Library Column for August 19, 2022

@ Your Library

August is over halfway gone. The Bass Tournament is next week and then a week until Labor Day and it is all just going way too fast. I want to call a halt to time and just have a week where we all just read. And if we’re being magical, then let’s just make all our meals appear and we all have the perfect books for us to enjoy all week long.

Here are some new non-fiction that get me excited about the world and amazed at what was created and what humans have done and thought about. 30 Animals that Made Us Smarter: stories of the natural world that inspired human ingenuity by Patrick Aryee looks at things like the mosquito mouth which is helping scientists design pain-free surgical needles, polar bear fur to maybe help keep humans warm in space and lobster eyes to engineer a new generation of space telescopes. And then remember when dinosaurs made your heart race a little faster and borrow The Last Days of the Dinosaurs by Riley Black for a fast read about ‘an asteroid, extinction, and the beginning of our world.’

Books about language and writing always intrigue me and The Greatest Invention by Silvia Ferrara is a history of the world in nine mysterious scripts but covers so much more than just nine undeciphered scripts. This is a marvelous history of writing. I am also a folktale junkie and Flying Snakes and Griffin Claws by Adrienne Mayor covers a variety of historical oddities and scientific curiosities from classical texts, art and more. She shares her fifty favorite amazing and amusing discoveries from the ancient world.

A quick list of four historical titles to explore the world through includes Last Call at the Hotel Imperial: the reporters who took on a world at war by Deborah Cohen, Diamonds and Deadlines: a tale of greed, deceit, and female tycoon in the gilded age by Betsy Prioleau, American Shoes: a refugee’s story by Rosemarie Lengsfeld Turk and Things are Never So Bad That They Can’t Get Worse: inside the collapse of Venezuela by William Neuman.

Was It Worth It? is a question many ask in their twilight years, but Doug Peacock, wilderness warrior, thinks we should be asking the question earlier so the answer is ‘yes’ when we get to the end of our life. Maybe the questions you are asking are more ethical in nature and The Little Book of Big Ethical Questions by Susan Liautaud is just what you want at your next dinner conversation to enlighten the discussion.

Let’s end this week with a book to encourage us all to do more than just consume, but to create as well. Creative Acts for Curious People: how to think, create, and lead in unconventional ways by Sarah Stein Greenberg is co-published by the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford University. The book seeks to share the experiences designed by students, faculty, experts and seekers to bring together diverse perspectives to tackle ambitious projects.

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