Dataclysm: Who We Are (When We Think No One's Looking) by Christian Rudder

Caitlin's picture

Do Equal Opportunity Employers really hire without discrimination? Is Twitter destroying our capacity to write, or improving it? Can Facebook predict if your marriage will last? How is Google fighting the flu?

Christian Rudder, one of the founders of OkCupid, leverages the company’s massive collection of data as a starting point for this examination of human nature. Rudder keeps the text light and readable, skipping wonky details while being sure to note when his conclusions are limited by his data. His insights range from quirky factoids—white men are most likely to read Robert Heinlein while drinking a home-brewed beer, while Asian women would rather snack on macarons and read Norwegian Wood—to sobering insights about racism, sexism, and homophobia. A must-read for anyone interested in social media and what it reveals about our personalities and communities.

Unruly Places: Lost Spaces, Secret Cities, and Other Inscrutable Geographies

Colleen's picture

This is the time of year when I start lamenting the fact that I didn't get to go on an extravagant trip to an exotic location, leading me to find books that allow me to escape (even if just for a little bit!). Unruly Places: Lost Spaces, Secret Cities, and Other Inscrutable Geographies by Alastair Bonnett helped me to do just that. Bonnett visited floating islands, hidden cities, and places not recorded on maps, reminding readers that there are still uncharted territories out there. Even if you don't get to travel outside of your hometown this summer, this book is a great reminder to put down distractions and realize that there is so much more to be seen and learned in our world. 

Juvenile Fiction Selection: A Handful of Stars by Cynthia Lord

In this new book by Cynthia Lord we meet Lily, a young girl who lives with her grandparents near the shore and blueberry barrens of Maine. Lily's summer is just starting and she is feeling a little lost since her and her best friend Hannah have started growing apart. While out walking, her blind dog Lucky slips from his leash and runs across the blueberry barrens and it is a girl named Salma who catches him, using her sandwich as bait. Immediately a friendship begins to bloom between Lily and Salma, the daughter of a migrant family living in town for the blueberry-picking season. Salma and Lily spend the summer painting bee houses in Lily's grandparents' store and are growing even closer when Hannah starts coming around again. Hannah is the reigning Blubbery Queen and sparks an interest in Salma to compete in the local annual pageant. Together the girls help to get Salma ready for the pageant and all learn a few things about friendship and belonging along the way. This is a wonderful summer read for realistic fiction fans!  (Grades 4-6 School Library Journal)

"The Shoemaker's Wife" by Adrianna Trigianni

Vita's picture

​A novel about Italian immigrants and their lives in northern Italy as well as in America in the early 1900s. Enza and Ciro meet on a moonlit night in the cemetery of Sant'Antonio da Padova in Schilpario, Italy when they are just teenagers. They go their separate ways to new lives in America but they never quite leave behind their beautiful homeland. The descriptions are magically vivid and although it is a love story of sorts, it's also a powerful testimony on the strength of the human spirit and the importance of family.


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