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Your Aerospace Summer Reading List

Librarians for the King County Library System share their picks for the best aviation, space, and flight-related stories to read this summer. Check out their recommendations for your aerospace summer reading list!

This week we sit down with Britta Barrett and Emily Caulkins from the King County Library System—which is the top library in the nation for circulating eBooks and downloads—to  discuss their top picks for summer reading that include aviation and space-related themes. Britta and Emily also host their own podcast for the library titled Desk Set, which can be accessed on Spotify, Stitcher, and the KCLS website. Emily’s excitement for these recommendations stems from the notion that the early days of flight are a natural fit for great stories, “with its inherent risk, human ingenuity, and bravery.” Her first pick is West with the Night by Beryl Markham, a bush pilot from South Africa who was the first to fly east to west across the Atlantic in 1936. She crash-landed in New Foundland, but her flight still made history. The graphic novel Night Witches features detail, visceral illustrations that tell the story of Soviet women pilots during WWII who performed risky aerial maneuvers during combat missions against German troops. And the book Code Name Verity focuses on British women pilots during WWII who help the RAF, and its vivid prose captures “the exhilaration of the feeling of flying” as the characters fly in early model bi-planes. Britta who dreams of being the first librarian in space, recommends some space-themed titles, like Tilly Walden’s On a Sunbeam, which explores how two girls who meet in an outer-space boarding school cope with love and loss. The book Laika tells the story of the first dog to go to space and the nationalistic fervor that led to his significant role in the Space Race between the Soviet Union and the United States. Nnedi Okorafor’s Binti shows how what makes someone different, unique, or even an outcast can help them survive. You can read all of these this summer for King County Library System’s “A Universe of Reading” summer reading program!

Check out King County Library system here and the Desk Set podcast to get excited for your summer of aerospace reading!


Host: Sean Mobley

Producer: Keny Dutton

Webmaster: Layne Benofsky

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