Reading Recommendations for National Library Week 2011

To celebrate National Library Week 2011, we asked Law School faculty and staff to recommend reading. The field was wide open: people could recommend light fiction, serious legal texts, blogs, comic strips, or anything else.

This year's honorary chair of National Library Week is John Grisham, author of legal thrillers, a nonfiction work about a wrongful conviction (The Innocent Man: Murder and Injustice in a Small Town), and other works. See catalog links here

Below are two lists: one in order by the recommender and the other in order by author of the recommended works (with links back to the recommenders). Links from book titles lead to WorldCat records, so you can easily get more information about each book and locate it in a library.

Enjoy the list!

Compiled by Mary Whisner. Posted 4/10/11



Recommenders and Their Recommendations

 

Sara Ainsworth

 
Since you quoted Thomas Jefferson,* I can’t help but recommend The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family by law professor Annette Gordon-Reed. A well-researched, beautifully written, and moving account that recreates Sally Hemings and her experiences from what little historical record we have of her life and family, set in the political, legal, and cultural contexts of slavery and the American Revolution.

 

* "A lawyer without books would be like a workman without tools." – Thomas Jefferson, 1769

book jacket Hemingses of Monticello

Kim Ambrose

 

 
This is not too scholarly, but I love to recommend fiction, even young adult fiction, to my child advocacy students. For example, Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian and Flight are wonderful and expose students to characters and circumstances that reflect the lives of our clients. I am amazed by how often my students actually find time to read the books I recommend – and enjoy them.

 

 

book jacket Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

 

book jacket Flight

Helen Anderson

 
The Warmth of Other Suns: the Epic Story of America's Great Migration, by Isabel Wilkerson. This is a very engaging account of the northward migration of African Americans told through the separate stories of three different people following different paths. book jacket The Warmth of Other Suns

Tom Andrews

 
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot, contains history, law and medicine in a marvelous account of the HeLa cell line. book jacket Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

Jeni Barcelos

 
I would like to recommend The New Security Beat blog, which is a project of the Environmental Change and Security Program (housed within the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington D.C.). This is one of my favorite resources for keeping up with international environmental affairs. logo Environmental Change and Security Program
In addition, I recommend a book on the same subject: Global Environmental Change and Human Security, edited by Richard Matthew, Jon Barnett, Bryan McDonald, and Karen O'Brien. book jacket Global Environmental Change and Human Security
For an entirely new suggestion, I highly recommend the book The Bridge at the Edge of the World: Capitalism, the Environment, and Crossing from Crisis to Sustainability, by James Gustave Speth.  Speth is a pioneer in the environmental movement, and this is his honest and moving account of how the politics of neoliberalism and unfettered economic growth undermine the progress of the global environmental movement. book jacket Bridge at the End of the World

Karen Boxx

 
I recommend In the Sanctuary of Outcasts by Neil White. It’s an amazing memoir about a guy who tried to keep his business afloat with a little check-kiting, was sent to federal prison, and the prison turned out to be in Carville, Louisiana (named after James Carville’s family), and was the last leper colony in mainland U.S. The author isn’t particularly noble, but his observations about and relationships with the leprosy residents and the other prisoners (all living together on this old plantation – so bizarre!), and his own explanations about how he ended up in prison and what it did to his family, give you insight into white collar crime as well as how Americans deal with “outcasts” of all types. book jacket In the Sanctuary of Outcasts

Joe Brotherton

 
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford. It is the story of the Japanese internment in WWII told in the context of a touching love story; and set in Seattle! book jacket Hotel at the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

Steve Calandrillo

 
I’m happy to recommend Steve Levitt's Freakonomics and sequel Superfreakonomics – excellent explorations of the role that incentives play in private individuals’ decisionmaking/actions.

Steven D. Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner, Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything and Superfreakonomics: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes, and Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance


	book jacket Freakonomics book jacket Superfreakonomics

John Clynch

 
I recommend three books I have recently read. These books have a lot in common. It is hard not to think of characters in one book when reading the others.  
The Jungle, by Upton Sinclair – Disturbing, and the first half is difficult to read, but well worth the effort. book jacket The Jungle
The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck – Yet another tough book, but very moving. book jacket Grapes of Wrath
Animal Farm, by George Orwell – Really makes you think. book jacket Animal Farm

Molly Cohan

 
I recommend Navajo Courts And Navajo Common Law. Written by former Navajo Supreme Court Justice Raymond Austin, it is a fascinating study of the development of a unique and important body of law. This treatise should be required reading for anyone who wishes to study a truly pluralistic court system. book jacket Navajo Courts and Navajo Common Law

Ron Collins

 
Peter Charles Hoffer, The Free Press Crisis of 1800: Thomas Cooper’s Trial for Seditious Libel. By far, the best short take on the early days of freedom of press in America, replete with a good narrative account of the incredible sedition trial of Thomas Cooper. My online review is here. book jacket The Free Press Crisis of 1800
Aside, The Common Law Origins of the Infield Fly Rule, 123 U. Pa. L. Rev. 1474 (1975), HeinOnline (UW Restricted). A clever satire on the workings of the legal mind combined with some keen insights about the laws of baseball.

