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The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt’s New World

The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt’s New World

Though you may not recognize his name, Alexander von Humboldt was the father of modern environmentalism and the most famous scientist of his age. Born in the late 18th century, he had a deep love for outdoor exploration and traversed the globe in search of unusual environments. Von Humboldt was friends with Thomas Jefferson, inspired Darwin and Thoreau, and was passionate about helping humans understand our relationship to the natural world. In this biography, Wulf captures the man as endlessly passionate, progressive, and impactful. More info →
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Transcription

Transcription

Kate Atkinson has become one of my must-read authors. Her new historical sticks to the WWII setting of Life After Life and A God in Ruins but stands on its own. It's 1940, and an eighteen-year-old girl named Juliet, in search of a job, is surprised to find herself plunged into the world of espionage. Confession: I read this at the beach two summers ago and loved its droll British voice (though it took me more than a few chapters to get oriented). More info →
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The Veins of the Ocean

The Veins of the Ocean

Reina Castillo has spent the last few years revolving her life around visiting her older brother in prison. She spends a lot of time thinking about him and the impact of what sent him to prison. When her brother dies suddenly while in prison, she's released from the cycle. Reina picks up her life and she moves to the Florida Keys on a whim. There she encounters a community and goes on a journey of coming to terms with what her brother did, her role in what he did, and finding out what her life is going to be from now on. Marines listed this as one of her favorites on episode 147 of WSIRN. Marines says Patricia Engel is a brilliant writer and The Veins of the Ocean is beautifully written, dealing heavily with the ocean as symbol for healing. More info →
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The Library of Lost and Found

The Library of Lost and Found

Is it just me, or are books about bookstores and libraries everywhere these days? You know I'm not complaining. From the author of The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper, a new book about a librarian whose life is changed by a book of fairy tales that lands on her doorstep. Soon she's on the trail of buried family secrets, and the process of seeking them changes her life. More info →
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Liar’s Bench

Liar’s Bench

Many of you will know Kim Michele Richardson's name from her recent New York Times bestseller The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek but this is her debut, set again in rural Kentucky. From the publisher: "With its compelling mystery and complex yet relatable heroine, Liar's Bench is a story of first love, raw courage, and truths that won't be denied." More info →
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Not So Pure and Simple

Not So Pure and Simple

I'm always eager to read a new Lamar Giles novel, and this one didn't disappoint. This YA story reads as fast and fun, while delving into the serious topics of friendship, dating, family struggles, and toxic masculinity. Del's been in love with the same girl since kindergarten, but he can't bring himself to tell her. To complicate things, he's developed a reputation as a player, and he's not sure how to admit that it's completely unfounded. And his parents are sending him decidedly mixed messages and sex and dating: his mom dragging him to learn from the fiery preacher at her church, and his dad dishing "manly" but unhelpfully vague advice. How is he supposed to navigate the world when no one will admit what relationships are really like? I enjoyed Del's candor and cluelessness when it came to girls and his classmates, but—perhaps because I'm no longer a teenager—my favorite character is his big sister, who's learning to engage and educate on timely issues on her exploding YouTube channel. More info →
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Nick

Nick

From the publisher: "Critically acclaimed novelist Michael Farris Smith pulls Nick Carraway out of the shadows and into the spotlight in this look into his life before Gatsby. Before Nick Carraway moved to West Egg and into Gatsby's periphery, he was at the center of a very different story-one taking place along the trenches and deep within the tunnels of World War I. Floundering in the wake of the destruction he witnessed firsthand, Nick delays his return home, hoping to escape the questions he cannot answer about the horrors of war. Instead, he embarks on a transcontinental redemptive journey that takes him from a whirlwind Paris romance-doomed from the very beginning-to the dizzying frenzy of New Orleans, rife with its own flavor of debauchery and violence. An epic portrait of a truly singular era and a sweeping, romantic story of self-discovery, this rich and imaginative novel breathes new life into a character that many know but few have pondered deeply." More info →
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