Off the Shelves – April 26



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

Adult Fiction

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“The Atomic City Girls,” by Janet Beard

November 1944, 18-year-old June Walker boards an unmarked bus, destined for a city that doesn’t officially exist. Oak Ridge, Tennessee, is a town of trailers, 24-hour cafeterias and constant security checks. June joins other girls in operating massive machines whose purpose is never explained. They know they are helping to win the war but must ask no questions and reveal nothing to outsiders. The girls spend their evenings socializing with soldiers, scientists and workmen at dances and movies, bowling alleys and canteens, but June longs to know more about their top-secret assignment. She begins an affair with a young Jewish physicist who oversees the lab where she works, while her roommate Cici is on a mission to find a wealthy husband and escape her sharecropper roots. Across town, African-American construction worker Joe Brewer knows only that his new job pays enough to make it worth leaving his family behind — for now. But a breach in security will intertwine his fate with June’s search for answers. When the bombing of Hiroshima brings the truth about Oak Ridge into focus, June must confront her ideals about loyalty, patriotism, and war itself.

Adult Nonfiction

“Frankenstein: How a Monster Became an Icon and the Enduring Allure of Mary Shelley’s Creation,” by Sidney Perkowitz and Eddy Von Mueller

The tale of the creature created in a laboratory began on a rainy night in 1816 in the imagination of 19-year-old Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley. Since its publication two years later, “Frankenstein: Or, the Modern Prometheus” has remained in print and spread around the globe through every possible medium and variation. Conversely, Frankenstein’s monster has also become a benign Halloween favorite. Yet for all its history, the novel’s central premise — that science, not magic or God can create a living being, and thus these creators must answer for their actions as humans — has relevance today in the ethical issues raised by the advance of modern science. Physicist Sidney Perkowitz and film expert Eddy von Muller bring together scholars, scientists, artists and directors including Mel Brooks, creator of “Young Frankenstein” the movie and musical to examine Mary Shelley’s creation and its legacy as the monster moves into his next century.