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Scholarly to-read list

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books known to appear on the exam, as well as other novels commonly read in hs and college

The Boom

The “best all-around book yet on fracking” (San Francisco Chronicle) from a Pulitzer Prize finalist: “Gold's work is a tour de force of contemporary journalism” (Booklist). First invented in 1947, hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has not only become a major source of energy, it is changing the way we use energy, and the energy we use. It is both a threat and a godsend for the environment, and it is leading the revival of manufacturing in the United States. A definitive narrative history, The Boom follows the twists and turns in the development and adoption of this radical technology. It is a thrilling journey filled with colorful characters: the green-minded Texas oilman who created the first modern frack; a bare-knuckled Oklahoman natural gas empire-builder who gave the world an enormous new supply of energy and was brought down by his own success and excesses; an environmental leader whose embrace of fracking brought an end to his public career; and an aging fracking pioneer who is now trying to save the industry from itself. A fascinating and exciting exploration of one of the most controversial and promising sources of energy, The Boom “brings new clarity to a subject awash in hype from all sides…a thoughtful, well-written, and carefully researched book that provides the best overview yet of the pros and cons of fracking. Gold quietly leads both supporters and critics of drilling to consider other views” (Associated Press).

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The Ledge

On June 21, 1992, two best friends summited Mount Rainier. Within hours, their exquisite accomplishment would be overshadowed by tragedy. On their descent, Jim Davidson fell through an ice bridge on Rainier's northeast flank, plunging eighty feet into a narrow crevasse inside the Emmons Glacier and dragging Mike Price in after him. Mike fell to his death; Jim, badly injured and armed with minimal gear, faced an almost impossible climb back out of the crevasse, up a nearly vertical ice wall. Mourning his friend's death, he miraculously climbed out of the crevasse and lived to relate his experiences.

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The Collapse of Western Civilization

The year is 2393, and the world is almost unrecognizable. Clear warnings of climate catastrophe went ignored for decades, leading to soaring temperatures, rising sea levels, widespread drought and-finally-the disaster now known as the Great Collapse of 2093, when the disintegration of the West Antarctica Ice Sheet led to mass migration and a complete reshuffling of the global order. Writing from the Second People's Republic of China on the 300th anniversary of the Great Collapse, a senior scholar presents a gripping and deeply disturbing account of how the children of the Enlightenment-the political and economic elites of the so-called advanced industrial societies-failed to act, and so brought about the collapse of Western civilization. In this haunting, provocative work of science-based fiction, Naomi Oreskes and Eric M. Conway imagine a world devastated by climate change. Dramatizing the science in ways traditional nonfiction cannot, the book reasserts the importance of scientists and the work they do and reveals the self-serving interests of the so called "carbon combustion complex" that have turned the practice of science into political fodder. Based on sound scholarship and yet unafraid to speak boldly, this book provides a welcome moment of clarity amid the cacophony of climate change literature.

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The Beautiful Struggle

Paul Coates was an enigmatic god to his sons: a Vietnam vet who rolled with the Black Panthers, an old-school disciplinarian and new-age believer in free love, an autodidact who launched a publishing company in his basement dedicated to telling the true history of African civilization. Most of all, he was a wily tactician whose mission was to carry his sons across the shoals of inner-city adolescence—and through the collapsing civilization of Baltimore in the Age of Crack—and into the safe arms of Howard University, where he worked so his children could attend for free. Among his brood of seven, his main challenges were Ta-Nehisi, spacey and sensitive and almost comically miscalibrated for his environment, and Big Bill, charismatic and all-too-ready for the challenges of the streets. The Beautiful Struggle follows their divergent paths through this turbulent period, and their father’s steadfast efforts—assisted by mothers, teachers, and a body of myths, histories, and rituals conjured from the past to meet the needs of a troubled present—to keep them whole in a world that seemed bent on their destruction. With a remarkable ability to reimagine both the lost world of his father’s generation and the terrors and wonders of his own youth, Coates offers readers a small and beautiful epic about boys trying to become men in black America and beyond.

