2015 FFOF Summer Reading List

You can browse the books one by one down below, or choose to download the entire list as a PDF file.


Taking the Stand My Life in the Law Author: Alan Dershowitz Category: Autobiography, Law Publishing Year: 2013 Length: 528 pages


Taking the Stand
My Life in the Law

Author: Alan Dershowitz
Category: Autobiography, Law
Publishing Year: 2013
Length: 528 pages

In this book, celebrity lawyer Alan Dershowitz tells his life story from a C-student to one of the most recognizable names in modern legal practice… This is a colorful, hands-on introduction to American and global legal frameworks and practices…
— Minhua Zhang (’00)

Wish You Happy Forever Author: Jenny Bowen Category: Ethnic Publishing Year: 2014 Length: 336 pages


Wish You Happy Forever

Author: Jenny Bowen
Category: Ethnic
Publishing Year: 2014
Length: 336 pages

I met Jenny Bowen as our honored speaker at FDFZ Overseas Foundation’s spring luncheon in 2008 and her mission touched me so much that I had been a fervent supporter of Half the Sky Foundation since then… Take the journey with Jenny, and you will not only be moved to tears but also be encouraged that there is nothing one cannot accomplish as long as you believe in it!
— Ling Liu (’88)

Chasing Daylight  How My Forthcoming Death Transformed My Life Author: Eugene O’Kelly Category: Memoir, Philosophy Publishing Year: 2007 Length:  160 pages


Chasing Daylight 
How My Forthcoming Death Transformed My Life

Author: Eugene O’Kelly
Category: Memoir, Philosophy
Publishing Year: 2007
Length:  160 pages

[The book] talks about how the CEO of KPMG US re-prioritized his life and became the “Chief Executive Officer” of his own death when he was diagnosed with last phase cancer. It is interesting as only a limited number of people is able to face death tranquilly not to mention well-managed the 100-days after the “death sentence”. However, it would not be inspiring if people in normal circumstances cannot learn from his experience.
— Hang Qian(’05)

Guns, Germs, and Steel Author: Jared Diamond Category: Anthropology Publishing Year: 1999 Length: 496 pages


Guns, Germs, and Steel

Author: Jared Diamond
Category: Anthropology
Publishing Year: 1999
Length: 496 pages

In 1521, the great Aztec Empire (with population of 15 million) was conquered by 500 Spanish soldiers. This conquest seems impossible, but it did happen. What was the weapon of those Spanish conquerors, which enabled them to vanquish opponents like sands of the sea? The answer is: guns, germs, and steel, which becomes the title of this book. Guns, Germs and Steel gives a brand new aspect to look into human history: how latitude, local tamable animals, immune system and technology (which are usually not discussed in history textbook) can substantially influence, or even determine the fate of one dynasty.
— Yilei Li (’05)

Outliers Author: Malcolm Gladwell Category: Social Psychology Publishing Year: 2009 Length:  384 pages


Outliers

Author: Malcolm Gladwell
Category: Social Psychology
Publishing Year: 2009
Length:  384 pages

In Outliers: The Story of Success, Gladwell examines the life paths of exceptionally successful people like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. He challenges the conventional wisdom of success which focuses on intelligence and ambition. Instead, “It is not the brightest who succeed,” Gladwell writes. “Nor is success simply the sum of the decisions and efforts we make on our own behalf. It is, rather, a gift. Outliers are those who have been given opportunities — and who have had the strength and presence of mind to seize them.”
— Hao Yan (’05)

Thinking, Fast and Slow Author: Daniel Kahneman Category: Social Psychology Publishing Year: 2012 Length:  512 pages


Thinking, Fast and Slow

Author: Daniel Kahneman
Category: Social Psychology
Publishing Year: 2012
Length:  512 pages

While we often take for granted how our brains work, the reality is a lot more complicated and even amusing at times: we tend to ignore, overemphasize or connect things we should not. “Thinking, fast and slow”, a 2011 instant classic by Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman, encourages us to rethink the way we think.
— Yingzhi Peng (’06)

Interpreter of Maladies Author: Jhumpa Lahiri Category: Novel Publishing Year: 1999 Length:  208 pages


Interpreter of Maladies

Author: Jhumpa Lahiri
Category: Novel
Publishing Year: 1999
Length:  208 pages

The Pulitzer Prize-winning book features nine short stories on Indians and Indian Americans whose lives are deeply marked by their traditional heritage. As one of the finest short story writers, Jhumpa Lahiri writes with elegance and nuanced depth. Her nine stories bring readers on an emotional journey through love and loss.
— Yinan Zhang (’07)

Strange Stones Dispatches from East and West Author: Peter Hessler Category: Social Science Publishing Year: 2013 Length:  368 pages


Strange Stones
Dispatches from East and West

Author: Peter Hessler
Category: Social Science
Publishing Year: 2013
Length:  368 pages

Strange Stones is a wonderful collection of Peter Hessler’s previous published pieces on China… Unlike many of other foreign writers, who sometimes entered China with lots of presumptions, Hessler experienced the country with empathy and curiosity and did a great job of understanding and explaining the seemingly irregularities he observed.
— Siqi Tu (’08)

The Kite Runner Author: Khaled Hosseini Category: Novel Publishing Year: 2013 Length: 416 pages


The Kite Runner

Author: Khaled Hosseini
Category: Novel
Publishing Year: 2013
Length: 416 pages

I still remember the old days when I was in my dorm (Qiu Shi Lou) reading this book under dim light in my bed. A book featuring friendship, betrayal and redemption, it not only opens a remote world about Afghanistan to me, but also deeply touches my heart and reminds me of those who are of our age yet still suffering.
— Qizhao Wen (’08)

Disgrace Author: J. M. Coetzee Category: Novel Publishing Year: 1999 Length: 240 pages


Disgrace

Author: J. M. Coetzee
Category: Novel
Publishing Year: 1999
Length: 240 pages

Nobel Prize Laureate, South African author J.M.Coetzee, is one of the very few writers that win both the Nobel Literature Prize and the Booker Prize (the Nobel Prize equivalent in the field of literature). His works appeal to me because of the simplicity and clarity of language and sound logic. However, is a book that I am still trying to figure out after three reads.
— Tianyuan Deng (’08)

1984 Author: George Orwell Category: Novel, Science Fiction Publishing Year: 1949 Length: 328 pages


1984

Author: George Orwell
Category: Novel, Science Fiction
Publishing Year: 1949
Length: 328 pages

As I read, a totalitarian state unfolded in front of my eyes, and I experienced it from the perspective of one individual who resides in it. It has a kind of surveillance, manipulation and fanaticism far too realistic to be taken lightly. I was shaken up, and as a result, I learned to question. I became alert, and critical. It was not until later in college that I learned about dystopian literature and different forms of political systems, but this book planted a seed early on…
— Mingyan Ma (’09)