Off the Shelves – January 4

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

“Artemis,” by Andy Weir

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In his follow-up to “The Martian,” novelist Andy Weir introduces readers to Jasmine Bashara, who never signed up to be a hero. She just wanted to get rich. Not crazy, eccentric-billionaire rich, like many of the visitors to her hometown of Artemis, humanity’s only lunar colony — just rich enough to move out of her coffin-sized apartment and eat something better than flavored algae. When a chance at a huge score comes her way, Jazz can’t say no. Sure, it requires her to graduate from small-time smuggler to full-on criminal mastermind. And it calls for a combination of cunning, technical skills and sheer brazen swagger. Jazz has never met a challenge her intellect can’t handle, but she figures she’s got the ‘swagger’ part down. The trouble is engineering the perfect crime is just the start of Jazz’s problems. Trapped between competing forces, pursued by a killer and the law, Jazz has to admit she’s in over her head. Jazz is no hero, but she is a very good criminal. That’ll have to do.

Adult nonfiction

“Gulp: Adventures on the alimentary canal,” by Mary Roach

Hailed as “America’s funniest science writer” by the Washington Post, Mary Roach takes us Ms. Frizzle-style down the hatch on an unforgettable tour through the alimentary canal (better known as the digestive system.) The questions explored in “Gulp” include: Why is crunchy food so appealing? Why is it so hard to find words for flavors and smells? Why doesn’t the stomach digest itself? How much can you eat before your stomach bursts? Can constipation kill you? Did it kill Elvis? In “Gulp” we meet scientists who tackle the questions no one else thinks of or has the courage to ask. We go on location to a pet-food taste-test lab, a fecal transplant and into a live stomach to observe the fate of a meal. With Roach at our side, we travel the world, meeting an assortment of characters including exorcists who have occasionally administered holy water rectally and terrorists who, for practical reasons, do not conceal bombs in their digestive tracts.