Summer Booknotes 2017

Handpicked new releases, lovingly presented to you by the staff of Elliott Bay.


Audiobooks available for select titles through our friends at


Spring Booknotes 2017   Fall Booknotes 2017


Augustown Cover Image
ISBN: 9781101871614
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Pantheon Books - May 23rd, 2017

Under explicit (and convincing) instructions from our narrator not to describe this story as magic realism, I'll say instead that it's threaded with the divine. Augustown begins with a re-imagining of an actual event—the failed ascension of Alexander Bedward, a 19th century Jamaican preacher who fell from atop a tree amid his parishioners rather than float to heaven as he had promised. Most of the novel takes place a century later, but Bedward's story echoes throughout. Kei Miller's affection for his characters comes through best in his vivid use of the regional patois. Moving and gripping, with an emotional gut-punch of a denouement. -Shawn

You Don't Have to Say You Love Me: A Memoir Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316270755
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little Brown and Company - June 13th, 2017

Sherman Alexie’s first full-length book for adults in ten years is a memoir about his complicated relationship with his mother. You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me has a candid fierceness and a humor that is unforgettable. It is a bear hug of pain, a story not only of his family's suffering but also a larger picture of the cultural wounds inflicted upon Native Americans. Alexie's genius for translating life's gauntlet into prose and poetry is a gift that will last in the hearts and minds of readers. This is a memoir not to be missed. -Greg

When Dimple Met Rishi Cover Image
ISBN: 9781481478687
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon Pulse - May 30th, 2017

This book made me happy for many reasons: 1) Dimple is awesome! She's going to Stanford University for web development, likes to code, and is a feminist. 2) Her traditional Indian parents want to arrange her marriage, but she is not interested. She wants to go to college for a career, not a husband! 3) This is a great example of the identity struggle faced by so many immigrants, especially second generation—the push and pull between old and new cultures. Dimple and Rishi are opposites here (he's traditional), which makes their interactions humorous yet poignant. This is a fun, heartwarming story that shows it's best to find one's own way in life. -Liz

Goldfish Ghost Cover Image
By Lemony Snicket, Lisa Brown (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781626725072
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Roaring Brook Press - May 2nd, 2017

Lemony Snicket always supplies us with oddly charming stories. Goldfish Ghost is a hilarious, slightly dark but wonderfully sculpted ghost story for the little ones, filled with adorable illustrations by Lisa Brown of a little, upside down ghost fish escaping from its bowl and roaming the town, beach, pier, and ocean in search of a new home and a friend. But no one will interact with it, not even the other ghost fish it sees hovering above the sea. Finally, Goldfish Ghost finds its friend, a home in an old lighthouse, and a sense of belonging. -Allen

Curious Kids Nature Guide: Explore the Amazing Outdoors of the Pacific Northwest Cover Image
By Fiona Cohen, Marni Fylling (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781632170835
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little Bigfoot - May 2nd, 2017

Did you know that there are three different kinds of orca living in Pacific Northwest waters? (Resident, transient, and offshore!) Until I read this book, I had no idea! Not only an awesome nature guide for kids, it’s also great for adults who want a quick introduction to the enchanting flora and fauna of the Pacific Northwest. It's logically arranged (by habitat), easy to navigate, and filled with lessons on how to treat our environment with respect—plus, the illustrations are wonderfully realistic! Everyone should have a copy of this for their home library. -Liz

Beyond the Bright Sea Cover Image
ISBN: 9781101994856
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Dutton Books for Young Readers - May 2nd, 2017

This is a sparkling gem of a story about identity, family, and buried treasure. Crow is a young girl growing up in the 1920s with her “adopted” father, Osh, who found her as an infant washed up on the shore of their remote Massachusetts island. As she gets older, Crow begins to have questions: Where did she come from? Does she have another family? Why did they give her away? Crow sets out on an adventure to uncover the answers she has been seeking. Wolk’s writing is beautiful and her characters, especially Crow and Osh, will become friends whose loves and dreams you’ll share—an enthralling read. -Mary

Queer, There, and Everywhere: 23 People Who Changed the World Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062474315
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperCollins - May 23rd, 2017

