The Underground Railroad**, by Colson Whitehead. 2016. 9 Discs. OneClickdigital. This is a very powerful and at times brutal story of one woman’s journey to escape slavery through a mystical Underground Railroad. Very deserving of the National Book Award for 2016, and read well in the audio version. A book that uses the power of fiction to help us interpret and understand the foundation of our nation’s history. I highly recommend it.
Mischling**, by Afinity Konar. 2016. OneClickdigital. A harrowing tale of twin sisters who are fighting to survive World War II and its aftermath. In 1944 the twins, Sasha and Pearl arrive at Auschwitz and become part of the experimental population of ‘Mengele’s Zoo.’ Brutal, with moments of beauty and hope. I highly recommend it.
Hag-Seed, **, by Margaret Atwood. 2016. 7 Discs. OneClickdigital. This is a creative, clever, and entertaining retelling of Shakespeare’s, The Tempest, in part set in a modern day British prison with the inmates performing the play that is full of surprises.
Swing Time*, by Zadie Smith. 2016.11 Discs. OneClickdigital. This is a story of the friendship of two girls growing up in public housing in Northwest London who connect in a dance class (the only brown girls in the class) at age 7. The book zig zags through the decades of their relationship, from closeness to being estranged from London to Africa. Lovely narration.
Public Library and Other Stories**, by Ali Smith. OneClickdigital. One of my favorite authors writing about one of my favorite subjects. ‘Woven between the stories are conversations with writers and readers reflecting on the essential role that libraries have played in their lives.” Although the writer is British, the connection to libraries is universal.
SmokeJumper : A Memoir by One of America’s Most Select Airborne Firefighters*, by Jason A. Ramos and Julian Smith. 2015. OneClickdigital. Veteran smokejumper Ramos sheds insight into what it takes to be a member of this elite team along with firsthand accounts of what it is like in the middle of the worst fires in the Pacific Northwest. He also includes accounts of historical blazes and the impacts on policy and safety.
Lab Girl**, by Hope Jahren. 2016. OneClickdigital. This is one of those books that can change the way you view the natural world. A memoir starting with a childhood in rural Minnesota to J life’s passion of being a geobiologist running her own lab in Hawaii. A tale of sacrifice, friendship, passion, and serious dedication with fascinating and detailed insight into the complex and wondrous inner workings of plants. I highly recommend it.
The Glass Universe*, by Dava Sobel. 2016. OneClickdigital. …”The little-known true story of the women’s landmark contributions to astronomy.” One of the best books of the year by NPR. Women were originally hired in this field to do complex mathematical problems and were called ‘computers.’ When photography came into use for astronomical purposes, the women who had been doing the computing studied all the glass plates and discovered most everything that was discoverable at the time. An eye-opener regarding the contribution by many women in this field and the inequity in pay and acknowledgment. The book is very detailed and long – a good read for those interested in the history of astronomy.
Sent to Aurora – March , 2017