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.

Feel free to insult each other, forget your manners, create straw men, ignore empirical data, and commit as many other fallacies as you can, all from the cozy, anonymous protection of your keyboard.

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