students reading
March 31, 2020

Spring Term reading (and watching) list

A Craig’s List special edition
by David Fox

Beginning in 1990, Craig Thorn, our long-time colleague in Bulfinch, began collecting and distributing a summer reading list with suggestions from members of the faculty and staff. While we will continue this tradition in June, at the start of this Spring Term—in the midst of the pandemic—members of the faculty put together a special edition for the Andover community.

Biography and Memoir

David Chang, Eat a Peach

David Chang, Eat a Peach

Brittney Cooper, Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower

Angela Davis, An Autobiography

Roxane Gaye, Hunger

Ulysses S. Grant, Memoirs

Mira Jacobs, Good Talk: A memoir in conversations

Walter Isaacson, Leonardo da Vinci

Chanel Miller, Know My Name

Janet Mock, Redefining Realness: My path to womanhood, identify, love & so much more

Gino Segrè, The Pope of Physics: Enrico Fermi and the Birth of the Atomic Age

Damon Tweedy, Black Man in a White Coat: A Doctor's Reflections on Race and Medicine

Tara Westover, Educated

Ali Wong, Dear Girls: Intimate tales, untold secrets & advice for living your best life

Fiction & Poetry

Russell Banks, The Sweet Hereafter

Charles Baxter, Gryphon

Clare Beams, The Illness Lesson

Taffy Brodesser-Akner, Fleishman Is In Trouble

Octavia Butler, Parable of the Sower

Miguel Cervantes, Don Quixote

Ted Chiang, The Story of Your Life and Others

Ted Chiang, Exhalation

Susan Choi, Trust Exercise

Phillip K. Dick, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep

Anthony Doerr, All the Light We Cannot See

George Eliot, Middlemarch

Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man

Langston Hughes, The Ways of White Folks

Aldous Huxley, Brave New World

Keetje Kuipers, All its Charms

Ada Limón, Bright Dead Things: Poem

Walker Percy, The Moviegoer

Helen Phillips, The Need

Erika L. Sánchez, I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter

Mariko Tamaki, Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me

Jesmyn Ward, Sing, Unburied, Sing

Edith Wharton, The House of Mirth

Yevgeny Zamyatin, We

The study in French House. (credit: David Fox)


John Barry, Rising Tide: The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and How it Changed America

Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, An Indigenous People’s History of the United States

Nigel Hamilton, The Mantle of Command: FDR at War, 1941-1942

Nigel Hamilton, Commander in Chief: FDR's Battle with Churchill, 1943

Kelly Hernández, City of Inmates: Conquest, rebellion, and the rise of human caging in Los Angeles

Patrick Keefe, Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland

Katrine Marçal, Who Cooked Adam Smith’s Dinner?: A story of women and economics

Tim Marshall, Prisoners of Geography: Ten maps that explain everything about the world

Ian Millhiser, Injustices: The Supreme Court’s history of comforting the comfortable and afflicting the afflicted

Samuel Moyn, The Last Utopia: Human Rights in History

Tom Standage, A History of the World in 6 Glasses

Peter Watson, Ideas: A History from Fire to Freud

Howard Zinn, A People’s History of the United States

Natural History & Climate Science

Brian Fagan, The Great Warming:Climate Change and the Rise and Fall of Civilizations

Kirk Johnson, The Feather Thief

Naomi Klein, This Changes Everything: Capitalism and the climate

Bill McKibben, Falter

Rob Nixon, Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor

Jedediah Purdy, After Nature: A Politics for the Anthropocene

There will be a written exam in the fall.

Craig Thorn (1958-2006) English instructor emeritus


Mark Bittman, How to Cook Everything (beginners)

David Chang and Peter Meehan, Momofuku: A cookbook

Julia Child, Mastering the Art of French Cooking

Computers and Technology

James Bridle, New Dark Age: Technology and the end of the future

Cathy O’Neil, Weapons of Math Destruction: How big data increases inequality and threatens democracy

Charles Petzold, Code: The hidden language of computer hardware and software

Seth Stevens-Davidowitz, Everybody Lies: Big Data, New Data and What the Internet can Tell Us About Who We Really Are

Sherry Turkle, Alone Together: Why we expect more from technology and less from each other

Jean Twenge, iGen: Why today’s super-connected kids are growing up less rebellious,more tolerant, less happy—and completely unprepared for adulthood—and what that means for the rest of us