It's no surprise that Sarah Prager, creator of the Quist app for daily queer history, has produced a book that is fun and informative. Queer, There, and Everywhere is an accessible, diverse, respectful, and fascinating read for teens and adults alike. It has frequent explanations for terms and their history, an extensive glossary, and many additional resources. Prager writes with a clear understanding of the importance of passing on queer history, which is so often covered up or forgotten, and does so in a way that is engaging and imparts on the reader the significance of this cultural ancestry. -Amy

Life Cover Image
By Cynthia Rylant, Brendan Wenzel (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781481451628
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Beach Lane Books - June 27th, 2017

In the tradition of The Giving Tree and The Velveteen Rabbit comes this lyrical fable by an esteemed duo, Cynthia Rylant and Brendan Wenzel. A spare text packed with wisdom and humble insight, the book follows the flow of life from the small to the immense, from the dark to the light, from despair to joy. The wide-eyed innocence portrayed in Brendan Wenzel’s animal faces perfectly matches the simple message that while not always easy, life is a most precious gift. This “children’s book” is really the perfect offering for anyone who is a bit lost on this journey called life. -Holly

The Leavers Cover Image
By Lisa Ko
ISBN: 9781616206888
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Algonquin Books - May 2nd, 2017

Deming Guo is eleven years old when he sees his mother Polly for the last time. She leaves for work at the nail salon, as always, but never returns home. Within a year, Deming is adopted, moves from the Bronx to upstate New York, and starts a new life as Daniel. But he always feels like an outsider and by the time he is in college, a string of bad choices he made exact their toll. When Daniel and his mother finally reunite, the reader learns the dismal truth of her disappearance. Lisa Ko's bold debut is a stark examination of limits and bonds. -Holly

Salt Houses Cover Image
ISBN: 9780544912588
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Houghton Mifflin - May 2nd, 2017

Hala Alyan’s debut is as groundbreaking as it is heart-wrenching. Salt Houses follows a Palestinian family, the Yacoubs, through the Six-Day War and their subsequent displacements and struggles. Their home and country taken from them, the members of the Yacoub family illustrate how sorrow and loss translate across generations. Salt Houses is a novel that serves as a meditation on what home and survival really mean in the face of violence and strife. Alyan is one of the best new literary voices of the year; her novel should be celebrated for its power and beauty. -Mary

Large Animals: Stories Cover Image
ISBN: 9781936787487
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Catapult - May 9th, 2017

Jess Arndt's debut collection of short stories will engulf you. It is an unblinking look into the murkier depths of bodies, gender, reality, entropy, and impulse. There is a distinctive attitude to the characters and feel to their surroundings that threads the stories together almost seamlessly. Arndt leaves much about these characters and the other players in her stories ambiguous in a way that leads the reader away from conclusions. Her understated and original writing makes Large Animals easy to devour in a single sitting or delicious to draw out and enjoy piece by piece. -Amy

Woman No. 17 Cover Image
ISBN: 9781101904251
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Hogarth Press - May 9th, 2017

The follow-up to her bestselling debut California, Edan Lepucki's newest novel Woman No. 17 is a taut California noir, exploring authenticity and identity through the relationship of two Los Angeles women and their love for a child who refuses to speak. Lepucki's prose simmers on the page while her narrators captivate and burn with intensity. As much for devotees of Eve Babitz as it is for fans of Gillian Flynn, Woman No. 17 is hazy, hypnotic, and gripping—the perfect thriller for those who demand some smarts from their summer reading list. -Eric

House of Names Cover Image
ISBN: 9781501140211
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scribner Book Company - May 9th, 2017

Agamemnon, Clytemnestra, Electra, Orestes: these are names which resonate. Tóibín has masterfully rewritten The Oresteia—a classic trilogy of ancient Greek tragedies—to be accessible to the contemporary reader. Agamemnon is the catalyst who sets the tragedy in motion, but Tóibín takes us inside the heads of all three main players. House of Names is a portrait of a family, their fate, and the decline of the gods. A human story universal in its impact, this is a powerful and engaging novel. -Greg

