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Second Annual Tree Lighting & Holiday Celebration
Thursday, December 14th 4pm-5pm. Click HERE to RSVP!
Open Mobile Menu

Resilience, Hope & Renewal: 12 Must-Read Books Throughout the Holiday Season

30nov3:00 pm4:00 pmResilience, Hope & Renewal: 12 Must-Read Books Throughout the Holiday SeasonWhat to Gift and What to Read With Jessica Strand, The Library Foundation of Los Angeles

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Beyond knowledge, entertainment and a great escape from the demands of the day, books have a number of benefits that can make life better, including their power to heal, inform and inspire. They can reduce stress, prepare you for a good night of sleep, and prevent cognitive decline. They can take you to places you’ve never been or sneak a peek into the lives of people you’ve never met. They can also inspire you to reach for stars that once seemed out of reach.

Join The Kensington Reston and Jessica Strand, the Director of Public Programs at The Library Foundation of Los Angeles, as she shares 12 of her favorite books from a variety of genres, such as memoir, food, lifestyle, fiction and nonfiction. Leslie Jonath, the Founder and Principal of Connected Dots Media, will also contribute insights that she has gained throughout her thirty years of book publishing, writing and providing creative services.

Get inspired and read with us this holiday season! Check out Jessica Strand’s Top 12 Reads from 2021.


Upper Bohemia by Hayden Herrera

Notes on Silencing by Lacy Crawford

Beautiful Country by Qian Julie Wang


Simply Julie by Julie Turshen

Wine Style by Kate Leahy

Black Food: Stories, Art, and Recipes from Across the African Diaspora (A Cookbook), Bryant Terry


The Book of Form and Emptiness by Ruth Ozeki

The Magician by Colm Toibin

Beautiful World, Where Are You by Sally Rooney


Breath: The Science of a Lost Art by James Nestor

Disordered Cosmos: A Journey into Dark Matter, Spacetime, and Dreams Deferred by Chanda Prescod-Weinstein

My Broken Language by Quiara Alegria Hudes

Jessica Strand is the Director of Public Programs at The Library Foundation of Los Angeles. Previously, she has worked in programming for the Alexandria House, The Strand Bookstore, and The New York Public Library before, most recently, founding the cultural initiative, “Dear America.” Strand has contributed to many publications including The LA TimesFood & WineBon Appetit, and more. She is an editor and an author of over a dozen cookbooks and literary anthologies.

Leslie Jonath is the Founder and Principal of Connected Dots Media. Her thirty-year career spans book publishing, creative services, and media business development, as well as writing and agenting. Since launching her own company in 2009, Leslie has built a reputation for meaningful beautiful projects that bring people together. From arts organizations and museums to cooks, chefs, floral designers, artists, and illustrators, she loves collaborating with thinkers and makers. Some of her most impactful projects began as books and evolved into multiplatform brands. Her acclaimed Feed Your People project, which started as a book via Kickstarter, turned into a video, became a partnership with a nonprofit, and culminated in a series of live events, including community dinners with landmark panel discussions. Other ventures include book-packaging for such publishers as Ten Speed Press, Chronicle Books, Storey Publishing, and Andrews McMeel Universal. Leslie has also produced and published her own line of books, including the Go to Sleep series for kids and The Little Local Cookbook series. From 1991 to 2009, Leslie was an integral part of the editorial and development team at Chronicle Books. For part of her tenure, she was the Creative Director for Chronicle’s Custom Publishing division, managing name-brand clients that include Baby Gap, Starbucks Coffee Company, Anthropologie, Maker Media, KiwiCo, and the San Francisco Ballet. Leslie is the author of numerous books, including Feed Your People, Foraged Art, Postmark Paris (winner of the Book Builder’s Gold Award), and Bee & Me which was on Publishers Weekly and the New York Times bestseller lists. Leslie holds a bachelor’s degree from Middlebury College of Vermont. She has lived in France and on both US coasts and now makes her home in the San Francisco Bay Area with her family and a teeny-tiny fire truck.


(Tuesday) 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm EST


Virtual Zoom Event