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PREMIUM

Animals’ Best Friends: Putting Compassion to Work for Animals in Captivity and in the Wild

This interesting work is often troubling to read, yet it’s important in showing how people can compassionately care for the animals that share out planet. It will especially appeal to animal rights activists and readers who enjoyed Carl Safina’s Beyond Words: What Animals Think and Feel.
PREMIUM

A History of the Human Brain: From the Sea Sponge to CRISPR, How Our Brain Evolved

A crash course on human evolution and more specifically, the myriad influences that shaped the development of our brain. Recommended for anyone interested in understanding the pivotal moments in the evolution of our species that contributed to creating the humans we are today.
PREMIUM

Unforgetting: A Memoir of Family, Migration, Gangs, and Revolution in the Americas

Lovato’s revealing story enables us to look within minds and hearts that have been molded by immigrants’ experiences in their home country and their adopted one. A worthwhile account that brings a personal face to a complex, nuanced issue.

Three Books on Space Exploration | Science Reviews

PREMIUM

Ms. Adventure: My Wild Explorations in Science, Lava, and Life

Recommended for those interested in geology and geography, adventure travel readers, and those considering science careers.
PREMIUM

The Mission: A True Story

An engaging read for all, especially for anyone curious about the details of space exploration.
PREMIUM

The Genome Odyssey: Medical Mysteries and the Incredible Quest to Solve Them

This engaging, accessible book will appeal to anyone interested in medical ethics, genetic disease, and the use of cutting-edge science and technology within the field of medicine. Recommended for all libraries.
PREMIUM

The Loneliest Polar Bear: A True Story of Survival and Peril on the Edge of a Warming World

While there are some confusing segues, overall, this is an absorbing, extensively researched book for fans of popular science and those who appreciate stories about polar bears, both captive and wild, as well as behind-the-scenes work at zoos. Readers interested in learning more about polar bears and their changing habitats should also try James Raffan’s Ice Walker (2019).
PREMIUM

This Is the Voice

A fascinating book for those interested in this amazing human capacity.

The Bears Ears: A Human History of America’s Most Endangered Wilderness

One last fond look at a favorite place? A swan song of a prolific author? Roberts adds inviting details throughout this must-read book, adding poignancy to an already fascinating read.
PREMIUM

The Nation of Plants

Readers who appreciate slim books packed with a social punch and science anecdotes (prickly pears and lichen are especially interesting) will enjoy this offering. Another recommended, thought-provoking read from Mancuso.
PREMIUM

Water, Wood, and Wild Things: Learning Craft and Cultivation in a Japanese Mountain Town

Travel readers who appreciate off-the-beaten-path locales and local cuisine will enjoy this dreamy account.

PREMIUM

The Plague Cycle: The Unending War Between Humanity and Infectious Disease

Kenny’s historical assessment of humanity’s handling of infectious diseases, including both successes and failures, is a testament to the remarkable progress made in modern medicine and is a well-rounded overview of the history of plagues.

The Doctors Blackwell: How Two Pioneering Sisters Brought Medicine to Women and Women to Medicine

This book is an excellent read for those interested in the history of medicine and those who enjoy a well-written biography.
PREMIUM

The Gran Tour: Travels with my Elders

For readers who delight in witty accounts of travel with an Anglophile flair, this is a hilarious guide to the road in the company of retirees.

Winter Pasture: One Woman’s Journey with China’s Kazakh Herders

Readers who enjoy descriptive writing about challenging lives will love this work.
PREMIUM

Strange Bedfellows: Adventures in the Science, History, and Surprising Secrets of STDs

A thoughtful, informative account for readers interested in public health and sexual health as well as those with an interest in the history of medicine. Park brings the right amount of care to an often-stigmatized subject.
PREMIUM

Animal, Vegetable, Junk: A History of Food, from Sustainable to Suicidal

Recommended for readers of food and diet history and those interested in the future of agriculture and sustainable farming.
PREMIUM

What Doesn’t Kill You: A Life with Chronic Illness—Lessons from a Body in Revolt

A clear, no-holds-barred account that will be useful both to those coming to grips with their own chronic illness and also to the people in their lives.

