13 Faculty Books that Make Great Gifts
Written by Liz M.
’Tis the season. And if you’re like me, you’ll be shopping up until the moment before your holiday gathering. To help us all in our quest, I’ve assembled a list of 13 books by current and past faculty that are suitable for any readers on your list, be they young or old, history buffs or mystery fans.
by Robert Allison
The title tells all in this unassuming work, the third in a series of concise historical nonfiction by Allison. Four short stories, supplemented by more than 100 photographs, tell the 400-year story of one of America’s most beloved summer vacation destinations. An easy read for the beach yet curiously insightful enough for any historian, it’s sure to be a treasured gift for anyone who spent their summers among the dunes of Old Cape Cod.
by Sarah Braunstein
A suspenseful novel that moves through time and explores the power of running away, the desire for reinvention, and the transcendence of our human experience. With this debut, Braunstein was named one of “Five Under 35” fiction writers by the National Book Foundation in 2011. More importantly, if Oprah recommended the book, you know it’s a hit.
3. Your Creative Brain: Seven Steps to Maximize Imagination, Productivity, and Innovation in Your Life
by Shelley Carson
Do you (or your loved ones) wish you could be more creative? No? Well then you’re going to be left in the dust in the twenty-first century because studies suggest that our creative brain is our most important asset. Dr. Carson’s book is chock full of helpful suggestions to help you harness your creative potential and excel in your personal and professional life.
by Paul Harding
Did you root for the Little Engine That Could? Then you’ll root for this book, which propelled Harding from rejected writer (and fan-favorite instructor) to Pulitzer Prize winning author (and still a fan-favorite instructor). A powerful memoir about family, memory, and mortality, this little novel took the literary world by storm in 2010.
5. Immunity to Change: How to Overcome it and Unlock the Potential in Yourself and Your Organization
by Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey
If change is a good thing, why are we so resistant to it? If it were a matter of life and death, would we change our ways? Studies show only one in seven of us would be successful in doing so. In their book, Drs. Kegan and Lahey set out to inspire change agents and leaders and show us how to overcome the forces of inertia.
by Alex Krieger and David Cobb with Amy Turner
A terrific and beautiful coffee-table book for your favorite cartographer and anyone who “loves that dirty water.” Edited by Krieger and Cobb with Turner, this collection of maps and essays brings the history of one of America’s oldest and most beloved cities to life.
by Harry Lewis
Here’s a book that’s perfect for any parent, spouse, or foreigner unfamiliar with America’s greatest pastime and the lingo that permeates our everyday conversations about work, politics, and romance. Terminology and rules of the game are brought to life with humorous examples from news and pop culture. Don’t balk at the price. At $9.99, it’s a steal.
by Harry Lewis and Ellen Condliffe Lagemann
From the former deans of Harvard College (Lewis) and the Harvard Graduate School of Education (Lagemann) comes a more serious book on the purpose of higher education. How can universities create a better citizenry? What values must we sustain and what changes need to be made in our curriculum? It’s a hot-button topic and well worth a read for any soon-to-be-undergraduate and those with a passion for higher education.
by Peter Der Manuelian
Does your 9-year-old niece or nephew walk like an Egyptian? Then this book is for them! Bold, beautiful pictures are bolstered with fun educational content that explains the ancient Egyptian code and history in language kids can understand. Bonus: The back cover includes stencils for the kids to draw hieroglyphs and create their own story.
by John Stauffer
It’s like two biographies for the price of one. Stauffer tackles the stories of two great men in the nineteenth century who transformed themselves and our country forever. Though Lincoln and Douglass were never close friends, having met only three times, Stauffer weaves their stories together, reflecting each man’s triumphs and transgressions off the other in a seamless narrative on the development of our democracy in the Civil War era. There you have it.
by Allan Ryan
Should a commander be held accountable for the actions of his troops? Even without knowledge of them? Ryan takes us back to the atrocities of the Japanese Army in 1944-45 in the Philippines and raises crucial questions that have surrounded General Tomoyuki Yamashita’s trial and execution at the hands of the United States Supreme Court. A profound examination international human rights.
by Michael McElroy
Weaving together the sciences and humanities, McElroy presents a history of humans’ energy consumption and ever-increasing reliance on fossil fuels. And what does the future hold for alternative sources like wind, solar, and geothermal energy? You’ll have to buy the book (or enroll in his spring 2013 course) to find out.
by Joan Johnson-Freese
Are America;s war colleges preparing students for twenty-first century demands? With 20 years experience on the inside, Johnson-Freese offers a critical examination of the professional military education system and why it must be fixed.
With so many authors among our faculty, getting this list down to 13 was no easy task. Which other faculty, student, or alumni books would you add to the list? Include them in the comments below.