree of trauma on September 11, 2001, but no place was hit harder than Middle town, New Jersey. Gail Sheehy spent the better part of two years walking the journey from grief toward renewal with fifty members of the community that lost more people in the World Trade Center than any other outside New York City. Her subjects are the women, men, and children who remained after the devastation; and who are putting their lives back together.Sheehy tells the story of four widowed moms from New Jersey who started out scarcely knowing the difference between the House and Senate, yet turned their sorrow and anger into action and became formidable witnesses to the failure of the country's leadership to connect the dots before September 11th. Sheehy follows the four moms as they fight White House attempts to thwart the independent commission investigating 9/11, and expose efforts for a cover-up.This book covers so much, there is no room here to go into it all. I can only promise the reader - wherever you were on 9/11, this will be a time and place you will never forget, after reading of these folks who lived it!And, The Looming Tower, Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11, Lawrence WrightThe Looming Tower achieves an unprecedented level of intimacy and insight by telling the story through the interweaving lives of four men: the two leaders of al-Aaeda, Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri; the FBI Counter Terrorism Chief, John O'Neil, and the former head of Saudi intelligence Prince Turki al-Faisal.As these lives unfold, we see revealed: the cross current of modern Islam that helped to radicalize Zawahiri and bin Laden, and the birth of al Qaeda and its unsteady development of an organization capable of the American Embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania, and the attack on the USS Cole; O'Neil's heroic efforts to track al-Qaeda before 9/11 and his tragic death in the World Trade towers; Prince Turki's transformation from bin Laden's ally to his enemy; and the failures of the FBI, CIA, and NSA to share intelligence that might have prevented the 9/11 attacks.This is yet another book having to do with 9/11 in our library.See you there!