Reading Recommendations?

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twiix
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Reading Recommendations?

Postby twiix » Tue Apr 04, 2017 9:29 am

I've seen a lot of people around these forums and various other LSAT boards recommend a lot of different books to read. Some related to law, some related to personal development, knowledge, thinking, etc. Me, being who I am, didn't think to write any of these down as I stumbled across them, so I'm looking for a consolidated place for people to recommend books.

I'm not looking for magazines, scholarly articles, journals, what have you. I'm looking for more books to read in my free time between work and LSAT studying that still has positive takeaways (unlike my go to of non-fiction reading material). Please leave a book title and maybe a brief description of what you think is important about it or why you recommend it.

ZVBXRPL
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Re: Reading Recommendations?

Postby ZVBXRPL » Tue Apr 04, 2017 9:42 am

Im reading One L by Scott Turow and its a real page turner. Chronicles the life of a 1L in HLS. Feelings and emotions make you feel what he's going through.

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twiix
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Re: Reading Recommendations?

Postby twiix » Tue Apr 04, 2017 9:48 am

I'll contribute to my own thread, I've heard that The 48 Laws of Power is a solid read too. It basically covers a bunch of principles of power and ties it back to historical figures.

In the book that People magazine proclaimed “beguiling” and “fascinating,” Robert Greene and Joost Elffers have distilled three thousand years of the history of power into 48 essential laws by drawing from the philosophies of Machiavelli, Sun Tzu, and Carl Von Clausewitz and also from the lives of figures ranging from Henry Kissinger to P.T. Barnum.


https://www.amazon.com/dp/0140280197/sr ... 453&sr=1-1

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twiix
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Re: Reading Recommendations?

Postby twiix » Tue Apr 04, 2017 9:49 am

ZVBXRPL wrote:Im reading One L by Scott Turow and its a real page turner. Chronicles the life of a 1L in HLS. Feelings and emotions make you feel what he's going through.


Awesome! Thanks for the post! What is the overall attitude in the book? Is it unbiased and just documenting their journey, or is it persuasive in the positive/negative light of law school?

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MediocreAtBest
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Re: Reading Recommendations?

Postby MediocreAtBest » Tue Apr 04, 2017 9:50 am

Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut is a good, quick read if you haven't already read it. It's a weird, satirical novel about many of society's characteristics. Not the best thing in the world by any means but entertaining enough for how short it is.

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Platopus
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Re: Reading Recommendations?

Postby Platopus » Wed Apr 05, 2017 12:03 am

The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff https://www.amazon.com/Tao-Pooh-Benjami ... 0140067477

Truly a quick, fun read. It's a good very base introduction to Taoism, but serves very well as a good reminder to learn to go with the flow

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig https://www.amazon.com/Zen-Art-Motorcyc ... 4KJ05VGCW0

Fantastic book that takes the narrative of a cross-country father/son motorcycle trip, with the underlying study of how to approach tasks with an emphasis on quality

Shop Class as Soulcraft by Matthew Crawford https://www.amazon.com/Shop-Class-Soulc ... PCTWY0EXKP

Excellent book on the value of manual labor and working with your hands. Similar to the above in it's emphasis on being a true artisan.

For Fiction:

The Testament of Gideon Mack by James Robertson https://www.amazon.com/Testament-Gideon ... ideon+mack

Narrative of the life story of a Irish(maybe Scottish) pastor that loses faith and supposedly meets the devil. I still contemplate on this book several years after reading it.

The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky https://www.amazon.com/Brothers-Karamaz ... +karamazov

A truly deep philosophical novel about patricide and three very different brothers.

Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand https://www.amazon.com/Atlas-Shrugged-A ... s+shrugged

To prove you can read 1100+ pages. Maybe not the best novel, but immensely satisfying to actually complete in full

acr
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Re: Reading Recommendations?

