Spring 2015 Book List

Spring 2015 BOOK GROUP SELECTIONS

FACULTY & STAFF: Pick out a book from the list below.  We’ll purchase it, help you join a group, and treat you to lunch! DEADLINE to sign up is SEPTEMBER 15.

Quick links: 

It is important that you select a first and second choice from the following titles. Occasionally a title becomes unavailable. Having a second choice will help us serve you better. Sign up as a group of 5-7 or join an open group.  If the book your group wants to read is not here please recommend it here.

BY POPULAR REQUEST: Books will be delivered to Department Secretaries for dissemination into faculty & staff

The Art of Scientific Investigation by W.I.B. Beveridge 

In The Art of Scientific Investigation, originally published in 1950, W.I.B. Beveridge explores the development of the intuitive side in scientists. The author's object is to show how the minds of humans can best be harnessed to the processes of scientific discovery. This book therefore centers on the "human factor"; the individual scientist. The book reveals the basic principles and mental techniques that are common to most types of investigation. Professor Beveridge discusses great discoveries and quotes the experiences of numerous scientists. "The virtue of Mr. Beveridge's book is that it is not dogmatic. A free and universal mind looks at scientific investigation as a creative art. . . ." The New York Times
 

Beyond Outrage: What has gone wrong with our economy and our democracy, and how to fix it by Robert Reich

America’s economy and democracy are working for the benefit of an ever-fewer privileged and powerful people. But rather than just complain about it or give up on the system, we must join together and make it work for all of us. 

In this timely book, Robert B. Reich argues that nothing good happens in Washington unless citizens are energized and organized to make sure Washington acts in the public good. The first step is to see the big picture. Beyond Outrage connects the dots, showing why the increasing share of income and wealth going to the top has hobbled jobs and growth for everyone else, undermining our democracy; caused Americans to become increasingly cynical about public life; and turned many Americans against one another. He also explains why the proposals of the “regressive right” are dead wrong and provides a clear roadmap of what must be done instead. 
 

Call of the Wild by Jack London

This novel by Jack London, published in 1903, is often considered to be his masterpiece. London's version of the classic quest story using a dog as the protagonist has sometimes been erroneously categorized as a children's novel. Buck, who is shipped to the Klondike to be trained as a sled dog, eventually reverts to his primitive, wolf-like ancestry. He then undertakes an almost mythical journey, abandoning the safety of his familiar world to encounter danger, adventure, and fantasy. When he is transformed into the legendary "Ghost Dog" of the Klondike, he has become a true hero.
 

Countdown to Zero Day: Stuxnet and the Launch of the World's First Digital Weapon by Kim Zetter 

In these pages, Wired journalist Kim Zetter draws on her extensive sources and expertise to tell the story behind Stuxnet’s planning, execution, and discovery, covering its genesis in the corridors of Bush’s White House and its unleashing on systems in Iran—and telling the spectacular, unlikely tale of the security geeks who managed to unravel a sabotage campaign years in the making. 
 
But Countdown to Zero Day ranges far beyond Stuxnet itself. Here, Zetter shows us how digital warfare developed in the US. She takes us inside today’s flourishing zero-day “grey markets,” in which intelligence agencies and militaries pay huge sums for the malicious code they need to carry out infiltrations and attacks. She reveals just how vulnerable many of our own critical systems are to Stuxnet-like strikes, from nation-state adversaries and anonymous hackers alike—and shows us just what might happen should our infrastructure be targeted by such an attack. 
 

Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel Pink 

Most people believe that the best way to motivate is with rewards like money—the carrot-and-stick approach. That's a mistake, says Daniel H. Pink (author of To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Motivating Others). In this provocative and persuasive new book, he asserts that the secret to high performance and satisfaction-at work, at school, and at home—is the deeply human need to direct our own lives, to learn and create new things, and to do better by ourselves and our world.

Drawing on four decades of scientific research on human motivation, Pink exposes the mismatch between what science knows and what business does—and how that affects every aspect of life. He examines the three elements of true motivation—autonomy, mastery, and purpose-and offers smart and surprising techniques for putting these into action in a unique book that will change how we think and transform how we live.
 

Ethan Frome & Summer by Edith Wharton

Ethan Frome, a lonely and downtrodden farmer, lives alone with his sickly, judgmental wife Zeena and her cousin Mattie, who helps around the house. Ethan and Mattie have feelings for one another, but are trapped in the hopelessness of their situation. When Zeena becomes suspicious and threatens to send Mattie away, Ethan takes matters into his own hands, propelling himself and Mattie down a snowhill and towards their fate.
Considered by many to be Edith Wharton’s masterpiece, Ethan Frome departs from other novels like The House of Mirth and The Age of Innocence in its exclusion of the upper classes. Wharton is believed to have based the novel on a real-life sledding accident that she heard about in Lenox, Massachusetts.

Summer- Considered by some to be her finest work, Edith Wharton's Summer created a sensation when first published in 1917, as it was one of the first novels to deal honestly with a young woman's sexual awakening. Summer is the story of proud and independent Charity Royall, a child of mountain moonshiners adopted by a family in a poor New England town, who has a passionate love affair with Lucius Harney, an educated young man from the city. Wharton broke the conventions of woman's romantic fiction by making Charity a thoroughly contemporary woman--in touch with her feelings and sexuality, yet kept from love and the larger world she craves by the overwhelming pressures of environment and heredity. Praised for its realism and candor by such writers as Joseph Conrad and Henry James and compared to Flaubert's Madame Bovary, Summer was one of Wharton's personal favorites of all her novels and remains as fresh and relevant today as when it was first written. 
 

