Browse Services

Book Club

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Initiative

Book Club logo

Find a Library

Do you have a library card for your local library?

Get a card for access to thousands of books and resources.

Overview

The Mayor Demings' MLK Initiative Book Club is the brainchild of the Education and Literacy Subcommittee of the MLK Initiative. The goal is to foster a love for literature by promoting books based on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s values. Those values include: kindness, fairness and equality, love, selflessness, education, leadership, and hope. Books titles are selected by members of the MLK Initiative and Mayor Jerry L. Demings. Residents are encouraged to participate by finding the selections in their local library and enjoying these inspirational works.

Current Book

A Promised Land book cover

A Promised Land by Barack Obama

Book Review

In the stirring, highly anticipated first volume of his presidential memoirs, Barack Obama tells the story of his improbable odyssey from young man searching for his identity to leader of the free world, describing in strikingly personal detail both his political education and the landmark moments of the first term of his historic presidency—a time of dramatic transformation and turmoil.

Obama takes readers on a compelling journey from his earliest political aspirations to the pivotal Iowa caucus victory that demonstrated the power of grassroots activism to the watershed night of November 4, 2008, when he was elected 44th president of the United States, becoming the first African American to hold the nation’s highest office.

Reflecting on the presidency, he offers a unique and thoughtful exploration of both the awesome reach and the limits of presidential power, as well as singular insights into the dynamics of U.S. partisan politics and international diplomacy. Obama brings readers inside the Oval Office and the White House Situation Room, and to Moscow, Cairo, Beijing, and points beyond. We are privy to his thoughts as he assembles his cabinet, wrestles with a global financial crisis, takes the measure of Vladimir Putin, overcomes seemingly insurmountable odds to secure passage of the Affordable Care Act, clashes with generals about U.S. strategy in Afghanistan, tackles Wall Street reform, responds to the devastating Deepwater Horizon blowout, and authorizes Operation Neptune’s Spear, which leads to the death of Osama bin Laden.

A Promised Land is extraordinarily intimate and introspective—the story of one man’s bet with history, the faith of a community organizer tested on the world stage. Obama is candid about the balancing act of running for office as a Black American, bearing the expectations of a generation buoyed by messages of “hope and change,” and meeting the moral challenges of high-stakes decision-making. He is frank about the forces that opposed him at home and abroad, open about how living in the White House affected his wife and daughters, and unafraid to reveal self-doubt and disappointment. Yet he never wavers from his belief that inside the great, ongoing American experiment, progress is always possible.

This beautifully written and powerful book captures Barack Obama’s conviction that democracy is not a gift from on high but something founded on empathy and common understanding and built together, day by day.

Book Nominator

Lucas Boyce, Orange County Staff Member & District 2 Resident

This is an inspirational and motivating memoir from the former president, Barack Obama.

In it, he encourages to dream big and to do big things on behalf of our generation. This book is an example of an under-dog who has accomplished great feats, being the first black President of the United States. A Promised Land is the promise of what the United States can be, as we seek to form a more perfect union.

Key concepts such as overcoming obstacles, diversity & inclusion, fairness, service above self, and hope for the future are identified in this book.

Borrow This Book

Orange County Library: E-Book | Audio Book

Previous Books

Book Nominator Resources
The Servant Leader by James A. Autry Robert Henlon, Fierce Entertainment Management LLC.
Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult Lisa Bachman, The Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center of Florida
The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead Kelly Quintero, Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida
Why We Can't Wait by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Jerry L. Demings, Orange County Mayor
Becoming by Michelle Obama Latisha Thompson, Orlando Utilities Commission
His Truth is Marching On by Jon Meacham, afterword by John Lewis Vera Gray, Orange County Resident, District 5
Across That Bridge by John Lewis Doreen Overstreet, Orange County Staff Member