Our Biggest Experiment: An Epic History of the Climate Crisis by Alice BellWhat it is: a "thorough and sweeping history of the climate crisis" (Publishers Weekly), focusing on the people whose attempts to forestall ecological devastation were either ignored or punished.
Such as? Eunice Newton Foote, who in 1856 discovered the greenhouse effect; the Bishnoi people of Northern India, who died in a 1730 massacre while protecting their beloved khejri trees.
Further reading: Under a White Sky: The Nature of the Future by Elizabeth Kolbert; Climate Chaos: Lessons on Survival from Our Ancestors by Brian M. Fagan and Nadia Durrani.
Immune: A Journey Into the Mysterious System That Keeps You Alive by Philipp DettmerWhat it is: an accessible and lavishly illustrated journey through the human immune system.
About the author: Philipp Dettmer is the founder of the German animation studio Kurzgesagt, which creates popular educational science videos that can be seen on their YouTube channel, "In A Nutshell."
Hurricane Lizards and Plastic Squid: The Fraught and Fascinating Biology of Climate... by Thor HansonWhat it's about: While humans struggle to mount a response to climate change, plants and animals are busily adapting to a new reality, whether by migrating or modifying their behaviors.
The big idea: "Understanding biological responses to climate change can help us find our place within it."
About the author: Biologist Thor Hanson is the author of Buzz: The Nature and Necessity of Bees and The Triumph of Seeds.
The Plant Hunter: A Scientist's Quest for Nature's Next Medicines by Cassandra Leah QuaveMeet: medical ethnobotanist Dr. Cassandra Leah Quave, who studies plants to discover their medicinal properties.
Read it for: the author's enthusiasm for her chosen career and her reflections on being a disabled woman in a male-dominated discipline that requires conducting field research in the wilderness.
Further listening: Quave also hosts the Foodie Pharmacology podcast.
Fire and Ice: The Volcanoes of the Solar System by Natalie StarkeyWhat it's about: Geologist and cosmologist Natalie Starkey takes readers on a grand tour of the solar system's volcanoes, including the enormous (and extinct) shield volcanoes of Mars and the methane-emitting ice plumes of Pluto.
Did you know? Home to more than 400 volcanoes, Jupiter's moon Io is the most seismically active object in the solar system.
You might also like: Robin George Andrews' Super Volcanoes: What They Reveal about Earth and the Worlds Beyond.
The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing, and the Future of the Human Race by Walter IsaacsonWhat it is: a biography of Nobel Prize-winning biochemist Jennifer Doudna, best known for her work on CRISPR gene editing.
About the author: Journalist Walter Isaacson is the author of bestselling books The Innovators and Leonardo da Vinci.
In her own words: Doudna has written about her work in A Crack in Creation: Gene Editing and the Unthinkable Power to Control Evolution.
Ms. Adventure: My Wild Explorations in Science, Lava, and Life by Jess PhoenixIntroducing: volcanologist and geologist Jess Phoenix, whose passion for science and sense of adventure have taken her to some of the most dangerous places on Earth.
About the author: Phoenix is also the cofounder of Blueprint Earth, an organization dedicated to supporting underrepresented groups in STEM.
For fans of: Jill Heinerth's Into the Planet: My Life as a Cave Diver.
The Smallest Lights in the Universe: A Memoir by Sara SeagerWhat it is: the memoir of a planetary astrophysicist that weaves together her Canadian childhood, her career in physics, her marriage and widowhood, and her later-in-life autism diagnosis.
About the author: Astrophysicist Sara Seager is a recipient of the Sackler International Prize in Physics and a MacArthur Fellowship.
You might also like: the intimate blend of science writing and memoir found in Sarah Stewart Johnson's The Sirens of Mars, Hope Jahren's Lab Girl, or Magdalena Zernicka-Goetz's The Dance of Life.
The Sun Is a Compass: A 4,000-Mile Journey into the Alaskan Wilds by Caroline Van HemertWhat it's about: wildlife biologist Caroline Van Hemert's six-month, 4,000-mile trek across the Alaskan wilderness with her husband, a journey undertaken without motorized transport.
Why you might like it: Van Hemert interweaves vivid descriptions of the natural world with her memories of growing up in Alaska, her anxieties about her career, and her reflections on life and love.
Word of the day: Zugunruhe, a German word referring to the migratory restlessness of birds.
The Sediments of Time: My Lifelong Search for the Past by Meave Leakey with Samira LeakyWhat it is: an engaging, science-focused memoir by Meave Leakey (née Epps) and her daughter Samira, members of the famed Leakey family of paleoanthropologists.
Reviewers say: "This inspirational autobiography stands among the finest scientist memoirs" (New York Times).
Further reading: Kermit Pattison's Fossil Men: The Quest for the Oldest Skeleton and the Origins of Humankind; Sang-Hae Lee's Close Encounters with Humankind.
Contact your librarian for more great books!
Elmhurst Public Library
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Elmhurst, Illinois 60126