[Although the piece was published as an anonymous student piece, the author was later revealed. See William Grimes, William S. Stevens, 60, Dies; Wrote Infield Fly Note, N.Y. Times, Dec. 11, 2008. – Ed.]

clip art of baseball and glove
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., The Path of the Law, 10 Harv. L. Rev. 457 (1897), HeinOnline (UW restricted), Project Gutenberg (free). Holmes at his devilish best. A thumb in the eye of the righteous! book jacket The Path of the Law and The Common Law

Judy Davis

 
Legal citation throws a lot of abbreviations at one and I often have to figure out just what resource is being referenced. To unravel those abbreviations I consult this book, a gem of a resource. I couldn’t do my job as efficiently without it: Prince's Bieber Dictionary of Legal Abbreviations, by Mary Miles Prince. Prince's Bieber Dictionary of Legal Abbreviations

Lori Fossum

 
My recommendation is The Eight, by Katherine Neville. Unlike any novel I've read. You don't need to know a thing about chess – I certainly don't – to enjoy this thriller. In fact, it's one of a few novels I’ll likely read more than once. book jacket The Eight

Jonathan Franklin

 
My recommendation is The City & The City, by China Mieville. It is a page-turner of a mystery that sticks with you long after finishing it. It also conveys some truths about the way we lead our lives that give the book an unexpected weight and resonance. book jacket The City & The City

Julia Gold

 
Here’s an odd one, fiction, about an English solicitor and judge, called Old Filth, by Jane Gardam. The main character, Sir Edward Feathers, is truly Dickensian–his nickname stands for “failed in London, try Hong Kong.” The story follows his life from his birth in Malaysia, through WWII into the present day. book jacket Old Filth

Bob Gomulkiewicz

 
I’d recommend two books, both by Tracy Kidder: Soul of a New Machine and Mountains Beyond Mountains. The former gives us an interesting glimpse at people and innovation; the latter (the UW’s common book a few years back) talks about people and their response to meeting human needs but also gives us a glimpse at the importance of “innovation” through a different lens. book jacket Soul of a New Machine book jacket Mountains Beyond Mountains

Carole Grayson

 
Rachel Calof's Story: Jewish Homesteader on the Northern Plains, by Rachel Calof and J. Sanford Rikoon. Also contains essays on Jewish settlements in the Dakotas. Hard to believe Calof’s story took place only a century ago (she was born in 1876). Even harder to believe that all her children survived, one settled in Bellevue, and his son is a Seattle psychotherapist. “ book jacket Rachel Calof's Story
When the Wind was a River: Aleut Evacuation in World War II, by Dean Kohloff. As depressing as the evacuation of persons of Japanese heritage from the West Coast, but much less known. book jacket When the Wind Was a River

Nina Hanlon

 
My favorite book is Lonesome Dove, by Larry McMurtrie. This book is hilarious and sad at the same time. The author brings you right into the setting and you feel like you are right there in Texas. book jacket Lonesome Dove

Penny Hazelton

 
I love the fictitious case of Regina v. Ojibway. When I read it in law school it was the first time I realized that members of the legal profession might have a sense of humor – thank goodness! Regina v. Ojibway, 8 Crim L.Q. 137 (Toronto1965), HeinOnline (UW restricted) (defendant convicted under Cruelty to Small Birds Act for shooting a lame horse because horse had a down pillow on its back; statute construed to apply to any animal covered in feathers), reprinted in Stevens v. City of Louisville, 511 S.W.2d 228, 230-31 (Ky. Ct. App. 1974), Westlaw link, free link.

