Faculty Summer Reading 2017

 
 

KEN AYOTTE, Professor of Law

“How I Built This” by NPR— Great 20 minute stories about how successful entrepreneurs got started and what they learned along the way. 

 

“Hardtalk” by BBC World Service — A series of interviews by Stephen Sackur with international political figures, and his questions live up to the podcast’s name.
 
“S-Town” from the creators of “Serial” and “This American Life” — A surprising, entertaining story that’s fascinating because you have no idea where it’s going to end up.
 
 

JORDAN BARRY, Visiting Professor of Law

So, Anyway…  by John Cleese — An autobiography, the novel tells the story of how a tall, shy youth from Weston-super-Mare went on to become a self-confessed legend. 

The Spider Network by David Enrich — The Wall Street Journal’s award-winning business reporter unveils the bizarre and sinister story of how a math genius named Tom Hayes, a handful of outrageous confederates, and a deeply corrupt banking system ignited one of the greatest financial scandals in history.

 

 

ROBERT BARTLETT, Faculty Co-Director

Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation by Steven Johnson — A fun, fascinating look at the history of innovation.
 
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr — A beautiful story of persistence and compassion set during the French Resistance. 
 
 
 
 
 
 

ERWIN CHEMERINSKY, Interim Dean

Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond — A haunting book that tells the story of poverty and housing, focusing on the effects of eviction on poor families in Milwaukee. A rare combination of great story-telling and incisive policy analysis.
 
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr — The best novel that I have read in the last year. A gripping juxtaposition of two stories during World War II that ultimately intersect: a blind girl in France and a young German soldier. This novel was also recommended by BCLBE Faculty Co-Director, Robert Bartlett.
 
The Cubs Way: The Zen of Building the Best Team in Baseball and Breaking the Curse by Tom Verducci — As a lifelong Cubs fan, every spring since childhood I have predicted that it was the Cubs year.  Last year they finally did it! Verducci, the baseball writer for Sports Illustrated, has written a wonderful account of how this Cubs team was put together and won their first World Series since 1908.
 
 
 

STEVEN DAVIDOFF SOLOMON, Faculty Co-Director

Hard Landing:  The Epic Contest for Power and Profits That Plunged the Airlines into Chaos by Thomas Petzinger — A fun, fascinating look at the history of innovation.
 
 
 
 
 

JUSTN McCRARY, Professor of Law

Churchill and Orwell: The Fight for Freedom by Tom Ricks — A dual biography of Winston Churchill and George Orwell, who preserved democracy from the threats of authoritarianism, from the left and right alike.  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

MELISSA MURRAY, Interim Dean

Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow — Because of my obsession with Hamilton, I decided to read this again (my first outing was ten years ago. I can’t remember if I finished it). It’s definitely better the second time around (and with the benefit of imagining the musical alongside the printed page). It’s a little drier than the musical (but what isn’t?), but really well-written and meticulously researched and detailed.
 
Longbourn by Jo Baker — For years, Pride and Prejudice has been my favorite book–so much so that I would re-read it every summer without fail. And then I read Longbourn. A re-telling of the classic Austen story from the perspective of the household servants, Longbourn offers a deeper, richer account of the Bennetts and their neighbors. It’s now in my annual rotation.

A Kind of Freedom by Margaret Wilkerson Sexton (J.D. ’09) — I haven’t yet read this book, but the advance reviews are amazingly enthusiastic in their praise of this first novel, an epic saga about an African American family in New Orleans. I am not surprised by the advance praise (and I’ve already pre-ordered my copy). Sexton is my former student, and I have always known her to be a terrifically gifted writer and story-teller. Get in on the ground floor with this one!
 
 
 

ANNE JOSEPH O’CONNELL, Professor of Law

Anything Is Possible by Elizabeth Strout — An unforgettable cast of small-town characters copes with love and loss in this new work of fiction by #1 bestselling author and Pulitzer Prize winner Elizabeth Strout.
 
The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds by Michael Lewis — How a Nobel Prize-winning theory of the mind altered our perception of reality.
 
 
 
 

FRANK PARTNOY, Professor of Law

The Chickenshit Club by Jesse Eisinger — Jesse is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and a friend/co-author. I read his book in draft and blurbed it, and I’m looking forward to seeing the real thing in print on July 11. It’s a deep dive into the Department of Justice and shows how and why so many federal prosecutors lost their mojo. Jim Comey is prominently featured.
 
Do I Make Myself Clear? Why Writing Well Matters by Harold Evans — Evans has edited everyone and everywhere, and he’s a “Sir.” Plus, how many publishers write a book about writing at age 88?
 
The Unseen World by Liz Moore — My favorite book from the past year, a family-focused escape from the craziness of today’s reality which tracks the parallel journeys of a father-daughter relationship alongside the development of artificial intelligence.