Your Friday Five

Southeast Library

Your Friday Five

Brain Food

My goal everyday is to try and learn something new. Often the Internet will teach me a thing or two, but I also have found a few books that help with these daily lessons.

The books listed below are great pick-me-ups, and I mean this in the literal sense. Pick them up and get your daily dose of knowledge in just a few minutes. It could be right before bed, waiting for a doctor's appointment, or out at lunch. Sometimes it might just be a refresher on that subject you forgot about, and sometimes it offers that great tidbit to bust out at the next cocktail party.

Ken Jennings's Trivia Almanac: 8,888 Questions in 365 Days
by Ken Jennings

This is a book that brought a lot of great conversation into my life. It became a nightly routine to sit down with my housemates and go through the day's trivia together. We rejoiced in this incredibly nerdy activity and it was a delightful exercise for our brains that only took a few minutes.

A History of the World in 100 Objects
by Neil Macgregor

My Dad, being the history buff that he is, recommended this book to me a while back. I picked up a copy from the library and then eventually got one of my own as I wanted it to have it available at my bedside table permanently. The featured objects chosen by the director of the British Museum tell the story of humanity. He brings them to life with eloquent writing and context.

Art That Changed the World
by several contributors

"What is art?" is a question I won't delve into just yet. The masterpieces featured in this book span from prehistoric times to abstract expressionism. Not only does this book add a little beauty to my day, but it is a perfect little art history lesson. And luckily for us, we live in a city where we can visit many of these artists' pieces anytime we want!

Around My French Table
by Dorie Greenspan

I had to include a cookbook in this list! This one in particular has a wonderful narrative and some stunning pictures.  Dorie Greenspan, who The New York Times hailed as a "culinary guru," is an American who spent many years in France, a la Julia Child. Thanks to this book, I have added words to my gourmand lexicon, found a new favorite cake recipe (Apple Cake) and know not to wash my chicken before cooking it.

The New Way Things Work
by David Macaulay

Though this book is technically classified as a children's book in some libraries, I think it's a great book for all ages.  A little woolly mammoth is on every page to help explain the different mechanisms, from zippers to grand pianos. It contains some great illustrations for visual learners like myself.

-- Christine, your friendly neighborhood Library Associate