Tuesday Morning Message 5.28.19 Dean's Summer 2019 Reading List

Posted 2019-05-28 11:05am

“There is no friend as loyal as a book.” – Ernest Hemingway

“You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read. It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, who had ever been alive.” – James Baldwin

I recently asked for your recommendations for a summer reading list for our students. Like last year, it has become much more than a summer reading list- it’s more like a year-long reading list!

Below are some of the recommendations I received, as well as my own recommendations. I also have included books that were recommended to me last year by our faculty and alumni as well as other deans, judges, lawyers, and friends. I have listed them under the following categories:

  • Legal System/ Social Change
  • Leadership/ Decision-Making
  • Legal Career/ Profession
  • Great Reads

The top recommendation was Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson (recommended by Professor Carolyn Broering-Jacobs, Professor Peter Garlock, Professor Heidi Robertson, Tom Adams, Gordon Friedman, and Sarah Beznoska).

I was particularly struck by the book’s connection to Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, the classic book about social justice that we send to every admitted student. The principal story in Just Mercy is about Walter McMillian, whom Bryan Stevenson began representing in the late 1980s when he was on death row for killing a young white woman in Monroe­ville, Alabama, the hometown of Harper Lee. As Sarah Beznoska, Assistant Director of Career Strategy and Employment noted, “students should read Just Mercy because it will force them to ask themselves hard questions about the justice system and how they want to use their position as a lawyer/attorney to make a difference.”

Other books that received more than one recommendation were:

  • To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee  (Alan Rom, Jim French)
  • Evicted Poverty and Profit in the American City -Matthew Desmond (Professor Heidi Robertson, Dean Lee Fisher
  • The New Jim Crow – Michelle Alexander (Professor Peter Garlock, Billy Killmeyer)
  • The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups – Daniel Coyle  (Jason Bristol, Sarah Beznoska
  • Leadership in Turbulent Times – Doris Kearns Goodwin (Carter Strang, Dean Lee Fisher)
  • Educated – Tara Westover (Sara Beznoska, Suzanne Fisher)
  • Hamilton – Ron Chernow  (Tim Collins, Jim Pender)

Legal System/ Social Change

  • Locking Up Our Own -James Coleman, Jr. (Professor Peter Garlock)
  • Locked In: The True Causes of Mass Incarceration - John Pfaff (Professor Peter Garlock)
  • No Property in Man: Slavery and Antislavery at the Nation's Founding - Sean Wilentz (Professor Peter Garlock)
  • The Radical and the Republican- James Oakes (Professor Peter Garlock)
  • The Lives of the Constitution- Joseph Tartakowsky (Professor David Forte)
  • Grant- Ron Chernow (Professor David Forte)
  • The Color of Law –Richard Rothstein  (Professor Brian Glassman)
  • Love Wins: The Lovers and Lawyers Who Fought the Landmark Case for Marriage Equality - Debbie Cenziper and James Obergefell (Professor Emeritus Lloyd Snyder)
  • Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI -David Grann (Professor Emeritus Lloyd Snyder)
  • Gideon's Trumpet -Anthony Lewis (Vince Lombardo)
  • Make No Law - Anthony Lewis  (Vince Lombardo)
  • Arc of Justice -Kevin Boyle  (Professor Ken Kowalski)
  • American Revolutions - Alan Taylor  (Tim Collins)
  • Washington: A Life- Ron Chernow (Jim Pender)
  • The Addicted Lawyer: Tales of the Bar, Booze, Blow and Redemption -Brian Cuban (Professor Browne Lewis)
  • Behold the Dreamers - Imbolo Mbue (Professor Browne Lewis)
  • The Soul of America: The Battle for Our Better Angels - Jon Meacham (Dean Lee Fisher)
  • The Gentleman from Ohio – Congressman Louis Stokes (Dean Lee Fisher)
  • Answering the CallJudge Nathaniel R. Jones (Dean Lee Fisher)
  • Ballots and Bullets: Black Power Politics and Urban Guerrilla Warfare in 1968 Cleveland – James Robenalt  (Dean Lee Fisher)
  • Tailspin- Steven Brill  (Dean Lee Fisher)
  • The Bramble Bush - Karl N. Llewellyn (Dean Lee Fisher)
  • The Final Days- Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein (Dean Lee Fisher)
  • Justice: What’s the Right Thing to Do? -Michael Sandel (Dean Fisher)
  • A Time to Kill – John Grisham (Philip Ridolphi)
  • An Innocent Man -John Grisham
  • Law 101: Everything You Need to Know about the American Legal System - Jay M. Feinman 
  • Tomorrow's Lawyers: An Introduction to Your Future -Richard Susskind
  • Actual Innocence: When Justice Goes Wrong and How to Make it Right - Barry Scheck, Jim Dwyer, and Peter Neufeld
  • The Buffalo Creek Disaster: How the Survivors of One of the Worst Disasters in Coal-Mining History Brought Suit Against the Coal Company-and Won - Gerald Stern
  • The Courage of Their Convictions: Sixteen Americans Who Fought Their Way to the Supreme Court -Peter Irons
  • The Law and Harry Potter - Jeffrey E. Thomas and Franklin G. Snyder
  • The Nine -Jeffrey Toobin
  • A Question of Choice -Sarah Weddington
  • A People's History of the Supreme Court -Peter Irons
  • When Law Goes Pop: The Vanishing Line Between Law and Popular Culture -Richard K. Sherwin
  • Becoming Justice Blackmun -Linda Greenhouse
  • A Civil Action -Jonathan Harr
  • Damages -Barry Werth
  • In Cold Blood – Truman Capote
  • Simple Justice - Richard Kluger