If anyone needs another fix of legal humor, I recommend the Gallagher guide, Judicial Humor.

clip art of horse clip art of bird
   

Rich Hill

 
Swann’s Way, by Marcel Proust. Proust analyzes the emotions with the same relentlessness, clarity, honesty and depth that we all do our best to apply in our analysis of the law. book jacket Swann's Way

Mary Hotchkiss

 
I'm a news junkie. While I still skim the Washington Post and New York Times online, I look to news aggregators like RealClearWorld for a broader perspective. This site "selects the best international news, opinions and analyses from English-language publications in over 50 countries and all six continents." Current topics include international coverage of the war in Libya, Middle East unrest, and the disasters in Japan. There are three connected sites worth reading too: RealClearPolitics, RealClearMarkets, and RealClearSports. RealClearWorld logo

Christy Ibrahim

 
Swimming to Antarctica, by Lynne Cox. Autobiography of one of the best long-distance swimmers in the world. book jacket Swimming to Antarctica
Invisible, by Hugues de Montalembert. Memoir about a man who became blind after an assault. Chronicles his thoughts, travels, and philosophy. book jacket Invisible
The Creative Habit, by Twyla Tharp. "How-to" book about increasing creativity, from one of the great choreographers of our time. book jacket The Creative Habit
River of Doubt, by Candice Millard. Non-fiction book about Theodore Roosevelt's travels down uncharted tributaries of the Amazon river. River of Doubt

Peggy Jarrett

 
Charles Dickens, Great Expectations. I was sad when I finished because I so enjoyed spending time with these characters. book jacket Great Expectations
Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451. It may seem cliché for a librarian to recommend this book, but I only read it recently – and was surprised that it's not about censorship as much as it's about the dumbing down of everything. It was relevant in ways I did not expect. book jacket Fahrenheit 451

Tim Jaasko-Fisher

 
I recommend Ben W. Heineman, Jr., Lawyers as Leaders, 116 Yale L.J. Pocket Part 266 (2007), http://thepocketpart.org/2007/2/16/heineman.html YLJ Online logo

Jeff Kadet

 

 
Christopher Robbins, Apples Are From Kazakhstan: The Land That Disappeared. This book was outstanding reading. I worked in the former Soviet Union for five years from 1992 through 1997, so some of this felt pretty familiar. book jacket Apples are from Kazakhstan logo

Sarah Kaltsounis

 
Matthew Butterick, Typography for Lawyers. The author runs the wonderful website by the same name and his readable, humorous book offers a host of useful recommendations for making any type of legal writing look more professional. book jacket Typography for Lawyers

Jonathan Kang

 
John Merryman’s The Civil Law Tradition provides an excellent introduction to the system of law that is dominant in most of the world today.

John Henry Merryman & Rogelio Pérez-Perdomo, The Civil Law Tradition: An Introduction to the Legal Systems of Europe and Latin America

book jacket Civil Law Tradition

Lisa Kelly

 
I really appreciated Chris Cleave's Little Bee, a novel which, aside from being a page turner, captured the experience of this young Nigerian refugee beautifully and also did what I thought was a spot-on characterization of trauma survivors everywhere in the way that Little Bee experienced her world. I also thought that the theme of how those coming from a more privileged place react to human rights tragedies was also very real and riddled with honest complexity. book jacket Little Bee

Clark Lombardi

 
Louis Menand, The Metaphysical Club: A Story of Ideas in America book jacket The Metaphysical Club
Nathan J. Brown, Constitutions in a Non-Constitutional World: Arab Basic Laws and the Prospects for Accountable Government book jacket Constitutions in a Non-Constitutional World

Kaden Mack

 
Dean Spade, For Those Considering Law School (Dean teaches over at Seattle U's law school.) clip art of laptop
Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness book jacket The New Jim Crow

Debbie Maranville

 
Two Old Law Review Articles Still Worth Reading

Marc Galanter, Why the "Haves" Come Out Ahead: Speculations on the Limits of Legal Change, 9 Law & Soc. Rev. 95 (1974), HeinOnline (UW restricted), marcgalanter.net (free). Learn about the role of repeat players and one-shot players.

Duncan Kennedy, Freedom and Constraint in Adjudication: A Critical Phenomenology, 36 J. Legal Educ. 518 (1986),  HeinOnline (UW restricted), reprinted in Critical Legal Studies (James Boyle ed. 1992), duncankennedy.net (free). This is not one of Kennedy’s most famous articles, which is why I included it. It’s an excellent attempt to captures the way that judges (and lawyers) feel constrained by legal precedents, or not. I’ve just read the original, which in my view spins off into la-la land toward the end.

photo of journal display shelves
Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness .  The title says it. book jacket The New Jim Crow
Joan Williams, Unbending Gender: Why Work and Family Conflict and What to Do About It (1999).  Theoretically sophisticated, yet accessible analysis of an issue that concerns us all. book jacket Unbending Gender
I recommend reading anything on income inequality.

An interesting recent book is Kate Picket & Richard Wilkinson, The Spirit Level: Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger.  For commentary, see The Equality Trust and The Spirit Level Delusion: Fact-Checking the Left's New View of Everything.

