Off the Shelves – December 7

New items are available at the Hancock County Public Library.

The following items are available at the Hancock County Public Library, 900 W. McKenzie Road. For more information on the library’s collection or to reserve a title, visit hcplibrary.org.

Adult Fiction

“The Last Neanderthal,” by Claire Cameron

Story continues below gallery

More than 40,000 years ago, the last family of Neanderthals roams the earth. After a brutal winter, their numbers are low, but Girl, the oldest daughter in the clan, is coming of age, and her family is determined to travel to the annual meeting place to find her a mate. But circumstances and the unforgiving landscape take their toll, and Girl is left alone to care for Runt, a foundling of unknown origin. As Girl and Runt face the coming winter storms, Girl realizes she has a final chance to save her people, even if it means sacrificing part of herself. Jump ahead to modern day to find pregnant archaeologist Rosamund Gale racing to excavate newly found Neanderthal artifacts before her baby comes. Linked across the ages by the experience of early motherhood, the stories of Girl and Rosamund Gale examine shared lives in different eras.

Adult Nonfiction

“Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls,” by David Sedaris

Comedic storyteller David Sedaris shares anecdotes of his life from the perils of French dentistry to the eating habits of the Australian kookaburra, from the squat-style toilets of Beijing to the particular wilderness of a North Carolina Costco. Whether railing against the habits of litterers in the English countryside or marveling over a disembodied human arm in a taxidermist’s shop, Sedaris’ view of the world is both humorous and introspective. He recalls his father’s dinnertime attire (shirtsleeves and underpants), his first colonoscopy (remarkably pleasant) and the time he considered buying the skeleton of a murdered Pygmy. Sedaris turns each essay into a love story: how it feels to be in a relationship where one loves and is loved over many years, what it means to be part of a family, and how it’s possible, through all of life’s absurdities, to grow to love oneself.