Friday, July 16, 2021
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.
Richard Feynman, The Pleasure of Finding Things Out (Audio book available)
Ernest Hemingway, To Have and Have Not
Ernest Hemingway, The Snows of Kilimanjaro and other stories
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.