Ruth's Reading List Some very powerful books -- most in rough order of quality (best to less good). The line demarcates where (in my view) these stop becoming life-changing experiences to read. Rank (10=great, When I read Book title Author Comments 0=awful) Subject area it A great book. Wonderful description and examples of what US and other corporations are already doing and have done to make their businesses more sustainable, environmental and socially responsible. Every chapter has an upbeat part with positive examples, and then shows how far we have to go, but Paul Hawken, L. how easy it would be for American corporations to pick up these ideas and use Hunter Lovins and them. I‘d like to send a copy to every corporation in the world. The sequel to Natural Capitalism Amory Lovins. Ecology of Commerce (below). 10 Environment Feb-05 Great ‗how to save the world‘ books, packaged in some parables that really work. Need to read the trilogy in order, because in each one he draws you further in to his way of thinking. Beyond Civilization is the next one, seems to be the most direct in terms of what to do next, but I‘m not sure if it would work to read it before Ishmael, The Story of B, My Ishmael Daniel Quinn the others. Even better parables are on his Web page. 10 Environment/Philosophy Feb-02 This is one I really got enthused about -- so much so that I bought 25 copies and sent 'em to heads of Congressional Committees... Anyway, it's about how we could make US businesses more environmental *and* more profitable at the The Ecology of Commerce Paul Hawken same time. Not just philosophy, he's got good real-life stories and examples. 10 Environment Jan-02 A great and insightful reckoning of societies in the past that have collapsed or Collapse: How Societies Choose to not, and why. Relates that to today's socieites and the choices we are making. Fail or Succeed Fascinating history, and a searing look inside some societies and their choices. Jared Diamond 10 Environment Jun-09 Insightful and fact-filled. Great summary and examples of the impact of Hot, Flat and Crowded -- Why We population growth, use of dirty fuels for energy, cars, and global connectivity. Need a Green Revolution - And How Makes you want to change the world. I want to send it to evey politician I can it Can Renew America Thomas Friedman reach. 10 Environment/Energy Dec-09 I loved this book, and it made me think a lot about the ways we create waste in our family. Review quote: A guilty liberal finally snaps, swears off plastic, goes organic, becomes a bicycle nut, turns off his power, and generally becomes a tree-hugging lunatic who tries to save the polar bears and the rest of the planet from environmental catastrophe while dragging his baby daughter and Prada- wearing, Four Seasons–loving wife along for the ride. And that‘s just the beginning. Bill McKibben meets Bill Bryson in this seriously engaging look at one No Impact Man -- The Adventures of man‘s decision to put his money where his mouth is and go off the grid for one a Guilty Liberal Who Attempts to year—while still living in New York City—to see if it‘s possible to make no net Save the Planet, and the Discoveries impact on the environment. In other words, no trash, no toxins in the water, no He Makes About Himself and Our elevators, no subway, no products in packaging, no air-conditioning, no television Way of Life in the Process Colin Beavan ... 10 Environment Dec-09 A great and impassioned summary of everything that has been done over the last Our Endangered Values Jimmy Carter 6 years that is bad for the country – energy decisions, political decisions, etc. 10 Environment/Philosophy Jun-07 A great book about the environmental movement, and how it is similar to a natural reaction of the human organism to save itself. Very upbeat, makes you feel like there is some hope that there are enough people around the world trying to do good things that it may make a difference. Also a great listing (expanded Blessed Unrest Paul Hawken on the Web site) of all environmental and social organizations. 10 Environment Jul-08 A wonderful book on eating healthy, eating local, helping your kids eat right, Harvest for Hope Jane Goodall school lunches, eating meat, current US food system failures. 10 Environment/Food Feb-07 A wonderful insight into the American food system and the impact what you eat has on the world, the nation, and the environment. How the choices the US government has made have impacted farmers' choices. Amazing info about how ubiquitous corn is, and the impact that has on the environment. A great description of Polyface Farm, which uses sustainable farming practices to produce meats without harming the environment. Also how much healthier grass- The Omnivore's Dilemma Michael Pollan fed meat is. A very holistic view. 10 Environment/Food Jan-08 An interesting look at how to break the oil cartel and make the US energy- independent -- madate flex fuel cars. It worked in Brazil. Has one chapter I didn't Energy Victory Robert Zubrin like where he pooh-poohs global warming. 