Good places to find sources: The Stanford Center for the Study of Poverty and Inequality and World News Network, Income Inequality.

book jacket The Spirit Level

Jennifer Marlow

 
I recommend The New Security Beat blog, by Woodrow Wilson Center’s Environmental Change and Security Program. A current sampling of recent top headlines connecting environment, human rights, and security explains why: 1) China's Green Five-Year Plan: Making "Ecological Security" a National Strategy; 2) Congressional Report: Avoiding "Water Wars" in Central and South Asia; and 3) Somali Piracy Shows How an Environmental Issue Can Evolve into a Security Crisis. Environmental Change and Security Program logo

Anna Mastroianni

 
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot. History and perspective on science, research, and ethics are offered in the discussion of the derivation and use of a unique cell line from an African American woman in the 1950s that resulted in medical treatments from which we have all benefited. book jacket Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
This Lovely Life, by Vicki Forman. This memoir provides the parent’s perspective on the difficult decisions stemming from ethical, legal and social considerations related to the care of extremely premature infants. book jacket This Lovely Life

Kathleen McGinnis

 
Style: Lessons in Clarity and Grace does a remarkable job explaining how readers experience prose, and offering concrete advice for writing in a way that satisfies reader expectations. Even those of us who write (or teach writing) for a living can learn much from this readable and interesting book. This book, by Joseph M. Williams and Gregory G. Colomb, is now in its tenth edition. book jacket Style Lessons in Clarity and Grace

Nancy McMurrer

 
I recommend Wolf Hall,by Hilary Mantel. It's a novel about England during the time Henry VIII was putting aside his wife, Catherine of Aragon, so that he could marry his mistress, Anne Boleyn. The book is told from the point of view of Thomas Cromwell, a commoner who rose to be Henry’s top "administrator." Cromwell managed England's break with Rome and, in the process, moved England away from domination by the nobility and church. It's won prizes – the Man Booker Prize (British Commonwealth and Ireland) and the National book Critics Circle Award (U.S.). I remembered enough of the history of the time to know that Anne becomes queen, but the machinations involved made the book a real page-turner! book jacket Wolf Hall

Jack Miller

 
I recommend Authentic Happiness by Martin Seligman. This book describes the findings of much of the empirical research on individual happiness and describes ways in which can enhance our own happiness and that of others. It provides some particular insights into the challenges facing lawyers and how those challenges might be addressed. book jacket Authentic Happiness

Josie Mitchell

 
I have a great book to recommend, courtesy of WSU Press: Season of Suffering: Coming of Age in Occupied France, 1940-45, by Nicole Braux Taflinger. I just read it, and would do so again!  An article about the author is in Washington State Magazine. book jacket Season of Suffering

Jessica Moskowitz

 
Brothel: Mustang Ranch and Its Women, by Alexa Albert. I found this book interesting because it discusses the social aspects of women working in brothels in Nevada. It also is interesting because brothels are legal and how that impacts those who work there legally versus those working in illegal brothels. I also enjoyed the author’s portrayal of the people she met while she observed the inner workings of the brothel environment. book jacket Brothel
Life on the Outside: The Prison Odyssey of Elaine Bartlett, by Jennifer Gonnerman. I recommend this book because it shows the effects of the war on drugs and I also cannot believe that a woman went to prison and was convicted of a felony for selling cocaine. I think this book shows how our prison populations are growing because of people convicted of crimes. It also shows the consequences that happen to people who are convicted of non-violent drug crimes. book jacket Life on the Outside

Joel Ngugi

 
I select: Robert A. Williams, Jr., Vampires Anonymous and Critical Race Practice, 95 Mich. L. Rev. 741-65 (1997), HeinOnline (UW restricted), available at http://ssrn.com/abstract=1485065 (free). In entertaining fashion, this article tells us why the typical law review is unsatisfactory to the practice of most social justice practitioners. It tells us how and why social justice practice is “mostly about learning to listen to other people's stories and then finding ways to make those stories matter in the legal system.... Understanding other people and their stories really does matter in our efforts to achieve justice in our postmodern multicultural world.” photo of journal display shelves

Kate O'Neill

What a thing to ask! Recommended books? I could devote the rest of my life to trading book recs! (And this is so much more fun than writing exams!)

So, here are a few of reads that I have particularly enjoyed during the last year. I’ll start with the vaguely law related and then digress into other pleasures.

