Spring 2015 Reading List

These have been fun for me to compile, so here you go again:

  • The Suicidal Mind (Edwin Shneidman): Readable approach of a difficult topic.
  • Women in Science: Then and Now (Vivian Gornick): Realistic, interview-based discussion of the difficulties women faced (and still face) in academia and science.
  • The Equation That Couldn’t Be Solved: How Mathematical Genius Discovered the Language of Symmetry (Mario Livio): Felt a mile wide and an inch deep.
  • We (Yevgeny Zamyatin): Picked by popular vote to read for a class…needless to say, I did not vote for it.  Dystopian fiction is not my thing.
  • The Ghost Map: The Story of London’s Most Terrifying Epidemic–and How it Changed Science, Cities and the Modern World (Steven Johnson): This was a lot of fun to read.  It walked through the process of how society created a breeding ground for, learned to understand, and subsequently combated cholera epidemics.  The author makes a decent, albeit slightly forced, attempt at the end of the book to connect these historical events to modern-day epidemics and public health threats.
  • Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs (Johann Hari): Easily the best book I have read this semester.  This is one of the books that forced me to think about why I think the way I do.  It explores the historical and social underpinnings of the war on drugs, its effects on users and society as a whole, and possible better solutions.  Obviously, the text is an argument and the author has a bias, but even laying that aside, there’s a lot to learn about aspects of drugs and addiction that are less frequently discussed.
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