Caught Reading: The Back-to-School Blue Line Edition

Now that summer is over, we can get serious about things again, including reading. Blue Line riders do not disappoint: There is little fluff to be had between O'Hare and Forest Park. Here are some of the meatier titles I caught you reading on the Blue Line.

American Icon by Bryce G. Hoffman chronicles CEO Alan Mulally's triumph at Ford. Stunning the experts by not taking bailout money during the recent financial crisis, Mulally managed to bring his company from the brink of collapse to robust health in five years. 

Jerzy Kosinski's The Painted Bird is a fictional account of a boy separated from his parents and forced to wander the Polish countryside during World War II. Not for the faint of heart, this quick read examines the horrors of war from a child's perspective.

It's been 20 years since the first Harry Potter book was published, but the allure is still there. I caught an adult in the morning rush hour with Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. In this installment, Harry joins the Weasleys at the Quidditch World Cup, completes his fourth year at Hogwarts and enters a contest that tests his mettle.  

Yuval N. Harari's critically acclaimed Sapiens tells the story of the human race, from the origin of the genus homo to the three revolutions that define our species to where we might be headed. No jargon or complex academic concepts here, just a clear, engaging history of mankind.

And finally, I saw a fellow librarian with Dear Mrs. Bird by new author A.J. Pearce. Emmeline is disappointed that her journalism career starts by answering letters at an ailing women's magazine in wartime London. She tries to reconcile her commitment to doing her bit with being forbidden by her boss to deal with any "unpleasantness." Between air raids, a boyfriend on the front lines and surreptitious activities aiding women with real problems, the stage is set for high drama.

What are you reading during the commute? Tell us in the comments.

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