Summer reading: Illuminating our relationship with the planet

This year’s informal survey of faculty at Stanford’s School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences (Stanford Earth) yielded a panoply of diverse summer reading suggestions – more than we could list and hope a reader could get through.

Bad Science: Quacks, Hacks, and Big Pharma Flacks
Bad Science: Quacks, Hacks, and Big Pharma Flacks by Ben Goldacre.

Here are just a few of the 31 titles selected for you to peruse and consider packing along on that vacation you are planning or take to the chaise longue you are dusting off in the backyard for summer reading. They include a range of narratives, histories, fiction – even poetry and a graphic novel. All shed light on our relationship to the planet we live on. Many will inspire a greater appreciation for science and its importance in preserving our Earth for future generations.

ROB DUNBAR, the W.M. Keck Professor in the School of Earth Sciences, recommends The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs: A New History of a Lost World by Steve Brusatte.

NOAH DIFFENBAUGH, the Kara J. Foundation Professor in the School of Earth Sciences, recommends Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari and The Water Knife byPaolo Bacigalupi.

STEVE GRAHAM, Stanford Earth Dean and Crook Professor in Applied Earth Sciences, and PAMELA MATSON, the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Professor in Environmental Studies, recommend Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner.

MARK ZOBACK, the Benjamin M. Page Professor in Earth Sciences, recommends Accidentally Adamant: A Story of a Girl Who Questioned Convention, Broke the Mold, and Charted a Course Off Map by Tisha Schuller.

KEVIN ARRIGO, the Donald and Donald M. Steel Professor in Earth Sciences and the Victoria and Roger Sant Director of the Earth Systems Program, recommends Bad Science: Quacks, Hacks, and Big Pharma Flacks by Ben Goldacre, The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space, Time and the Texture of Reality by Brian Greene and Oxygen: A Four Billion Year History by Donald E. Canfield.

SUSANNAH BARSOM, lecturer and associate director of the Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources, recommends Climate Changed: A Personal Journey Through the Science by Philippe Squarzoni and Hope Beneath Our Feet: Restoring Our Place in the Natural World edited by Martin Keogh.

To check out the full 2018 summer reading list and summaries of the novels, go to the School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences website.