Postby acr » Wed Apr 05, 2017 12:18 am

For pure enjoyment with a fantasy twinge read American Gods by Neil Gaiman. Really cool concept about old Norse Gods in human form vs. new Gods in America. But quickly before it becomes a Starz series later this month. If you like Gaiman in Gods then follow up with Anansi Boys, Neverwhere, and, my personal favorite, Good Omens.

For something that will help your writing tremendously read On Writing by Stephen King. Half of it is King's memoir and the other half is writing techniques. Fantastic, entertaining read that will stick with you. Long live the King. Then read The Stand.

For something non-fiction and law-related read The Brethren by Bob Woodward. It's about the behind-the-scenes wheeling and dealing in the Warren and Burger Courts. Will give you an entertaining and unique understanding of the function of the Court heading into Con Law.

For the best non-fiction sports writing on the planet read String Theory by David Foster Wallace. Especially if you're into tennis. It's a collection of five of Wallace's essays on tennis, and even if you don't like tennis or sports, I'm not sure if there's a better writer I've found than Wallace. If you're a fan of reading extremely fascinating, stream-of-consciousness essays then you'll love Wallace. If you like his style maybe try Infinite Jest, although it's a behemoth.

For a racial allegory read The Intuitionist by Colson Whitehead. Especially if you're into "social justicey" stuff. I never thought I would read a 300 page book about elevator inspection but it was worth it. And the underlying concept is pretty cool too: Intuitionism (fixing an elevator based on intuition alone) vs. Empiricism (elevator maintenance by the book via stats, engineering, etc).

For a hilarious book with incredible characters read Catch-22 by Joseph Heller. This is seriously one of the funniest works of creative expression I've ever encountered in my life. It's just absolutely absurd but completely enriching. It has a permanent place on my all-time favorite shelf.

And for my personal favorite novel of all time: East of Eden by John Steinbeck. The story doesn't sound all that interesting, but the man just delivers. There are only two books that have made me cancel plans to stay at home and read: Eden and the last Harry Potter book when it was released (I know, I know).

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galeatus
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Re: Reading Recommendations?

Postby galeatus » Wed Apr 05, 2017 2:47 am

I found Go Figure a great read, it's basically a compilation of "The Economist Explains" articles. The articles are pretty interesting in themselves but I think the book is especially helpful since each article is almost exactly the same length as an RC passage, with a similar level of technicality so it can be used as RC practice material

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twiix
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Re: Reading Recommendations?

Postby twiix » Wed Apr 05, 2017 9:44 am

Thank you all! I love the diversity of the recommendations.

I remember hearing about Cat's Cradle before.. I'm definitely checking that one out.

American Gods sounds like it would fall into my typical leisure read category hahah. Not sure how I haven't heard of that before since it's coming to Starz, but I'm going to have to binge through it before watching them on TV!

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Platopus
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Re: Reading Recommendations?

Postby Platopus » Wed Apr 05, 2017 11:05 pm

galeatus wrote:I found Go Figure a great read, it's basically a compilation of "The Economist Explains" articles. The articles are pretty interesting in themselves but I think the book is especially helpful since each article is almost exactly the same length as an RC passage, with a similar level of technicality so it can be used as RC practice material


Your post got me thinking. John Brockman of Edge.org edits a series that is perfect for RC "prep", in that each book is a collection of very brief (2-3) essays by leading scientists, intellectuals, etc. on a concentrated topic. I've read "This Idea Must Die" and would highly recommend it to anyone. For example, the book I just referenced is a collection of essays on which ideas in scientific literature need to "die" in order for us to make meaningful progress scientifically. Very interesting stuff, and the kind of thing you can pick and put down easily, reading as much as you want at a time.

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twiix
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Re: Reading Recommendations?