Men Without Women: Stories Cover Image
By Haruki Murakami, Philip Gabriel (Translator), Ted Goossen (Translator)
ISBN: 9780451494627
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf Publishing Group - May 9th, 2017

Murakami has said that he keeps himself busy between novels (and marathons!) by writing short stories—we are lucky for these breaks. Murakami works double time in this collection, exploring grief and alienation in a gloomy Tokyo while performing some impressive literary feats. Happy endings are not guaranteed for his all-too-human characters, who often find unhealthy means to cope with their traumas. But their stories feel relentlessly true, even as Murakami dazzles us with references to—and inversions of—classic works that I won’t spoil here. Fans will be pleased, and if you have never read Murakami, this is an excellent place to start. -Justin

Chemistry Cover Image
ISBN: 9781524731748
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf Publishing Group - May 23rd, 2017

It’s not often that you find a book that keeps you laughing while the main character’s life falls apart. Weike Wang’s narrator is a Chinese immigrant whose deadpan humor keeps her afloat after she has a breakdown and must quit pursuing her Ph.D. in chemistry. Wang skillfully flows between exploring love and the immigrant experience in a way that emphasizes the ambiguity of life and the very real impact that parents can have on their children, even into adulthood. The concise prose provides a calm and scientific perspective of how life continues even through chaos. -Allison

Isadora Cover Image
ISBN: 9780374279981
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - May 23rd, 2017

In 1913, at the peak of her career, Isadora Duncan was shattering conventional dance traditions and ushering in a new era of dance, what we now call modern dance. Yet just as her life, career, and influence on the dance world were reaching a crescendo, her two young children died in a car collision. In Amelia Gray's fictionalized account, Isadora, readers watch Duncan as her grief pushes her to a near-madness that profoundly changes her relationships with herself, her remaining family, and the public. Despite her public unraveling, Duncan is unable and unwilling to leave dance behind. -Justus

Boundless Cover Image
ISBN: 9781770462878
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Drawn & Quarterly - May 30th, 2017

Jillian Tamaki's first short story collection is eclectic, with a different art style for every story, unconventional panel structure, and plots ranging from fandom and obsession to the female body and self-care. I might go so far as to call Tamaki's style boundless. Each story satisfies, with a glance into the inner monologue of a woman who grows smaller each day until she disappears, the creator of a porn-sitcom, and the cult formed around a piece of music called SexCoven, just to name a few. The comics could be the work of multiple creators, but for Tamaki's signature combination of humor and empathy. -Emma

The Refrigerator Monologues Cover Image
By Catherynne M. Valente, Annie Wu (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781481459341
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Saga Press - June 6th, 2017

Often in superhero comics, women are more plot device than character. They are tortured, murdered, and stuffed into refrigerators to motivate the leading man, who says something along the lines of: “She will not have died in vain; her death will be avenged!” The Refrigerator Monologues gives a voice to these girlfriends of superheroes, and they are pissed. Valente has not saved these women—the book takes place in Hell—instead she allows their narrative to be rewritten, giving them a voice and letting them scream. The result, in true Valente style, is as dark and emotional as it is cheeky and comical. -Emma

The Essex Serpent Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062666376
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Custom House - June 6th, 2017

A legendary winged beast haunts the shores of Essex in 19th century England, long a source of village superstition and disruption. It piques the interest of a newly arrived young widow, headstrong and bright, and her entourage of family and friends—but challenges the beliefs of her newest acquaintance, the contemplative local pastor. This suspenseful gothic love story, a highly acclaimed bestseller in the UK, brings its setting and characters to life with sumptuous, poetic prose. It deftly combines Victorian conventions and societal issues with those of faith, science, morality, and philosophy. A thoughtful and exhilarating read. -Erica

Stephen Florida Cover Image
ISBN: 9781566894647
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Coffee House Press - June 6th, 2017