 
Jonathan Lethem, The Ecstasy of Influence: A Plagiarism (originally published in Harpers Magazine in 2007). Brilliant pastiche of erudite “borrowings” on literary and musical influence that made my copyleftist’s heart go pitter-patter. While I’m on Lethem, Motherless Brooklyn is a great, fun novel. book jacket Motherless Brooklyn
Gillian Tett, Fool’s Gold: How the Bold Dream of a Small Tribe at J.P. Morgan Was Corrupted; By Wall St. Greed and Unleashed a Catastrophe. Despite the breathless subtitle, this is a carefully researched book by a financial journalist that tells a terrific tale of good guys, bad guys (and some gals) and hapless wonks. Plus, you’ll finally really understand what a CDO is. book jacket Fool's Gold
Gretchen Morgenson – Business journalist for the NY Times. A superb investigative reporter. I always read her columns even when I’m not that interested in the topic. Her coverage of the financial crisis since 2007 has been superb. clip art of newspaper
Seamus Heaney, Human Chain (latest collection of poems from this Irish Nobel Laureate)–beautiful, linked contemplations of mortality. If you’re not in the mood for mortality, try his earlier Field Work – farming, lust, and “The Troubles” all exquisitely rendered. book jacket Field Work book jacket Human Chain
And from that sublime to the ridiculous: Keith Richards, Life -- a much better book than one might think – and very, very funny. It brings it all back if one is of a certain age. book jacket Life - close-up of Keith Richards smoking
Back to the sublime: Marilyn Robinson’s paired novels Home and Gilead. Beautiful, contemplations of a family and its intensely emotional and spiritual life, its exaltations and depravations, in Iowa. Robinson gets at something very deep in American culture. book jacket Gilead book jacket Home
 

Jonathan Franzen, Freedom–a page-turner about American Yuppies, some selfish and some do-gooders, all coming of age. Franzen manages to be sardonic but love his characters anyway. Try his earlier book, The Corrections. The characters are more madcap and less mature, but recognizably the same formerly wholesome, Midwestern stock, trying (sort of) to lead decent lives.

 

book jacket Freedombook jacket The Corrections
For the really intense:

I went through a phase of reading gigantic novels about the clash of the two great totalitarian empires–Germany and Russia–during the Second World War. Here are two intensely absorbing works: Vasily Grossman, Life and Fate and William T. Vollmann, Europe Central. Grossman was a Russian (and Jewish) journalist during the war, and his portrait of ordinary Russians confronting horrors from all sides is unforgettable. Vollmann is a contemporary, very post-modernist writer. Not everybody’s cup of tea, but give him a chance and you’ll be hooked. Plus his endnotes (yes endnotes in a novel) are brilliant and like a whole other book of history in themselves.

book jacket Life and Fate book jacket Europe Central
Oh, I can’t resist sharing this – right now I’m reading a wonderful collection of short stories. Edith Pearlman, Binocular Vision. Pearlman reminds me of Chekhov. Vivid, condensed character portraits with some import that one can’t quite put one’s finger on. book jacket Binocular Vision

Liz Porter

 
Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice. It's really the best legal brief ever. book jacket Pride and Prejudice

Dana Raigrodski

 
I recommend a few books as very good reads that also law in context). All have heavy components of historical and social research data but the narrative is easy and fascinating to read.  
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot book jacket The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
The Warmth of Other Suns: the Epic Story of America's Great Migration, by Isabel Wilkerson The Warmth of Other Suns
Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption, by Laura Hillenbrand book jacket Unbroken

Jessie Rymph

 
The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway has been passed around the Asian Law Center this winter and we’ve all enjoyed it. Here’s my review from Goodreads.com:

A very poignant little book that drops you right into the Siege of Sarajevo. You may want to read up on the Bosnian War beforehand. Or you may not. Galloway's choice not to review the history of the conflict or label the sides adds to the sense of being removed from time. The characters exist in each moment, moving through their destroyed city to find food and water while snipers shoot at them and drop shells. Four characters struggle to understand what they have become and what the world has become.

 

book jacket The Cellist of Sarajevo

Naomi Sanchez

 
I really liked The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life, by Alice Schroeder, because it gave me a glimpse of his life and the early experiences that shaped his career, his early interest in finance and decisions. book jacket The Snowball
I also like The Poetry of Robert Frost and read it often and find it very intriguing. My favorite is the "Road Not Taken"… "Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--- I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference." book jacket The Poetry of Robert Frost

Scott Schumacher

 
I am a bit shy about recommending to anyone what they should read. Nevertheless, here are my recommendations. I read

• Paul Caron’s Taxprof Blog and BNA’s Daily Tax Report, to keep me up to date on tax law and the profession, and

clip art laptop
• Winston Churchill’s A History of the English-Speaking Peoples and Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited to remind me of what great writing can be. photo of set of A History of the English-Speaking Peoples book jacket Brideshead Revisited

Emily Smith

 
Just Kids, by Patti Smith. A tender, moving memoir about Smith’s friendship with Robert Mapplethorpe in the years before both became famous, and a fascinating view into the creative worlds that collided in New York City in the late '60s and early '70s. book jacket Just Kids