Postby twiix » Thu Apr 06, 2017 2:36 pm

Platopus wrote:
galeatus wrote:I found Go Figure a great read, it's basically a compilation of "The Economist Explains" articles. The articles are pretty interesting in themselves but I think the book is especially helpful since each article is almost exactly the same length as an RC passage, with a similar level of technicality so it can be used as RC practice material


Your post got me thinking. John Brockman of Edge.org edits a series that is perfect for RC "prep", in that each book is a collection of very brief (2-3) essays by leading scientists, intellectuals, etc. on a concentrated topic. I've read "This Idea Must Die" and would highly recommend it to anyone. For example, the book I just referenced is a collection of essays on which ideas in scientific literature need to "die" in order for us to make meaningful progress scientifically. Very interesting stuff, and the kind of thing you can pick and put down easily, reading as much as you want at a time.


Just ordered a copy - 7 bucks on amazon; can't beat that. This kind of thing was exactly what I was looking for. Enjoyable reads but at the same time it will hopefully boost my RC abilities. Thanks!

Blueprint Brett
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Re: Reading Recommendations?

Postby Blueprint Brett » Thu Apr 06, 2017 6:46 pm

I meannnnn I would happily give you book recs for days but here are some that I have read and enjoyed that I've also found to be applicable to the LSAT indirectly. They are fun and interesting things to read that have the added benefit of not being a total waste of your time when you aren't studying:

How Not to be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking by Jordan Ellenberg. Such a good book, kind of funny and full of great information on fallacies, validity, etc. in real world contexts.

Godel, Escher, Bach by Douglas Hofstadter. I'm gonna be real with you. This one is a commitment. It's really long and pretty dense, but it's one of the most wonderfully fascinating books I've ever read. If you have an interest in music or math or art or DNA or brains or Zen Buddhism or basically anything, this book covers it. And somehow, it manages to bring all of those things together coherently. Great for the LSAT because basically half of it the direct application of formal logic.

Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. This one is more fun. It's a great crime novel, but also a philosophical one. That, plus the dense language makes it a solid work of fiction to use for lsat practice.

Dialogues and Natural History of Religion by David Hume. Really any philosophy book is a good one for practicing logical thinking, but this one is coming to mind because it has very neatly laid out arguments. Plus David Hume is kind of sassy which is always fun.

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caramelizedgod
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Re: Reading Recommendations?

Postby caramelizedgod » Mon Jul 24, 2017 8:43 pm

Platopus wrote:The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff https://www.amazon.com/Tao-Pooh-Benjami ... 0140067477

Truly a quick, fun read. It's a good very base introduction to Taoism, but serves very well as a good reminder to learn to go with the flow

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig https://www.amazon.com/Zen-Art-Motorcyc ... 4KJ05VGCW0

Fantastic book that takes the narrative of a cross-country father/son motorcycle trip, with the underlying study of how to approach tasks with an emphasis on quality

Shop Class as Soulcraft by Matthew Crawford https://www.amazon.com/Shop-Class-Soulc ... PCTWY0EXKP

Excellent book on the value of manual labor and working with your hands. Similar to the above in it's emphasis on being a true artisan.

For Fiction:

The Testament of Gideon Mack by James Robertson https://www.amazon.com/Testament-Gideon ... ideon+mack

Narrative of the life story of a Irish(maybe Scottish) pastor that loses faith and supposedly meets the devil. I still contemplate on this book several years after reading it.

The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky https://www.amazon.com/Brothers-Karamaz ... +karamazov

A truly deep philosophical novel about patricide and three very different brothers.

Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand https://www.amazon.com/Atlas-Shrugged-A ... s+shrugged

To prove you can read 1100+ pages. Maybe not the best novel, but immensely satisfying to actually complete in full


If u wanna read a lot, go read infinte jest and skip the Ayn Rand.

lucretius_
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Re: Reading Recommendations?

