Stanford magazine suggests what to read this summer

Stanford magazine asked faculty and its own books editor to recommend meaningful reads as summer begins.

New and old, here are books to transform you. (Image credit: Getty Images)

GRETCHEN DAILY, Bing Professor of Environmental Science and director of the Center for Conservation Biology, Caste by Isabel Wilkerson. “[Read this] to learn more about a still hidden, yet enormous part of the history and current society of the United States that I was never taught in school, and that my teenage kids have mostly not been taught. I expect to follow many new paths sparked by reading it.”

YVONNE MALDONADO, Taube Professor of Global Health and Infectious Diseases, Educated by Tara Westover. “A woman’s perspective on the isolation and bubble of the white lower socioeconomic class and the price paid for leaving that world.”

J. CHRISTIAN GERDES, professor of mechanical engineering and director of the Center for Automotive Research at Stanford, Go like Hell: Ford, Ferrari and Their Battle for Speed and Glory at Le Mans by A.J. Baime. Essentially the true story behind Ford v Ferrari. The book is a page-turner and is just as much about the personalities and U.S. society in the ’60s as it is about cars. I gave out copies to my students a few years ago and don’t recall anyone not enjoying it.”

RODOLFO DIRZO, Bing Professor of Environmental Science, Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer. “Recommended to me by colleagues who, like me, are interested in the traditional ecological knowledge of indigenous peoples of the world. Also, it has a strong emphasis on the significance of plants for humanity. I believe it can open one’s eyes to the environmental crisis of the planet and the hope provided by the wisdom of the indigenous cultures.”

Read the full article on the Stanford magazine website.