Stanford Law School Faculty Summer 2015 Reading List

Looking for a good book or two to dig into this summer? Stanford Law School faculty offer up some of their favorite reads.


  1. Janet Cooper Alexander, Frederick I. Richman Professor of Law, Emerita, recommends A God in Ruins and Life After Life by Kate Atkinson:
  2. "I strongly recommend Kate Atkinson's, A God in Ruins (2015). It's a "companion novel" to her wonderful Life After Life (2013). Life After Life imagines, seriatim, the many possible paths the life of its protagonist, who is a young woman during the Blitz, might take. A God in Ruins takes the inverse approach—looking to her brother's life (along with four generations of his family) before and after his time as an RAF bomber pilot during World War II, conflating and juxtaposing events from the 1930's to 2012. Impossible to explain much about the book without spoiling it, but it is wonderfully written and plotted. I recommend reading both, but it's not necessary to read Life After Life to enjoy A God in Ruins."
  3. Michael Asimow, Visiting Professor of Law recommends An Equal Music by Vikram Seth Jane:
  4. “I recommend An Equal Music by Vikram Seth (1999). If you like classical music—and like making music yourself—you'll be thrilled by Seth's vivid description of the experience of a string quartet struggling with the repertoire as well as its inter-personal dynamics. It's also an elegant love story.”
  5. Barbara, Babcock, Judge John Crown Professor of Law, Emerita, recommends The Children Act by Ian McEwen and Between You and Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen by Mary Norris:
  6. "Two books I've recently liked—which also have advantage of being excellent airplane books, i.e. can be read in 6 or 7 hours.

    Ian McEwen, The Children Act—Really gets into the head of a hardworking English judge and though I wish I had liked her character more, enjoyed the description.

    Mary Norris, Between You and Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen, long time New Yorker copyeditor. Fun for anyone who is writing anything, in English. Vrooman Room has copy (on my order!)."
  7. Ralph Richard Banks, Jackson Eli Reynolds Professor of Law, recommends Growing Up by Russell Baker and Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson:
  8. “I plan to reread Russell Baker's wonderful memoir, Growing Up and Bryan Stevenson’s book, Just Mercy. “
  9. Justice Mariano-Florentino Cuellar, Visiting Professor of Law, recommends The Deluge: The Great War and the Remaking of Global Order by Adam Tooze, The Water Knife by Paolo Baciagalupi and Justice Stanley Mosk: A Life at the Center of California Politics and Law by Jacqueline R. Braitman and Gerald F. Uelmen:
  10. “In gripping prose, explains how the economic and political rise of the United States scrambled”
  11. “A richly textured future noir about Phoenix, Las Vegas, California wealth, thirsty workers, and Chinese capital. It paints a dark but fascinating picture of where the West's water wars are taking us.”
  12. “Offers a compelling portrait of the California Supreme Court's longest-serving justice and his times. And who knew that Governor Pat Brown could be so Machiavellian?”
  13. Michele Dauber, Frederick I. Richman Professor of Law, recommends So You've Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson and Missoula by Jon Krakauer: