End-of-the-year book and podcast suggestions from Stanford Law School

If you are still in search of the perfect winter break book or podcast, here are a few suggestions from the faculty at Stanford Law School.

For instance, RALPH RICHARD BANKS, the Jackson Eli Reynolds Professor of Law, suggests The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead:

The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead is a good one. This book has relatable characters who experience the cruelty and unpredictability of life, and form a bond that carries them through.”

NORA FREEMAN ENGSTROM, professor of law, recommends Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank:

Alas, Babylon
Alas, Babylon

“Each family vacation we pick one book to read aloud – and last summer we enjoyed a stunner my husband had remembered fondly from his youth, Alas, Babylon. Part Swiss Family Robinson atomic age survival tale, part Cold War history lesson, part (even) comedy, we loved every page. Full of pluck, daring and heart, the book is captivating for young and old alike.”

WILLIAM GOULD, the Charles A. Beardsley Professor of Law, Emeritus, suggests In Hoffa’s Shadow by Jack Goldsmith:

“The big hit of recent months … was In Hoffa’s Shadow by Harvard law Professor Jack Goldsmith, whose stepfather was Teamster boss and Hoffa’s gofer – and the FBI’s prime suspect as the man who drove Hoffa to his killers. It is written well, in a style that you wouldn’t expect from a law professor. It’s about Goldsmith’s relationship with his stepfather, his reconciliation with the man he had rejected as an impediment to his own advancement and his search for the truth about Hoffa’s disappearance. It’s a book about Hoffa, his hard and violent struggle in the Teamster leadership, his clashes with RFK (whom Goldsmith despises), and his criminal trials. … The book gets as close as any to figuring the whodunnit in Hoffa’s death. The description of the day of his disappearance will have your heart in your mouth.”

PAMELA KARLAN, the Kenneth and Harle Montgomery Professor of Public Interest Law, recommends Silicon City: San Francisco in the Long Shadow of the Valley by Cary McClellan, JD ’15:

“You might think you know the place but Cary’s book will show you things you’ve never seen before in an almost cinematographic way. Funny, heartbreaking, unforgettable.”

DEBORAH SIVAS, the Luke W. Cole Professor of Environmental Law, recommends the NPR podcast Hidden Brain:

“Each episode explores the science behind human behavior, but does so in a narrative storytelling fashion that engages a non-expert audience, sometimes making me laugh, sometimes making me cry, but always making me think.”

Read more suggestions on the Stanford Law School website.