Summer is a time for trips, unplanned treks and exploring the unknown. To celebrate all this warm weather activity, our Shelfie Picks this week have an adventurous tinge. In fact, we went out of this world with one of the books.

These selections come courtesy of Blue Bicycle Books, a bookseller in Charleston, South Carolina that offers new, used and even rare books. Manager Sarah Peck was good enough to offer three creatively inspired books that inspired adventure and intrigue. We weren’t looking for a generic Indiana Jones-style action-adventure story; we wanted something a little different, and that’s exactly what we got.

These three choices will allow you to explore far and wide: From the outrageous and often self-destructive punk rock scene to college students discovering the dark, shocking underbelly of Italy to the International Space Station. See? Above and beyond!

1. Girl in a Band: A Memoir by Kim Gordon (Dey Street Books, 2015)


A founding member of Sonic Youth is a role model for generations of young women, because Kim Gordon battled through the male-dominated punk rock scene in the early-to-mid-’80s. She helped blaze a trail for fellow female artists, and her life is full of emotion and adventure: Music, marriage, motherhood and independence.

Peck suggests adding a perfect companion book: Viv Albertine’s Clothes, Clothes, Clothes. Music, Music, Music. Boys, Boys, Boys. (Thomas Dunne Books, 2014):

“It’s a really great book about how hard it is to be taken seriously as a woman in music in those times. Albertine is a pioneer; she was actually there the night Sid and Nancy met! There’s some gender-busting as well and it’s a good partner to Gordon’s Girl in a Band.”

2. Abroad by Katie Crouch (Picador, July 7, 2015)


The author of the bestselling Girls in Trucks has delivered another “gripping testament to the beauty and recklessness of youth.” It’s a psychological thriller based on true events that dives into dark, difficult, yet ultimately engaging waters. Focusing on a student – Taz Deacon – with seemingly unlimited choices in the ancient Italian city of Grifonia, the book involves the adventure and activity of young, exuberant life. There is, however, a dark underbelly to such excursions. Adds Peck:

“Katie Crouch has the tendency to be a female-centric writer but really, Abroad is great for anyone who likes historical fiction or anyone who might be interested [in the subject]. It’s just so good.”


3. You Are Here: Around the World in 92 Minutes: Photographs from the International Space Station by Chris Hadfield (Little, Brown & Company, 2015)


Here’s your chance to see what only astronauts have seen. Chris Hadfield, who served as commander on the International Space Station, has put together a series of vivid and stunning photographs, along with fun, interesting commentary concerning life in zero gravity.

Hadfield, who also wrote An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth, uses You Are Here to “illuminate the history and consequences of human settlement, the magnificence (and wit) of never-before-noticed landscapes, and the power of the natural forces shaping our world and the future of our species.” Said Peck:

“This book is just really, really beautiful. It’s divided by continent and covers everything from cloud patterns to stream-beds and even land that forms to look like punctuation marks. I think it’s fun for everyone; kids, geologists, photographers, anybody who enjoys the earth. It puts things in perspective, too.”

Much thanks to Sarah Peck and Blue Bicycle Books for participating, and be sure to check back next week for more Shelfie Picks.