8 Environment Feb-08 A great and well-researched book on why nuclear is now a great solution to the global warming problem. Knocks down many of the myths, goes through all the Power to Save the World, The Truth reasons that nuclear is safe. The author toured every step of the handling, use, about Nuclear Energy Gwyneth Cravens and storage of nuclear waste. 10 Environment/Energy Mar-08 A comprehensive look at almost all forms of non-fossil fuel energy, and great examples of how they are already being implemented, as well as the dangers of staying with our current fossil-fuel intensive enconmy. The main take-away is that we need a carbon cap and a trading system, to impose a cost for carbon Earth: The Sequel, The Race to emitted into the atmosphere. But companies like Google are acting now as if Reinvent Energy and Stop Global there were already a cap. Only thing I didn't like is that is he pooh-poohs nuclear Warming Fred Krupp fission by saying there are safety and storage concerns -- his data on that is old. 10 Environment/Energy May-08 A heart-wrenching look at the destruction caused by mointain-top removal mining. Real research on the effects, and why the type of reconstruction practiced by the Michael coal-mining compaies is meaningless. Also deflates the idea that we have to Coal River Shnayerson keep doing it to protect mining jobs. 9 Environment/Energy Apr-08 A comprehensive look at the dangers of the fossil-fuel economy. Truly scary look at the current data on the speed of ice melt, and water scarcity. Good summary of the energies that could be used to replace fossil fuels. Ambitious but Plan B 3.0, Mobilizing to Save acheivable goal of closing all coal-fired plants by 2020. Only thing missing is he Civilization Lester Brown doesn't talk about nuclear fission. 10 Environment/Energy May-08 Crude World, The Violent Twilight of A great and terrifying look at the oil business, where it has been and where it's Oil Peter Maas going, and who'd involved. 9 Environment/Energy Mar-10 Daniel Sperling Two Billion Cars: Driving Toward and Deborah A fascinating look at where cars are headed, and what we can do to avert the Sustainability Gordon coming years where cars are taking even more oil. 7 Environment/Energy Mar-10 A story of the years of war in Bosnia. A look at what there is within humans that makes wars and atrocities happen. A really sorry commentary on the US Love Thy Neighbor, A Story of War Peter Maas government for their position on this. 9 Politics/War Mar-10 A fascinating look at how we can see the original design of fish bodies in our Your Inner Fish: A Journey into the own, and how they were tweaked as we became mammals, and why some things 3.5-Billion Year History of the Human about us (like knees) don't work so well because we were originally designed to Body Neil Shubin be fish 8 Genetics Sep-09 A great read for anyone who lives near a coast. The history of beach replensihment efforts, the physics, as well as legal issues, success and failures, and what beach armoring is doing to our coastline. The gist: don't try to fight Against the Tide: The Battle for mother nature, and if you build near the coast, be ready to get destroyed (and America's Beaches Cornelia Dean don't rebuild there!). 8 Environment Oct-09 The Global Achievement Gap: Why A scorthing look at today's schools and how they don't teach what's needed in Even our Best Schools Don't Teach college, life or work. How teaching to the test hurts. Success stories from other the Survival Skills our Children Need - schools, and how other countries are ahead of us. Changed how I help my son and What We Can Do About It Tony Wagner study, from memorization, to understanding root cause and effect. 9 Education Oct-09 A fascinating look at the recent collapse of US finance, how we got into the mess, the whys and who was involved. Some was a little over my head, but it is The Two Trillion Dollar Meltdown Charles Morris certainly a gripping look at the subject. 9 Economy May-09 A powerful look at the downside of religion and its history, from Christianity to The End of Faith Sam Harris Muslims. I really enjoyed it. 9 Philosophy/Religion Mar-08 Undermining Science: Suppression and Distortion in the Bush A thorough look at all the methods the administration has used to keep science Administration Seth Shulman they don‘t agree with out of the way. 10 Politics Feb-07 Holy Cows and Hog Heaven, The A book by the farmer described in Omnivorse's Dilemma, who runs a sustainable Food Buyers Guide to Farm Friendly farm. Good description of the perils of industry food system, and the benefits of Food Joel Salatin eating local and sustainable. 