Stephen Florida is that weird guy from high school you always wondered what happened to. A wrestler focused on winning the Division IV NCAA Championship in the 133 weight class, he is single-minded to the point of obsession, veering into insanity. Then he meets Mary Beth, a hardworking student in his drawing class who has vowed to flee tiny Oregsburg College and North Dakota forever as soon as she gets the chance. Read this book to inhabit the mind of a young man on the edge, witness a life on the verge of unraveling, and observe a friendship that holds the promise of love. Stephen Florida is “a motherf****** astronaut”—watch him fly. -Katie

The Ministry of Utmost Happiness Cover Image
ISBN: 9781524733155
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf Publishing Group - June 6th, 2017

Twenty years after The God of Small Things, this. Again, tell-tale wonder, from even deeper, more realized places. This novel of people seeking to live, love, give, get, care - done over time (dying a part of the living), is of things sought, things that may not happen, come easily, lightly, or lastingly and, yet, in some ways do. They are carried with surpassing grace, wit, tenacity, and tenderness. Near the end, one of the characters, years along in knowing love, death, and justice, speaks to the current 'stupidification' of things. This novel of utmost heart and beauty comes to us from a depth the 'stupidification' of things would not have us see. And yet, such a book helps show us we can, we do, we will. -Rick

Black Moses Cover Image
By Alain Mabanckou, Helen Stevenson (Translator)
ISBN: 9781620972939
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: New Press - June 6th, 2017

Abandoned as an infant, a boy known as Moses is noticing some changes as Congo-Brazzaville's socialist revolution takes hold. Among them, his orphanage's kindhearted priest, who gave him a long and unpronounceable name, has disappeared. Alone in the world, the young boy must take his destiny into his own hands. Mabanckou shows us what follows directly through Moses's eyes; his journey from the orphanage to the streets of Pointe-Noire reads like a diary with a wide cast of madcap characters. In the end, perhaps our protagonist's own consciousness is as torn as the political landscape he must endure. -Tony

The City Always Wins Cover Image
ISBN: 9780374123970
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: MCD - June 13th, 2017

Omar Robert Hamilton's debut novel follows two young activists, Mariam and Khalil, as they navigate the vicious realities of a political uprising. Set primarily in the streets of Arab Spring-era Cairo, The City Always Wins brilliantly examines the moral complexity inherent to revolution and the impact that has on its participants. This is not a dewy love letter to insurrection; it is brutal, and Hamilton refuses to let his readers rest in the comfort of heroism or cheap glory. The novel's poignancy lies in its unanswered question: is there a limit to how much we should be willing to sacrifice? -Shawn

One Day We'll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter: Essays Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250121028
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Picador USA - May 2nd, 2017

Scaachi Koul is right: one day we’ll all be dead and none of this will matter. In the meantime, sexism and the immigrant experience are just a few things that still matter and Koul’s humor and keen observations on these subjects make her essays stand out as the next must-read on your feminist booklist. Whether she is experiencing an endless Indian wedding or being cut out of a skirt by a group of salespeople, Koul uses humor to explore societal expectations as well as her own flaws. Her ruminations on being the daughter of immigrant parents and on the feeling of being from two places but belonging in neither are powerful and playful. -Allison

Radical Hope: Letters of Love and Dissent in Dangerous Times Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525435136
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - May 2nd, 2017

Radical Hope lives up to its title; it is meant to inspire and sustain through the era of Trump and the particular political acrimony prevalent now. It is laid out as a series of letters and essays in three parts. The first section, Roots, is about history; the second, Branches, takes on the present day; and the third, Seeds, brings us thoughts on the future. The list of authors and activists that shaped this book is both wide-ranging and impressive, including Alicia Garza (cofounder of #BlackLivesMatter), Viet Thanh Nguyen (author of The Sympathizer), and iO Tillett Wright (creator of the Self Evident Truths Project and We Are You campaign). -Amy

The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America Cover Image
ISBN: 9781631492853
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Liveright Publishing Corporation - May 2nd, 2017

The United States was founded on a system of slavery, though many Americans think that we have left the effects of that system behind us. In The Color of Law, Richard Rothstein reveals the ways in which the United States government perpetuates a system of segregation that continues to this day. He argues that this segregation not only needs to end because of the harm it causes, but that reparations need to be made to its victims because it is a historic and ongoing violation of their constitutional rights. Rothstein’s book speaks to all American citizens, demanding that we take action to end what he describes as “America’s caste system.” -Justus

