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Staff Picks: Books

Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries

My name is Karen. And I am a word nerd.

It's no surprise, therefore, that this book caught my attention. Not only is it interesting, it's also humorous. Author and blogger Kory Stamper works for Merriam-Webster as a lexicographer. As such, she digs into the world of word origins, usage, and the daily questions she faces due to the ever-changing nature of the English language. If you're like me and you like reading about words, you'll enjoy this book.

Federal Budget Blueprint

Each year the oval office releases a proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year. The full budget will be released later this spring.

Meanwhile, America First: a Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again gives us a preview of President Trump’s budget. The book spells out his priorities right on the first page of the document. Page 5 lists the agencies for which he recommends eliminating funding. The next several pages give details about his approach to management and regulations. The rest of the book highlights the Executive office’s proposals for several major agencies. 

If you want to know how the current administration proposes to spend your federal tax dollars, but you don’t have time or energy to sort through a whole lot of information, look at this book. You can read it online right now or stop by the Central branch to read our print copy.


A great big KUDOS goes to Richard Wilkinson and Jo Nelson for creating this engaging museum exhibit in a children's book.  Anyone in love with history and antiquities will enjoy Historium.  Young readers are given a glimpse of ancient civilizations from Africa, America, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and Oceania through the use of large photographs and illustrations presented in galleries instead of chapters.  More than 130 artifacts from these cultures were carefully chosen and researched by the authors.  It is very well written and provides the right level of details and definitions about each artifact, culture, and time period.  One of my favorite images is Plate 20, Ancient Persia (or page 77). The Frieze of Archers, dated around 510 BASE, is a full-page image of two of Darius the Great's 10,000 elite soldiers.  The aging on the glazed bricks and the intricate details of each soldier are amazing.  The introduction to the book starts by answering the question "What is archaeology?" then provides a timeline of the objects featured. This publication will engage young readers and should inspire future archaeologists, history buffs, and museum enthusiasts for sure.  Written for ages 8 to 12, Historium can be enjoyed by everyone.