Summer Reading, vol. 9: Kailyn Middleton

Pitts’ Interlibrary Loan and Circulation Specialist, Kailyn Middleton, not only brought a new face to the library team this year, but also fascinating reading and listening suggestions for the summer! Kailyn joins the Pitts staff from the University of North Georgia and now works on Level 2 to bring you any books Emory’s libraries don’t own and more.

Kailyn’s first recommendation is The Poisoner’s Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Science in Jazz Age New York by Deborah Blum (Penguin Press, 2010). This New York Times best-selling non-fiction book by Pulitzer Prize-winning science writer, Deborah Blum, is a captivating breakdown of early forensic science. Each chapter examines the development of forensic toxicology chemical by chemical during the Jazz Age by the New York City medical examiner’s office. Find The Poisoner’s Handbook on the shelves at the Woodruff Library!

If you want to put down the books and plug in the headphones, Kailyn suggests LeVar Burton Reads, a podcast she describes as “Reading Rainbow for adults.” In this series, well-known and loved public figure, LeVar Burton, updates and evolves his former work on the PBS television show by hand-selecting short stories to read to a live audience. After the story concludes, he presents his thoughts on the work and engages with the author for general discussion. The wide variety of content is enhanced by immersive post production music and background sounds, and you can listen or subscribe for free at

Finally, Kailyn suggests a fascinating look into all kinds of plagues upon humanity in a podcast by Erin Welsh and Erin Allman Updike titled This Podcast Will Kill You. These ecologists and epidemiologists begin each episode with a themed cocktail recipe before diving into the history and biology of the disease of the week. In addition to engendering a healthy dose of paranoia, the hosts also list all their article and book sources for further reading.

We look forward to sharing recommendations from retiring Charles Howard Candler Professor of New Testament, Dr. Carl R. Holladay next week for some thought-provoking reads in history and politics!