You may know W. Kamau Bell from his stand-up, TV shows, or podcasts/radio shows. If you're a fan, you already know how great this book is going to be (so read it voraciously, and tell your friends)! If you aren't familiar with Bell, pick this book up immediately and prepare yourself for a collection of sociopolitical humor that hits all the right spots. Bell discusses his childhood, the beginning of his comedy career, and his struggle to fit in among the black and white comedy scenes. He also touches on race relations, law enforcement, fatherhood, interracial marriage, Black nerdom, and intersections of racism and sexism. So good! -Liz

Pnw Veg: 100 Vegetable Recipes Inspired by the Local Bounty of the Pacific Northwest Cover Image
ISBN: 9781632170538
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Sasquatch Books - May 9th, 2017

Kim O’Donnel has created an intriguing collection of both highbrow and lowbrow recipes focused on the bounty of the Pacific Northwest’s seasonal produce. In true West Coast spirit, O’Donnel’s recipe style is laid-back and encourages substitutions and alterations to accommodate seasonal produce, dietary restrictions, and any unique produce you may find at your local farmer’s market. Become a brunch hero with the Cherry Tomato Cobbler with Cheddar Biscuit Topping or Spinach Pancakes with Feta Butter. The Rhubarb Salsa with Cornmeal Crackers is an instant classic and the Dried Bean Cheat Sheet demystifies how to cook local legumes just right. -Allison

Nature Poem Cover Image
ISBN: 9781941040638
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tin House Books - May 9th, 2017

Tommy Pico is your new favorite poet and I know he's your new favorite poet because he's my new favorite poet and probably Sherman Alexie's and Eileen Myles' new favorite poet too. He captures not just the spirit but, like, the language of our time. Nature Poem seems to pick up almost where his award-winning and ingenious IRL left off. It harnesses that momentum, runs with it, and spams your inbox with this book-length poem about Teebs, a queer Native American poet living in Brooklyn who can't write about nature. It's a timely search for a reconciliation with one's history and identity, full of hard and damning truths. -Eric

October: The Story of the Russian Revolution Cover Image
ISBN: 9781784782771
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Verso - May 9th, 2017

With respect to facts, you won't find anything here that isn't already in the existing literature on the Russian Revolution. This is, rather, a purely synthetic work, one which puts the emphasis on narrative. It is Miéville's rare combination of abilities as both a storyteller, who weaves the facts into a compelling drama, and a student of politics, who makes comprehensible the complex web of forces at play in the constantly changing political landscape of 1917, that makes this volume special. October places the reader in the thick of a moment in which everything seemed possible—a tonic for the relative lack of imagination from which we suffer. -Sam

Eating Promiscuously: Adventures in the Future of Food Cover Image
ISBN: 9781619027350
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Counterpoint LLC - May 16th, 2017

Fact: The current mode of food production wreaks havoc on our land, our seas, and ourselves. Fact: We have to make some drastic changes, and soon, to keep up with the dietary needs of an ever-expanding population. Fact: Agrarianism is out; dumpster diving and roadkill consumption are the future. Okay, so the last one is definitely opinion, but it's an impassioned one that McWilliams presents persuasively in Eating Promiscuously. This is a fascinating read, full of radical ideas meant to overhaul the way we grow, shop, cook, and eat. Everyone in favor of a gastronomic and environmental utopia, say aye! -Shawn

We Are Never Meeting in Real Life.: Essays Cover Image
ISBN: 9781101912195
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - May 30th, 2017

Reading bitches gotta eat blogger Samantha Irby’s new collection of essays was like having a conversation with my best friend while occasionally catching glimpses of myself in a mirror. No topic is off limits for Irby, who deftly switches between laugh-out-loud moments and raw, real life experiences of anxiety, depression, Crohn’s disease, work, and family. Each essay is enjoyable and provocative in its own right, but together they showcase Irby’s tenacity and growth through challenging circumstances and her fierce sense of owning all the messiness of her life, personality, and choices. -Alex

