Just a short walk from my home is the Hackley Public Library. A gem in the heart of Muskegon that I try to visit weekly, and one of the best small libraries in the state of Michigan. I always find interesting reading on Hackley’s shelves. Here are five books I’ve picked off the shelves during the month of August:

Backpacking with the Saints by Belden C. Lane

Trigger Warning by Neil Gaiman

Following the Path by Joan Chittiste

City of God by Augustine

Galileo’s Middle Finger by Alice Dreger


The library is not dead! Just a short walk from my home in the beautiful city of Muskegon, Michigan is the Hackley Public Library. It is a gem in the heart of our city, and I generally visit it weekly. In addition to my own overflowing shelves, I find a lot of interesting reading on Hackley’s shelves; some of the best I’ve seen even in libraries twice its size.

Hackley Public Library was donated to the city of Muskegon in 1888 by businessman and philanthropist Charles Hackley an important figure in Muskegon history. He’s never far from the minds of people in Muskegon (Charles even has his own Facebook page). We still owe much to the generosity of this lumber baron who gave away nearly one-third of his fortune to the city he loved. His first gift was for the construction of Hackley Public Library. Hackley once said:

“A rick man to a great extent owes his fortune to the public. He makes money largely through the labor of his employees. . . . Moreover, I believe that it should be expended during the lifetime of the donor, so that he can see that his benefactions do not miscarry and are according to his intent. . . . To a certain extent, I agree with Mr. Carnegie . . . that it is a crime to die rich.”

Charles Hackley lived the words he spoke, and stands as a tremendous example to for today’s wealthy who have committed themselves and their wealth to the betterment of social good. Because of his commitment, and the continuing commitment of Muskegon residents like me, who constantly seek to ensure that Hackley Public Library can continue to grow and improve, I offer you today’s “High 5” books I picked up this morning off the shelves of Hackley Public Library, and will be reading throughout the rest of June. These are five of the eight books I selected and am most excited about reading:

The Mother of All Booklists by William Patrick Martin

Black Prophetic Fire by Cornel West

Data and Goliath by Bruce Schneier

Detained and Deported by Margaret Regan

Fallen Leaves by Will Durant


Charles Hackley: Wikipedia, Hackley Public Library
Photo courtesy of: mlive.comhttp://media.mlive.com/chronicle/news_impact/photo/hackley-su-c–suniq-da65f5d53864a369_large.jpg


“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.”

~ Cicero


Read Even More:
Selected Works by Marcus Tullius Cicero