9 Environment/Food Apr-08 The best description I have seen of why we should plant native plants and not Bringing Nature Home: How Native aliens. Not just beauty, less environmental harm, etc, but also why it sustains Plants Sustain Wildlife in Our local bird populations and the whole ecology. Very moving, and great suggstions Gardens Douglas Tallamy anyone can do. 10 Environment Apr-08 A fascinating book that makes you see the world a different way. Told lots of the cases and example he uses to my kids. Shows how certain types of people can The Tipping Point: How Little Things 'tip' a fad, or political event. Examples like Paul Revere, NY subways, fashion Can Make a Big Difference Malcolm Gladwell trends. 9 Culture Jan-09 A fascinating book. Examples from country fairs, stick market, and business about how sometimes groups are smarter than individuals, and how to make that The Wisdom of Crowds James Surowieki happen. 9 Culture Jan-09 The Dark Side: The Inside Story of how the war on terror turned into a A searing account of torture authorized by the Bush Administration, the history of war on American ideals Jane Meyer Gauntanamo Bay, more. 8 Politics/War Dec-08 The Devil We Know: Dealing with the A complex book detailing the history of Iranian power. Many facts I did not know, New Iranian Superpower Rober Baer and concludes that we really do need to talk to Iran. 7 Politics/War Dec-08 A good collection of essays on many aspects of the global environment; what is The Future of Nature Barry Lopez wrong and how to fix it. 7 Environment Mar-09 Food, Inc.: How Industrial Food is From the movie of the same name. Similar to Omnivore's Dilemna and Fast Making us Sicker, Fatter and Poorer - Food Nation. A searing critique of today's food system, and what you can do do - And What You Can Do About It Karl Weber make it better. 8 Environment/Food May-09 Very interesting look at why some people succeed, and it's not what you think. Outliers: The Story Of Success Malcolm Gladwell Thought-provoking. 8 Culture Oct-09 $20 Per Gallon: How the Inevitable Rise in the Price of Gasoline Will Christopher Gives a predction of what things will happen around the world at various gas Change Our Lives for the Better Steiner prices ($6, $10, etc). Forward-looking and upbeat -- very hopeful. 8 Environment/Energy Oct-09 By the man who was running his million-dollar carpet business quite happily, until two people (independently) sent him Ecology of Commerce and Ishmael. He describes it as a ‗spear through the chest‘, and immediately started his company on a road toward being fully sustainable (including zero energy use from fossil fuels). Inspiring, a lot of practical examples and real stories. Gets a little too into business-type formulation charts toward the end (meant for a CEO, perhaps), but very readable and enjoyable, and gets you to see how Ishmael concepts can be Mid-Course Correction Ray Anderson put into practice by a normal business. 9 Environment Feb-03 Menhaden are a little-talked about but once very populous fish that provide two essential functions. They are the only fish that are solely plant-eaters; they are filter-feeders that eat the micro-algae that cloud our waters, stifling fish and plant life. They are also the main food fish for most fish that we eat. The fact that Virginia has not outlawed the slaughter of menhaden in our coastal waters means that Omega Protein (the only company doing this) takes billions of menhaden out of the Chesapeake Bay before, during and after their spawning, leaving very few menhaden to live to adulthood. This is resulting in massive algae blooms, as well as starvation and disease in many other fish species such as tuna, cod, haddock, halibut, bluefish, weakfish, bluefish, etc. If Virginia would outlaw menhaden reduction, in line with what has been done in the 13 other states along the seaboard, this would go a long way toward restoring the health of the The Most Important Fish in the Sea H. Bruce Franklin Chesapeake Bay. 10 Environment Oct-07 Fools Gold: How the Bold Dream of a Small Tribe at J.P. Morgan Was Corrupted by Wall Street Greed and A bit technically simpler and more person-oriented description of the economy Unleashed a Catastrophe Gillian Tett melt-down. Very readable. 8 Economy Oct-09 A book mainly meant for atheists and agnostics -- I would think it would be tough to read for a religious person. I found it fascinating, a great look at why people The God Delusion Richard Dawkin turn to religion, what it has done to the world, outcomes, and motives. 