PREMIUM

The Puzzle Solver: A Scientist’s Desperate Quest to Cure the Illness That Stole His Son

Both tragic and uplifting, this title will be of particular interest to readers seeking more information about ME/CFS and anyone curious about medical mysteries.
PREMIUM

Liftoff: Elon Musk and the Desperate Early Days That Launched SpaceX

An extraordinary story of compelling narrative nonfiction that is recommended for those interested in space travel or for anyone looking for an exciting read.

Gory Details: Adventures from the Dark Side of Science

A must-read for curious minds, trivia fans, and crime drama enthusiasts.
PREMIUM

Under Western Skies: Visionary Gardens from the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Coast

This book will provide readers with a deeper appreciation of the diversity of the Western landscape and inspiration for creating and cultivating gardens adapted to challenging and sometimes unforgiving sites.
PREMIUM

Land: How the Hunger for Ownership Shaped the Modern World

Winchester’s large audience will enjoy this well-worded, interdisciplinary look into the relationship between humans and the land.
PREMIUM

A Beginner’s Guide to America

Although narrated as advice for incoming immigrants, this personal, yet practical account is intended to challenge misconceptions and biases that native-born U.S. citizens have toward documented and undocumented immigrants. It is highly recommended for all.

Do Better: Spiritual Activism for Fighting and Healing from White Supremacy

Meticulously researched, compassionate, and bold, this book should be read immediately and frequently returned to as a textual companion for the ongoing, reiterative work of antiracism.
PREMIUM

Raceless: In Search of Family, Identity, and the Truth about Where I Belong

A frank examination of one woman’s search for identity that will satisfy readers of personal narratives and Black history alike.

The Barbizon: The Hotel That Set Women Free

A must read for anyone interested in the history of 20th-century women’s lives, fashion, publishing, and New York.

PREMIUM

Men Who Hate Women: From Incels to Pickup Artists: The Truth about Extreme Misogyny and How It Affects Us All

Well-researched and meticulously documented, Bates’s book on the power and danger of masculinity should be required reading for us all.

PREMIUM

Children Under Fire: An American Crisis

A carefully reasoned, compelling, and persuasive study of a crisis that requires immediate attention.
PREMIUM

The Good Hand: A Memoir of Work, Brotherhood, and Transformation in an American Boomtown

This lengthy volume will appeal to those interested in masculinity studies and memoirs dealing with family dysfunction, as well anyone curious about life in an oil boomtown during the early 2010s.
PREMIUM

The Women’s History of the Modern World: How Radicals, Rebels, and Everywomen Revolutionized the Last 200 Years

An interesting read for curious feminists and historians, even if the pacing and organization are sometimes uneven. Certainly, readers will learn a great deal, and the author’s enthusiasm for her subject is apparent from page one through the very end.

Information Activism: A Queer History of Lesbian Media Technologies

A scholarly examination, this account will also appeal to nonspecialist readers with a keen interest in queer and feminist history and activism, as well as the history of technology and communication.
PREMIUM

Overnight Code: The Life of Raye Montague, the Woman Who Revolutionized Naval Engineering

This book, which is clearly a labor of love and admiration, will especially appeal to Black women interested in STEM fields as well as those interested in firsthand perspectives of civil rights.

Women and Leadership: Real Lives, Real Lessons

A thought-provoking study of women and leadership and an outstanding contribution to this topic. Highly recommended.
PREMIUM

Featherhood: A Memoir of Two Fathers and a Magpie

This reflective memoir will engage a variety of readers, and will be of great interest to anyone who has ever considered parenting, human or avian.

Radical Belonging: How To Survive and Thrive in an Unjust World (While Transforming It for the Better)

Bacon has found their voice in this book, and it's a voice we all need to hear right now.

