Selected by Distinguished Teaching Award recipients

The Bone People:  A Novel
Keri Hulme, 1983
"Fiction. Set in New Zealand.  Brilliant first novel--Maori aspects, psychological, mystical, introspective, violent, exciting, humane."
J.D. Jackson, Physics

Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee
Dee Alexander Brown, 1970 
"This book examines in detail one of the last great battles of the wars between the whites and Native American--the battle at Wounded Knee. When the book first appeared, it was shocking and horrifying as it exposed the 'heart of darkness' of the government's treatment of Indians. It remains shocking and horrifying today."
Steve Tollefson, Subject A

The Call of the Wild
Jack London, 1903
"The strength of 'Buck' will give any incoming freshman courage to face student days at Berkeley."
Marian C. Diamond, Physiology-Anatomy

Clear Light of Day
Anita Desai, 1980
"A wonderful written novel about an Indian family in New Delhi (contemporary). A fine example of the use of literacy fiction as a window into how people of other countries live; the meaning of home to them; daily life in a complex society. Excellent preparation for architectural studies."
Raymond Lifchez, Architecture

The Death of Woman Wang
Jonathan Spence, 1978
"History from the macro- and the micro-perspectives; takes an obscure set of events in an obscure corner of China and makes them riveting."
David Kirp, Public Policy

Deep Blues
Robert Palmer, 1981
"Few have written with greater clarity and understanding on the origins and evolution of the Mississippi Delta Blues. It is a book about music and American history."
Leon F. Litwack, History

Michael Herr, 1977
"This is a personal and hallucinatory account on the Vietnam war as seen by the American soldiers who fought it. To tell the truth about a new (and horrible) kind of reality, Herr created a new (and captivating); kind of prose. Beautiful, gripping, convincing."
David Littlejohn, Journalism

The Existential Pleasures of Engineering
Samuel C. Florman, 1976
"A discussion of the pleasure of creating outstanding structures."
C.A. Desoer, Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences

The Exploration of the Colorado River and its Canyons
John Wesley Powell, 1875
"John Wesley Powell's expedition through the last great unwrapped and unknown part of the Continental U.S. in 1869."
J. K. Mitchell, Civil Engineering

The Genealogy of Morals
Fredrich Nietzsche, 1887
A book that turned the world upside down for me when I was a freshman, deeply disturbing and exhilarating."
Stephen Greenblarr, English

A History of Architecture: Settings and Rituals
Spiro Kostof, 1985
"Terrific book not just of the historical information, but on how social and political context influences building."
Sam Davis, Architecture

How to Lie with Statistics
Darrell Huff, 1954
"Fun book on elementary statistics."
Steve Selvin, Biomedical and Environmental Health Sciences (Biostatistics)

The Human Condition
Hannah Arendt, 1958
"Basic reading in political and social science of Western Europe, Rome to modern age."
Anne Middleton, English

Invisible Man
Ralph Ellison, 1952
"This novel captures in all of its terror, tension, and beauty the Afro-American odyssey--the paradox of black life in America, the racial rites of passage, the mechanisms of white supremacy."
Leon F. Litwack, History

The Life of Plants
E.J.H. Corner, 1964
"A beautifully written general essay on the biology of plants. Some B.S.--but very stimulating."
Donald R. Kaplan, Botany

Magister Ludi (The Glass Bead Game)
Herman Hesse, 1943
"Inspirational. So are a number of other Hesse books, e.g. Siddhartha."
Manuel Blum, Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences.

Modern Time: The World From the Twenties to the Eighties
Paul Johnson, 1983
"A provocative, at times appalling history of the twentieth century from a committed moral point of view."
Frederick Crew, English

Mr. Tompkins in Paperback
George Gamow, 1967
"Short scientifically fantastic stories (not science fiction) explaining modern physics ideas by exaggerating actually exiting phenomena in relativity, curved space, quantum physics, etc."
Sumner Davis, Physics

The Naturalist in Nicaragua
Thomas Belt, 1911
"Praised by Charles Darwin as the best natural history book he had ever read."
Herbert G. Baker, Botany

One Hundred Years of Solitude
Gabriel Garcia-Marquez, 1970
"If you're going to write fiction, why not go all the way and invent a totally new world? This book made almost all other novels since Faulkner's seem trivial and under-imagined: It's unforgettable. (Rivals: Jorge-Luis Borges, Italo Calvino.)"
David Littlejohn, Journalism

Patterns of Intention: On the Historical Explanation of Pictures
Michael Baxandall, 1985
"Bazandall's book is the best methodological investigation yet written, I think, of the ways which works of art can validly be related to outside circumstance. After a general introduction ("Language and Explanation") he devotes four chapters to test cases, which exemplify his arguments about right and wrong ways to write about works of art."
James Cahill, Art History

Simple Justice: The History of Brown v. Board of Education and Black American's Struggle for Equality.
Richard Kluger, 1975
"A study of the evolution of Brown v. Board of Education and how the Supreme Court declared racial segregation in the the public schools unconstitutional."
William Muir, Political Science

Snow Country
Yasunari Kawabata, 1956
"Kawabata, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1968, opens up a whole new world, especially for readers steeped in western traditions. The writing is different, even in translation; it's precise, languid, almost hypnotic. And the story itself reveals much about Japanese character and attitudes, not in the technological-Pacific Rim-business context that most Americans have become accustomed to, but in a way that is quite personal."
Steve Tollefson, Subject A

The White Nile
Alan Moorehead, 1960
"The exploration of central Africa in the nineteenth century. A book I literally could not put down."
Donald Hanson, Chemical Engineering

The World Rushed In: The California Gold Rush Experience
J.S. Holliday, 1981
"This book opened my eyes to the settlement of California by the forty-niners in a manner not provided by any other book I have read on this mass migration. It is essential reading for anyone interested in California history."
W.M. Laetsch, Botany

The Zero-Sum Solution
Lester Thurow, 1985
"A book that focuses on the U.S. and Japanese economies in ways that are provocative and accessible to a popular audience. Addresses themes that should be important to many undergraduates."
Laura Tyson, Economics

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