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From the Staff Picks Archive - November 2023

Winter has arrived, and that means less daylight and more time indoors with a good book! Below are the Staff Picks reviews that our Reference librarians shared last month. To get more great picks and library news delivered right to your inbox, be sure to subscribe to our GPL Weekly eNewsletter.

Sapiens: A Graphic History – Yuval Noah Harari

If you like Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari (or never got around to reading it in the first place), why not try the graphic adaptation? Sapiens: A Graphic History: Volume 1 and Volume 2 chronicle how humans went from upright apes to civilization makers in a colorful and whimsical way.

Recommended by Jake. Available in two volumes: Volume 1: The Birth of Humankind and Volume 2: The Pillars of Civilization.

American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of Robert J. Oppenheimer – Martin Sherwin and Kai Bird

If you saw Christopher Nolan’s blockbuster film Oppenheimer this summer, definitely check out the biography it was based on. This detailed chronicle of the enigmatic life of the father of the atom bomb moves like a fast-paced thriller, all the way to its devastating conclusions about the world Oppenheimer and the Manhattan Project left us.

Recommended by Matthew. Available in regular print, eBook, and eAudiobook formats.

The Apology – Jimin Han

A family saga spanning 50 years, The Apology tells the story of four centenarian sisters, the price one pays for placing family honor above love—even the love of one’s child– and how family secrets can reverberate through later generations. This is an entertaining read that explores complicated relationships and an equally complicated cultural legacy.

Recommended by Sara. Available in regular print.

She Who Became the Sun – Shelley Parker-Chan

Set in 12th-century China under the harsh rule of the Mongols, She Who Became the Sun is an epic tale about a woman who rises to become the face of the people’s rebellion. When a brother and sister are orphaned by bandits, the boy who was destined for greatness dies, while the girl destined for nothingness is left alive. Desperate to escape her own certain death, the girl takes her brother’s name and enters a monastery as a male novice. From there begins the tale of the great Zhu Chongba; not the son, but the daughter who seized his fate and made it her own. The second book of the duology came out recently, making this the perfect time to get swept away into this rich world of intrigue.

Recommended by Natalie. Available in regular print and eAudiobook formats.

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