2022 Summer reading list (science and engineering staff picks)

June 27, 2022
Covers from the 2022 Summer reading list (science and engineering staff picks)

It's that time of year again! Summertime. The perfect time to relax and fall into the pages of a good book. These Stanford Libraries Science and Engineering Resource Group* staff picks offer the perfect selection. There is something for everyone, from solving a murder mystery to exploring the cosmos.

*Branner Earth Sciences Library & Map Collection, David Rumsey Map Center, Li & Ma Science Library, Miller Marine Biology Library, and Terman Engineering Library.




The City & the City

The City & the City

by China Miéville

"If you think you're someone who's just not that into sci-fi and has watched every murder documentary on Netflix during these last two years, read this book! The challenge of imagining the story's setting along with an intriguing murder investigation will have you turning the pages quicker than you can close the curtains. "

Andria Olson, Map Librarian 

Borrow The City & the City




by Nisi Shawl

"This work reminds me a little of another alt-history I really love, The Years Of Rice And Salt. Blending steampunk and futurism together, Everfair is an interesting take on what could have happened had technology progressed in another way. "

Zac Painter, Engineering Librarian, Research & Learning 

Borrow Everfair



The Memory Librarian

The Memory Librarian: and Other Stories of a Dirty Computer

by Janelle Monáe

"Yes! You absolutely read that correctly. The Memory Librarian is a sci-fi anthology from singer, song-writer, fashion-icon, Janelle Monáe. Need I say more? I highly reccommend listening to her album Dirty Computer (or, better yet, watching the film) while reading this."

Alexandra Krogman, Engineering Librarian, Digital Services & Projects

Borrow The Memory Librarian



The Overstory

The Overstory: a Novel

by Richard Powers

"With strong connections to the Stanford campus, this complex novel interweaves decades of its characters’ lives to broadcast an important message about trees, forests, and our relationships with them."

Linnea Shieh, Engineering Librarian, Data & Collections

Borrow The Overstory




A Psalm for the Wild-BuiltA Psalm for the Wild-Built

by Becky Chambers

"In this contemplative novella, Chambers creates a world where robots have long since gained self-awareness and retreated into the wilderness while humans live in a more balanced ecosystem. These separated existences reconnect when an adventurous tea monk meets a wandering robot on a mission. "

Borrow A Psalm for the Wild-Built

Amy Clark, Library Specialist, Terman Engineering Library



This is How You Lose the Time War

This is How You Lose the Time War

by Amal El-Mohtar & Max Gladstone

"Two superhuman assassins battle for their lives across space and time on behalf of warring overlords while forming a complex connection which destabilizes their filial and organizational bonds. This book is poetry, composed of apocalyptic visions, mysterious self-destructing epistolary communiques, magical technologies, and bloody violence braided together in a formal container whose complex structure and shimmering emotional core emerge by degrees over the course of the book. I found it astonishing, and to say much more about it threatens to ruin the many surprises that await."

Kristina Larsen, Assistant Rare Map Librarian

Borrow This is How You Lose the Time War






Andy Goldsworthy: Ephemeral WorksAndy Goldsworthy: Ephemeral Works (2004-2014) 

by Andy Goldsworthy

"Andy Goldsworthy, creator of the 'Snake River' sculpture by Stanford’s Cantor Arts Center, is known for creating sculptural art combining natural materials and the landscape itself. Spend some time with his more temporal works through the stunning photographs in this beautiful collection. "

Borrow Andy Goldsworth: Ephemeral Works

Amy Clark, Library Specialist, Terman Engineering Library



The Age of WoodThe Age of Wood: Our Most Useful Material and the Construction of Civilization

by Roland Ennos

"The story of all of human history with a slight shift in perspective from the usual – everything is actually because of our reliance on wood, from travel and technology to population size and why the planet looks the way it does today."

Linnea Shieh, Engineering Librarian, Data & Collections

Borrow The Age of Wood



River of the GodsRiver of the Gods: Genius, Courage, and Betrayal in the Search for the Source of the Nile

by Candice Millard

"Candice Millard writes of the search by Richard Burton and John Speke in 1857 for the source of the Nile.  She recounts their journey by two friends who ended up as enemies, neither of whom could quit the search.  Millard also highlights the contributions of Sidi Mubarak Bombay, an African sold into slavery as a young man and sent to India where 20 years later he was freed upon the death of his master.  He returned to Africa to guide the expedition, becoming 'not only one of the most accomplished guides in the history of African exploration but likely the most widely traveled man in Africa.'"

Julie Sweetkind-Singer, Associate University Librarian for Collections  

Borrow River of the Gods



The Theory of the EarthTheory of the Earth

by Thomas Nail

"Within the talk of climate change, sustainability, and other challenges we face on Earth, there is a sense that we’re forgetting something. Nail gives a look at the fluidity of the cosmos, and what we could consider regarding true sustainability."

Zac Painter, Engineering Librarian, Research & Learning 

Borrow Theory of the Earth