The Heat Wave is Gone, but Next Comes August

Staff PicksShepherd Park/Juanita E. Thornton Library

The Heat Wave is Gone, but Next Comes August

Cool reads for hot summer days

Summer in adulthood can be hard. Most jobs don't include a three month summer vacation, it's blazing hot, and being in public sprinkler parks when you're not a child generally leads to some serious side-eye. Get through the worst of it with a tall glass of ice water and these chilly reads.

Bury Your Dead by Louise Penny
This sixth installment in Penny's Inspector Gamache series of novels works well as a standalone -- although if you haven't already read 1-5, it's worth it. During February's Carnival du Québec, Inspector Armand Gamache gets pulled into assisting with a case outside of his jurisdiction when a body is found in the basement of Québec's Literary and Historical society. Penny's description of a Canadian winter is right on target.

North Pole Legacy: The Search for the Arctic Offspring of Robert Peary and Matthew Henson by S. Allen Counter
When Matthew Henson enthusiast Allen Counter heard during research in Sweden that there were two Inuit people living in Greenland who were the descendants of the famed arctic explorers, he decided his research needed a new direction. In 1986 he traveled to Greenland, confirmed the identities of Anaukaq Henson and Kali Peary, and brought them to meet their extended families. This book discusses that journey and the broader legacy of Henson and Peary.

Ice Cream: A Global History by Laura B. Weiss
I scream, you scream, we all scream for this delicious treat that harkens back to ancient China and has developed over centuries to what we enjoy today. Food historian Laura Weiss takes readers on a fanciful and fantastical journey throughout history following the cold sweet that sits humbly in our freezers. Enjoy with a pint -- of ice cream of course.

Cool Comfort: America's Romance with Air-Conditioning by Marsha E. Ackermann
The wondrous air conditioner makes such a difference during D.C. summers, but how did it become so commonplace? This non-fiction read explores the over-100-year-old history of air conditioning, what America did before it's development, and how it has claimed a prominent place in modern summers.

At the Mountains of Madness by H.P. Lovecraft
University professor William Dyer has traveled to Antarctica to discover what caused his colleagues to die there while researching. When he finds among the frosty environs a city made of cubes and cones and a disturbing set of hieroglyphs, mystery turns into sudden danger. This novella is included in a number of collections.