Dean Speer

 
Very well written and a mystery story tightly told, Jennifer Bradbury's debut novel, Shift, is excellent. It tells the story of two recent high school graduates who had known each other since childhood. During the summer following graduation, they decided to ride their bicycles together from the East Coast to Seattle before beginning college in the fall. When at Concrete, WA, one of them disappears without a trace, the other has to face returning home to both sets of families and the FBI and beginning college alone. He begins to get occasional and cryptic e-mails. Is his buddy alive, dead, or ? He sets out to find the answer…

A former high school teacher in Burlington, Bradbury partly credits her own students and other teaching experiences with inspiring her with ideas and feedback.

book jacket Shift
Of course I cannot pass up the opportunity of this open door and not walk through it by recommending my own book, On Technique. I believe the general reader will find the career stories of each of the 18 subjects, inspiring, and while in the context of the ballet, it's really about teaching and how imparting skill sets and knowledge intersect. One of the more dramatic stories is that of Nina Novak who credits ballet with literally saving her life from a Nazi Labor Camp. The Foreword is by Lynn Wallis, the Artistic Director of the Royal Academy of Dance, London. The publisher (University Press of Florida) is offering a special 25% discount through May 31, 2011, discount code SPEER1. book jacket On Technique

Hugh Spitzer

 
Ron Chernow's recent new biography of George Washington (Washington: A Life). Incredibly well-written, and has received excellent reviews from academic historians. Chernow turns Washington into a REAL human being.

book jacket Washington A Life

Michele Storms

 
I recommend the The Warmth of Other Suns, by Isabel Wilkerson, the true story of African American migration from Jim Crow south into the north and all attendant problems. book jacket The Warmth of Other Suns
And Success Without Victory, by Jules Lobel – amazing reflections on and history of important legal cases that were losers – but why they were important anyway. book jacket Success Without Victory

Kellye Testy

 
Mary Oliver's poetry inspires me to remember that there is so much grace and hope in the world if one pays attention. I especially recommend American Primitive and Red Bird. book jacket American Primitive book jacket Red Bird

Lea Vaughn

 
For laugh out loud funny, I recommend a graphic website: Hyperbole and a Half. Read, for example, The God of Cake. cartoon from The God of Cake post in Hyperbole and a Half
For a book that is literary, Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese. book jacket Cutting for Stone
For a guilty pleasure, Deborah Harkness, A Discovery of Witches (first in a promised three volume trilogy) or the Harry Dresden series by Jim Butcher. book jacket A Discovery of Witches

Kathryn Watts

 
I recommend SCOTUSblog. It is full of details on the U.S. Supreme Court and is a wonderful way to follow happenings at the Court and key cases being decided by the Court. SCOTUSblog logo

Mary Whisner

 
Since I get to recommend law-related books anytime I want on Gallagher Blogs, I'll recommend something else now.  
Gods Behaving Badly, by Marie Phillips, is a clever comic novel, based on the premise that the Olympian gods have survived to the present day and are living together in a run-down house in London. Since their powers have waned, they have to earn their livings: Aphrodite runs a phone sex line, Dionysus has a bar, and so on. A couple of mortals get tangled up in the gods' doings and plot twists ensue. book jacket Gods Behaving Badly
W.C. Fields never wanted to act with kids or dogs because their cuteness would upstage him. They have more than cuteness in common: they live with us but have minds and experiences that are different from our own. Of course babies grow into adults and dogs never do, but there are some interesting similarities in how psychologists study their inner lives, as I learned when I happened to read these two books close together:  Alison Gopnik, The Philosophical Baby: What Children's Minds Tell Us About Truth, Love, and the Meaning of Life and Alexandra Horowitz, Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know. book jacket The Philosophical Baby book jacket Inside of a Dog
Scott Simon, Pretty Birds. One day, the main character's life is about gossip magazines, Madonna recordings, and her school basketball team; the next, her native Sarajevo is under siege, her family has fled to another neighborhood, and she's in a war zone. This vivid and disturbing war story stayed with me. book jacket Pretty Birds
Paul Tough, Whatever It Takes: Geoffrey Canada's Quest to Change Harlem and America. A profile of the Harlem Children's Zone, an ambitious project to change communities by changing the way children are raised and educated. book jacket Whatever It Takes

Cheryl Wilson

 
I recommend the series by Stieg Larsson, to be read in order: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo; The Girl Who Played with Fire; The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest book jackets The Girl with a Dragon Tattoo - The Girl Who Played with Fire - The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest

Jane Winn

 
Carl Shapiro & Hal Varian, Information Rules: A Strategic Guide to the Network Economy (1999). Shapiro & Varian (together with Joseph Farrell) in the 1980s invented a new branch of microeconomics: economics of information networks. While most Econ departments do not offer a course on this, Shapiro and Varian taught a course on this to UC Berkeley undergrads for more than a decade before the converted their course into a Harvard Business School press book. This book is basically their undergraduate econ course with all the mathematics taken out. The ideas are presented in an engaging and highly readable style that is accessible to anyone interested in how the "information economy" is different from the "industrial economy." (Hal Varian has published many op ed pieces in the New York Times, etc., and is good at explaining economic theory concepts to general audiences; he recently left Berkeley and is now the chief economist for Google.) Because the book's content is actually economic theory disguised as narrative, it remains as timely today as it was when it was first published 12 years ago. It is the only book I know of that was published at the height of the dot-com bubble that remains worth reading today. book jacket Information Rules

Thayer York

 
The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World, by Michael Pollan I really enjoyed this, both because of the interesting historical information it provided as well as the approach the author took in attempting to view botanical evolution from the plants' perspective. book jacket The Botany of Desire
A History of the World in 6 Glasses, by Tom Standage. Another book that explores history from a food/drink perspective, I liked this book because it also provided historical perspectives that included information not normally covered in your standard history classes. book jacket A History of the World in 6 Glasses

 


 

Recommended Works and Their Recommenders

A

Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness Kaden Mack and Debbie Maranville

Sherman Alexie The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian and Flight Kim Ambrose

Aside, The Common Law Origins of the Infield Fly Rule, 123 U. Pa. L. Rev. 1474 (1975), HeinOnline (UW Restricted) – Ron Collins

Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice Liz Porter

Raymond D. Austin, Navajo Courts And Navajo Common Law Molly Cohan

B

BNA’s Daily Tax ReportScott Schumacher

Jennifer Bradbury, Shift Dean Speer

Nathan J. Brown, Constitutions in a Non-Constitutional World: Arab Basic Laws and the Prospects for Accountable Government Clark Lombardi

Jim Butcher, Harry Dresden seriesLea Vaughn

Matthew Butterick, Typography for LawyersSarah Kaltsounis

C

Rachel Calof & J. Sanford Rikoon, Rachel Calof's Story: Jewish Homesteader on the Northern PlainsCarole Grayson

Paul Caron, Taxprof BlogScott Schumacher

Ron Chernow, Washington: A Life Hugh Spitzer

Winston Churchill, A History of the English-Speaking PeoplesScott Schumacher

Chris Cleave, Little Bee Lisa Kelly

Lynne Cox, Swimming to Antarctica Christy Ibrahim

Jamie Ford, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet Joe Brotherton

Jonathan Franzen, Freedom and The Corrections Kate O'Neill

Robert Frost, The Poetry of Robert Frost Naomi Sanchez

D

Hugues de Montalembert, Invisible Christy Ibrahim

G

Marc Galanter, Why the "Haves" Come Out Ahead: Speculations on the Limits of Legal Change, 9 Law & Soc. Rev. 95 (1974), HeinOnline (UW Restricted), marcgalanter.net (free) – Debbie Maranville

Jane Gardam, Old FilthJulia Gold

Global Environmental Change and Human Security (Richard Matthew et al. eds.) – Jeni Barcelos

Alison Gopnik, The Philosophical Baby: What Children's Minds Tell Us About Truth, Love, and the Meaning of Life Mary Whisner

Annette Gordon-Reed, The Hemingses of Monticello: An American FamilySara Ainsworth

Vasily Grossman, Life and Fate Kate O'Neill

H

Deborah Harkness, A Discovery of Witches Lea Vaughn

Seamus Heaney, Human Chain and Field Work Kate O'Neill

Ben W. Heineman, Jr., Lawyers as Leaders, 116 Yale L.J. Pocket Part 266 (2007), http://thepocketpart.org/2007/2/16/heineman.html Tim Jaasko-Fisher

Laura Hillenbrand, Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and RedemptionDana Raigrodski

Peter Charles Hoffer, The Free Press Crisis of 1800: Thomas Cooper’s Trial for Seditious Libel Ron Collins

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., The Path of the Law, 10 Harv. L. Rev. 457 (1897), HeinOnline (UW Restricted), Project Gutenberg (free) – Ron Collins

Alexandra Horowitz, Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know Mary Whisner

Hyperbole and a HalfLea Vaughn

K

Duncan Kennedy, Freedom and Constraint in Adjudication: A Critical Phenomenology, 36 J. Legal Educ. 518 (1986),  HeinOnline (UW restricted), reprinted in Critical Legal Studies (James Boyle ed. 1992), duncankennedy.net (free) – Debbie Maranville

