Kelvin’s Top 10 of 2018!

Hello readers!

Kelvin is one of our non-fiction readers, who loves literary fiction as opposed to the rest of us nerds who hang out in the sci-fi/fantasy section. He’s our science-book compass, letting us know what amazing things we’re missing in the world of physics and current events. So while you’ll probably see some repeats among the rest of us, Kelvin’s list is entirely unique and therefore, my favorite. Thanks, Kelvin, for keeping the rest of us on our toes!

–Megan

Here are Kelvin’s Favorite Reads of 2018:

kelvin

  • Beyond Weird (Why Everything You Think About Quantum Mechanics Is Different), by Philip Ball
    This book brought back to my adult self the thrill my kid-self experienced when reading books on this topic. This one made me ask again, “What?” and “But how can that be?” while offering some new, possible answers to those questions.
  • Let’s Go (So We Can Get Back), by Jeff Tweedy
    Not quite what I expected or hoped for prior to reading, but unsurprisingly, Tweedy manages to be fascinating, funny, and occasionally moving. Despite some familiar rock memoir tropes, Tweedy tells his own unique story, assuring me of two things: 1) my fandom is justified; and 2) he would be a really cool person to hang out with.
  • Up Up Down Down, by Chester Knapp
    Chester Knapp takes thoughts, ideas, kernels of personal interest and uses them as filters to examine larger implied themes: e.g.,  a UFO believers’ meeting becomes a wider meditation on what it means to profess faith in something. Knapp’s precise prose and writer’s gift for description place you squarely in the passenger seat, along for an always-interesting ride no matter the topic.
  • The Death of Truth, by Michiko Kakutani
    Within the glut of political-themed books published this year, this felt like the one I’d been waiting for. With well-honed critical insight, Kakutani shows how the works of writers from Orwell to Atwood and others are not just speculative entertainment but cautionary tales, warnings increasingly relevant to our current cultural and political realities.
  • Meet Me At the Museum, by Anne Youngson
    I admit to reading only a modicum of fiction in 2018; this charming epistolary novel unexpectedly turned out to be my favorite. Part love story, part meditation on aging and what it means to live a life of value to oneself and others, it pushed buttons I sometimes forget I have.
  • The 37th Parallel, by Ben Mezrich
    Another book that took me back to a younger self who thrilled at the mysterious. Whether or not you buy Mezrich’s premise, his stories of events personally witnessed argue convincingly that the world is indeed a far stranger place than we acknowledge on a daily basis.
  • The Sense of an Ending, by Julian Barnes
    The first sentence of a book by Barnes grabs you and holds you while the rest of the story radiates  outward like a wave across a body of water, touching and affecting everything within it. He’s the sort of writer, and this is the sort of book, that after reading I feel slightly different, whether I like it or not.
  • On Beauty in Photography, by Robert Adams
    One of two photography books on my list. Adams’ book of essays examines our ideas of beauty,  using examples from his own profession of still photography.
  • Stephen Shore, by Museum of Modern Art
    This is the other one. Shore is one of a handful of photographers whose work (most if not all of it) I feel speaks to my own core aesthetic (if I can be said to have one.) That said, one reason I love Shore’s work is because I can’t say exactly why I like it.
  • The Terranauts, by T. C. Boyle
    Boyle puts characters in extreme situations and stands back to watch (albeit while he writes). He claims he has no idea what will happen next, or of a story’s ending until he himself gets there, which makes his experience and the readers’ similarly exciting.

Bonus book! This one’s only available through our friends over at Wolverine Farm, but we’ll give it an honorable mention in the name of friendship and healthy competition between tiny book businesses!

  • The Vulture Trees, by Sue Ring deRosset
    This small book from Wolverine Farm Publishing is an examination of the civil vs. wild conundrum, viewed through the lens of our city’s own collective backyard. Like a favorite recipe, deRosset’s  mix of local history, ornithology, and ecology becomes in the end something more, in this case an eloquent plea for re-evaluating our attitudes toward nature that feels intensely personal.

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You can get any or all of Kelvin’s 2018 picks by clicking on the titles above, or calling the store to reserve them!

Happy reading!

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