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The Inconvenient Indian

In The Inconvenient Indian, Thomas King offers a deeply knowing, darkly funny, unabashedly opinionated, and utterly unconventional account of Indian-White relations in North America since initial contact. Ranging freely across the centuries and the Canada-U.S. border, King debunks fabricated stories of Indian savagery and White heroism, takes an oblique look at Indians (and cowboys) in film and popular culture, wrestles with the history of Native American resistance and his own experiences as a Native rights activist, and articulates a profound, revolutionary understanding of the cumulative effects of ever-shifting laws and treaties on Native peoples and lands.Suffused with wit, anger, perception, and wisdom, The Inconvenient Indian is at once an engaging chronicle and a devastating subversion of history, insightfully distilling what it means to be "Indian" in North America. It is a critical and personal meditation that sees Native American history not as a straight line but rather as a circle in which the same absurd, tragic dynamics are played out over and over again. At the heart of the dysfunctional relationship between Indians and Whites, King writes, is land: "The issue has always been land." With that insight, the history inflicted on the indigenous peoples of North America--broken treaties, forced removals, genocidal violence, and racist stereotypes--sharpens into focus. Both timeless and timely, The Inconvenient Indian ultimately rejects the pessimism and cynicism with which Natives and Whites regard one another to chart a new and just way forward for Indians and non-Indians alike.

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Whistling Vivaldi

Claude M. Steele, who has been called "one of the few great social psychologists," offers a vivid first-person account of the research that supports his groundbreaking conclusions on stereotypes and identity. He sheds new light on American social phenomena from racial and gender gaps in test scores to the belief in the superior athletic prowess of black men, and lays out a plan for mitigating these "stereotype threats" and reshaping American identities.

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All the Light We Cannot See

WINNER OF THE 2015 PULITZER PRIZE FOR FICTION NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER WINNER OF THE CARNEGIE MEDAL FOR FICTION A beautiful, stunningly ambitious novel about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II When Marie Laure goes blind, aged six, her father builds her a model of their Paris neighborhood, so she can memorize it with her fingers and then navigate the real streets. But when the Germans occupy Paris, father and daughter flee to Saint-Malo on the Brittany coast, where Marie-Laure's agoraphobic great uncle lives in a tall, narrow house by the sea wall. In another world in Germany, an orphan boy, Werner, is enchanted by a crude radio. He becomes a master at building and fixing radios, a talent ultimately makes him a highly specialized tracker of the Resistance. Werner travels through the heart of Hitler Youth to the far-flung outskirts of Russia, and finally into Saint-Malo, where his path converges with Marie-Laure. Deftly interweaving the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner, Doerr illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another. Ten years in the writing, ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE is his most ambitious and dazzling work.

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Freedom

Anatomie d'un mariage et d'une famille " les Berglund ", ce livre analyse les illusions, les déceptions et les compromis d'une génération de baby-boomers qui avaient rêvé un jour de changer le monde. Mais c'est aussi un acte d'accusation implacable à l'égard d'une nation qui a cessé depuis longtemps d'incarner ses propres valeurs.

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The Great Gatsby

The authentic edition from Fitzgerald's original publisher. The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald's third book, stands as the supreme achievement of his career. This exemplary novel of the Jazz Age has been acclaimed by generations of readers. The story of the fabulously wealthy Jay Gatsby and his love for the beautiful Daisy Buchanan, of lavish parties on Long Island at a time when The New York Times noted "gin was the national drink and sex the national obsession," it is an exquisitely crafted tale of America in the 1920s. The Great Gatsby is one of the great classics of twentieth-century literature.

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Lolita

Awe and exhiliration--along with heartbreak and mordant wit--abound in Lolita, Nabokov's most famous and controversial novel, which tells the story of the aging Humbert Humbert's obsessive, devouring, and doomed passion for the nymphet Dolores Haze. Lolita is also the story of a hypercivilized European colliding with the cheerful barbarism of postwar America. Most of all, it is a meditation on love--love as outrage and hallucination, madness and transformation.

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The Master and Margarita

"The Master and Margarita" is one of the most famous and best-selling Russian novels of the 20th century, despite its surreal environment of talking cats, Satan and mysterious happenings. Naxos AudioBooks presents this careful abridgement of a new translation in an imaginative reading by the charismatic Julian Rhind-Tutt. With War and Peace and Crime and Punishment among the Naxos AudioBooks best-sellers, this too promises to be a front title.