PREMIUM

Humphry Repton: Landscape Design in an Age of Revolution

Richly illustrated with examples from Repton’s Red Books and concluding with extensive references and a bibliography, this volume sets Repton and his work firmly in the life and times of the late 1700s–early 1800s in a book that will appeal to those who enjoy reading about garden designers of the past, or garden history.
PREMIUM

Broke: Patients Talk About Money with Their Doctor

Recommended reading for those interested in social justice issues, especially around poverty and health; this would also be an interesting supplemental read for students interested in health science and public health careers.
PREMIUM

The Oak Papers

An entirely understated but overwhelmingly thoughtful book that seeks to remind us of the deep history that humankind shares with trees. For all interested in learning more about how we interact with nature, past and present.
PREMIUM

When Brains Dream: Exploring the Science and Mystery of Sleep

A deep exploration into the world of dreams that is highly recommended for anyone interested in delving more into this topic.
PREMIUM

Desert Oracle

Anyone contemplating a trip to the arid Southwest or wanting to learn more about the area and its natural history should pick up this collection of varied anecdotes.
PREMIUM

Seven and a Half Lessons About the Brain

This is valuable popular science. Barrett deftly explores how the physical workings of the brain influence human nature. The essays don’t prescribe what to think about human nature; rather, they invite readers to think about the kind of human they are or aspire to be.
PREMIUM

Earth’s Wild Music: Celebrating and Defending the Songs of the Natural World

Fans of Moore will appreciate this collection. For others, it’s an optional purchase.
PREMIUM

Breath Taking: The Power, Fragility, and Future of Our Extraordinary Lungs

Readers of Siddhartha Mukherjee and Atul Gawande will appreciate Stephen’s writing. Blending science writing and medical reporting, this is a detailed, yet accessible account that will engage anyone concerned with their respiratory health
PREMIUM

Unsolaced: Along the Way to All That Is

Recommended for fans of Ehrlich’s other works, or those interested in climate change observation.
PREMIUM

Four Lost Cities: A Secret History of the Urban Age

An excellent contribution to literature on ancient civilization and complexity.

A World on the Wing: The Global Odyssey of Migratory Birds

Each chapter on the different bird species and migration experiences will vibrantly inform readers about the habits of migratory birds
PREMIUM

Get What’s Yours for Health Care: How To Get the Best Care at the Right Price

Readers may still remain overwhelmed by the American health care system after reading this brief overview, but will become more informed and better equipped to manage their health care.
PREMIUM

Resetting the Table: Straight Talk About the Food We Grow and Eat

A book that will be of interest to everyone who is concerned about the health effects of food.
PREMIUM

An Anatomy of Pain: How the Body and the Mind Experience and Endure Physical Suffering

Clearly intended primarily for pain sufferers and those supporting them, the book provides appropriately detailed and understandable information while also offering suggestions practitioners should consider.

Kill Shot: A Shadow Industry, a Deadly Disease

Informative and engrossing, this book is a page-turner about a deadly outbreak and a reckless compounding pharmacy. Recommended for fans of true-life medical thrillers.
PREMIUM

Biohack Your Brain: How To Boost Cognitive Health, Performance & Power

A beneficial overview of the brain, what we know about it, and what we’re still discovering.
PREMIUM

A Shape in the Dark: Living and Dying with Brown Bears

A lyrically written tribute to the grizzly that will appeal to readers who enjoy books about the history of exploration, grizzly bears, and wilderness areas as well as those whose hobbies include hiking, hunting, or learning more about the natural world. Suggest to those who enjoyed Down from the Mountain by Bryce Andrews.
PREMIUM

An Outsider’s Guide to Humans: What Science Taught Me About What We Do and Who We Are

An informative memoir for scientifically minded readers, and readers looking for personal stories on living with Autistic Spectrum Disorder.

PREMIUM

Let the Lord Sort Them: The Rise and Fall of the Death Penalty

A readable, well-documented legal history that will appeal to a broad audience.

White Feminism: From the Suffragettes to Influencers and Who They Leave Behind

Readers who have not yet taken the time to deeply consider how privilege impacts feminist movements will finish the book with new perspectives on the topic of gender equality.
PREMIUM

Against Civility: The Hidden Racism in Our Obsession with Civility

Zamalin’s brief and blunt critique of failures and successes in the struggle for human rights in the United States calls to readers who care about racial and social justice to commit to a progressive, multiracial democratic movement to fight oppression, end discrimination, and extend economic freedom. Critical reading.

Fear in Our Hearts: What Islamophobia Tells Us about America

Effectively showing the gulf between American ideals and reality, this book is recommended not only for those interested in American Muslims, but also for those interested in minority communities in general.

