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Staff blog

Non-Fic Picks: Take a Journey

This month’s non-fic picks feature journeys, and the titles offer an array of travels including seclusion, mountain tops, and the frontiers of science. 

The Great Unknown: Seven Journeys to the Frontiers of Science by Marcus du Sautoy

Take a journey of the mind with Marcus du Sautoy’s The Great Unknown.  Exploring both the physical world and the laws of nature, du Sautoy expounds on chaos, matter, quantum physics, the universe, time, consciousness, and infinity.  Despite the progress we have made in terms of scientific discovery there are still many mind-bending mysteries to be solved.  What are the limits to human knowledge?  Will we ever be able to know what happened in the past or be able to predict the future?  The Great Unknown will challenge readers to think outside the box, adding exhilarating layers of meaning to the world we live in.    

The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit by Michael Finkel

When Christopher Knight was twenty years old, he left modern society and took refuge in the woods of Maine.  For twenty-seven years, Knight lived alone, taking shelter in a tent, and stole from nearby neighbors when he needed food, clothing, reading material, or other provisions.  He did not speak to another human being until he was arrested for stealing food.  In The Stranger in the Woods, Finkel attempts to answer several questions including, “Why did Knight leave?” and “How did he survive?”  By providing a portrait of Knight’s life, Finkel also explores the meaning of solitude and community in this engaging true story.

A Woman’s Place is at the Top: A Biography of Annie Smith Peck, Queen of the Climbers by Hannah Kimberley

Have you ever heard of Annie Smith Peck?  Not many people have, but she was an outstanding person who often gets overlooked in history because of her gender.  Annie Peck Smith was a scholar, educator, writer, suffragist, and political activist who gained fame and recognition for climbing Matterhorn in pants.  At age sixty, she was the first person to climb Mount Husacaran in Peru.  While Smith was an avid climber, she was also a diplomat with expertise on North-South American relations and a lecturer on multinational industry and commerce – keep in mind this was all prior to women having the right to vote.  Hannah Kimberley brings Smith’s life to its rightful place in history in this comprehensive biography.   



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