Postby lucretius_ » Mon Jul 24, 2017 9:07 pm

caramelizedgod wrote:
Platopus wrote:The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff https://www.amazon.com/Tao-Pooh-Benjami ... 0140067477

Truly a quick, fun read. It's a good very base introduction to Taoism, but serves very well as a good reminder to learn to go with the flow

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig https://www.amazon.com/Zen-Art-Motorcyc ... 4KJ05VGCW0

Fantastic book that takes the narrative of a cross-country father/son motorcycle trip, with the underlying study of how to approach tasks with an emphasis on quality

Shop Class as Soulcraft by Matthew Crawford https://www.amazon.com/Shop-Class-Soulc ... PCTWY0EXKP

Excellent book on the value of manual labor and working with your hands. Similar to the above in it's emphasis on being a true artisan.

For Fiction:

The Testament of Gideon Mack by James Robertson https://www.amazon.com/Testament-Gideon ... ideon+mack

Narrative of the life story of a Irish(maybe Scottish) pastor that loses faith and supposedly meets the devil. I still contemplate on this book several years after reading it.

The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky https://www.amazon.com/Brothers-Karamaz ... +karamazov

A truly deep philosophical novel about patricide and three very different brothers.

Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand https://www.amazon.com/Atlas-Shrugged-A ... s+shrugged

To prove you can read 1100+ pages. Maybe not the best novel, but immensely satisfying to actually complete in full


If u wanna read a lot, go read infinte jest and skip the Ayn Rand.


On it.

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dbalkaran
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Re: Reading Recommendations?

Postby dbalkaran » Mon Jul 24, 2017 9:32 pm

An American Sickness by Elizabeth Rosenthal is great. It's an analysis of the healthcare system and it's pretty shocking to get an inside POV on how things work.

StopLawying
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Re: Reading Recommendations?

Postby StopLawying » Mon Jul 24, 2017 11:03 pm

Just Mercy, by Bryan Stevenson. Really enjoyed the book, and it's a super quick read.

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Rupert Pupkin
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Re: Reading Recommendations?

Postby Rupert Pupkin » Tue Jul 25, 2017 12:20 pm

caramelizedgod wrote:
Platopus wrote:The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff https://www.amazon.com/Tao-Pooh-Benjami ... 0140067477

Truly a quick, fun read. It's a good very base introduction to Taoism, but serves very well as a good reminder to learn to go with the flow

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig https://www.amazon.com/Zen-Art-Motorcyc ... 4KJ05VGCW0

Fantastic book that takes the narrative of a cross-country father/son motorcycle trip, with the underlying study of how to approach tasks with an emphasis on quality

Shop Class as Soulcraft by Matthew Crawford https://www.amazon.com/Shop-Class-Soulc ... PCTWY0EXKP

Excellent book on the value of manual labor and working with your hands. Similar to the above in it's emphasis on being a true artisan.

For Fiction:

The Testament of Gideon Mack by James Robertson https://www.amazon.com/Testament-Gideon ... ideon+mack

Narrative of the life story of a Irish(maybe Scottish) pastor that loses faith and supposedly meets the devil. I still contemplate on this book several years after reading it.

The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky https://www.amazon.com/Brothers-Karamaz ... +karamazov

A truly deep philosophical novel about patricide and three very different brothers.

Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand https://www.amazon.com/Atlas-Shrugged-A ... s+shrugged

To prove you can read 1100+ pages. Maybe not the best novel, but immensely satisfying to actually complete in full


If u wanna read a lot, go read infinte jest and skip the Ayn Rand.


How is infinite jest? I've seen it come up a lot on TLS for great denser-than-LSAT reading... The summary seemed interesting, but I wasn't 100% sold

lucretius_
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Re: Reading Recommendations?

Postby lucretius_ » Tue Jul 25, 2017 1:41 pm

jagerbom79 wrote:How is infinite jest? I've seen it come up a lot on TLS for great denser-than-LSAT reading... The summary seemed interesting, but I wasn't 100% sold


About 200 pages in and I'm really enjoying it. It's dense, and I think purposefully so. It never really tells you everything you should know to completely follow the story, while simultaneously telling you too much about things that don't matter that much. I mean, there are almost 100 pages of endnotes.

