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What We're Reading: June 2017

Also available in: e-book

Rufus also tells the stories of people who have managed to become unstuck and of others who, after much reflection, have decided that where they are is best. After all, she writes, "what looks to you like a rut, others might say is true absorption in a topic, a relation­ship, a career, a pursuit, a place. What looks to you like bore­dom, others call commitment. And even contentment." A brilliant glimpse into what truly motivates-or doesn't motivate-us, Stuck will inspire you to take a look at yourself in an entirely new light.

"When journalist and author Alison Stewart was confronted with emptying her late parents' overloaded basement, a job that dragged on for months, it got her thinking: How did it come to this? Why do smart, successful people hold on to old Christmas bows, chipped knick-knacks, VHS tapes, and books they would likely never reread? Junk details Stewart's three-year investigation into America's stuff. She rides along with junk removal teams like Trash Daddy, Annie Haul, and Junk Vets. She goes backstage to a taping of Antiques Roadshow, and learns what makes for compelling junk-based television with the executive producer of Pawn Stars. And she even investigates the growing problem of space junk--23,000 pieces of manmade debris orbiting the planet at 17,500 MPH, threatening both satellites and human space exploration"--.

Gene Roddenberry, the creator of Star Trek, also known as the "Great Bird of the Galaxy", passed away in 1991. His son, Eugene "Rod" Roddenberry was only 17 years old. As a teenager, Rod never knew the impact his father had on the world, but as a man, he'll find out. Details Rod's trek across America to discover his father through his friends, his work, and his influence. Includes interviews with Star Trek actors, fans, friends and family, and entertainment's most iconic figures.

Emerging from the same British music boom that birthed the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, Dave and Ray Davies's band, the Kinks, became one of England's most influential groups. Remembered best for such singles as "You Really Got Me," "Lola," and "Sunny Afternoon," the Kinks produced 24 studio albums between 1964 and 1996. The Kinks' prolific and varied catalog have made them both a mirror of and a counterfoil to nearly five decades of British and American culture. 

"Norman Bel Geddes designed everything from Broadway sets to Chrysler cars; from the first all-weather stadium to Futurama, the prescient 1939 World's Fair exhibit that would go down as the most popular of all time. In The Man Who Designed the Future, B. Alexandra Szerlip tells the astonishing story of a 9th grade dropout with a Midwestern twang who presided over a seismic shift in American culture--a moment in which entertainment became immersive, people became consumers, and the country came to look the way it does today"--.

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