Tuesdays with Morrie

If you’ve ever had a teacher that touched your life in a very positive way, this book is for you. Short, very readable, and yet, quite profound in its reflection, Mitch Albom’s Tuesdays with Morrie describes rediscovery of that mentor and a rekindled relationship that goes beyond the classroom and brings us to lessons on how to live.

Thunderstruck

Elizabeth McCracken’s Thunderstruck, recent winner of the Story Prize, contains a series of short stories about strange people: funny, quirky, desperate, or sad. It is haunted by ghosts, and yet finds happiness in unlikely places. It is beautifully written, with sentences that you’ll want to remember always.

Thinking, Fast and Slow

Have you ever wondered why you can’t walk and think deeply at the same time? Are you forever amazed at your natural inclination to find paths of least effort in your daily routines (including studying)? When you read the headlines in the newspaper, does it occur to you that most of what makes the news is the consequence of impulsive and irrational actions? This brilliant book wrestles with these questions, and in so doing, will allow you to far better understand your own behaviors and those of others.

The Undoing Project

The Undoing Project is about a compelling collaboration between two unlikely colleagues, Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky, who formed one of the greatest partnerships in the history of science, working together so closely that they couldn’t remember whose brain originated which ideas. They became heroes in academia and on the battlefield–both had important careers in the Israeli military–and their research was deeply linked to their extraordinary life experiences.


The Underground Railroad

Winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, Underground Railroad is already being called an American masterpiece. It’s a page-turning adventure tale, it’s a graphic and disturbing document of our cruel history, and it’s a completely unique work of historical fiction. Through Cora, a third-generation slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia, we gain insight into plantation culture, political divisions in the U.S., and one woman’s defiant ability to survive and continue to hope despite the brutality of her circumstances.

The True Believer

Eric Hoffer was a longshoreman and a philosopher who wound up writing ten books and who was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The True Believer was his first book and was published in 1951. The book was widely praised when it was published and has become a classic. But does it have anything to do with the 2016 presidential election? What do you think?

The Sun Also Rises

What do you do when everything that brings you any sense of contentment in life has suddenly gone missing? Can you outrun the physical and emotional pain you feel with a constant cycle of debauchery? Is it even possible to experience true love under those circumstances?

These are a few of the themes explored in this classic work depicting the “Lost Generation.” Widely hailed as one of the best and most influential novels written in the 20th century, this is the book that helped establish the Nobel Prize-winning author’s reputation as a master of modernist literature.

The Sixth Extinction

During the history of the biosphere on earth there have been five major mass extinctions of life so far. This book provides a fascinating review how these prior extinctions and their causes were discovered, and it provides strong evidence that a sixth mass extinction, caused by human activities, has now begun. Clearly and compellingly written, this book, I think, will capture the interest of both scientists and the science-averse reader.

The Silver Chair

In the sixth book of C. S. Lewis’s classic fantasy series The Chronicles of Narnia, a group of friends set off on a journey to the land north of Narnia to rescue King Caspian’s stolen son, Rilian. But their mission to Underland brings them face-to-face with an evil more beautiful and far deadlier than they ever expected.

The Moonstone

T.S. Eliot called The Moonstone “the first, the longest, and the best of modern English detective novels.” Its multi-narrator format allows us to assess the evidence piecemeal, almost like a jury hears testimony, in order to solve the mystery, and along the way to recognize the elements that Collins introduced that have come to define the detective story we know today.

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