Need a suggestion for something to read or watch from the library this weekend? Maybe you'd like to check out an ebook or audiobook? Try some of our Staff Picks, to find what some of the other people in our parish are enjoying.

We know that not every staff pick will appeal to every patron, but not to worry! If you need help selecting something, we have online tools like Book Browse and our Online Catalog, or you can ask one of our friendly staff members to help search for you.

Thing Explainer by Randall Munroe

Once upon a time, there was a man named Randall Munroe. He'd worked at NASA, and various other places, and he was a geek. He also drew things, and eventually, he started sharing his geeky drawings with everyone on the Internet at a website called XKCD.

People started talking about how well he explained some of the geeky things he drew about, and eventually, he started a second column called "What If?", where he took totally insane questions like "What happens if a pitcher throws a baseball at 99% of the speed of light?" and treats them straight - doing the math and explaining the effects (in this case, not pretty!)

Eventually, though, he did a comic called Up Goer Five. As silly as the title sounds, it was an interesting explanation of the Saturn V Moon Rocket, except that it only used words from a list of the thousand (10 hundred) words people use the most often. This comic was a hit, leading to much discussion on explaining things in very simple words. Eventually, it lead to Randall writing an entire book of these kinds of explanations: Thing Explainer: Complicated Stuff In Simple Words. Datacenters, Tectonic Plates, Airliner Cockpit Controls, Human Body Cells, Nuclear Reactors, and all kinds of other things get this treatment, with excellent drawings and simple to understand explanations.

If Thing Explainer interests you, feel free to request or check it out. You might also be interested in other books by Randall Munroe that the Library has. We'll be back next Thursday with a different Staff Pick.