This week at The Bookworm: Kathleen Dawson spotlight |

This week at The Bookworm: Kathleen Dawson spotlight

Special to the Daily
Kathleen Dawson
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The Bookworm of Edwards has a bookselling staff with incredibly diverse reading tastes. From literary fiction to biographies from poetry to middle grade, you’ll find at least one bookseller who is passionate about a genre you love. This week, they are putting the spotlight on bookseller Kathleen Dawson.

Dawson loves a wide variety of genres, but has a particular love for all things science. Books on paleontology and paleoanthropology are her go-to favorites, but all in all, she loves anything that continues to fan the flame of her desire to learn. If you find yourself looking to expand your mind a little bit more, check out her top 5 book choices below.

First on the list is Deep Time by Riley Black “The universe is ancient. 13.77 Billion years old, a measure of time that is almost unimaginable, Dawson said. “Deep Time takes us through those years in a way that both compresses time and makes you aware of its vastness. Black utilizes gorgeous photography and interesting prose to talk about a wide range of topics including the Hubble Deep Field, the Grand Canyon, stromatolites, Pando, and Hadrian’s Wall. This is a great book for anyone who has an interest in Big History or wants a coffee table book that will inform as well as be beautiful.”

If you are a natural history buff, check out her second pick, Rise and Reign Of the Mammals by Steve Brusatte, “a brilliant history of the evolution and diversification of mammals,” according to Dawson. “Brusatte combines humorous anecdotes, detailed scientific analysis (who doesn’t want more information about mammal jaw connections?), and imaginative reconstructed narratives of various time periods to create a cohesive and engaging look into mammals, their origins, and all the weird and wonderful ways they are different from other lineages.”

How about a fascinating look into the history of epidemics? Dawson recommends Patient Zero by Lydia Kang. “Kang and Pederson utilize their signature mix of lively storytelling and accessibly-written science to give us the history of 21 of the world’s worst outbreaks,” Dawson said. “From the Bubonic Plague to Ebola as well as the similarities and differences between our current situation and the 1918 Influenza pandemic. The authors go through historic “Patient Zeroes”, the way diseases spread, and science’s fight to end them before they kill everyone. I would recommend this to anyone with an interest in epidemiology, medical science, or good storytelling about humanity!” 

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Have you ever wondered what lies at the end of the universe? So has Dawson. For this immense topic, she recommends The End of Everything by Dr. Katie Mack. “We know the universe began. We can even narrow down when and how it began. The end is a bit harder. Dr. Katie Mack takes us through five possible endings theoretical astrophysics has come up with,” Dawson said. “With warm humor, she gives the reader an overview of major theories in quantum mechanics, cosmology and other fields of astrophysics. I would recommend this to those who have an interest in science, especially astrophysics, and anyone who wants an overview of the history and theoretical future of our universe.”

For her last pick this week, Kathleen recommends A Brief History of Earth by Andrew H. Knoll for anyone curious about the history of planet Earth. “‘The present is the key to the past’ is the common saying describing the study of geology. The reverse is also true,” Dawson said. “In studying the history of planet Earth, we can find clues to our future. In A Brief History of Earth, Knoll takes readers from the earliest beginnings of our planet through the chemical, bacterial and geological changes that lead to life as we know it. Using clear, easily understood English, he condenses 4.5 billion years into a concise, intelligent and incredibly readable tour through Earth’s history. This is a great intro to the subject for adults and teens!

For more of Dawson’s recommendations and to see what the rest of the Bookworm staff is reading, head to

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