Mindfulness & Resilience

Tara Brach, Radical Acceptance

Thich Nhat Hanh, Peace is Every Step

Ryan Holiday, The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living

Ryan Holiday, Ego is the Enemy

Ryan Holiday, The Obstacle Is The Way

Ryan Holiday, Stillness Is The Key; This I Believe

Oliver Wendell Holmes Library circa 19303 (credit: PA Archives)

Interdisciplinary (humanities and STEM together)

Bulent Atalay, Math and the Mona Lisa: Art and science of Leonardo da Vinci

Hans Belting, Florence and Baghdad: Renaissance Art and Arab Science

Apostolos Doxiadis and Christos Papadimitriou, Logicomix: An epic search for truth

Jason Fagone, The Woman Who Smashed Codes: A true story of love, spies, and the unlikely heroine who outwitted America’s enemies

Richard Feynman, Surely you’re joking, Mr. Feynman

Douglas Hofstadter, Gödel, Escher, Bach: An eternal golden braid

Robin Kimmerer, Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous wisdom, scientific knowledge, and the teachings of plants

Maria Popova, Figuring

Leonard Shlain, Physics of Art

Mystery & True Crime

Donna Leon, Death at La Fenice

Michelle McNamara, I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One woman’s obsession with the Golden State killer

Louise Penny (read “anything”)

Hank Phillip Ryan, Trust Me

Philosophy & Religion

Epictetus, The Enchiridion

Herman Hesse, Siddhartha

T. M. Luhrmann, When God Talks Back: Understanding the American evangelical relationship with God

Reinhold Niebuhr, Moral Man and Immoral Society: A study of ethics and politics

Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama, The Book of Joy

Art History

Aruna D’Souza, Whitewalling: Art, race, & protest in 3 acts

Anton Gil, il Gigante: Michelangelo, Florence, and the David 1492-1504

bell hooks, Art on My Mind, Visual Politics

Nicholas Lynn, Rape of Europa

Linda Nochlin, Women, Art, and Power and Other Essays

Don Thompson, The $12 Million Stuffed Shark: The curious economics of contemporary art

Cultural Criticism & Social Justice

Susan Cain, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking

Jonathan Crary, 24/7: Late Capitalism and the Ends of Sleep

Angela Davis, Women, Race, & Class

Kate Harding, Asking for It: The alarming rise of rape culture and what we can do about it

Arlie Russell Hochschild, Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and mourning on the American Right

Shamus Khan, Privilege: The making of an adolescent elite at St. Paul’s School

Jenny Odell, How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy

Peggy Orenstein, Boys & Sex: Young men on hookups, love, porn, consent, and navigating the new masculinity

Jason Stanley, How Fascism Works: The politics of us and them

Sonya Renee Taylor, The Body Is Not an Apology: The power of radical self-love

Jia Tolentino, Trick Mirror: Reflections on self-delusion

George Yancy, Backlash

Film & Television

Hal Ashby, Being There

Anthony Asquith, The Browning Version

Banksy, Exit Through the Gift Shop (documentary)

Ken Burns, Baseball (long documentary)

Ken Burns, The Civil War (long documentary)

Ken Burns, Country Music (long documentary)

Ken Burns, Jazz (long documentary)

Jane Campion, The Piano

Ava DuVernay, Queen Sugar (series)

Ezra Edelman, OJ: Made in America (long documentary)

Gerta Gerwig, Little Women

Steve James, Hoop Dreams (documentary)

Barry Jenkins, If Beale Street Could Talk

Neil Jordan, The Crying Game

Nathaniel Kahn, My Architect: A son’s journey (documentary)

Stanley Kubrick, Dr. Strangelove

Spike Lee, Do the Right Thing

Spike Lee, 4 Little Girls (documentary)

Spike Lee, When the Levees Broke (long documentary)

Harry Moses, Who the #&%* is Jackson Pollock? (documentary)

Mike Nichols, Angels in America

Cynthia Scott, Strangers in Good Company

Ridley Scott, Thelma & Louise

Matthew Weiner, Mad Men (series)

Students in the Freeman Room (credit: PA Archives)
Categories: Magazine, Magazine Online

Other Stories

Midyear momentum

How annual donors are driving the Andover student experience this year

Arielsie Li ’24, Yifan Kang ’24, and Anna Du ’24
Three seniors named Regeneron Scholars

Nation’s oldest and most prestigious high school STEM competition awards top 300 high school scientists