Staff Picks: Hidden Systems: Water, Electricity, the Internet, and the Secrets Behind the Systems We Use Every Day by Dan Nott

Using an array of sketches, diagrams, and sequenced panels, graphic novelist Dan Nott presents an introduction to three modern wonders: the internet, electricity, and water systems. He explains the three topics through many facets—their historical development, their technological intricacies, their social importance, and their future challenges.

Much of the information in Hidden Systems might be familiar to readers, but its brilliance is in its entertaining and simple depiction of complex systems through historical time and across a globe without borders. As a reader, I became aware that these systems are in their historic infancy, and therefore of the existing needs to advance their efficiency, their climate costs, their cultural costs, etc. These issues will be central to the next generation, and it’s impossible to ignore that implication while reading. This book is a fascinating, well-organized, and invaluable primer for readers of all ages.

-Laurel, Reference

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