8 Philosophy/Religion Sep-07 The Green Book, The Everyday Elizabeth Rogers Guide of Saving the Planet One and Thomas A great book with examples of what you can do to be more green, and very Simple Step at a Time Kostigan specific numbers on the impact it has. 9 Environment Nov-08 A great description of how we are depending on oil, and how little we have left, The End of Oil Paul Roberts and the ways in which our methods of extraction are getting worse. 9 Environment Jun-07 Silent Spring Rachel Carson Really a classic. Unfortunately many of the things in here are still true. 10 Environment Oct-07 Courage for the Earth Peter Matteissen Collection of essays about Carson. Interesting but not world-shaking. 7 Environment Oct-07 William Remaking the way we make things. A full look at how to really become McDonough and environmental (not just ―less bad‖), how businesses can make waste equal food, Cradle to Cradle Michael Braungart how to be more like nature… 10 Environment Jan-06 Green, Inc., An Environmental Insider Reveals How a Good Cause Christine A good description of howmost of the large environmenal groups are taking pay- Has Gone Bad MacDonald offs from the large polluting companies. 8 Environment Jan-09 Surveys 12 high school textbooks and shows that they are not teaching real Lies My Teacher Told Me -- American history, and why not. In the texts our children are reading, heros are Everything Your American History glorified (not shown in their real life colors), and nothing controversial like racism Textbook Got Wrong James Loewen or social stratification is mentioned. Eye-opening reading. 9 Education Jan-04 The Audacity of Hope Barack Obama Great writing and thoughts on how to make our country better. 9 Politics Sep-07 An early book with a lot of earthiness, that gives you a real idea how Obama has Dreams From My Father Barack Obama lived his life, and what he stands for, and how he accomplishes things. 9 Politics Aug-07 An Inconvenient Truth Al Gore 10 Environment Oct-06 A good description of the reasons why Social Security and Medicare are going to Running on Empty Peter Peterson bankrupt us, and what the polital parties have not been doing to fix the problems. 10 Politics/Finance Aug-07 Field Notes from a Catastrophe – Man, Nature and Climate Change Elizabeth Kolbert A good, realisitic, detailed and personal look at global warming. 10 Environment Sep-07 A great account of how to help our schools by teaching kids to be good people. Character Matters: How to Help Our Great examples of schools that have used values-based education to turn around Children Develop Good Judgment, a bad situation. A few small things I didn't agree with, but all in all a wonderful Integrity, and Other Essential Virtues Thomas Lickona book for parents to read. 8 Education Oct-08 Good not not earth-shattering. Opened my eyes to a lot of the connections god is not Great: How Religion Christopher between religions. Very harsh about the harm that has been done by religion Poisons Everything Hitchens over the centuries. I would think it would be hard for a religious person to read. 6 Philosophy/Religion Jan-10 American fascists : the Christian Right and the war on America Chris Hedges Good but not great. Fairly virulent look at the far right. 5 Philosophy/Religion Jan-10 Bayou farewell : the rich life and tragic death of Louisiana's Cajun Heart-breaking look at how much land we are losing in Louisiana and how much it coast Mike Tidwell will affect those watermen, and how nothing is being done about it. 9 Environment Jan-10 The clean tech revolution : the next A good look at all the ways clean tech is helping the fields of energy, transport, big growth and investment Ron Pernick and etc, and all the investment opportunities. Slightly dated (2007), but had some opportunity Clint Wilder new tech that I didn't know about. 9 Environment/Energy Jan-10 A great biography of a great man. Very interesting view of his personal life -- I had no idea how many stressful and strange things he went through personnally Einstein: His Life and Universe Walter Isaacson while he was busy re-formulating modern physics. 9 Biography Aug-07 I found this to be a very eye-opening and scary book, but very factual. It follows Paul's own feelings, so at the beginning he is excited and hopeful, and then he gradually gets disillusioned about the current administration. Had to be gutsy to write this, but I'm glad he did, and I hope as many people as possible read it The Price of Loyalty: George W. before the election. Without calling Bush an idiot, he makes it clear what kind of Bush, the White House, and the administration we currently have, and how it compares to many previous Education of Paul O'Neill Ron Suskind administrations. 10 Politics Jan-04 What‘s the Matter with Kansas 7 Politics Jan-04 Guantanamo, An Abuse of Presidential Power Great and terrifying. 