The Exceptions by Kate Zernike

Staff Pick

Zernike, a journalist, tells a story familiar to women with professional ambitions in the mid-20th century. Nancy Hopkins, a molecular biologist who attended Radcliffe, winds up working in the lab of Nobel prize-winner James Watson. Naïve at first about the discrimination she is subjected to—Watson’s Nobel co-winner, Francis Crick, once groped her breasts—Hopkins’s eyes slowly open as events of the 1960s awaken women to their rights. Hopkins's experiences as a researcher and scholar at Harvard and MIT make you want to pound the wall and scream with outrage. But, wait! Eventually, Hopkins and 15  MIT women scientists force the institution to acknowledge a history of pervasive gender discrimination and promise changes. An overdue win for women.

The Exceptions: Nancy Hopkins, MIT, and the Fight for Women in Science By Kate Zernike Cover Image
ISBN: 9781982131838
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Scribner - February 28th, 2023

How Far the Light Reaches, by Sabrina Imbler

Staff Pick

Imbler’s debut collection is a glimmering and eye-opening work. Merging memoir and science reporting, these ten essays dive deep both literally and figuratively, covering the lives of goldfish, sand strikers, minuscule jellyfish, and sperm whales. Each piece draws illuminating parallels between the sea creature at its center and Imbler’s own experiences, begging the reader to question just how different we are from our underwater neighbors. Informative and tender, this book will teach you and change you in equal measure.

How Far the Light Reaches: A Life in Ten Sea Creatures By Sabrina Imbler Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316540537
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Little, Brown and Company - December 6th, 2022

The Devil's Element, by Dan Egan

Staff Pick

In 1969 the shock of the Cuyahoga River (among others) bursting into flames prompted passage of the Clean Water Act. But even in that era of political will, agriculture was given a pass; chemical fertilizers were crucial to the industrial farming needed to feed the growing human population, so their usage wasn’t regulated. As Egan shows in this urgent account of our relationship with phosphorus, this lapse set in motion some of today’s most intransigent problems, notably the growing size and numbers of toxic algae blooms, whose thick waves of cyanobacteria close beaches and fisheries around the countryYet even as marine life continues to die and humans to sicken, phosphate levels keep rising. To understand the problem, Egan takes us on a fast-paced tour of the confounding nature of this “devil’s element,” tracing its role as both a toxin and a crucial element in the evolution and sustenance of earthly life, a nonrenewable resource vulnerable to ruinous exploitation, a World War I weapon, whitener in laundry detergent, and more.


The Devil's Element: Phosphorus and a World Out of Balance By Dan Egan Cover Image
ISBN: 9781324002666
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - March 7th, 2023