Staff Picks: Recent Reads by the Warrenton Adult Reference Staff

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Warrenton library gardenHappy Spring! We hope you’re enjoying the beautiful spring weather, but don’t forget to take time out to read a good book. If you need some suggestions, here’s what we’ve read recently. We hope you’re inspired to read one of them, or something similar!

Waterfalls of the Blue Ridge by Nicole Blouin

I picked this book up with the intention of planning a few weekend hiking excursions for me and my husband. I was pleased with the wealth of information in this 4th edition of this Guide to the Natural Wonders of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

This guide is more than just a book of Waterfalls. It includes some of the basics, such as information on what to pack, the best times to visit, the distances of each trail and the trail difficulty. For those who love to photograph the great outdoors, there is even a handy suggestion guide on how to take photographs of the waterfalls. This book is divided into three sections, the first covering the basics of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the second covering Virginia, and the third covering North Carolina. Each waterfall/trail is easily identified, and driving directions and suggestions are included for each site mentioned in the book.

This updated edition includes 30 new waterfalls, some that can be seen with no hiking involved, and others that are only visible from a trail. Whether you are planning an afternoon or weekend excursion, this book provides the basics to help you prepare for your outing. I can’t think of a better way to welcome spring!

Jody, Adult Reference Librarian, Warrenton central library

Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood

“Oryx and Crake” kept me turning the pages with its blend of science fiction and psychological realism. The novel depicts a future in which Earth teeters on the edge of apocalypse, threatened by dangerous genetic experiments and social unrest. Against this dystopian background, Atwood explores a complex human tragedy—the story of the hapless main character, Snowman, his mad scientist best friend Crake, and the enigmatic woman they both love. Disturbing but moving, I recommend “Oryx and Crake” to readers of dystopian and psychological fiction.

Becky, Adult Reference Librarian, Warrenton central library

Lost Country Life by Dorothy Hartley

“Lost Country Life” is not a book that could be published nowadays, but that’s what makes it such a great read. It’s a chatty, sprawling, not particularly organized compilation of traditional knowledge from the English countryside. Hartley collects all the tidbits that don’t make it into the history books—the small details of farming, cooking, building, traditional crafts and more that defined life for people in pre-modern England. In addition to using medieval sources, Hartley obviously spent a lot of time wandering around the English countryside and talking to old-timers to learn about traditional practices. Fans of history and country living will enjoy this one.

Becky, Adult Reference Librarian, Warrenton central library

Who I Am by Pete Townshend

I listen to music constantly—in the car, at home, even while reading! As a result, reading biographies of rock groups and musicians is one of my hobbies. The Who has been one of my favorite groups ever since I first heard the song “I Can See For Miles” on the radio many, many years ago. This bio, written by Pete Townshend, lead guitarist for The Who, has been eagerly anticipated by fans. While the book has enough information on The Who and the group’s music to satisfy almost every fan, the book is primarily about Townshend himself. From his earliest  musical influences (his father was a clarinetist and saxophonist in a British swing band), to his discovery of blues music, through the wild years of The Who and his solo career, and the deaths of band members Keith Moon and John Entwistle, this book is sometimes brutally honest, sometimes reflective, but never boring. In the end, the reader comes away with a clearer picture of Pete Townshend the musician, the artist, the person.

Vicky, Adult Reference Librarian, Warrenton central library

Looking for more book lists and staff suggestions? Stop by the reference desk at your local library.


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