New Year’s Eve is fast approaching and soon it will be time to celebrate that one night a year when even the most introverted among us are forced to leave the house and mingle with other like-minded individuals. If the thought of being social for even the standard three minutes of customary small talk time is enough to send you into paroxysms of anxiety, you’ve come to the right place.
I’ve scoured our collection for three books rife with facts and figures sure to delight, inspire, and impress fellow party-goers. Memorize a few pages of any of the following titles and you’ll be set for small talk well into 2017:
Salt: A World History
Author of “Cod” (RC 45502) explores the worldwide influence of the oldest and best preservative vital to animal and human survival. Discusses salt’s impact on civilizations when it was a scarce and expensive commodity and its many uses beyond the culinary in the modern world. 2002.
Single Digits: In Praise of Small Numbers
Mathematician examines the history, usage, and popular expression of the digits one through nine. Discusses important mathematical formulas, theorems, problems, and conjectures centered around each featured number. 2015.
Rain: A Natural and Cultural History
Journalist details the history of rain, from its beginnings approximately four billion years ago during Earth’s infancy to its impact on life in the twenty-first century. Describes the geometry of the raindrop, technologies to control and direct rainfall, and rain’s influence on the arts. 2015.