R.T. Rybak and Megan O’Hara, Notable Community Readers

You know them as the Mayor and First Lady of Minneapolis, managing the many facets of running our fair city. R.T. Rybak and Megan O’Hara are also book lovers and fans of things local to Minneapolis. They are often out and about, frequenting neighborhood businesses, such as Magers and Quinn.  The Mayor and Ms. O’Hara graciously shared recommendations with us of some of their recent reads. 

Megan O’Hara

Driftless, by David Rhodes  
I loved this story of rural life filled with quirky and appealing characters. I love the descriptions of landscape and small town life that ring true for us in Minnesota.

Turn Here Sweet Corn, by Atina Diffley
I always like a good memoir like this one about leaders in Minnesota’s organic agriculture movement. It is inspiring, frustrating and riveting as they work to grow top quality produce and build the market for organics, battling a Goliath or two along the way

The Round House, by Louise Erdrich
No one tells a tale like our own Louise Erdrich who has created some wonderful memorable characters in a suspenseful story of crime and injustice on the reservation and a boy who won’t be protected from the truth.

Things That Are, by Amy Leach
I am so proud of Milkweed for publishing this amazing new writer of essays about nature. Amy Leach sees the miracles and whimsey of nature like no one else and helps you see it too.

Just Kids, by Patti Smith
I was swept along by this poetic and heartbreaking story of a beautiful and loving friendship.

Cleopatra, by Stacy Schiff
I found Schiff’s ability to recreate the sights, sounds, events and characters of the ancient world to be almost breathtaking. She really drew me into the marvels of ancient Alexandria and the incredible power and charisma of Cleopatra.

Traveling Mercies, by Anne Lamott
I am a loyal fan of Anne Lamott. Though this book came out several years ago, it remains one of my favorites and one that I revisit in times of questioning or distress.

R.T. Rybak

Theodore Roosevelt: The Wilderness Warrior, by Douglas Brinkley
A big fat reminder that Roosevelt’s lusty appetite for the outdoors transformed our country. Starting with truly funny tales of the geeky young Teddy’s obsession with animals it follows him through saving many of our greatest natural resources.

The Heartsong of Charging Elk, by James Welch
Based on a real story, this is the fictional account of an Oglala Sioux boy who leaves South Dakota after Little BIg Horn, joins Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show and gets left behind for years when the show visits France. Each time he crosses into a new culture, you’re reminded what immigrants to Minneapolis face every day The World in 2050, by Laurence C. Smith
I’m not usually big on futurist books but this dispassionate projection of where we are headed paints a fascinating picture of a post climate changed world. Some scary stuff but a bonus for us is that the only US city it mentions thriving is Minneapolis.

The Family Fang, by Kevin Wilson
Truly quirky story of a family of performance artists with the kind of irony you find in a Wes Anderson movie.

The Assassination of Hole In the Day, by Anton Treuer
Years of classes in “Western Civilization” never taught me these stories about Native politics in northern Minnesota at the time of white settlement.

Megan O’Hara is a communications and fundraising consultant for many nonprofits and an avid local foods advocate. After chairing Homegrown Minneapolis and helping start the Mill City Market, she has been involved in helping local farmers and food businesses. She is also committed to bringing more local, healthy foods into our schools and promoting nature and outdoor activity for kids. With a love for nature and the outdoors, Megan still finds time to read, loves her book club and tries to keep the piles of books in the house under control.
R. T. Rybak.  A lifelong resident of Minneapolis, as well as a former journalist and Internet consultant, R.T. Rybak has been Mayor of Minneapolis since 2002.  In his 11 years as mayor, his favorite accomplishements include the STEP-UP Summer Jobs Program, the Midtown Exchange and Global Market, and restoring the city’s financial health.  In addition to reading, in his free time R.T. enjoys biking around Minneapolis, skiing in Wirth Park and swimming in the lakes. He is also a fellow devotee of Minneapolis beer.