Beating the odds at a bookstore is a treasure. One picks up a book randomly while perusing the shelves and, unexpectedly, finds that a book hits "close to home." Buy it without hesitation.
For example, I found this new book the other day: Atomic Frontier Days, Hanford and the American West, by John M. Findlay and Bruce Hevly (University of Washington Press), 2011. In 271 pages, they tell the story of Hanford in remote territory in south central Washington state (along the Columbia River). The site was set up for production of plutonium during World War II, and then maintained for same during the cold war that followed. The Tri-Cities area grew up below the Hanford site with its own, unique culture and set of social issues (the cities are Richland, Kennewick, and Pasco). Now, 60 plus years later, large clean-up issues remain, and the area has evolved. In sum, a good summer read to supplement the novels, for those interested in EEG (energy, environment, and the government). The authors clearly worked very hard on this book, condensing vast material into readable form with a nice touch of photos and maps.
For me, in addition to connecting with EEG interests, the treasure of the book also stems from my first scientific research experience. During college, I spent a summer at Hanford doing research with supercritical fluids. The memories are good, and this remote area remains unique in my memory. The book deepens those memories with color and context, if that is possible.
The energy that went into Hanford should not be forgotten in our modern cleantech times.