:: Summer 2013 Reading Recommendations

Posted: June 19, 2013

Instructors Offer Summer Reading Recommendations

The weather is heating up, so this is the perfect time to find a cool place to relax with a good book. Once again, some University Extension instructors are offering their recommendations for summer reading that will both educate and fascinate.

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Galileo’s Daughter by Dava Sobel

Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) had three children all of whom were illegitimate. His daughters were considered unmarriageable and entered a convent while they were teenagers. The eldest, Virginia (1600-1634), took the name Suor Maria Celeste and kept up a lively and intellectual correspondence with her father for her entire life. Although none of Galileo’s letters to her survive, over 100 letters from Suor Maria Celeste are in the Galileo archive. Through thoughtful translations of these letters as well as other documents and gentle narration, we not only gain further appreciation for Galileo as the “father of modern science” we also come to understand the complex academic, economic, religious, scientific and family challenges that were inherent in 17th century Italy.

Recommended by: Dr. Blinda McClelland

Dr. McClelland teaches BIO 311C - Introductory Biology I.
Galileo's Daughter Book Cover
“Galileo’s Daughter”
by Dava Sobel

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Freakonomics Book Cover
by Stephen D. Levitt
& Stephen J. Dubner
Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner

Which is more dangerous, a gun or a swimming pool?
What do schoolteachers and sumo wrestlers have in common?
How much do parents really matter?

These may not sound like typical questions for an economist to ask. But Steven D. Levitt is not a typical economist. He studies the riddles of everyday life—from cheating and crime to parenting and sports—and reaches conclusions that turn conventional wisdom on its head.

Recommended by: Melinda Petre

Petre teaches ECO 301 - Introduction to Economics.

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The Monk in the Garden by Robin Marantz Henig

Author Robin Marantz Henig vividly evokes a little-known chapter in science, taking us back to the birth of genetics, a field that continues to challenge the way we think about life itself. Shrouded in mystery, Gregor Mendel’s quiet life and discoveries make for fascinating reading. Among his pea plants Henig finds a tale filled with intrigue, jealousy, and a healthy dose of bad timing

Recommended by: Dr. Inder Saxena

Dr. Saxena teaches BIO 325 - Genetics.
The Monk in the Garden Book Cover
“The Monk in the Garden”
by Robin Marantz Henig

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Mr Tompkins In Wonderland Book Cover
“Mr. Tompkins In Wonderland”
by George Gamow
Mr. Tompkins in Wonderland by George Gamow

Instructor’s Description:

“This is an old book but available for Kindle as well as paperback. The story is quaint and describes how a bank clerk goes to a series of lectures on quantum mechanics, dozes off and goes on all sorts of strange adventures where he experiences just how weird the quantum world is. It is nothing like a textbook, and it is fun to read. Less than 200 pages, so it is not a heavy tome. It has lots of funny little illustrations that Gamow himself drew. The latest version (Mr Tompkins in Paperback) has an updated preface by Roger Penrose which does a good job of explaining the book and setting it up for a modern person to read.”

Recommended by: Dr. Sara Sutcliffe

Dr. Sutcliffe teaches CH 302 - Principles of Chemistry II.

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The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking by Edward B. Burger & Michael Starbird

The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking presents practical, lively, and inspiring ways for you to become more successful through better thinking. The idea is simple: You can learn how to think far better by adopting specific strategies. Brilliant people aren’t a special breed—they just use their minds differently. By using the straightforward and thought-provoking techniques in The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking, you will regularly find imaginative solutions to difficult challenges, and you will discover new ways of looking at your world and yourself—revealing previously hidden opportunities.

Recommended by: Clint Tuttle

Tuttle teaches MIS 302F - Intro to IT Management.
“The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking”
by Edward B. Burger
& Michael Starbird

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