Theft by Finding: Diaries (1977-2002) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316154727
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little Brown and Company - May 30th, 2017

For years, regular attendees of David Sedaris’s live appearances have looked forward to readings from his pocket notebooks and diaries. The best of these hilarious, bizarre, and often profane jokes, stories, everyday observations, and family memories (collected over forty years) appear in Theft by Finding, which includes observations from 1977, when he was an art student and hapless construction worker, through 2002. It’s well known that before his New Yorker and NPR stories established him as a writer and performer, he worked as an elf and housecleaner, but these are the stories you haven’t heard. -Karen

American Eclipse: A Nation's Epic Race to Catch the Shadow of the Moon and Win the Glory of the World Cover Image
ISBN: 9781631490163
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Liveright Publishing Corporation - June 6th, 2017

In 1878, people flocked to the Rocky Mountains to observe a highly publicized total solar eclipse. Among them were the egotistical comet and asteroid chaser James Craig Watson searching for the planet Vulcan, astronomer Maria Mitchell trying to prove women's place in science, and a young Thomas Edison testing a new invention. This meticulously researched and engaging narrative, set against the dawn of the Gilded Age, follows the three eclipse chasers as America asserts itself on the scientific world stage. Luckily, we have a chance to experience the awe of a total solar eclipse this August as close as Oregon. This might just make me into an umbraphile! -Andy

Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062362599
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper - June 13th, 2017

"I know that hunger is in the mind and the body and the heart and the soul," writes novelist and essayist Roxane Gay in her powerful memoir. Isolated, bullied at her suburban school, and raped by a friend, she was silent about her traumatic experiences for years, growing ever taller, larger, and disconnected from other people. Her moving account of reawakening to love and learning self-care is also one of endurance, both of the daily cruelties she experiences as a fat woman and the aftereffects of the assault. She writes with candor and eloquence, leaving us questioning our complicity in keeping these silences intact. -Karen

Threads: From the Refugee Crisis Cover Image
ISBN: 9781786631732
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Verso - June 20th, 2017

The refugee camp in Calais, France, known as "The Jungle," became the go-to media symbol for the tumult of the migration crisis that swept Europe in 2015. In Threads, cartoonist Kate Evans defies that dominant narrative, depicting the reality of humans simply seeking sanity after fleeing the chaos of war. The book chronicles the enduring joy and humanity within the camp despite the brutality of reactionary vigilantes and authorities, as well as Evan's own role as a flawed volunteer. Resembling the masterful graphic style of Joe Sacco, Evans' crude panel layout divided by strips of lace lend the crisis the beautiful, original treatment it deserves. -Tony

Shark Drunk: The Art of Catching a Large Shark from a Tiny Rubber Dinghy in a Big Ocean Cover Image
ISBN: 9780451493484
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf Publishing Group - June 27th, 2017

Shark Drunk is the story of two friends, journalist Morten Strøksnes and contemporary artist Hugo Aasjord, as they take to the waters off the coast of Norway in an attempt to catch a white whale of their own fashioning: the rare, near-mythical Greenland shark—a prehistoric predator whose flesh is so toxic it produces the effects of extreme drunkenness. At turns comical and adventurous, and often bordering on existential, Shark Drunk is a celebration of all the wonders (and grotesqueries) of the Sea. For lovers of art and history and for those who have heard the mysterious calling of the deep. -Eric

Caesar's Last Breath: Decoding the Secrets of the Air Around Us Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316381642
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little Brown and Company - July 18th, 2017

If you have never read Sam Kean, I will forgive some skepticism about this one. I certainly wasn’t expecting a book about air to be one that had me missing sleep, bargaining with myself in the middle of the night to read “just one more page.” But there I was. This book tackles the air we breathe: its history and composition and the captivating cast of characters who worked all of it out. It is an eclectic parade, featuring cranky old mountain men, dinosaurs, daredevil nuclear physicists, aliens, and, of course, poor old Caesar. But Kean brings them together wonderfully, and you will be laughing too hard to notice how much you have learned. -Justin