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The Bad-ass Librarians of Timbuktu

and Their Race to Save the World's Most Precious Manuscripts
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Oct 26, 2020
Bookgroup
Apr 17, 2020Gareldb rated this title 3.5 out of 5 stars
I liked the book although it was not exactly what I was expecting. With that title I had assumed it would involve more intrigue and, while there was some of that, it was primarily a depressing description of the recent history of failures…
Apr 13, 2020OPL_JacobL rated this title 3.5 out of 5 stars
This is an account of one of the greatest collection of manuscripts that had laid hidden with families for generations and had to be heroically saved by a select group of librarians and historians from insurgents in the Mali area. Part…
Apr 09, 2020multcolib_susannel rated this title 3.5 out of 5 stars
To save ancient Arabic texts from Al Qaeda, a band of librarians pull off a brazen heist that is fast-paced. part history, part thriller.
Feb 25, 2020lilypad_1 rated this title 4 out of 5 stars
Extraordinary measures by ordinary people save treasured religious texts during ISIS rampage, good does conquer evil. Waaaaay to much history on texts that will probably never see the light of day for me so I skimmed a lot. If followers of…
Jan 14, 2019ryner rated this title 4 out of 5 stars
The inspiring true story of how a small, dedicated and passionate group of Malian librarians managed in 2012 to secrete out of Timbuktu upwards of 300,000 priceless medieval manuscripts from under the noses of Islamic extremists who had…
May 15, 2017tjdickey rated this title 4.5 out of 5 stars
A very readable story about the creation of a major collection of documents within a center of ancient Islamic learning, and more recent existential threats to the existence of the works, and the heroic efforts by librarians to save the…
May 15, 2017ba_library rated this title 4 out of 5 stars
This book was written by a journalist who documents the efforts of a Timbuktu man - Abdel Kader Haidara who collected and preserved manuscripts during a time of upheaval in Mali. The first 70 pages covers how Haidara went about…
Apr 22, 2017BWilsoned rated this title 3.5 out of 5 stars
Does not live up to its title; however, very readable (except middle section explaining the various sects in the Maghreb) and an amazing story. I think the author missed the boat, so to speak, by not elaborating on why these manuscripts…
Feb 16, 2017uncommonreader rated this title 2 out of 5 stars
This is an interesting book and a story well worth telling. However, it is very journalistic, providing mostly a chronology of events without in depth context or analysis.
comment from squib
Library Staff
Feb 04, 2017squib rated this title 5 out of 5 stars
Giving the Mahgreb, in particular Mali, during waves of invasions by forces hostile or at the very least a volatile threat to the accumulated knowledge of centuries of written accounts of astrology, astronomy, mathematics, health,…
Jan 30, 2017
A fascinating account of life in North Africa- intelligence, dedication and terror.
Sep 12, 2016
An enlightening introduction to what events took place in the country of Mali in the past decade. Jihadists, Al-Qaeda and other rebels wreak havoc on a moderate Muslim country. The focus on saving ancient manuscripts is captivating for the…
Aug 27, 2016laphampeak rated this title 3.5 out of 5 stars
Books have a way of sparking interest in geography and/or politics where one might not otherwise been aware of. Timbuktu has a unique cultural history rich in ancient manuscripts which, in itself, is mind blowing. Add the…
Jul 18, 2016GummiGirl rated this title 4 out of 5 stars
This book taught me a lot about the militants of North Africa, but less about Timbuktu than I would have liked. Still, it's a compelling story and well worth reading.
Jul 16, 2016jeffreyochsner rated this title 2.5 out of 5 stars
I really wanted to love this book, but I didn't. Most of the book was either very dry or very depressing. I thought that the rescue of the priceless manuscripts would be the focus of the book, but it is a small part near the end. I had…
Jul 06, 2016ApollosRaven rated this title 4 out of 5 stars
Yes, Timbuktu is a real place. A real place whose families had for generations secreted priceless Arab manuscripts dating back to the first millennium C.E. Joshua Hammer centers this true story around librarian Abdel Kader Haidara and his…
Jul 06, 2016tikirose rated this title 3 out of 5 stars
Nonfiction telling of the impact of the effects of terrorism on the country of Malia with a focus on the ancient city of Timbuctu. I learned a lot.
Jul 04, 2016Fishpantspeacock rated this title 4 out of 5 stars
This was an interesting read. I learned a lot about Timbuktu. I would reccomend it
Aippersbach
Jun 18, 2016Aippersbach rated this title 5 out of 5 stars
Fascinating story, well-told.
comment from bkilfoy
Library Staff
Jun 08, 2016bkilfoy rated this title 4 out of 5 stars
In this work of narrative non-fiction, Hammer recounts the conflict in Mali when Al Qaeda militants attempted to take over the country and the tale of the librarians and archivists of Timbuktu who worked quietly and in secret to transport…
Jun 07, 2016cardigramma rated this title 2.5 out of 5 stars
I was a little disappointed in this. Too much background about the jihadis and not as much as I had hoped about the libraries.