Staff Picks

Staff Picks

Staff Picks

The Body by Bill Bryson

Bill Bryson gives us another highly entertaining and interesting book, this time about ourselves. The Body takes you through the various systems and functions of the human body and provides many fascinating facts. Did you know for example that humans are the only mammals that commonly suffer strokes, or that every day your body discards about 100 billion expired red blood cells? This book is dense with such astounding tidbits, and all of it written in Bryson’s easy-to-read, lighthearted style. ~Meredith, CCL

The Nature of Life and Death by Patricia Wiltshire

Take a trip into the world of forensic palynology, or the study of pollen and spores to solve mysteries and crimes. On us all the time there are microscopic bits of plant material that provide an irrefutable and clandestine record of where we’ve been and often what we’ve done, and Patricia Wiltshire is one of the world’s experts on using this bounty of evidence to solve crimes. She has helped police with many crimes, including murder, by analyzing suspects’ clothing, cars, bodies, and other personal items to place them at a crime scene, or to exonerate the innocent. In addition to the true crime stories in this book, you’ll learn just enough about botany to change the way you look at how you move through and your relationship with the natural world. ~Meredith, CCL

Midnight in Chernobyl by Adam Higginbotham

This book is an in-depth account of the disaster at the Chernobyl nuclear plant in 1986. You'll learn not only what happened that April night, but you'll get the background story that is just as important. You'll learn about the cultural and political pieces of the puzzle that fit together and subsequently allowed one of the world's worst nuclear disasters to occur, in spite of the many intelligent and brave people caught up in the event. And of course you'll get a riveting chronicle of the disaster itself, and of its aftermath that continues today. ~Meredith, CCL

Dead Mountain by Donnie Eichar

In February of 1959, what made nine young, smart, experienced hikers hastily leave the protection of their tent without coats and shoes in howling subzero conditions to die in the night? This event, known as the Dyatlov Pass incident, has generated many theories -- from secret government weapons experiments to supernatural causes -- to explain the hikers' deaths.  In Dead Mountain, American author Donnie Eichar retraces this ill-fated voyage, going to Russia to find witnesses and experts. He retraces the hikers’ steps to piece together their final days, and he offers an explanation, backed by research and science, for what caused their deaths. The result is a gripping but also humanizing and touching account of the Dyatlov Pass incident and a credible theory of what happened that mysterious night. A great book for fans of nonfiction adventure and mystery, and survival true stories. ~Meredith, CCL

Love Lettering by Kate Clayborn

Creatively-blocked Meg is a sought-after artist who thinks in letters; stoic Reid is a math genius working on Wall Street who’s gifted at seeing patterns. That includes the pattern in his wedding invites a year ago that warned his marriage was doomed. Single Reid comes back to the paperie where Meg works to find out how she knew it wouldn’t work. Together they explore New York City, grapple with their own issues and each other, and, of course, fall in love. As a former graphic designer, I loved Meg’s descriptions of various art supplies and the typography of her thoughts. Also, Meg and Reid make an adorable couple. I didn’t want it to end. For those who love New York City and slow-build romances. ~Debra, CCL