10 Politics Jan-04 Bush‘s Brain 9 Politics Jan-04 Bushwhacked 9 Politics Jan-04 Where‘s My Country 9 Politics Jan-04 The Book on Bush (How George W. (Mis)leads America) 10 Politics Jan-04 Against All Enemies 10 Politics Jan-04 Bush Must Go 9 Politics Jan-04 Bush Versus the Environment Robert Devine 10 Environment Jan-04 Cruel and Unusual Crispin 9 Politics Apr-07 Sleeping with the Devil, How Washington Sold our Soul for Saudi Crude Not all that good. 7 Politics Feb-07 This is a non-fiction book of essays. Her fiction is great too, in terms of showing how an environmentally conscious person can have a big impact on the Earth. These essays were written after 9-11, and they tie together our thirst for energy, SUVs, and consumption, and why the rest of the world hates us and bombs us, Small Wonder Barbara Kingsolver in a way not often seen. 9 Environment Makes me happy to live in the US. Shows what women in some other cultures Veiled Courage, Inside the Afghan have to go through, and how they are getting support from the international Women‘s Resistance Cheryl Benard community. Heart-wrenching reading. 9 Politics In somewhat the same vein as Veiled Courage, makes me happy to live in the US. About a woman who comes to America and shows us how to fight terrorists Terrorist Hunter in her country. 9 Politics A ‗must read‘ book on globalization that covers many facets. Reviews the rise of corporate power and how corporations have attained constitutional rights originally intended for citizens. Explains and reveals the operations of financial/corporate organizations such as the IMF, the World Bank, WTO, NAFTA, and GATT. Cites the adverse/detrimental effects that these organizations and corporations have had on various societies, communities, and people. Tells how financial and corporate interests have usurped the power of citizens and governments. Presents an agenda for change and reclaiming of When Corporations Rule The World David C. Korten power communities and citizens. Has a very good bibliography at end. 9 Economy Documents how millions of Americans are dying needlessly from SUV-related High and Mighty – SUVs: The injuries, how pollution is higher, and the history and politics behind all the World‘s Most Dangerous Vehicles loopholes that SUVs slide through. Bought a Prius instead of our 4Runner right and How They Got That Way Keith Bradsher after reading this. 10 Environment A fascinating indictment of how the fast food industry controls the meat packing business -- after you read it you may not be able to enter a McDonalds. Interesting history of McDonalds and others (as well as Disney), and brutal details of how they sway politicians, treat their workforce, hide accidents, and slaughtering process for cattle. Also details of making and flavoring other foods, Fast Food Nation fries, chicken, and health risks you may not have considered. 9 Health A great book with a searing indictment of most of America. Starts with a hair- raising description of Bush‘s cabinet, continues with slaps at Republicans, Democrats, whites, you name it. Packs a punch, and seems to be all factual Stupid White Men Michael Moore (other than the odd tongue in cheek gibe). 9 Politics A great read with ideas of how global corporations hurt the ecology, the Going Local -- Creating Self-Reliant community, the environment, and the citizens, and how communities can be Communities in a Global Age Michael Shuman strengthened. 10 Economy/Environment The Case against the Global Economy and for a Turn toward the Mander and A great series of essays by various powerful thinkers on how today‘s globalized Local, edited Goldsmith corporations are creating an untenable situation. 9 Economy A Bright Shining Lie 8 War/Vietnam Undaunted Courage Stephen Ambrose Not political, but historical. An account of the 1906 Lewis and Clark expedition 9 Biography Similar and not quite as powerful as some of the others in showing what we need Eco-Economy, Building an Economy to do to make our civilization and economics sustainable, and why we‘re in such for the Earth Lester Brown poor shape now. 6 Economy/Environment Talks about why the world is not in such bad shape as WorldWatch Institute (who puts out State of the World 2001, etc) and others like them would have you believe. Has some good statistics to back up his points, but in a few places he makes jumps I don‘t agree with, or glosses over evidence. Basic point is that poverty in the Third World, and things like access to drinking water and sanitation, are the major issues, not use of pesticides etc. Has lately been The Skeptical Environmentalist debunked. 