Best Science & Technology Books of 2020

1
PREMIUM

What To Expect When You’re Expecting Robots: The Future of Human-Robot Collaboration

Unlike dry technology books, this accessible account incorporates absorbing writing, personal anecdotes, and scientific projections of life with robots. The authors’ writing will speak to readers interested in futuristic technology and those who enjoy comparing current innovations to upcoming technologies.

Violence in American Society: An Encyclopedia of Trends, Problems, and Perspectives

An ideal overview of American violence that will pique the interest of general readers and provide high school students and undergraduates with an outstanding resource for reports and background research.

Robert E. Lee and Me: A Southerner’s Reckoning with the Myth of the Lost Cause

Seidule openly confronts his own indifference to racism, and this absorbing book will be of value to anyone interested in how history informs our present.

HRH: So Many Thoughts on Royal Style

Fans of the British royal family will enjoy this spirited retrospective, which should prove popular with a range of readers.
PREMIUM

White Fright: The Sexual Panic at the Heart of America’s Racist History

This book makes a compelling argument that white America’s fear of interracial procreation was a driving concern in the creation and maintenance of segregation throughout the Jim Crow era; a thought-provoking read.
PREMIUM

Breaking Free of Child Anxiety and OCD: A Scientifically Proven Program for Parents

In this time full of tumult and unrest, statistics already show a sharp increase in mental health issues in children and adolescents, and parents will be looking for resources to help. Recommended for its practical insights and tips.
PREMIUM

The Addiction Inoculation: Raising Healthy Kids in a Culture of Dependence

This book combines expertise with humble personal experience to show how modeling, believing in our children, and valuing learning instead of accolades will go a long way toward preventing addiction.
PREMIUM

Girlhood: Teens Around the World in Their Own Voices

Full of pictures and the unique voices of teenage girls in a variety of situations and cultures, this book provides a snapshot of teens’ lives around the world.
PREMIUM

Impossible Parenting: Creating a New Culture of Mental Health for Parents

This will prove a helpful volume to parents in the trenches.
PREMIUM

A Life on Our Planet: My Witness Statement and a Vision for the Future

Attenborough’s iconic sense of narration is present throughout this career biography and testimonial. Longtime devotees as well as newcomers will find much to learn about the man and his mission.
PREMIUM

Ghostways: Two Journeys in Unquiet Places

Complete with instructions for reading, this book showcases some of Macfarlane’s most genre-defying work.
PREMIUM

The Last American Hero: The Remarkable Life of John Glenn

While Glenn and Nick Taylor’s biography John Glenn: A Memoir and Tom Wolfe’s The Right Stuff offer more details about NASA and Glenn’s role in the Space Race, George provides interesting insights into the mark he left on American culture.
PREMIUM

The Mutant Project: Inside the Global Race to Genetically Modify Humans

A fascinating albeit chilling account of how human embryo engineering moved from the realm of sf to scientific fact. Recommended for anyone interested in the brave new world of genetic engineering technologies.
PREMIUM

The Light Ages: The Surprising Story of Medieval Science

Offering a window into the world of medieval monks, this will appeal to lovers of scientific history.
PREMIUM

Black Hole Survival Guide

Recommended for nonscientists and those seeking to understand the cosmos better.

Rebel Cell: Cancer, Evolution, and the New Science of Life’s Oldest Betrayal

Arney has successfully managed to wrangle a huge amount of complex information into one significant volume. Readers are given a vision of potentially powerful future treatments, as there is hope that strategies will evolve ahead of the rebel cells. Essential for medical and consumer health collections.

My House Is Killing Me! The Complete Guide to a Healthier Indoor Environment

Entertaining, not dryly technical, with illustrations throughout, this wide-ranging resource will be of interest to anyone concerned about indoor air quality and particularly those who live with allergies, and whose symptoms are worse in their homes.
PREMIUM

What We Didn’t Expect: Personal Stories About Premature Birth

Support groups often provide listening and understanding beyond what professionals can offer. When that sort of personal contact isn’t immediately available, a book such as this can serve as a close substitute. The elegance and honesty with which these writers share raw emotions and practical knowledge make it a valuable resource.
PREMIUM

How We Go Home: Voices from Indigenous North America

A seminal collection of perspectives that are often unheard or overlooked, this work deserves a broad audience.

