What it’s about: Proof that otters are even more amazing than we thought (because they save ecosystems).
What made me pick it up: I don’t know if you know this yet, but I really, really like otters.
My favorite things: I appreciated how much scientific explanation was in this book. It was a little text heavy for a picture book but perfectly detailed for an older reader. It’s separated into chapters to make reading with your little one easier by breaking it up into segments. And of course, I’m always rooting for the otters. I’m so glad they are being protected so we can discover how beneficial it is to have them around.
Who it’s great for: Budding scientists. Otter lovers.
What it’s about: Model, restaurateur, and lifestyle guru Smith and her fight against early onset Alzheimer’s.
What made me pick it up: A patron called asking about it and it sounded interesting. I originally thought it was Smith writing about her husband’s early onset diagnosis. I was incorrect.
My favorite things: This is powerful. It is mainly told by Gasby with small sections by Smith. I listened to the audio and hearing how slightly vacant she sounds is heartbreaking. I appreciated their honesty about difficulties they face with her new capabilities and how her continued decline is likely inevitable since the science isn’t ready to fight back quite yet. I admired Gasby’s dedication to Smith even after losing her as the partner she used to be. It made a strong impression of the importance of health insurance, health education, and fundraising for more research to be done. It reminded me a little of Pat Summit’s memoir after her early onset diagnosis which stays with me to this day. I also was glad to learn that there now is a definitive diagnostic test on live patients for Alzheimer’s, although it is cost prohibitive and not usually covered by insurance. *sigh*
Who it’s great for: Individuals or family members of someone with Alzheimer’s. Those curious about the disease.
Beartown by Fredrik Backman because I like his other stuff. Whereas by Layli Long Soldier because Native American poetry. White Working Class by Joan C. Williams because I read White Trash and am just on a jaunt on that subject.
What it’s about: Everybody’s favorite television scientist has some solutions to global warming.
What made me pick it up: I spent many a morning in my younger years entranced by Bill Nye and his entertaining scientific antics. I was moving books in this section of the library when I found this and took it home.
My favorite things: This book really packs a punch. Nye isn’t condemning anyone, he’s more here to cheer us on to greater scientific breakthroughs regarding energy usage and encourage us to take simple steps to reduce our usage. He makes it sound easy and doable and, more important than anything, extremely urgent. I snapped many pics during my reading and texted them to friends. This book is a must-read if you feel like there is nothing you can do, or not enough being done, about climate change.
Who it’s great for: Environmentalists. Concerned citizens. Homeowners who want to start small to make change. Bill Nye fans from way back.
Find this book on Amazon (affiliate link) or in your local library.
What it’s about: Physics. Historical developments, current view, and future speculations.
What made me pick it up: I’m a bit of a physics reading bender right now. I had read and enjoyed Rovelli’s previous book Seven Brief Lessons on Physics, so when I saw this was coming out I placed a hold.
My favorite things: This book has a great audio reader, which makes it all the more accessible. I enjoy this author’s books because I come away actually knowing and understanding more about physics. Both the history of the science and discoveries in it but also current concepts and research. It can be a little mind bending but the way concepts are explained makes sense and it makes it more acceptable that time doesn’t exist.
Who it’s great for: Citizen scientists. Anyone who wants interesting facts to share at dinner parties. The generally curious.
What it’s about: This book tackles the ‘physics of everyday life’ by using small-scale examples (like why teacups slosh) to illustrate large-scale themes.
What made me pick it up: I had read Seven Brief Lessons on Physics and was waiting for the next book by that author when I saw this, so I placed a hold.
My favorite things: First off, this audio reader is excellent. Who knew a cheery British accent would make learning physics fun? She explains concepts in very easy to understand ways and relates them to common occurrences like getting a static electric shock so you understand the principles. She also drops a lot of fun experiments into the text anecdotally that you might want to try. (The raisin one is quite fun and you might already have the supplies).
Who it’s great for: Anyone interested in physics or science or learning more about our world. Teachers or librarians or parents looking for some fun STEM program/project ideas.
What it’s about: Notable female scientists throughout history.
What made me pick it up: I think I saw it on Twitter. It was about women scientists and I placed a hold immediately because I immensely enjoyed Lab Girl and Headstrong.
My favorite things: This book is like a good mixed drink: smooth, flavorful, and designed to be sipped slowly. I only read a few pages a day so I could savor the unique illustrations and layouts as well as the mostly new-to-me knowledge of these amazing scientists. The message is empowering for girls of any age and the colors are fabulous. It’d make a great gift for any young devotee of STEM in your life.
Who it’s great for: Those interested in women’s contributions to science. Readers of all ages. Fans of great illustrations. Graphic novel readers who want a nonfiction book. Girls, girls, girls.