Are you excited for the Humana Festival plays? We are too. We know how much fun it is to have different ways to engage with a show, so we collaborated with our Literary department and the Louisville Free Public Library to create a list of books based on each of our #HF43 plays. Here are some titles we think you'll enjoy:

The Corpse Washer

The Corpse Washer

by Sinan Antoon

It would be impossible not to recommend the novel that inspired this play. This critically acclaimed story follows a young man in Baghdad who longs to break free from the family business of washing bodies (a sacred religious tradition) and become an artist. Make sure you then come see this hauntingly beautiful story onstage!

The Occupation

by Patrick Cockburn

What were the results of the Iraqi occupation, and who ended up paying the price? This non-fiction book explores the recent history and near devastation of war-torn Iraq.

The Thin Place

The Brief History of the Dead

by Kevin Brockmeier

"The City is inhabited by those who have departed Earth but are still remembered by the living." The delicate territory between life and death provides the backdrop for this novel about death and memory. 

SuperSense: Why We Believe in the Unbelievable

by Bruce Hood

So many of us believe in something supernatural, like ghosts or telepathy. How do we get this belief? Let's use science to explore why we're inclined toward these superstitions.

How to Defend Yourself

Blurred Lines: rethinking sex, power, and consent on campus

by Vanessa Grigoriadis

Even as society is slowly changing, attitudes towards sexism and sexual assault are still complex. Blurred Lines examines how college students are reacting and pushing for social change.

The Macho Paradox: Why Some Men Hurt Women and How All Men Can Help

by Jackson Katz

"I ask just the men: What steps do you guys take, on a daily basis, to prevent yourselves from being sexually assaulted? At first there is a kind of awkward silence as the men try to figure out if they've been asked a trick question," writes Jackson Katz. This book tackles the idea of masculinity and how men can be leaders towards societal change.

Everybody Black

The Hate U Give

by Angie Thomas

Starr, a sixteen-year-old girl, is caught between her poor neighborhood and her rich prep-school. As she tries to balance these worlds, she's forced to reckon with the death of her best friend, at the hands of a police officer.

Barack Obama and the Jim Crow Media

by Ishmael Reed

If you'd like to laugh (and then suddenly stop) try out this series of satirical essays about the racial tensions surrounding Barack Obama's presidency.

We've Come to Believe

The Great Beanie Baby Bubble: Mass Delusion and the Dark Side of Cute

by Zac Bisonnette

Are you ready to uncover the true story of these favorite 90s toys? This was a one-of-a-kind craze.

Them: Adventures with Extremists

by Jon Ronson

What do the wide variety of extremist groups have in common? Let's explore the minds of their leaders...without becoming one of them...

All titles listed are available for checkout with your Louisville Free Public Library card. Explore more Humana Festival-related titles here.
Don't have a library card? Visit or any LFPL branch to sign up for your free library card.

We can't wait for you to join us at this year's Humana Festival running through April 7! Explore the full lineup.