Happy Money: The Science of Smarter Spending by Michael Norton 

Happy Money offers a tour of research on the science of spending, explaining how you can get more happiness for your money. Authors Elizabeth Dunn and Michael Norton have outlined five principles—from choosing experiences over stuff to spending money on others—to guide not only individuals looking for financial security, but also companies seeking to create happier employees and provide “happier products” to their customers. Dunn and Norton show how companies from Google to Pepsi to Charmin have put these ideas into action.

The Honest Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone—Especially Ourselves by Dan Ariely 

Dan Ariely, behavioral economist and the New York Timesbestselling author of The Upside of Irrationality and Predictably Irrational, examines the contradictory forces that drive us to cheat and keep us honest, in this groundbreaking look at the way we behave: The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty.

From ticket-fixing in our police departments to test-score scandals in our schools, from our elected leaders’ extra-marital affairs to the Ponzi schemes undermining our economy, cheating and dishonesty are ubiquitous parts of our national news cycle—and inescapable parts of the human condition.
Drawing on original experiments and research, in the vein ofFreakonomicsThe Tipping Point, and Survival of the Sickest, Ariely reveals—honestly—what motivates these irrational, but entirely human, behaviors.
 

How Learning Works: Seven Research-Based Principles for Smart Teaching by Susan Ambrose, et al 

Distilling the research literature and translating the scientific approach into language relevant to a college or university teacher, this book introduces seven general principles of how students learn. The authors have drawn on research from a breadth of perspectives (cognitive, developmental, and social psychology; educational research; anthropology; demographics; organizational behavior) to identify a set of key principles underlying learning, from how effective organization enhances retrieval and use of information to what impacts motivation. Integrating theory with real-classroom examples in practice, this book helps faculty to apply cognitive science advances to improve their own teaching.

Navigating Environmental Attitudes by Thomas Heberlein 

Solving environmental problems requires a scientific understanding of public attitudes. Like rocks in a swollen river, attitudes often lie beneath the surface-hard to see, and even harder to move or change. In Navigating Environmental Attitudes, Thomas Heberlein helps us read the water and negotiate its hidden obstacles, explaining what attitudes are, how they change and influence behavior. Rather than necessarily trying to change public attitudes, we need to design solutions and policies with them in mind. He illustrates these points by tracing the attitudes of the well-known environmentalist Aldo Leopold, while tying social psychology to real-world behaviors throughout the book. 
 

Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat by Hal Herzog 


Hal Herzog, a maverick scientist and leader in the field of anthrozoology offers a controversial, thought-provoking, and unprecedented exploration of the psychology behind the inconsistent and often paradoxical ways we think, feel, and behave towards animals. A cross between Michael Pollan’sThe Omnivore’s Dilemma and Bill Bryson’s A Walk in the Woods, Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat, in the words of Irene M. Pepperberg, bestselling author of Alex & Me, “deftly blends anecdote with scientific research to show how almost any moral or ethical position regarding our relationship with animals can lead to absurd consequences.”
 

Someone by Alice McDermott 


An ordinary life—its sharp pains and unexpected joys, its bursts of clarity and moments of confusion—lived by an ordinary, but unforgettable woman: this is the subject of Someone, Alice McDermott’s extraordinary seventh novel.

We first glimpse Marie Commeford as a child: a girl in thick glasses observing her pre-Depression world from a Brooklyn stoop. Through her first heartbreak and eventual marriage; her delicate brother’s brief stint as a Catholic priest and his emotional breakdown; her career as a funeral director’s “consoling angel”; the deaths of her parents and the births of her children—we follow Marie through the changing world of the twentieth century and her Irish-American enclave. Rendered with remarkable empathy and insight, Someone is a novel that speaks of life as it is daily lived, with passion and heartbreak, a crowning achievement of one of the finest American writers at work today.
 

To Kill a Mocking Bird by Harper Lee 


The unforgettable novel of a childhood in a sleepy Southern town and the crisis of conscience that rocked it, To Kill A Mockingbird became both an instant bestseller and a critical success when it was first published in 1960. It went on to win the Pulitzer Prize in 1961 and was later made into an Academy Award-winning film, also a classic.

Compassionate, dramatic, and deeply moving, To Kill A Mockingbird takes readers to the roots of human behavior - to innocence and experience, kindness and cruelty, love and hatred, humor and pathos. Now with over 18 million copies in print and translated into forty languages, this regional story by a young Alabama woman claims universal appeal. Harper Lee always considered her book to be a simple love story. Today it is regarded as a masterpiece of American literature.
 

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed


At age 26, following the death of her mother, divorce, and a run of reckless behavior, Cheryl Strayed found herself alone near the foot of the Pacific Crest Trail--inexperienced, over-equipped, and desperate to reclaim her life. Wild tracks Strayed's personal journey on the PCT through California and Oregon, as she comes to terms with devastating loss and her unpredictable reactions to it. While readers looking for adventure or a naturalist's perspective may be distracted by the emotional odyssey at the core of the story, Wild vividly describes the grueling life of the long-distance hiker, the ubiquitous perils of the PCT, and its peculiar community of wanderers. Others may find her unsympathetic--just one victim of her own questionable choices. But Strayed doesn't want sympathy, and her confident prose stands on its own, deftly pulling both threads into a story that inhabits a unique riparian zone between wilderness tale and personal-redemption memoir. --Jon Foro

 

PLEASE NOTE: The Teaching and Learning Forum will provide one book to each person who participates in a Book Group each semester. If you wish to join more than one group per semester, you will need to pay for any additional books and lunches. You may also preview the books at the Teaching and Learning Forum Office in Library Room 057 before the registration deadline.