main non-fiction by maclaren1


									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.
                                                                                                                                            (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
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
              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




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
            (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.

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