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Uncle Tom's Cabin

In the nineteenth century, Uncle Tom's Cabin sold more copies than any book in the world except the Bible. Upon publication, it was quickly translated into thirty-seven languages and has never gone out of print. It remains a controversial and complex text that, along with David Walker's Appeal, Henry David Thoreau's Walden, W. E. B. DuBois's The Souls of Black Folk, and Helena Maria Viramontes' Under the Feet of Jesus, among others, stands out as an important text in the progressive struggle for social justice in the United States. This Second Edition is based on the original 1852 book edition, published in two volumes by John P. Jewett and Company, Boston, and includes all original illustrations. The text is accompanied by a preface and detailed explanatory annotations to assist the reader with obscure historical terms and biblical allusions. "Backgrounds and Contexts" includes a wealth of historical documents addressing the issues of slavery and abolitionism. New visuals in the Second Edition include a selection of abolition posters and records of torture. Also newly included is J. Hector St. John de Crevecoeur's eyewitness account of slavery as a visitor to the United States, a selection from David Walker's Appeal, and Henrietta King's autobiographical account of the horror of slavery. "Criticism" presents a balanced view of the ongoing controversy over Uncle Tom's Cabin in fifteen reviews and scholarly interpretations spanning more than 150 years of writing about the novel. Paul Laurence Dunbar, Jane P. Tompkins, and Susan M. Ryan, among others, admire Uncle Tom's Cabin for its social vision and artistry, while James Baldwin and Sophia Cantave, among others, argue that the book's racism continues to promote misperceptions and that its prominence does ongoing damage. A Chronology of Stowe's life and work, a Brief Timeline of Slavery in America, and an updated Selected Bibliography are also included.

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The Art of Happiness

An updated edition of a beloved classic, the original book on happiness, with new material from His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Dr. Howard Cutler. Nearly every time you see him, he's laughing, or at least smiling. And he makes everyone else around him feel like smiling. He's the Dalai Lama, the spiritual and temporal leader of Tibet, a Nobel Prize winner, and a hugely sought-after speaker and statesman. Why is he so popular? Even after spending only a few minutes in his presence you can't help feeling happier. If you ask him if he's happy, even though he's suffered the loss of his country, the Dalai Lama will give you an unconditional yes. What's more, he'll tell you that happiness is the purpose of life, and that the very motion of our life is toward happiness. How to get there has always been the question. He's tried to answer it before, but he's never had the help of a psychiatrist to get the message across in a context we can easily understand. The Art of Happiness is the book that started the genre of happiness books, and it remains the cornerstone of the field of positive psychology. Through conversations, stories, and meditations, the Dalai Lama shows us how to defeat day-to-day anxiety, insecurity, anger, and discouragement. Together with Dr. Howard Cutler, he explores many facets of everyday life, including relationships, loss, and the pursuit of wealth, to illustrate how to ride through life's obstacles on a deep and abiding source of inner peace. Based on 2,500 years of Buddhist meditations mixed with a healthy dose of common sense, The Art of Happiness is a book that crosses the boundaries of traditions to help readers with difficulties common to all human beings. After being in print for ten years, this book has touched countless lives and uplifted spirits around the world.

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Faust: Part 2

The second part of Goethe's masterpiece opens with Faust struggling to recover from the death of his beloved Gretchen. The quick-witted demon Mephistopheles soon persuades him to look beyond his sorrow and enter the world of politics and power, but the great scholar is still eager for new sensations, and asks Mephistopheles to reveal Helen of Troy to him in a vision. Overwhelmed by her beauty, Faust demands she be brought back from the underworld - but even this fails to bring him contentment, and his appetite for knowledge remains unsated. Completed a few months before Goethe's death, this rich and allusive work weaves together a wealth of diverse philosophical ideas and influences, reworking the medieval myth of Dr. Faustus and speculating upon the search for truth in the Age of Enlightenment.

