Welcome to the first edition of Fast Five!
Fast Five is a new feature modeled on the Wall Street Journal’s book column “Five Best” and the website Five Books. Fast Five will highlight five similarly themed titles available in Saunders Family Library. Feedback and recommendations are always welcome.
Today’s Fast Five: New Science & Nature Non-Fiction!
1. The Poison Squad: One Chemist’s Single-Minded Crusade for Food Safety at the Turn of the Century by Deborah Blum
From the publisher: “From Pulitzer Prize winner and New York Times-bestselling author Deborah Blum, the dramatic true story of how food was made safe in the United States and the heroes, led by the inimitable Dr. Harvey Washington Wiley, who fought for change”
Listen to a recent NPR interview with Blum discussing the book and the days before basic food safety protections here.
2. Code Girls: The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers Who Helped Win World War II by Liza Munday
From the publisher: “The award-winning national bestseller about the American women who secretly served as codebreakers during World War II–a “prodigiously researched and engrossing” (New York Times) book that “shines a light on a hidden chapter of American history” (Denver Post).”
Visit the Liza Munday’s website to learn more about the author, her work, and the fascinating story of the “Code Girls.” I found this recruitment brochure in the Code Girls gallery and wondered if any graduates of the Collegiate School for Girls in the City of Richmond might have been “Code Girls.”
3. The Perfect Weapon: War, Sabotage, and Fear in the Cyber Age by David E. Sanger
From the publisher: “The Perfect Weapon is the startling inside story of how the rise of cyberweapons transformed geopolitics like nothing since the invention of the atomic bomb. Cheap to acquire, easy to deny, and usable for a variety of malicious purposes—from crippling infrastructure to sowing discord and doubt—cyber is now the weapon of choice for democracies, dictators, and terrorists.”
4. The Promise of the Grand Canyon: John Wesley Powell’s Perilous Journey and His Vision for the American West by John F. Ross
From the publisher: “A timely, thrilling account of a man who, as an explorer, dared to lead the first successful expedition down the Colorado through the Grand Canyon–and, as an American visionary, waged a bitterly-contested campaign for environmental sustainability in the American West.”
You can learn more about John F. Ross here and read more of his writing on John Wesley Powell here. Take a virtual tour of Grand Canyon National Park at the National Park Service website and at Google Arts & Culture.