Summer Reading, vol. 9: Hannah Parks

This week, we spoke to Circulation Specialist Hannah Parks! In addition to her work at the circulation desk, she contributes to cataloguing and oversees the hiring process for all our student workers. She’s also a dedicated runner, usually with her two dogs in tow!

Hannah’s first suggestion is Yuval Noah Harari’s Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind (Harper, 2014). Although Hannah has only just begun reading the book, she’s confident this book is a great way to learn more about early humans and our close ancestors. According to Hannah, Harari’s book begins “by providing a good overview of evolutionary biology as it relates to human species, and then delves into different ideas of how our specific species came to dominate the world.” This material provides the foundation for the second half of Harari’s work, which discusses the future of our species, particularly given the impact of modern technology.  While Hannah suspects there may be “a bit of sensationalism” in this latter section, she still thinks this is a great book for anyone “who’s interested in learning more about the history of humans and pondering our future.”

Hannah’s second suggestion is for the fantasy and fiction lovers in our midst (myself included): A Darker Shade of Magic by Victoria Schwab (Macmillan, 2015). The book focuses on Kell, who is is the last of the Antari, people with the special ability to travel between worlds, delivering messages between rulers. Kell’s world is turned upside down when he meets Delilah Bard, a pickpocket in search of an adventure (and some treasures, of course). Hannah believes that this book demonstrates Schwab’s skills “in both world-building and character development, with an exciting story to boot!” I can confirm Hannah’s conclusion that this book is “packed with adventure and wit” and I too recommend it to anyone looking for a fun summer read. Fair warning, though: it’s the first book in a trilogy, and you won’t be able to stop after starting this book!

Stay tuned next week for the final installment in our Summer Reading series, featuring suggestions from Candler professor Ellen Ott Marshall.

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