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Thanksgiving Survival Guide: 5 Tasty (and Safe) Topics to Discuss over Dinner

Kanzi Kamel By Kanzi Kamel Published on November 22, 2017

On Thanksgiving Day, the conversation is just as important as the buffet of food. After a rather tumultuous year, it will be easy to default to the highlights: Trump's inauguration, Trump's feud with North Korea, Trump denying climate change, Amal Clooney had twins, and ten thousand other cringe-worthy stories about – you guessed it – President Trump. 

The average Thanksgiving gathering lasts well over five hours, which makes plenty of time for bickering, laughing, and catching up with family and friends.

Here are a few topics of conversation that won't leave a bad taste in your mouth – after all, there's pumpkin pie to be had later. 

If you want to read further about any of these topics simply click on their title link. 

1. The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu

Journalist Joshua Hammer recounts the true story of Malian librarian Abdel Kader Haidara, who had been collecting and saving hundreds of thousands of religious and secular manuscripts dating back to the 14th century. When Al Qaeda-supported Islamists invaded Timbuktu in 2012, Haidara once again began to save books, masterminding a thrilling operation to smuggle 350,000 volumes out of Timbuktu to safe houses in the capital city of Bamako.

2. Even More Murder on the Orient Express

To celebrate the cinema release of Agatha Christie’s story Murder on the Orient Express, take a tour of eight great mystery books set along the train’s route.

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3. The History Behind Dunkirk

Following the success of Christopher Nolan's film, Dunkirk, there has never been a better time to dive into some books and uncover the story for ourselves. Here are our picks for the best books to learn about Dunkirk and the history surrounding that iconic evacuation.

4. The Long-Awaited Louvre Abu Dhabi Just Opened

The long-awaited Louvre Abu Dhabi museum by starchitect Jean Nouvel just opened. Will it bring a sea change in art history and education to the local arts and culture scene?

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5. A Little History of Women's Christmas: An Irish Festive Tradition

If you’re not already tired of the holiday season, find out about another forgotten day of celebration. Women's Christmas was an Irish tradition of acknowledging and celebrating the work women put into the festive season. Occurring on the feast of the Epiphany on January 6th, this was a quiet yet important celebration which continues today.


Egyptian-American food enthusiast born in Chicago, raised in Beirut, and living in Dublin. Multitasker at Bookwitty. Intimately familiar with the term "identity crisis".