Friday, July 16, 2021

Books by Nobel prize winners to read (or listen to) this summer

One of the great joys of being a student or academic is the ability to engage in self-directed learning.  The freedom this affords can be overwhelming, given the massive volume of books, articles, and other media that could be consumed.  This raises the question, what should be read for pleasure first?

Recently, I've been reading (and listening to audio books) by Nobel prize winners.  There are of course many great books by people who have not won Nobel prizes, and who many never win one (for example, because they work in a field that is not eligible).  But there seem to be few bad books by Nobel prize winners, and so I've been pleased with my selections.*  

I'm including a partial list of books by Nobel prize winners that I've recently enjoyed. 

I encourage others to use the comments section to include books by Nobel prize winners that they've enjoyed. Please only use the comments for this purpose, and please include your real name.

Please also indicate what field the author won the Nobel prize in, and (to your knowledge), whether an audio book version is available.  For purposes of the list below, I am including the Nobel prize in economics and am not counting the Nobel Peace prize, since my interest is in scientists, writers and social scientists rather than politicians. 

Physics

Richard Feynman, The Pleasure of Finding Things Out (Audio book available)

Literature

Ernest Hemingway, To Have and Have Not

Ernest Hemingway, The Snows of Kilimanjaro and other stories

Economics

Robert Shiller, Irrational Exuberance (Audio book available)

Robert Shiller, Narrative Economics (Audio book available)

Daniel Kahneman, Thinking: Fast & Slow (Audio book available)

 

* I also happen to be among the subset of law professors who believes that legal academics can profitably look toward science and social sciences for inspiration in their own work.

https://leiterlawschool.typepad.com/leiter/2021/07/books-by-nobel-prize-winners-to-read-or-listen-to-this-summer.html

Guest Blogger: Michael Simkovic, Of Academic Interest, Science | Permalink

Comments

This is one of my favorites....(I was being installed for one of these chairs at the same event -- turns out I was not asked to deliver a lecture....)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XibAyvYv_MI

Posted by: Eric Talley | Jul 16, 2021 3:06:23 PM

Economics

Daniel Kahneman, with Olivier Sibony & Cass. R. Sunstein, "Noise" (2021) (Audio book available)

Posted by: Umakanth Varottil | Jul 16, 2021 7:19:06 PM

I don't love all of J.M. Coetzee's books (Nobel in literature), but two of my favorites, _Disgrace_ and _Waiting for the Barbarians_, are available in audio book.

Somewhat on a lark, but also inspired by Charles Pigden's contribution to the Cambridge Companion to Russell, I read Russell's _Proposed Roads to Freedom_, his book on anarchism, socialism, and sydicalism, some time ago and liked it a lot. It's available as an audio book. (It's odd, of course, that Russell won the nobel in literature, but I suppose not much more odd than Bob Dylan winning it. If you listen to a Dylan album now, does that count?)

I recently read George Akerlof's (economics, 2001) co-authored book _Phishing for Phools_, but didn't really like it. His article _The Market for Lemons_ is one of my favorite pieces of economics, though - short and highly recommended.

Posted by: Matt Lister | Jul 17, 2021 2:55:35 PM

Post a comment