4 Environment later mostly discredited 50 Years is Enough -- The Case against the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, edited Kevin Danaher Another good series of essays 9 Economy A great book citing the failings of NASA and major world governments in not Entering Space, Creating a putting emphasis on the right things in going to space, and the loss of focus after Spacefaring Civilization Robert Zubrin the Apollo days. 9 Space If the Gods Had Meant Us to Vote They Would Have Given Us A funny and well-researched account of what goes on in American politics, and Candidates Jim Hightower how the majority of Americans today are being left out of all major decisions. 9 Politics Describes some of the ways in which our world is close to the line in being able to destroy the Earth, and how slip-shod is the security that keeps us from disaster. Avoiding Armageddon, Our Future. Technical descriptions of all WMDs and their risks in the current political situation. Our Choice Martin Schram Lots of info on unprotected weapons in the former Soviet Union. 9 Politics/War Actually should be in the child/baby books, but is a great read on how we differ from the ‗primitive‘ societies in general. Has a whole Web site and a great chat group devoted to how to raise your children in a way more in tune with millions of The Continuum Concept Jean Liedhoff years of evolution. 10 Family Extremely powerful and well-supported research. Shows why all the non-virus potential causes for AIDS were thrown out early and why they are still being ignored. Presents evidence (to me, compelling) that AIDS is not caused by HIV, and that AIDS is not sexually transmitted. Discusses the politics of current big- time science and why that leads to no one being willing to say ―the emperor has no clothes‖ and support non-HIV causes for AIDS. Terrifying to think how much money has been and is being spent on the HIV hypothesis if it is not true. Another good although hard to find one in this vein is Poison Prescription, The Inventing the AIDS Virus Peter Duesberg AZT Story, by John Lauritsen. 8 Health Very powerful and timely -- written by a man who's been a feminist all his life and has finally decided that it's gone too far -- that at this point, men are the ones who are discriminated against. A lot of fascinating statistics, and, as a woman, somewhat horrifying to read. (I read Disclosure right afterward, and, at the same time, a man in my office was trying to get someone to take action because he was being discriminated against -- whole thing packed quite a wallop. My dad The Myth of Male Power Walter Farrell was here while I was reading it and he started it and couldn't put it down...) 10 Gender The same author as Myth of Male Power, written a lot earlier in his career when he was more bitter, and less smooth and compelling. Still a great book -- a lot of examples of what this society gives to women as standards of their expected Why Men are the Way They Are Walter Farrell behavior. 7 Gender A little slow/difficult to read, but an interesting set of ideas on why TV is bad for us mentally, emotionally, culturally, physically and socially. Goes well beyond the standard argument (TV time is wasted time when you‘re probably taking in Four Arguments for the Elimination of calories) and deals with the root of the technology. Some is a little far-reaching, Television Jerry Mander but an interesting read nonetheless. 7 Genome Matt Ridley A great story of genetics; fascinating and disturbing. 10 Genetics Sort of a combination of The Myth of Male Power and Artificial Life. Goes into why certain things have been selected for based on the fact that there are two The Red Queen (Sex and the genders. Absolutely fascinating. Very powerful, but fairly technical (still has a Evolution of Human Nature) Matt Ridley sense of humor, though). 10 Genetics Stolen Harvest: The Hijacking of the About how large corporate giants like Monsanto are raping the world and making Global Food Supply Vandana Shiva it legal. 10 Environment/Food Completely unlike all the others in this list, except perhaps Kingsolver‘s fiction. A great true story, told with a wry sense of humor, about a girl‘s childhood in Africa. Confronts racism from the viewpoint of one who was brought up as an Don‘t Lets Go to the Dogs Tonight Alexandra Fuller unconscious racist, in a mostly plack country. 10 Biography Twins and What They Tell Us about Who we Are An interesting study of genetics, starting from twin studies. 8 Genetics One World, Ready or Not -- The A compelling look at how the globalization of the economy is driving us toward Manic Logic of Global Capitalism William Greidner disaster. 7 Economy A great book that gives a compelling history of racism. An easier read than The The End of Racism Dinesh D‘Souza Bell Curve, and more direct about what to do about it. 8 Racism An oldie but a goodie -- a classic. The original starting point for the kind of genetic deductions made by other books in this list. Anything by him is good, including The Blind Watchmaker, Climbing Mount Improbable, Unweaving the The Selfish Gene Richard Dawkins Rainbow and The Devil‘s Chaplain. 