Summer Reading Suggestions

If you’re participating in our Summer Reading Challenge or just looking for something new and different, check out our book suggestions.

Fiction Suggestions

The hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy – Douglas Adams
Chronicles the journeys, notions, and acquaintances of reluctant galactic traveler Arthur Dent, accompanied by never-before-published material from the late author’s archives as well as commentary by famous fans.First Chapter

Oryx and Crake : a novel – Margaret Atwood
A novel of the future explores a world that has been devastated by ecological and scientific disasters. First Chapter

The passage : a novel – Justin Cronin
Rendered a latest test subject in a covert government experiment, abandoned six-year-old Amy is rescued by an FBI agent who hides them in the Oregon hills, from which she emerges a century later to save the human race from a terrifying virus. By the award-winning author of Mary and O’Neil. First Chapter

Micro : a novel – Michael Crichton and Richard Preston
The acclaimed late author of Jurassic Park and the award-winning author of The Hot Zone present the story of a group of graduate students who accept work with a mysterious biotech company in Hawaii only to be abandoned in a treacherous wilderness when they discover their employer’s dark agenda. 1,500,000 first printing.

Darkly dreaming Dexter : a novel – Jeffry P. Lindsay
Hiding a secret life as an assassin while working as a murder analyst for the Miami police, Dexter Morgan is intrigued by the work of a new serial killer whose style mimics his own and who Morgan realizes is inviting him into a deadly competition. First Chapter

Remarkable creatures – Tracy Chevalier
Marked for greatness after being struck by lightning in infancy, Mary Anning discovers a fossilized skeleton near her 19th-century home that triggers attacks on her character and upheavals throughout the religious, scientific and academic communities. By the best-selling author of Girl with a Pearl Earring.

State of wonder – Ann Patchett
A researcher at a pharmaceutical company, Marina Singh must step out of her comfort zone when she is sent into the heart of the Amazonian delta to check on a field team that has been silent for two years–a dangerous assignment that forces Marina to confront the ghosts of her past. First Chapter

Ape house : a novel – Sara Gruen
A tale drawn from the author’s extensive research into human-ape communications follows the story of a group of apes who are kidnapped from a language laboratory and subsequently cast on a reality television show that calls into question scientific assumptions about common DNA that is shared by apes and people. By the author of Water for Elephants. First Chapter

The signature of all things – Elizabeth Gilbert
The best-selling author of Eat, Pray, Love traces the multi-generational saga of the Whittaker family, whose progenitor makes a fortune in the quinine trade before his daughter, a gifted botanist, researches the mysteries of evolution while falling in love with an utopian artist against a backdrop of the Age of Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution. First Chapter

Robopocalypse : a novel – Daniel H. Wilson
A tale set in the near future finds the world thrown into chaos by rebelling artificial intelligences under the leadership of a murderous technology called Archos that kills its creator and takes over the global network, triggering an unprecedented united front among all human cultures. First Chapter


The science of good cooking : master 50 simple concepts to enjoy a lifetime of success in the kitchen – Guy Crosby
Collects tips and advice on cooking and provides answers to common culinary questions, including how to melt cheese well and how to create flaky pastry.

Guns, germs, and steel : the fates of human societies – Jared M. Diamond
An intriguing study of the rise of civilization argues that human development is not based on race or ethnic differences but rather is linked to biological diversity, discussing the evolution of agriculture, technology, writing, political systems, and religious belief. First Chapter

Animal, vegetable, miracle : a year of food life – Barbara Kingsolver, Steven L. Hopp and Camille Kingsolver
The National Humanities Medal-winning author of The Poisonwood Bible follows the author’s family’s efforts to live on locally and home-grown foods, an endeavor through which they learned lighthearted truths about food production and the connection between health and diet. First Chapter

Packing for Mars : the curious science of life in the void – Mary Roach
The author of Stiff and Bonk describes the weirdness of space exploration and answers questions about the long-term effects of zero gravity on the human body and what happens if you vomit in your helmet during a space walk. Table of Contents

The immortal life of Henrietta Lacks – Rebecca Skloot
Documents the story of how scientists took cells from an unsuspecting descendant of freed slaves and created a human cell line that has been kept alive indefinitely, enabling discoveries in such areas as cancer research, in vitro fertilization and gene mapping.

The world without us – Alan Weisman
A thought-provoking study of what would happen to Earth if the human presence was removed from the equation examines our short-term and long-term legacy for the planet, from the objects of today’s world that would vanish without human intervention to those that would become long-lasting remnants of humankind.
The disappearing spoon : and other true tales of madness, love, and the history of the world from the periodic table of the elements – Sam Kean
In an engaging text centered around the periodic table, the explores intriguing tales about every element of the table as they play out their parts in human history, finance, mythology, war, evil, love, the arts and the lives of the colorful scientists that discovered them.

Inside of a dog : what dogs see, smell, and know – Alexandra Horowitz
A psychologist and aficionado offers insight into the canine mind, drawing on current cognitive research to illuminate a dog’s perceptual abilities and the experiences that shape dog behavior, in a report that also shares stories about the author’s relationship with her canine friend, Pumpernickel.First Chapter  Table of Contents

The Drunkard’s walk : how randomness rules our lives – Leonard Mlodinow
Critically analyzes the role of chance and random events, forces, and factors in shaping human existence, in a readable study of how the mathematical laws of randomness control the world around us. By the author of Feynman’s Rainbow. 30,000 first printing.

My stroke of insight : a brain scientist’s personal journey – Jill Bolte Taylor
A brain scientists recounts her experiences after suffering a stroke at the age of thirty-seven, describing her discovery of differences in the left and right side of the brain and the steps she took over a period of eight years to recover her health. Table of Contents

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