There is a pressing question in your mind. It has nothing to do with the heat wave that has gripped Charlottesville, or with the summer storms that have occasionally wiped out the power. It has nothing to do with summer classes or that beach vacation you took last week, the one you wish hadn't ended.
This question is far more significant.
What, you ask yourself, is a "velvet worm?" And is it as velvety soft as its name suggests?
The answer to this question lies among the new books at Jessup Library. Check out Horseshoe Crabs and Velvet Worms: The Story of the Animals and Plants that Time Has Left Behind by Richard Fortey to find out more.
In other news:
Facebook has actually been around since 14 CE. Discover how social media is hardly a new phenomenon in Writing on the Wall: Social Media, the First 2,000 Years by Tom Standage.
If you're spending your summer learning about constructed languages or performing the Tolkien-esque feat of creating your own, check out In the Land of Invented Languages: A Celebration of Linguistic Creativity, Madness, and Genius by Arika Okrent and From Elvish to Klingon: Exploring Invented Languages by Michael Adams.
There's a well-known adage that says that, "Well-behaved women seldom make history." But sometimes the feats of daring women get lost. Read a few of those thrilling, rediscovered tales in Princesses Behaving Badly: Real Stories from History -- Without the Fairy-tale Endings by Linda Rodriguez McRobbie and The Secret History of the Mongol Queens: How the Daughters of Genghis Khan Rescued His Empire by Jack Weatherford.
Check out other books about or by women with powerful stories to tell. In her memoir, Burqas, Baseball, and Apple Pie: Being Muslim in America, Ranya Idliby explores what it means to raise an American Muslim family in a post-9/11 world. The Far Traveler: Voyages of a Viking Woman by Nancy Marie Brown tells the story of a woman whose voyages took her beyond the edge of the known world and into Icelandic legend. Jennifer Finney Boylan discusses her journey to change genders in her best-selling memoir, She's Not There: A Life in Two Genders. And a brilliant young chemist works to launch America into the space age in Rocket Girl: The Story of Mary Sherman Morgan, America's First Female Rocket Scientist by George D. Morgan.
Discover history through food in 97 Orchard: An Edible History of Five Immigrant Families in One New York Tenement by Jane Ziegelman and Abraham Lincoln in the Kitchen: A Culinary View of Lincoln’s Life and Times by Rae Katherine Eighmey.
Read about physics and astronomy, as reported in the New York Times, in The New York Times Book of Physics and Astronomy: More Than 100 Years of Covering the Expanding Universe, edited by Cornelia Dean.