Wednesday, January 20, 2021
Jan. 20, 2021

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Check It Out: Let serendipity guide reading

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I enjoy discovering titles in the library’s collection. Not being able to physically browse the shelves I have to rely on the catalog to surprise me with bibliographic treasures. Sometimes I have a theme in mind, but other times, like now, I let serendipity lead the way. In this instance serendipity is guided by the word “November” as you will see in the reading list below.

N – “Nature Obscura: A City’s Natural Hidden World” by Kelly Brenner. (also available as eBook and eAudiobook) The next time you visit a city, keep your head down. Why? Read this book and learn how to spot micro-habitats existing right under your feet.

O – “Operation Chastise: The RAF’s Most Brilliant Attack of World War II” by Max Hastings. (also available as eBook and eAudiobook) Read about the 1943 British strategic aerial operation which targeted several dams located in northwestern Germany. In the process you’ll learn why the Dambusters Raid is considered one of the most remarkable feats in military history.

V – “Vulture: The Private Life of an Unloved Bird” by Katie Fallon. It’s hard to love turkey vultures. Their red, bald heads are creepy-looking, and they eat dead things. But author and trained raptor handler Katie Fallon has a deep appreciation for these oft-maligned birds and wants others to feel the same way.

E – “Early: An Intimate History of Premature Birth and What It Teaches Us About Being Human” by Sarah DiGregorio. Neonatology is defined by the Merriam Webster Dictionary as “a branch of medicine concerned with the care, development and diseases of newborn infants.” Author Sarah DiGregorio, who gave birth to a premature daughter, shares what she learned about neonatology in this compelling memoir.

M – “Murder Your Darlings: And Other Gentle Writing Advice from Aristotle to Zinsser” by Roy Peter Clark. An engaging collection of writing tips from some of the best writing books of all time.

B – “Black & White, Bright & Bold: 24 Quilt Projects to Piece & Applique” by Kim Schaefer. With cooler weather approaching, it’s time to grab a quilt and get cozy. A handmade quilt is even cozier, so go bold and bright with 24 quilt projects to choose from.

E – “Elementary Persian Grammar” by L.P. Elwell-Sutton. If you’re continuing to shelter in place, why not learn a new language? If Persian tickles your fancy, check out this beginning grammar guide then head over to and take a look at our online language learning resources to further explore Persian (Farsi) and many other languages.

R – “Railroad Semantics: Better Living Through Graffiti & Trainhopping” by Aaron Dactyl. According to the publisher’s description, readers will find “epic, hidden works of art…rail lore and riding tips…and the perils and glories of life in rail yards, train cars, small towns and encampments.” If you’re a train enthusiast, I say, “All aboard!”