PREMIUM

Raising Your Spirited Baby: A Breakthrough Guide to Thriving When Your Baby Is More—Alert and Intense and Struggles To Sleep

Sure to be a landmark book, Kurcinka’s well-researched advice may just be a sanity and sleep saver for new parents.

PREMIUM

Behind the Bears Ears: Exploring the Cultural and Natural Histories of a Sacred Landscape

This splendidly crafted book will appeal to regional specialists and general readers.

Mediocre: The Dangerous Legacy of White Male America

Oluo calls on us to do better because we deserve better, and her words will resonate with all ready to look inward and enact change.

Why Didn't We Riot?: A Black Man in Trumpland

An essential and powerful call for action asking us all to examine the role our silence plays in upholding white supremacy.

How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America

Moving and meditative, this reckoning on Blackness, manhood, and self adds to Laymon's legacy as an influential writer.

Operation Moonglow: A Political History of Project Apollo

Anyone interested in the early days of space exploration will be drawn to this fast-paced, accessible book.

PREMIUM

Finding Latinx: In Search of the Voices Redefining Latino Identity

A revelatory, celebratory trip through the amazing diversity of Latinx.

PREMIUM

Teach Like a Human: Essays for Parents and Teachers

Hirsch’s book may prove helpful to those who have had to learn to balance teaching or facilitating with parenting since March 2020.

Black Futures

A significant offering for its timely, accessible documentation of writing, artwork, and thought around Black lives and Black futurity.

Down Along with That Devil’s Bones: A Reckoning with Monuments, Memory, and the Legacy of White Supremacy

O’Neill is a talented writer, and this powerful meditation on collective memory is necessary reading for knowing ourselves and our history.

PREMIUM

Girl Gurl Grrrl: On Womanhood and Belonging in the Age of Black Girl Magic

This thought-provoking collection of ruminations from Black women on how they thrive and struggle in the complex world today is particularly relevant to this moment but will remain an important text for years to come.

Great Adaptations: Star-Nosed Moles, Electric Eels, and Other Tales of Evolution’s Mysteries Solved.

Casual science readers will be hooked from page one; for those contemplating careers in the sciences, this should be required reading.

PREMIUM

The National Road: Dispatches from a Changing America

Empathetic, candid, and curious, Zoellner has built an eclectic, eloquent guide to the social and physical landscapes of America.

The Best American Travel Writing 2020

An immersive, thought-provoking dive into myriad travel experiences. Highly recommended for both travel aficionados and general readers.
PREMIUM

The Science of James Smithson: Discoveries from the Smithsonian Founder

Seamlessly intertwined with information about scientific and social developments in Europe in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, including facts about important names in geology, chemistry, and mineralogy, this welcome guide will engage readers of science biographies and the history of science.
PREMIUM

How To Attract Birds to Your Garden: Foods They Like, Plants They Love, Shelter They Need

The bird feeding shelf is crowded, but with public interest so high there’s probably room for this happy introductory guide.
PREMIUM

White Hot Light: Twenty-Five Years in Emergency Medicine

Recommend reading for those interested in the human story behind emergency room medicine, both the stories of those who work in that field and the stories of those who need the services. Also recommended for those who enjoy personal essay collections.
PREMIUM

Dark, Salt, Clear: The Life of a Fishing Town

An unromantic yet beautiful look at life. Readers who appreciate travel stories full of local flavor, as well as those who have ever wondered how a seafood feast ends up on their plate, will enjoy this one.
PREMIUM

Plagues, Pandemics and Viruses: From the Plague of Athens to Covid 19

Delightful, enjoyable, and informative but lacking as a quality, comprehensive resource. Will appeal to general readers interested in basic, jargon-free information on pandemics and viruses.
PREMIUM

The Handmade Charlotte Playbook: Crafts, Games and Recipes for Families To Do Together Throughout the Year

Pass on this poorly considered collection of projects.

The Great Kosher Meat War of 1902

Relying on primary source materials, Seligman has created a highly readable and enjoyable account of this little-known episode in American history. Highly recommended, especially for those interested in American history and Jewish history, as well as gender and labor studies.
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