2014 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.


  Einstein's Dreams   Author: Alan Lightman   Category: Science   Publishing Year: 2004   Length: 144 pages

Einstein's Dreams
Author: Alan Lightman
Category: Science
Publishing Year: 2004
Length: 144 pages

“Written by an acclaimed MIT astrophysicist, Einstein’s Dreams is a collection of imagined worlds where time flows differently. When I first read the stories, shortly after graduating with a science degree while busy working on Wall Street, I was struck by the book’s instant appeal to my inner curiosity. It also brought a rare sense of tranquility to my mind.”
— Minhua Zhang ('00)

  The Clash of Civilization and the Remaking of World Order   Author: Samuel Huntington   Category: Political Science   Publishing Year: 1996   Length: 368 pages

The Clash of Civilization and the Remaking of World Order
Author: Samuel Huntington
Category: Political Science
Publishing Year: 1996
Length: 368 pages

“[This book] gave me a new lens to see the world as many co-existing civilizations, each of which evolved out of its unique historical, geographical and cultural context. They have, and will continue to shape each other through both peaceful exchange and brutal warfare.”
— Mingyan Ma ('09)

  How to Lie with Statistics   Author: Darrell Huff   Category: Statistics   Publishing Year: 1954   Length: 128 pages

How to Lie with Statistics
Author: Darrell Huff
Category: Statistics
Publishing Year: 1954
Length: 128 pages

“This book is one of the bestselling statistics books, with over 500K copies sold in the English edition. The author provided humorous illustrations of proper and improper (and thus ‘lies’) ways of reading numbers and charts. Some of the interpretations might be intentional, but many others were made unintentionally.”
— Kelly Zou ('88)

  Freakonomics   Author: Steven Levitt & Stephen Dubner   Category: Economics   Publishing Year: 2006   Length: 320 pages

Freakonomics
Author: Steven Levitt & Stephen Dubner
Category: Economics
Publishing Year: 2006
Length: 320 pages

“Have you ever imagined that your teacher might want to help you cheat on exams, or wondered whether a swimming pool is more dangerous than a gun? Freakonomics will bring you into the world of economics not through its methodology but through its subjects - the real life phenomenon and puzzles that we strive to understand with the study of economics.”
— Yuxiao Huang ('09)

  Life of Pi   Author: Yann Martel   Category: Fiction   Publishing Year: 2003   Length: 401 pages

Life of Pi
Author: Yann Martel
Category: Fiction
Publishing Year: 2003
Length: 401 pages

“Life of Pi tells a time when we are stripped down to nothing - naked, shelterless, with extreme scarcity of food, drinking water and supplies; and the story asks how we continue to remain human and live in peace with Richard Parker, literally and metaphorically our worst fear and torment, yet paradoxically also the only remaining source of hope and safeguard of sanity.”
— Luyi Xu ('09)

  Story of Art   Author: E. H. Gombrich   Category: Art History   Publishing Year: 2006   Length: 1044 pages

Story of Art
Author: E. H. Gombrich
Category: Art History
Publishing Year: 2006
Length: 1044 pages

“This is the book that introduced me to art history and influenced me to choose this as a career. First published in 1950, it is revered as the a must-read for beginners and has been wildly popular even until today (it has been translated into thirty languages).”
— Tianyuan Deng ('08)

  Sophie's World   Author: Jostein Gaarder   Category: Philosophy   Publishing Year: 1996   Length: 436 pages

Sophie's World
Author: Jostein Gaarder
Category: Philosophy
Publishing Year: 1996
Length: 436 pages

“Where does the world come from? Who are you? These basic questions are nevertheless some of the hardest questions to answer. Gaarder’s book centered on a young girl’s adventure with her mysterious philosophy teacher, exploring the history of philosophy and its different schools since the Greeks in a light-hearted albeit philosophical way itself.”
— Yingzhi Peng ('06)

  Invitation to Sociology: A Humanistic Perspective   Author: Peter Berger   Category: Sociology   Publishing Year: 1963   Length: 208 pages

Invitation to Sociology: A Humanistic Perspective
Author: Peter Berger
Category: Sociology
Publishing Year: 1963
Length: 208 pages

“[This book] is not a standard introduction to sociology textbook, but successfully presents the discipline of sociology to general readers without too much jargon. The sociological imagination can provide people a way to look and think beyond what they have been told and to understand the mechanism of the society.”
— Siqi Tu ('08)