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Paradise Lost

John Milton's celebrated epic poem exploring the cosmological, moral and spiritual origins of man's existence, Paradise Lost has been fully revised with an introduction by John Leonard in Penguin Classics.In Paradise Lost Milton produced poem of epic scale, conjuring up a vast, awe-inspiring cosmos and ranging across huge tracts of space and time, populated by a memorable gallery of grotesques. And yet, in putting a charismatic Satan and naked, innocent Adam and Eve at the centre of this story, he also created an intensely human tragedy on the Fall of Man. Written when Milton was in his fifties - blind, bitterly disappointed by the Restoration and in danger of execution - Paradise Lost's apparent ambivalence towards authority has led to intense debate about whether it manages to 'justify the ways of God to men', or exposes the cruelty of Christianity.John Leonard's revised edition of Paradise Lost contains full notes, which elucidates Milton's biblical, classical and historical allusions and discuss his vivid, highly original use of language and blank verse.John Milton (1608-1674) spent his early years in scholarly pursuit. In 1649 he took up the cause for the new Commonwealth, defending the English revolution both in English and Latin - and sacrificing his eyesight in the process. He risked his life by publishing The Ready and Easy Way to Establish a Free Commonwealth on the eve of the Restoration (1660). His great poems were published after this political defeat.If you enjoyed Paradise Lost, you might like Dante's Inferno, also available in Penguin Classics.'An endless moral maze, introducing literature's first Romantic, Satan' John Carey'Paradise Lost is, to my mind, the greatest poem in English' Philip Pullman, author of His Dark Materials trilogy

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The Penguin Freud Reader

Here are the essential ideas of psychoanalytic theory, including Freud's explanations of such concepts as the Id, Ego and Super-Ego, the Death Instinct and Pleasure Principle, along with classic case studies like that of the Wolf Man. Adam Phillips's marvellous selection provides an ideal overview of Freud's thought in all its extraordinary ambition and variety. Psychoanalysis may be known as the 'talking cure', yet it is also and profoundly, a way of reading. Here we can see Freud's writings as readings and listenings, deciphering the secrets of the mind, finding words for desires that have never found expression. Much more than this, however, The Penguin Freud Reader presents a compelling reading of life as we experience it today, and a way in to the work of one of the most haunting writers of the modern age.

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The Inferno,

Belonging in the immortal company of the works of Homer, Virgil, Milton, and Shakespeare, Dante Alighieri's poetic masterpiece is a visionary journey that takes readers through the torment of Hell.

The first part of Dante's Divine Comedy is many things: a moving human drama, a supreme expression of the Middle Ages, a glorification of the ways of God, and a magnificent protest against the ways in which men have thwarted the divine plan. One of the few literary works that has enjoyed a fame both immediate and enduring, The Inferno remains powerful after seven centuries. It confronts the most universal values--good and evil, free will and predestination--while remaining intensely personal and ferociously political, for it was born out of the anguish of a man who saw human life blighted by the injustice and corruption of his times.

Translated by John CiardiWith an Introduction by Archibald T. MacAllisterand an Afterword by Edward M. Cifelli

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River Out of Eden

How did the replication bomb we call "life" begin and where in the world, or rather, in the universe, is it heading? Writing with characteristic wit and an ability to clarify complex phenomena (the New York Times described his style as "the sort of science writing that makes the reader feel like a genius"), Richard Dawkins confronts this ancient mystery.

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The Canterbury Tales

Inspired by Boccaccio's Decameron, and framed as a storytelling competition between a group of pilgrims, Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales is one of the greatest works of English literature, translated from the Middle English with an introduction by Nevill Coghill in Penguin Classics.In The Canterbury Tales Chaucer created one of the great touchstones of English literature, a masterly collection of chivalric romances, moral allegories and low farce. A story-telling competition between a group of pilgrims from all walks of life is the occasion for a series of tales that range from the Knight's account of courtly love and the ebullient Wife of Bath's Arthurian legend, to the ribald anecdotes of the Miller and the Cook. Rich and diverse, The Canterbury Tales offers us an unrivalled glimpse into the life and mind of Medieval England.Nevill Coghill's masterly and vivid English verse translation is rendered with consummate skill to retain all the vigour and poetry of Chaucer's fourteenth-century Middle English.Geoffrey Chaucer (c.1343-1400) was an English author, poet, philosopher, courtier and diplomat, best known as the author of The Canterbury Tales. Chaucer is credited as being the first author to demonstrate the artistic legitimacy of the vernacular English language. The first poet to have been buried in the Poet's Corner of Westminster Abbey, his other works include The House of Fame, Troilus and Criseyde and The Book of the Duchess.If you enjoyed The Canterbury Tales, you might like Boccaccio's Decameron, also available in Penguin Classics.'Nevill Coghill's easy, seductive translation ensures that this, the most popular work in English Literature - now 600 years old - will run through yet more centuries, delighting yet more readers, shaping more writers'Melvyn Bragg

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