10 Genetics A great and fascinating summary of current research, with insights into the kind of A Separate Creation, The Search for moral decisions scientists have to make. Gets into much more genetics than just the Biological Origins of Sexual sexual orientation -- some similarities to The Red Queen. Very interesting facts Orientation Chandler Burr about current gene detection, duplication and manipulation technology. 9 Genetics/Gender About the growing class split in America, why it is happening and what to do The End of Equality Mickey Kaus about it. 9 Economy The Plague Makers -- How we are creating catastrophic new epidemics - - and what we must do to avoid them Jeffrey Fisher About the dangers the indiscriminate use of antibiotics is raising for the world. 8 Health Earth in the Balance Al Gore Very good, very powerful description of environmental concerns. 9 Environment An interesting look at how local beliefs and cultural traditions are actually formed Cows, Pigs, Wars and Witches Marvin Harris for rational reasons. 6 Culture This is definitely not the book that it has been reviewed as being. It is a very Richard Herrnstein tough read, but is a very interesting view of the statistics on intellectual growth in and Charles the US, where we are going, and what to do about it. In my view, they actively The Bell Curve Murray avoid being racist. 9 Racism The End of Work (The Decline of the Very compelling, well-researched account of what high-technology has done to Global Labor Force and the Dawn of the job market historically, and what it is doing currently. Also some interesting the Post-Market Era) Jeremy Rifkin thoughts on what to do about it. 8 Economy About how modern chemical exposure is changing the human race and its Our Stolen Future Theo Colburn fertility, as well as animals, in ways we haven‘t figured out yet. 10 Environment About the things they've been able to do with software -- having it breed, evolve, self-select, compete, etc. -- that mimics natural evolution. Sticks in your head Artificial Life Steven Levy every time you see a flock of birds 9 Genetics Better than Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus, not as good as Myth of Deborah Tannen, Male Power, in terms of explaining the differences in communicating methods You Just Don't Understand PhD. between men and women, and what we can do about them. 7 Gender Deborah Tannen, Male and Female communication methods at work. A good read for either sex in Talking from 9 to 5 PhD. a work environment. 9 Gender A true story of a virus that came out of one of the African rain forests we destroyed and nearly got loose in America. A great insight into the many reasons The Hot Zone Richard Preston it is dangerous to be wiping out the rain forests. Spine-chilling. 10 Health A complete (and huge!) history of disease in the world since about 1900. Includes a lot of the supposedly "eliminated" diseases such as malaria and TB, and why they are now coming back. Also has info on the "newer" diseases such The Coming Plague Laurie Garrett as AIDS and Ebola. 9 Health ________________________________________________________________________ Daniel and David Just for fun, a true-life adventure story of a son and father that go around Cape My Old Man and The Sea Hayes Horn together in a 25 foot sailboat. A great read. 10 Biography Interesting insight into consciousness; what it is, where it comes from, what Elemental Mind Nick Herbert causes it, what it does -- the observer creates the observed, etc. Culture James Lovelock The Greening of Mars and Michael Allaby A nice vision of humans eventually terraforming Mars. Space A description for laymen of environmental dangers and what we can do about Isaac Asimov and them. Written very informally, without extensive footnoting, but a good casual Our Angry Earth Frederick Pohl summary of environmental concerns. Environment The Elephant in the Bedroom -- Automobile Dependence and Denial -- Impacts on the Economy and Stanley Hart and Environment Alvin Spivak Environment The Brainmakers David Freedman How we have been doing at imitating human consciousness with computers. Culture A catalog of little-known ways to become involved with science and Peace Core- Environmental Vacations Stephanie Ocko type projects as a temporary experience. Environment This has a lot of interesting facts about the connection of body to mind etc. Also a lot of interesting info about Oriental medicine and how the total philosophy Healing and the Mind Bill Moyers differs from US medicine. Culture Ruth's Reading List Some very powerful books -- most in rough order of