Stanford Law School faculty offer their end-of-year reading list

Law School book recommendations
Law School faculty offer their end-of-year book reading recommendations.

Faculty members of the Stanford Law School are offering up their end-of-year reading list, with books focusing on subjects ranging from Lizzie Borden to the inner workings of the federal government.

GREGORY ABLAVSKY, associate professor of law, for instance, recommends The Republic for Which It Stands: The United States During Reconstruction and the Gilded Age, 1865-1896, by Stanford historian RICHARD WHITE.

Says Ablavsky, “Yes, it’s a nearly 1,000-page tome, so probably not the best beach read. But it’s a brilliant synthesis of the many strands of the Gilded Age very deftly woven together by one of Stanford’s most distinguished historians, and so worth sticking with it. Most of the recent volumes in this Oxford History series are very good, but I found this one the best, and best-written, among them.”

Among the suggestions from BARBARA BABCOCK, the Judge John Crown Professor of Law, is The Trial of Lizzie Borden by Stanford alumna CARA ROBERTSON.

Babcock explains, “The Trial of Lizzie Borden, subtitled, “A True Story,” is fascinating social history, as well as an enduring mystery. The publisher is even sponsoring a website where readers can vote their verdicts on the trial of the 19th century.”

MARK LEMLEY, the William H. Neukom Professor of Law, recommends The Broken Earth Trilogy by N.K. Jemisin. “Jemisin is the only author ever to win the Hugo Award three years in a row, and for good reason,” he explains. “She has created a truly original science fiction universe and combined it with beautiful writing and compelling storytelling.”

Other suggestions include:

NORA FREEMAN ENGSTROM, professor of law: Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou.

JEFFREY FISHER, professor of law: The Fifth Risk by Michael Lewis.

RONALD GILSON, the Charles J. Meyers Professor of Law and Business, emeritus: Who We Are and How We Got Here: Ancient DNA and the New Science of the Human Past by David Reich.

Read other recommendations by visiting the Stanford Law School website.