This edition of Book Bits was originally published in the January 11, 2018, issue of the Milton Independent.
I always keep an eye out for resources to add to Milton Public Library’s collection. I browse online and print resources, including the New York Times Book Review and publishers’ catalogs. I talk to others about what they’re reading and look at booklists compiled by other libraries. Many suggestions come from patrons.
Then there are visits to bookstores and museums. It’s fun and interesting to see what someone else has curated.
On a recent trip to Boston’s Science Museum with my eldest daughter, we ended the day as we always do at museums – in the gift shop and bookstore.
There I saw several titles that looked interesting. I took photos of the covers with my iPhone and then researched the books when I got back to Milton. Did we own the title? Did we own similar titles? Would the book be a good addition to our collection?
That trip to Boston resulted in several additions to the library. They include:
“The Woman Who Smashed Codes: A True Story of Love, Spies, and the Unlikely Heroine Who Outwitted America’s Enemies” by Jason Fagone
The book “pays tribute to an unsung hero whose story belongs alongside those of other great female technologists,” the jacket reads. Elizabeth Smith Friedman and her husband, William Friedman, literally wrote the book on codebreaking – solving secret messages without the key. Their work was instrumental in the development of the U.S. intelligence community and helped win World War II.
“The Elements: A Visual Exploration of Every Known Atom in the Universe” by Theodore Gray; Photographs by Theodore Gray and Nick Mann
Each two-page spread in this beautifully illustrated book presents information on one of the 118 elements of the periodic table.
“Headstrong: 52 Women Who Changed Science and the World” by Rachel Swaby
These short chapters on 52 women, many who were ignored by history until now, give an introduction to significant scientists whose work still impacts our daily lives.
“Unplug and Play: Original Group Games that Don’t Need Charging!” by Brad Berger
These 50 “original, rigorously tested games … challenge each player’s ability to strategize, bluff, read minds, memorize, think quickly and solve puzzles.”
“The Book of Awesome” by Neil Pasricha
Pasricha started a blog called 1000awesomethings.com as, “a getaway from my everyday.” It was meant to be a look on the bright side. His record of “tiny little moments” has blossomed into Ted Talks and books, including this one.
“The Revenge of Analog: Real Things and Why They Matter” by David Sax
The opening of June Records in Toronto reintroduced Sax to the world of vinyl and led to this book. So did his experience being at a dinner party where he and his wife were the only ones not on their smartphones throughout the meal. “The choice we face isn’t between digital and analog,” Sax writes. He explores the new markets for analog goods, and “the innovative and disruptive potential of analog ideas in today’s digitally focused economy, and the advantages they bring to those who embrace them.”
Photo: Milton Public Library Director Susan Larson and her daughter at the Museum of Science, Boston in November 2017.