- Listed in alphabetical order by author last name.
- Descriptions are pulled from Goodreads, which is where the links go.
- Voting form is at the bottom!
Goodreads Rating: 3.78 (21K ratings)
The stunning story of an Alabama serial killer and the true-crime book that Harper Lee worked on obsessively in the years after To Kill a Mockingbird.
Genre: Non-Fiction (Crime)
Piranesi by Susanna Clarke
Goodreads Rating: 4.26 (163K ratings)
Piranesi’s house is no ordinary building: its rooms are infinite, its corridors endless, its walls are lined with thousands upon thousands of statues, each one different from all the others. Within the labyrinth of halls an ocean is imprisoned; waves thunder up staircases, rooms are flooded in an instant. But Piranesi is not afraid; he understands the tides as he understands the pattern of the labyrinth itself. He lives to explore the house.
There is one other person in the house—a man called The Other, who visits Piranesi twice a week and asks for help with research into A Great and Secret Knowledge. But as Piranesi explores, evidence emerges of another person, and a terrible truth begins to unravel, revealing a world beyond the one Piranesi has always known.
Why We Drive: Toward a Philosophy of the Open Road by Matthew Crawford
Goodreads Rating: 4.03 (386 ratings)
Once we were drivers, the open road alive with autonomy, adventure, danger, trust, and speed.
Today we are as likely to be in the back seat of an Uber as behind the wheel ourselves. Tech giants are hurling us toward a shiny, happy “self-driving” future, selling utopia but equally keen to advertise to a captive audience strapped into another expensive device. Are we destined, then, to become passengers, not drivers? Why We Drive reveals that much more may be at stake than we might think.
Note from the CCLS member who submitted this one: “Likely to draw out some strong opinions from traffic engineers to Tesla drivers to lay persons alike.”
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip Dick
Goodreads Rating: 4.09 (404K ratings)
It was January 2021, and Rick Deckard had a license to kill.
Somewhere among the hordes of humans out there, lurked several rogue androids. Deckard’s assignment — find them and then . . . “retire” them. Trouble was, the androids all looked exactly like humans, and they didn’t want to be found.
Hunting By Stars by Cherie Dimaline
Goodreads Rating: 4.34 (2K ratings)
Years ago, when plagues and natural disasters killed millions of people, much of the world stopped dreaming. Without dreams, people are haunted, sick, mad, unable to rebuild. The government soon finds that the Indigenous people of North America have retained their dreams, an ability rumored to be housed in the very marrow of their bones. Soon, residential schools pop up—or are re-opened—across the land to bring in the dreamers and harvest their dreams.
Genre: YA Fiction
Goodreads Rating: 4.49 (3K ratings)
Devotion tells the inspirational story of the U.S. Navy’s most famous aviator duo: Lieutenant Tom Hudner, a white New Englander from the country-club scene, and Ensign Jesse Brown, an African American sharecropper’s son from Mississippi.
The movie is coming out soon!
Genre: Non-Fiction (History)
Circe by Madeline Miller
Goodreads Rating: 4.26 (757K ratings)
In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child — neither powerful like her father nor viciously alluring like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power: the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves.
We Had a Little Real Estate Problem: The Unheralded Story of Native Americans and Comedy by Kliph Nesteroff
Goodreads Rating: 4.11 (2K ratings)
Acclaimed comedy historian Kliph Nesteroff focuses on one of comedy’s most significant and little-known stories: how, despite having been denied representation in the entertainment industry, Native Americans have influenced and advanced the art form.
Genre: Non-Fiction (History/Humor)
A Promised Land by Barack Obama
Goodreads Rating: 4.35 (183K ratings)
A riveting, deeply personal account of history in the making, from the president who inspired us to believe in the power of democracy.
Buckle up, this is a long one.
Genre: Non-Fiction (Memoir)
Fuzz: When Nature Breaks the Law by Mary Roach
Goodreads Rating: 3.86 (15K ratings)
What’s to be done about a jaywalking moose? A bear caught breaking and entering? A murderous tree? Three hundred years ago, animals that broke the law would be assigned legal representation and put on trial. The answers are best found not in jurisprudence but in science: the curious science of human-wildlife conflict, a discipline at the crossroads of human behavior and wildlife biology.
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
Goodreads Rating: 4.10 (674K ratings)
Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her enslaved ancestors, yet her cells—taken without her knowledge—became one of the most important tools in medicine. The first “immortal” human cells grown in culture, they are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than sixty years. HeLa cells were vital for developing the polio vaccine; uncovered secrets of cancer, viruses, and the atom bomb’s effects; helped lead to important advances like in vitro fertilization, cloning, and gene mapping; and have been bought and sold by the billions.
Yet Henrietta Lacks remains virtually unknown, buried in an unmarked grave.
Genre: Non-Fiction (Medicine/History)
Rules of Civility by Amor Towles
Goodreads Rating: 4.07 (196K ratings)
This sophisticated and entertaining novel presents the story of a young woman whose life is on the brink of transformation. On the last night of 1937, twenty-five-year-old Katey Kontent is in a second-rate Greenwich Village jazz bar when Tinker Grey, a handsome banker, happens to sit down at the neighboring table. This chance encounter and its startling consequences propel Katey on a year-long journey into the upper echelons of New York society—where she will have little to rely upon other than a bracing wit and her own brand of cool nerve.
Genre: Historical Fiction
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