Tracy Kidder, Soul of a New Machine and Mountains Beyond MountainsBob Gomulkiewicz

Dean Kohloff, When the Wind was a River: Aleut Evacuation in World War IICarole Grayson

L

Stieg Larsson, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo; The Girl Who Played with Fire; and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest Cheryl Wilson

Jonathan Lethem, The Ecstasy of Influence: A Plagiarism and Motherless Brooklyn Kate O'Neill

Steven D. Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner, Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything and Superfreakonomics: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes, and Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance Steve Calandrillo

Jules Lobel, Success Without VictoryMichele Storms

M

Hilary Mantel, Wolf Hall Nancy McMurrer

Larry McMurtrie, Lonesome DoveNina Hanlon 

Louis Menand, The Metaphysical Club: A Story of Ideas in America Clark Lombardi

John Henry Merryman & Rogelio Pérez-Perdomo, The Civil Law Tradition: An Introduction to the Legal Systems of Europe and Latin AmericaJonathan Kang

Candice Millard, River of Doubt Christy Ibrahim

Gretchen Morgenstern, business journalism Kate O'Neill

N

Katherine Neville, The EightLori Fossum

The New Security Beat blog – Jeni Barcelos and Jennifer Marlow

 

O

Mary Oliver, American Primitive and Red BirdKellye Testy

George Orwell, Animal FarmJohn Clynch

P

Marie Phillips, Gods Behaving BadlyMary Whisner

Kate Picket & Richard Wilkinson, The Spirit Level: Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger Debbie Maranville

Michael Pollan, The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World Thayer York

Mary Miles Prince, Prince's Bieber Dictionary of Legal Abbreviations Judy Davis

Marcel Proust, Swann’s WayRich Hill

R

RealClearWorldMary Hotchkiss

Regina v. Ojibway, 8 Crim L.Q. 137 (Toronto1965) – Penny Hazelton

Keith Richards, Life Kate O'Neill

Christopher Robbins, Apples Are from Kazakhstan: The Land That DisappearedJeff Kadet

Marilyn Robinson’s paired novels Home and Gilead Kate O'Neill

S

Alice Schroeder, The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life Naomi Sanchez

SCOTUSblog Kathryn Watts

Carl Shapiro & Hal Varian, Information Rules: A Strategic Guide to the Network Economy Jane Winn

Martin Seligman, Authentic HappinessJack Miller

Scott Simon, Pretty Birds Mary Whisner

Upton Sinclair, The JungleJohn Clynch

Rebecca Skloot, The Immortal Life of Henrietta LacksTom Andrews, Anna Mastroianni, and Dana Raigrodski

Patti Smith, Just KidsEmily Smith 

Dean Spade, For Those Considering Law SchoolKaden Mack

Dean Speer, On Technique Dean Speer

James Gustave Speth, The Bridge at the Edge of the World: Capitalism, the Environment, and Crossing from Crisis to SustainabilityJeni Barcelos 

Tom Standage, A History of the World in 6 Glasses Thayer York

John Steinbeck, The Grapes of WrathJohn Clynch

T

Nicole Braux Taflinger, Season of Suffering: Coming of Age in Occupied France, 1940-45Josie Mitchell

Gillian Tett, Fool’s Gold: How the Bold Dream of a Small Tribe at J.P. Morgan Was Corrupted; By Wall St. Greed and Unleashed a Catastrophe Kate O'Neill

Twyla Tharp, The Creative Habit Christy Ibrahim

Paul Tough, Whatever It Takes: Geoffrey Canada's Quest to Change Harlem and America  Mary Whisner

V

Abraham Verghese, Cutting for StoneLea Vaughn

William T. Vollmann, Europe Central Kate O'Neill

W

Evelyn Waugh, Brideshead Revisited Scott Schumacher

Neil White, In the Sanctuary of OutcastsKaren Boxx

Isabel Wilkerson,The Warmth of Other Suns: the Epic Story of America's Great MigrationHelen Anderson, Dana Raigrodski, and Michele Storms

Joan Williams, Unbending Gender: Why Work and Family Conflict and What to Do About It (1999) – Debbie Maranville

Joseph M. Williams & Gregory G. Colomb, Style: Lessons in Clarity and GraceKathleen McGinnis

Robert A. Williams, Jr., Vampires Anonymous and Critical Race Practice, 95 Mich. L. Rev. 741-65 (1997), HeinOnline (UW restricted), available at http://ssrn.com/abstract=1485065 (free) – Joel Ngugi

Woodrow Wilson Center’s Environmental Change and Security Program, The New Security Beat blog – Jennifer Marlow

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