I like to read; I think most of us who hang out here do. But I have discovered that as soon as I get even a teeny bit beyond topics that I studied in school, I don’t really know where to go for book recommendations.
One book that I read recently, and enjoyed immensely, was Bill Bryson’s A Short History of Nearly Everything. But I mention that with some trepidation, for fear that any scientists reading will mock my pleasure in it. (Although we might want to acknowledge that it is impossible to write about some topics for the non-specialist without painting with broad strokes.)
So, I am calling on all of you to provide, for the non-specialist or non-professional, some titles from your own field of study/profession.
Kristine, you have perhaps heard me talk about my idiocy when it comes to music. Is there a ‘Music for Dummies’ type book that you can recommend?
Jim, I never made it past the textbook for Philosphy 101. What can I start with that won’t make my head hurt?
Nate, I think it was you who didn’t like Nina Totenberg. Can you recommend a few titles for those of us with no legal training?
I’ll provide a few titles that I recommend when people tell me that they want to read more about the scriptures:
Barlow’s Mormons and the Bible (which I know has been mentioned here before.)
Malina’s The New Testament World: Insights from Cultural Anthropology, which is just what it sounds like.
Fowler’s Let the Reader Understand, which shows how reader-response criticism can work and reveal new insights about a text (in this case, Mark).
Meeks’ The First Urban Christians: The Social World of the Apostle Paul; good background to the epistles.
Murphy’s The Word According to Eve, which is the only decent starting place for the proliferating world of feminist biblical studies (can you tell that I wish I had read this first?)