Shelf Centered

A blog about books & culture from the librarians who love them

3 minutes reading time (592 words)

What We're Reading Wednesday!

Hello, and welcome to our inagural post documenting what staff of the Wilmette Public Library have been reading lately. Check back on Wednesdays to spy on our reading habits and get some great ideas for yourself! You can search for these titles and put them on hold through our online catalog or you can look for an ebook or e-audiobook on the Digital Library of Illinois

sapiensTitle: Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind
Author: Yuval Noah Harari
Audiobook Narrator: Derek Perkins
Reader: Jenny K, Adult Services Librarian

Historian Yuval Harari covers approximately 70,000 years of the Sapiens journey. It is a chronological trek through our cognitive, agricultural and scientific revolutions, discussing such matters as beliefs, human rights, consumerism, war, dominance, money, etc... Condensing thousands of years into just 15 hours eliminates in-depth analysis. But if you are looking for a brief history of our species, you might enjoy this 2014 NYT Bestseller.  Award winning narrator Derek Perkins complements the book with an erudite British accent.During our current challenging circumstances here on earth, I have come to enjoy e-audio books, especially those on history. I chose this particular title to understand where we have been, to make sense of where we are today and to question where we are going. I have not been disappointed in my selection. 


midnight libraryTitle: The Midnight Library
Author: Matt Haig
Reader: Sarah Beth B., Community Services Manager; and Nancy W., Adult Services Librarian

Sarah Beth says: This book is very popular right now, for good reason! I’m not done yet, but I feel like it’s a bit of a magical-realism story about evaluating the choices you made in your life and finding the path that would bring you fulfillment. Reminds me a lot of Oona Out of Order and Elinor Oliphant is Completely Fine.
Nancy W. says: A desperate woman has determined to end her life.  She is given a chance to reconsider by a visit to the Midnight Library, a place where she can explore "what if" her life had taken another path.   


ifthenTitle: If Then: How the Simulmatics Corporation Invented the Future
Author: Jill Lepore
Audiobook Narrator: Jill Lepore

Reader: Jessica T., Cataloging Librarian

This is the history of the Simulmatics Corporation which built a “People Machine” that could predict the future using computer simulation of human behavior gathered through mined data. The company was founded by leading social scientists in 1959. Clients of Simulmatics included the John F. Kennedy presidential campaign, the New York Times, the Department of Defense and many manufacturers. It is an interesting history of presidential elections, computing in the 60s and sci-fi. Additionally, Jill Lepore is an amazing narrator.


southernexposureTitle: Southern Exposure: The Overlooked Architecture of Chicago's South Side
Author: Lee Bey
Reader: Susan K., Youth Services Librarian

The South Side has a rich architectural heritage, and Chicago architecture expert Lee Bey explores it with lively text and quality color photographs. The book features an array of landmarks which are often excluded from tourist and guidebook recommendations because they sit in predominately African American and Latino sections of town known as places of disinvestment, abandonment and sometimes violence. But note the luminous  buildings by famous architects, and neighborhoods that reflect the beauty and potential of Chicago's South Side. Lee Bey has an illustrious career as a photographer, architecture critic, and lecturer at the School of the Art Institute.


spacecaseTitle: Space Case
Author: Stuart Gibbs
Reader: Diane S., Youth Services Librarian

I am reading Space Case by Stuart Gibbs because the kids have raved about the whole Moon Base Alpha series.  Space Case is the first book.  

What We're Reading Wednesday - New Year Edition
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