I think I laugh out loud every couple of pages. Hoping to get through before classes start in a few weeks.

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Rupert Pupkin
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Re: Reading Recommendations?

Postby Rupert Pupkin » Tue Jul 25, 2017 3:38 pm

lucretius_ wrote:
jagerbom79 wrote:How is infinite jest? I've seen it come up a lot on TLS for great denser-than-LSAT reading... The summary seemed interesting, but I wasn't 100% sold


About 200 pages in and I'm really enjoying it. It's dense, and I think purposefully so. It never really tells you everything you should know to completely follow the story, while simultaneously telling you too much about things that don't matter that much. I mean, there are almost 100 pages of endnotes.

I think I laugh out loud every couple of pages. Hoping to get through before classes start in a few weeks.


Thats good. I have no doubts that its dense, but for me to read 1000 pg book I have to be interested in it haha

lucretius_
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Re: Reading Recommendations?

Postby lucretius_ » Tue Jul 25, 2017 4:30 pm

jagerbom79 wrote:Thats good. I have no doubts that its dense, but for me to read 1000 pg book I have to be interested in it haha


It's plenty interesting. Read some other DFW like some of his essays to see if you like his style first.

As long as we're doing random reading recommendations:

The Mother Tongue by Bill Bryson. Non-fiction work about the history and complexity of the English language. Easy, fun read if you want some reasons to complain about spelling or ridiculous New England town names.

The Sound and the Fury by William Faulker. Novel in four parts following four days in the lives of three brothers and their family. Not an easy read at all, but the most rewarding book I've ever read. I cannot praise this book enough. Best American novel.

The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell. Historical novel based around the battle over trading rights with Japan at the end of the 18th century. Elements of magical realism. Really beautiful stuff here.

1Q84 by Haruki Murakami. Another thick one. Really a series of three novels based in a slightly altered 1984 Tokyo following a female assassin and a well known male ghost writer. Murakami has other, shorter works out there, but I've only read a few others and I think this one is the best.

I am going to second all of the Dostoevsky recommendations and the American Gods recommendation.

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caramelizedgod
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Re: Reading Recommendations?

Postby caramelizedgod » Wed Jul 26, 2017 1:03 am

jagerbom79 wrote:
lucretius_ wrote:
jagerbom79 wrote:How is infinite jest? I've seen it come up a lot on TLS for great denser-than-LSAT reading... The summary seemed interesting, but I wasn't 100% sold


About 200 pages in and I'm really enjoying it. It's dense, and I think purposefully so. It never really tells you everything you should know to completely follow the story, while simultaneously telling you too much about things that don't matter that much. I mean, there are almost 100 pages of endnotes.

I think I laugh out loud every couple of pages. Hoping to get through before classes start in a few weeks.


Thats good. I have no doubts that its dense, but for me to read 1000 pg book I have to be interested in it haha


Its definitely interesting and a page turner.

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dbalkaran
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Re: Reading Recommendations?

Postby dbalkaran » Wed Aug 16, 2017 11:13 am

StopLawying wrote:Just Mercy, by Bryan Stevenson. Really enjoyed the book, and it's a super quick read.


Awesome book, had to read some excerpts for class. Made me never want to go to Alabama.

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OakBrook2021
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Re: Reading Recommendations?

Postby OakBrook2021 » Wed Aug 16, 2017 12:23 pm

+1 on just mercy. Reading right now and I love it

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LesPaul1995
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Re: Reading Recommendations?

Postby LesPaul1995 » Fri Aug 18, 2017 11:13 pm

I recommend law journals for reading since it is dense. But also. A) it should be somewhat interesting as your going to be an attorney and B) it can be somewhat relevant, e.g. Khan's note in the Yale Law Journal about Amazons Antitrust Paradox garnered acclaim recently and feels like a reading comp passage waiting to happen.




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