This week’s list of suggested titles was submitted by Johnny Connolly, a senior at Juneau-Douglas High School.
“Ready Player One” by Ernest Cline
A dystopian sci-fi novel, “Ready Player One” explores the next evolution of the Internet. The main character, Wade, is a loveable nerd who finds himself in the midst of a Willy Wonka-style treasure hunt through a video game. Cline manages to touch on subjects such as anonymity and privacy while providing an enthralling adventure story. For an author’s first novel, “Ready Player One” is a masterpiece.
“What the Dog Saw” by Malcolm Gladwell
A collection of Malcom Gladwell’s articles from the New Yorker. Topics range from ketchup to criminal profiling, and every single article is fascinating in a new, unexpected way. Gladwell’s unique writing style and points of view can make anything interesting.
“Guns, Germs, and Steel” by Jared Diamond
A Pulitzer-winning book about the history of agriculture, disease and society. In writing “Guns, Germs, and Steel,” Diamond set out to dispel the myth of Caucasian superiority, and succeeded brilliantly. He uses science, history and rhetoric to show why Europeans were so successful. He easily avoids making the classic blunder of pointing at character traits or at “civilizing” genetic traits. Aside from being a well-put-together case for equality, the book is also a great read.
“New York,” the Novel by Edward Rutherfurd
A historical fiction novel spanning the entire history of New York City, from the time of Dutch New Amsterdam to modern day Manhattan. As a fan of history, this book interested me far more than any other historical fiction book I’ve read. It showcases the diverse story of the city, following several families from all walks of life. Despite its length, it’s a quick read, with no shortage of action. When one family’s story has run its course, the story begins to follow another.
“The Signal and the Noise” by Nate Silver
A glimpse into the mind of the brilliant statistician, Nate Silver. The book was published one month before his 96 percent successful prediction of the 2012 November election. I read it shortly thereafter. The fascinating thing about the book is, there is little concealment of his methods. Everything that you would need to make the same predictions he does (besides a degree in statistics) is in the book. I highly recommend that anyone with an interest in politics, math or science pick this up.
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