Leadership/ Decision-Making

  • Oh the Places You’ll Go – Dr. Seuss (Jim French)
  • Team of Rivals- Doris Kearns Goodwin (Jim French)
  • Grit Angela Duckworth (Sarah Beznoska)
  • Designing Your Life -Bill Burnett and Dave Evans (Sarah Beznoska)
  • The Start-Up of You -Reid Hoffman (Sarah Beznoska)
  • When Breath Becomes Air -Paul Kalanithi and Abraham Verghe (Sarah Beznoska)
  • Into Thin Air -Jon Krakauer (Peggy Zone Fisher)
  • Thinking Fast and Slow- Daniel Kahneman (Judge James S. Gwin)
  • Getting to Yes -Roger Fisher and William Ury (Alan Jay Rom)
  • Getting Together: Building a Relationship that Gets to Yes -Roger Fisher and Scott Brown  (Alan Rom)
  • David and Goliath - Malcom Gladwell  (Daniel Mordarski)
  • Defending Jacob -William Landay (Leigh Prugh)
  • Measure What Matters: How Google, Bono, and the Gates Foundation Rock the World with OKRs –John Doerr (Dean Lee Fisher)
  • The Bureaucratic Entrepreneur – Richard Haass (Dean Lee Fisher)
  • Nudge- Richard Thaler and Cass Sundheim (Dean Lee Fisher)
  • The Best and Brightest – David Halberstam (Dean Lee Fisher)
  • Lead Yourself First – Judge Raymond Kethledge and Michael Erwin  (Dean Lee Fisher)
  • Lawyers as Leaders – Deborah Rhode  (Dean Lee Fisher)
  • I Thought It Was Just Me (But It Isn’t): Making the Journey from “What Will People Think” to “I Am Enough.” - Brené Brown (Dean Lee Fisher)
  • Start With Why; How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action – Simon Sinek (Dean Lee Fisher)
  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – Stephen Covey (Dean Fisher)
  • When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing- Daniel Pink (Dean Fisher)
  • Who Moved My Cheese? -Dr. Spencer Johnson (Dean Fisher)
  • Good to Great- Jim Collins – (Dean Fisher)
  • The Benevolent Dictator- Michael Feuer (Dean Lee Fisher)
  • Tips from the Top – Michael Feuer (Dean Lee Fisher)
  • Can I Have 5 minutes of Your Time? – Hal Becker (Dean Lee Fisher)

Legal Career/ Profession

  • Great on the Job -Jodi Glickman (Sarah Beznoska)
  • Soft Skills for the Effective Lawyer – Randall Kiser (Dean Lee Fisher)
  • Letters to a Young Lawyer- Alan Dershowitz
  • 24 Hours with 24 Lawyers: Profiles of Traditional and Non-Traditional Careers – Jasper Kim
  • The Happy Lawyer: Making a Good Life in the Law –Nancy Levit and Douglas O. Linder
  • Lawyers as Counselors –David Binder, Paul Bergman and Susan Price
  • Full Disclosure: The New Lawyer’s Must-Read Career Guide – Christen Civiletto Carey
  • The Curmudgeon’s Guide to Practicing Law – Mark Herrmann
  • Swimming Lessons for Baby Sharks: The Essential Guide for Thriving as a New Lawyer – Grover E. Cleveland
  • The Official Guide to Legal Specialties – Lisa Abrams
  • What Can You Do With a Law Degree? A Lawyer’s Guide to Career Alternatives Inside, Outside, and Around the Law – Deborah Arron

