Rachel's Reviews

We’re all familiar with Amelia Earhart, but what about Ruth Elder, who was chided by Eleanor Roosevelt for wanting to fly across the Atlantic? There are mothers and divorcees in this book, from all walks of life, brought together in the desire to push boundaries, fly planes, and to not take no as an answer. The only reason I’m not completely fed up with the trend of describing women as “girls” in book titles, is that so many badass women are being introduced to the public eye and having their successes recognized. Shelve this one right alongside Code Girls and Radium Girls and bathe in the illumination these women have brought to the world. - Rachel

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Fly Girls: How Five Daring Women Defied All Odds and Made Aviation History Cover Image
ISBN: 9781328876645
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Eamon Dolan/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt - August 7th, 2018

David Quammen takes on the unraveling and explanation of discoveries in molecular biology, reminding us of what we thought we knew about evolution and the folks who continue to push the boundaries. He’s one of my favorite science communicators, due to his ability to convey complexities to the general public, and in this book, tackles the concept of infective hereditary (getting genes from viral infections rather than direct ancestors). None of that is in my preferred wheelhouse of flora and fauna, but there is a conversational narrative here that made the information easier to take in and process. - Rachel

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The Tangled Tree: A Radical New History of Life Cover Image
ISBN: 9781476776620
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster - August 14th, 2018

As a bookseller and English major, Nabokov’s Lolita has always been on the edge of my awareness, either through excerpts in class or pop culture references, and I’m happy to stick with just a passing knowledge of the text. I’m more familiar with the variety of true crime reading; despite that, the abduction of Sally Horner was completely unknown to me. It did, however, seem to influence Nabokov and his writing of Lolita (in more ways than some like to admit). The Real Lolita takes on that comparison between the factual and fictional events, but more than that, it gives a voice and identity to Sally Horner, an 11-year-old girl who is kidnapped and held by a Frank La Salle. Incredibly well-written, it strikes a solid balance between historical and case facts and respect for those involved. The Real Lolita is not an easy read, but it is definitely well worth it. - Rachel

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The Real Lolita: The Kidnapping of Sally Horner and the Novel That Scandalized the World Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062661920
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ecco - September 11th, 2018

While the Jurassic Park franchise has shown us what we're all missing out on by not bringing giant carnivores back to life, the real drama is in the bones (and its recent shenanigans! Like, just six years ago!) International fossil laws are comprised of many grey areas and limited means of reinforcing said laws, which allows discreet black market exploitation to happen. Key word: discreet. The situations surrounding the auction of a full dino skeleton (a cousin of the T. rex) are propelled forward by the writing style and descriptions, bringing to life the Gobi landscape, Florida beaches, and the animals that once lived throughout. While not usually a fan of legal thrillers, just toss in a dinosaur custody battle and I will read and love the heck out of it. - Rachel

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The Dinosaur Artist: Obsession, Betrayal, and the Quest for Earth's Ultimate Trophy Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316382533
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Hachette Books - September 11th, 2018

While I’m not familiar with the earlier books in this series, that fact didn’t get in the way of my enjoyment. A wonderful mix of kidnappings, escapees, and amazing shenanigans, Enigma managed to hit all of my favorites elements in a mystery. An FBI team is pulled in two directions: one half chasing down a recently escaped Most Wanted, while the rest struggle to find a missing baby taken from under their noses. Toss in a comatose John Doe, and your summer beach read is complete! - Rachel

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Enigma (FBI Thriller #21) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781501189838
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Gallery Books - February 27th, 2018

Nine years ago, the British Museum of Natural History was robbed of almost 300 birds from its collection. Two years later, Kirk Johnson heard about it while fly-fishing in New Mexico, and decided to look into it, leading him down a rabbit hole of people’s dark obsession with nature. The Feather Thief falls in the very center of my “Books that make my heart sing” Venn diagram. There are microhistories about feathers and fly-tying, bits of Internet drama and true crime, and exotic wildlife and the search to right wrongs. One of my favorite books this year. - Rachel

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The Feather Thief: Beauty, Obsession, and the Natural History Heist of the Century Cover Image
ISBN: 9781101981610
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Viking - April 24th, 2018

We all dream big with our friends, of outlandish trips and life-changing goals. But in Shark Drunk Stroksnes and his friend Hugo Aasjord make it happen, setting out to catch a Greenland shark (roughly 26 feet long and weighing about a ton). Balancing the excursion with tales of family and science, etymology and myth, this is a beautiful narrative of our relationships with nature, the world, and ourselves. - Rachel

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Shark Drunk (Vintage Departures) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781101972939
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - June 12th, 2018

This book instantly took me back to my childhood, full of dinosaur books, toys, clothes, and the mind-blowing idea that these critters had lived where I lived. The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs has all of your favorite dinos, along with a whole lot more. (New species are discovered all the time! Still! Like 50 a year!) Paleontology is evolving and Brusatte helps clarify past assumptions and shines a light on the groundbreaking achievements happening now. An inspiring book for inquisitive minds of all ages. - Rachel

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The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs: A New History of a Lost World Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062490421
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: William Morrow - April 24th, 2018

We know more about the depths of space than we do the oceans, yet we tease the waves with a worrisome carelessness and make fairy tales of the predators within the waters. Victoria Stewart knows all too well what the ocean is capable of, having devoted her research to finding out what exactly it was there that took her sister 7 years ago. But when faced with a chance at answers, she finds she may have gotten in over her head. I adore it when horror plays with my heartstrings and Into The Drowning Deep toys with and satisfies me in all the best ways a book can. - Rachel

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Into the Drowning Deep Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316379373
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Orbit - May 29th, 2018

While not a particularly religious person, Magdalena’s words give me faith in a world where it can be hard to come by, especially when it comes to its flora and fauna. Stating that he does not accept extinction as an answer, he goes on to prove that with his methods and approach to saving the world’s rare plants, some of which only have one specimen left. Even if you’re not a plant person, the story telling and adventuring within may convert you, or at least make you pause a little longer at the garden center. - Rachel

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The Plant Messiah: Adventures in Search of the World's Rarest Species Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385543613
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Doubleday - April 10th, 2018



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