quality (best to less good). The line demarcates whe Book title Author Comments Child/Baby books Why it's not so bad to sleep *Three in a Bed with your kids. Parent Effectiveness A little too over-the-top for Training me. Playful Parenting Lawrence Cohen Our standard present for pregnant couples – a great photographic journey of the nine months of A Child is Born Lennart Nilsson development. The Wonder of Boys (What Parents, Mentors and Educators can to do Shape Boys into Exceptional Men) Michael Gurian Spoiling Childhood, How well-meaning parents are giving their children too much -- but not what they need Diane Ehrensaft, Ph.D. How Good Parents Raise Great Kids, The six highly essential habits of highly Alan Davidson, Ph.D., and successful parents Robert Davidson This is a great gift for folks with young kids, and we used this method -- how to design signs with your kids so they communicate with Baby Signs, How to talk with you before they have words. your baby before your baby Linda Acredolo, Ph.D., and Huge for reducing the can talk Susan Goodwyn, Ph.D. frustration level! Your Child‘s Self-Esteem, Step-by-step guidelines for raising responsible, productive, happy children Dorothy Corkille Briggs Baby Talk, The art of communicating with infants and toddlers Monica Devine Scott's name for this is -- The Nazi Sleep Book. Did Healthy Sleep Habits, more to upset me as a Healthy Child Marc Weissbluth, MD parent than any other book. Why Parents Disagree and What You Can Do About It (How to Raise Great Kids While You Strengthen Your Marriage) Dr. Ron Taffel Raising a Thinking Child Myrna Shure, PhD (a little bit to the right for me, The Family Bed Tine Thevenin but some good advice) Emotional Intelligence Daniel Goleman Concept of EQ instead of IQ How to Raise a Child with a High EQ, A Parents‘ Guide to Emotional Intelligence Lawrence Shapiro, PhD Sweet and Natural Baking (Sugar-Free Recipes from Mani‘s Bakery) Mani Niall Great and fancy recipes Sweet and Sugarfree Karen Barkie Smart Cookies, 80 Recipes for Heavenly, Healthful Snacking Jane Kinderlehrer Sugar-Free Toddlers, over 100 recipes Susan Watson The line demarcates where (in my view) these stop becoming life-changing experiences to read. Rank (10=great, 0=awful) Subject area When I read it 8 Raising children 5 Raising children 6 Raising children 10 Raising children 9 Raising children 8 Raising children 7 Raising children 10 Raising children 5 Raising children 9 Raising children 3 Raising children 6 Raising children 9 Raising children 8 Raising children 8 Raising children 8 Raising children 8 Sugar free baking 6 Sugar free baking 6 Sugar free baking 6 Sugar free baking Comments Ruth's Reading List Some very powerful books -- most in rough order of quality (best to less good). The line demarcates whe Book title Author Health Books Fats that Heal, Fats that Kill Feeding the Whole Family: Whole Foods Recipes for Babies, Young Children and their Parents Cynthia Lair Steward, Andrews, Sugar Busters Bethea, and Balart The Probiotics Revolution: The Definitive Guide to Safe, Natural Health Solutions Using Probiotic and Gary B. Huffnagle and Prebiotic Foods and Supplements Sarah Wernick ality (best to less good). The line demarcates where (in my view) these stop becoming life-changing experiences to r Rank (10=great, Comments 0=awful) A fascinating description of essential fatty acids, difference to your health between butter and margarine, how you can eat to help avoid and or fight cancer and other diseases. Quite technical but a great read, and may have a severe impact on your eating habits. Good comparison of white vs. wheat flour and bread, white (refined) vs. unrefined oils, and even organic free-range vs. commercial farm-raised eggs and meat. 9 A great whole foods cookbook with examples of good grains, alternative sweeteners, why to eat a healthy diet, etc. Menus for infants to adults. 8 A diet book, but a good history of refined sugar and why it is the wrong thing to eat. 5 A great look at how live microbes help your system in many ways: allergies, obesity, aging, etc. 9 anging experiences to read. When I Subject area read it Comments Health Health Health Health Book title Author Comments The Kite Runner Khaled Hosseini A moving portrait of modern Afganistan Folly, series with Sherlock Holmes starting with The BeeKeeper's Apprentice, and series on a SF cop -- A Grave Talent and others Laurie King The Bean Trees, Prodigal Summer, and many others Barbara Kingsolver Ender's Game series Orson Scott Card All Robert Henlein DragonFlight Anne McCaffery All Spider Robinson The Bookman series John Dunning Nero Wolfe series Rex Stout Rank (10=great, When I 0=awful) Subject arearead it it of modern Afganistan. Great book -- I literally couldn't put it down. Reads like a true story.