Great Reads

  • The Underground Railroad - Colson Whitehead (Professor Peter Garlock)
  • Kindred - Octavia Butler (Professor Peter Garock)
  • The Pioneers:The Heroic Story of the Settlers Who Brought the American Ideal West -David McCullough (Professor Mickey Davis)
  • Night - Elie Weisel (Professor Heidi Robertson)
  • The Spirit Catches You, and You Fall Down - Anne Fadiman (Professor Heidi Robertson)
  • One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich- Alexandr Solzhenitsyn (Professor David Forte)
  • The Art of the Lathe -B.H.Fairchild (Professor David Forte).
  • A Gentleman in Moscow- Amor Towles (Professor David Forte)
  • The Shadow of the Wind- Carlos Ruiz Zafon (Jim French)
  • The Children Act -Ian McEwan (Scott Wilson)
  • Catch-22 - Joseph Heller (Scott Wilson)
  • Between the World and Me- Ta-Nehisi Coates (Alan Rom)
  • One Hundred Years of Solitude- Gabriel Garcia Marquez (Alan Rom)
  • Witness: Lessons from Elie Wiesel’s Classroom (Alan Rom)
  • The Essential Groucho -Stefan Kanfer  (Alan Rom)
  • The Sellout -Paul Beatty  (Alan Rom)
  • The Quotable Mark Twain -R. Kent Rasmussen (Alan Rom)
  • Small Fry - Lisa Brennan Jobs (Suzanne Fisher)
  • Little Fires Everywhere - Celeste Ng (Sarah Beznoska)
  • The Overstory Richard Powers (Patty Shlonsky)
  • The Immortal Life -Henrietta Lacks (Professor Pamela Daiker-Middaugh)
  • In the Time of the Butterflies - Julia Álvarez (Vanessa Gomez)
  • A Man Called Ove - Fredrick Backman  (Professor Carolyn Broering- Jacobs)
  • Britt-Marie Was Here - Fredrick Backman (Professor Carolyn Broering-Jacobs)
  • Fahrenheit 451- Ray Bradbury  (Jim McSherry; Colette M Emerson)
  • What Made Maddy Run -Kate Fagan  (Daniel Mordarski)
  • You Are Not So Smart -David McRaney  (Daniel Mordarski)
  • Freakonomics -Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner  (Daniel Mordarski)
  • Predictably Irrational - Dan Ariely  (Daniel Mordarski)
  • Wench - Dolen Perkins-Valdez  (Amy Burchfield)
  • Things Fall Apart - Chinua Achebe (Maria Levanoff)
  • The Kitchen God’s Wife - Amy Tan (Maria Levanoff)
  • The Lioness Quartet - Tamora Pierce (Maria Levanoff) 
  • The Old Kingdom Trilogy - Garth Nix  (Maria Levanoff)
  • The Dragonlance Chronicles - Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman (Maria Levanoff)
  • Unbelievable: My Front-Row Seat to the Craziest Campaign in American History - Katy Tur (Matt Wagner)
  • War on Peace: The End of Diplomacy and the Decline of American Influence -Ronan Farrow (Matt Wagner)
  • Cry, the Beloved Country- Alan Paton (Adjunct Professor David Weiner)
  • Too Late the Phalarope- Alan Paton  (Adjunct Professor David Weiner)
  • Lawrence in Arabia - Scott Anderson  (Adjunct Professor David Weiner)
  • Beloved -Toni Morrison (Louise Mooney)
  • Underground Railroad -Colson Whitehead  (Louise Mooney)
  • Light in August – William Faulkner (Louise Mooney)
  • The Hobbit -J.R.R. Tolkien  (Joseph Pritchard)
  • The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian -Sherman Alexie (Damion Burgin)
  • The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald (Philip Ridolphi)
  • A Beast No More: Emerging from the Middle State – Phyllis Magold (Dean Lee Fisher)
  • A World in Disarray – Richard Haass(Dean Lee Fisher)
  • Hillbilly Elegy - J.D. Vance  (Dean Lee Fisher)

This is a reminder to download the app Libby created by OverDrive. Libby enables you to borrow digital and audiobooks from public libraries instantly for free.

This Week’s Monday Moment: 5 Books to Read Before You Start Law School

Have a great day. Have a great week. Have a great summer.

Note- When a holiday falls on a Monday, this message is sent on Tuesday morning.

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My best,


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