Law School Discussion

Recommend books for me (just good books to read.. in preparation for life)

ok, i need book recommendations for the next few months. i'm not looking for prepping for law school type things, i'm looking for.. just good books to read. for history, politics, philosophy, or just good literature. or hell, just fun literature is fine too, although i can usually find that stuff on my own. i'm amazingly un-well-read because i split my life between two countries and kind of missed most of the essential literature of high school in America. i don't know anything much about American history or world history, or about politics and philosophy. i love reading, but i read mostly "fun" stuff (ask me about fantasy, sci fi, thrillers, mysteries..) but i really want to read meaningful stuff. stuff that's going to stay with me, or teach me something.

so recommend anything you think is worthwhile. something you think everyone should read, something that would make you think "oh this person is well-read". or even just something fun. i'll add everything to my list and try to make my way through everything. i guess my number one priority is history and behind that is probably philosophy, but say anything. i've read some Shakespeare and loved it, I loved my few philosophy courses, i'm curious and clueless about history.

so help me out! :D


If you want a short but highly precise and nuanced overview of a subject that you know little about, you can do no better than check out the titles in this series:

I have about 20 of them and have read about 30. They are superb, even on the subjects about which I know a fair amount. They really are very short and they are about $10 each.

Other books that require no prior knowledge but are both sophisticated and a delight to read:

Clifford Geertz: "The Interpretation of Cultures"; and "Local Knowledge"
Robert Darnton: "The Great Cat Massacre"
Richard Rorty: "Contingency, Irony & Solidarity"
Jonathan Spence: "Treason by the Book"
Tom Holland: "The Rubicon"

If you give me an idea of the kinds of things that you like and are interested in, I may be able to give you many more pointers.

There is also a thread that I started in off-topic on book recommendations for each other

thanks red, i'll check out the OTB. i was hoping you and bass might make it onto the thread eventually. i'll check out your recs and get back to you if i can think of anything specific i need.


i love the VSI series! they really came in handy when i was getting into lit theory. (I wouldn't recommend those particular ones for you, tho, sea dream, unless you just really wanna throw your mind for a loop.  :D)

Personally, I think a good grounding in the humanities is really all any fairly intelligent person needs--you get history, logic, politics, art, culture... everything, really. Try searching for a university syllabus on humanities. That should give you some good ideas.


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It's hard to say - easier again if you had some more specifics in mind.  That said, here's a list of a few things that I really enjoy:

1) Nietzsche - The Gay Science.  You said you were interested in philosophy.  This is Nietzsche's best work, and you can read it in lots of small doses.

2) Malcolm Gladwell - The Tipping Point.  This is one that is a recent bestseller (good or bad thing?), but I think it is extremely well-written, even though most of the research isn't his own.  Gladwell writes for the New Yorker, and he has excellent stuff there, too.  Blink, his second book, wasn't quite as good.

3) Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett - Good Omens.  This is purely for fun.  It is a comedy/sci-fi novel about the apocalypse.  Really fun.

There you have it: a classic philosophical work, a bestseller, and a fun one.


Pilgrim at Tinker Creek- Annie Dillard
(it will make you rethink the way you look at the natural world, great to read in summer for some reason)
Enjoy! :)

Some thoroughly enjoyable fiction i've read lately:
the corrections - jonathan franzen
middlesex - jeffrey eugenides
some russian authors - you may never have time to read even a fraction of their books over the next few years.


middlesex - jeffrey eugenides

he's excellent.

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You mean LSAT prep books don't count?!

Eats Shoots and Leaves: a great book about grammar.
Introduction to the philosophy of law: a dense, nutrient-rich book about different theories of law and their origins.

thanks to everyone who's suggested books so far.

Middlesex: read it, loved it. i loved his writing style. for those of you looking for a good read also, i suggest Edward P. Jones' "The Known World".. also beautifully written and very engaging.

bass, i've read parts of the gay science, and your suggestion will have me reaching for it again. and i've read the tipping point as i've personally been really into complex systems. a great read. and i've been reading Gaiman's American Gods lately.  ;D it's been so hyped up but i think it takes a bit too long to get to the point, though i'm sure it'll be worth it in the end.

the rest i haven't heard of, but every suggestion is getting added to my list. Everything looks interesting. Thanks again, guys!