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Boley Blog

Boley Blog: L&C Law School Faculty & Staff Book Recommendations for Summer Break Reading

by Mari Cheney on 2022-05-26T14:50:00-07:00 | Comments

We asked the faculty and staff at L&C Law to recommend a favorite book or two for your summer break reading enjoyment. We hope you find this list helpful in contributing to a most literate and relaxing summer break. 

We wish you success during your summer jobs and/or classes, and we'll see you in September!

The Anthropocene Reviewed, Essays on a Human-Centered Planet by John Green
Recommended by Lydia Loren, Henry J. Casey Professor of Law
A collection of essays on a variety of topics, the author has adapted and expanded his popular podcast into a fun summer "read" (recommend the audiobook, read by the author). Each topic concludes with a rating on a five-star scale - fun, funny, and informative, you'll never look at a Canadian Goose the same way again.

Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer
Recommended by Ronna Craig, Faculty Legal Assistant
 A book suggesting we look to non-human problem solving, cooperation, and systemic functioning - or at least that which does not awkwardly center the human experience or remove it from context entirely - undergirds my faith that this planet still holds some good answers for our pressing questions today. 

Bullet Train by Kotaro Isaka
Recommended by Tung Yin, Professor of Law
This is a comic thriller that has the weirdness of "Pulp Fiction" but taking place entirely in the confines of a Tokyo-bound bullet train, with lots of professional killers all unknowingly connected. A (white-washed) movie version is coming out this summer, starring Brad Pitt(!). Start with the book to get the Japanese flavor of the story.

Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky
Recommended by Kian Pakdel, Research & Instruction, Foreign and International Law Specialist
A sci-fi novel detailing the evolution of a species of sentient, genetically engineered spiders. It might convince you that spiders are better than humans (besides the cannibalism).

The Extended Brain by Annie Murphy Paul
Recommended by Holly Puckett, Director of Career Services
Especially in the pandemic, I have come to think of myself as just a brain behind a computer, but the world shows that we are so much more than that! This book is about how we think outside our brains with a host of "extra neural" resources, such as our bodies (in defense of fidget spinners and gut feelings), the environment around us (nature helps us regain focus), and even our friendship with others (study groups are a unique example of a group brain).

Hell of a Book by Jason Mott
Recommended by Carra Shaler, Staff Attorney, Green Energy Institute
Only a third of the way into this book and I can't stop saying to myself, "Yes, this is a hell of a book!"


Less by Andrew Sean Greer
Recommended by Kerry Rowand, Executive Assistant to Dean Jennifer Johnson
Yes to this book. Pulitzer well-earned. 


My Life in France by Julia Child with Alex Prud'Homme
Recommended by Rita Martinez, Director of Law Faculty Services
This book is a gastronomical snapshot of post-WWII Paris through the eyes of culinary educator and a forerunner, celebrity chef, Julia Child. 

The Lions of Fifth Avenue by Fiona Davis
Recommended by Mari Cheney, Associate Director of Research and Instruction
An easily solvable mystery with plenty of fascinating history about feminism in the early 1900s makes this a light summer read. And yes, it features a librarian (or two). 

The Night Watchman by Louise Erdrich
Recommended by Erica Lyman, Clinical Professor of Law & Director, Global Law Alliance for Animals and the Environment
Set in the 1950s, Erdich tells the stories of the Turtle Mountain people, including her grandfather, who fought against dispossession and its tragic consequences. Against this history, the book is an exceptionally engaging story of intersecting lives, love, and human nature.

Our Mathematical Universe: My Quest for the Ultimate Nature of Reality by Max Tegmark
Recommended by Bill Chin, Professor of Lawyering
Ponder the nature of all things and travel beyond this universe to the multiverse and through different levels of the multiverse with physicist Max Tegmark as he lucidly explains how ultimate reality is a mathematical structure with all that it entails for humans and everything else in existence. 

The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt
Recommended by Sarah Hunsberger, Acquisitions and Circulation Specialist
A fast read with kooky characters on a quirky Western adventure that passes through Oregon City.


Star Wars: Heir to the Empire by Timothy Zahn
Recommended by David Schraub, Assistant Professor of Law
I consider myself an "Orthodox" Star Wars fan, in that I reject the Disney reformation. Though no longer canonical, Timothy Zahn's "Heir to the Empire" trilogy introduced Grand Admiral Thrawn, effectively launched Star Wars' expanded universe, and is sometimes credited for single-handedly revitalizing the franchise and inspiring George Lucas to make the prequel trilogy.

These Precious Days: Essays by Ann Patchett
Recommended by Natasha Richmond, Director of Alumni Relations
It was my first book I read by Ann Patchett and she writes beautifully. This book is a collection of essays about her life, her upbringing, and the pandemic. A quick, and fun read!


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