Faculty members from University of Maryland School of Public Health share what they are reading or recommend reading this summer!
Devil in the White City by Erik Larson (2003)
Dina Borzekowski, associate professor of behavioral and community health, says "I'm currently reading Devil in the White City by Erik Larson and LOVING IT. Historical non-fiction that reads like a suspense novel. Real world problems. Intrigue. Will they actually get everything done by the time the crowds arrive? And how will a serial killer affect things?"
Spillover by David Quammen (2013)
Graciela Jashek, research assistant professor of epidemiology and biostatistics, says "The book describes past animal infections and forewarns the reader about the likelihood of devastating pandemics in the near future."
Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates (2015)
Jane Clark, professor and dean, says "We read this in my women’s book club this year and were all very affected by it. Given the important conversations we are having on our campus about race and racism in the context of the Maryland Diversity Dialogues, Coates provides a critical perspective on just how intractable and systemic racism is in American culture and how much work remains ahead to create racial justice. Written as a letter to his teenage son, Coates confronts racial history and policies that underlie the bleak realities that many communities of color face and walks us through the course of his life, including his upbringing in West Baltimore and the everyday violence he witnessed, which was brought to the world’s attention through the death of Freddie Gray in 2015."
Far from the Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity by Andrew Solomon (2012)
Anne Anderson Sawyer, lecturer in behavioral and community health, says "I recommend this book because it's a fascinating look at families in which a child lands very far from the expected tree. The author examines families who are touched by the following: autism, crime, deafness, disability, dwarfism, prodigies, rape, schizophrenia, and transgenderism. While learning about each of these "topics" the reader also hears very personal testaments from parents raising a child that is far from the tree. Because the book is broken down by topic, it's ample length is less daunting and it's easy to move back and forth within (if that makes it more appealing as a summer read). Great book."
Ghettoside: True Story of Murder in America by Jill Leovy (2015)
Mia Smith-Bynum, associate professor of family science, says "I heard about this non-fiction text during an interview with the author on NPR. The author's account of the reporting was absolutely fascinating. Set in LA, it focuses on homicides in inner-city communities, a topic that has been getting a great deal of media attention lately. It presents a detailed portrait of the setting and the issues of the day. It also presents an inside perspective on the conundrum of over-policing and under-policing that occurs in poor black and Latino urban communities today."
Lead Wars by Gerald Markowitz and David Rosner (2013)
Devon Payne-Sturges, assistant professor in the Maryland Institute for Applied Environmental Health recommends two books. "Lead Wars is a timely read given the situation in Flint, Michigan and now the widespread discovery of lead problems in other cities. Great history of the deceit by lead industry."
Baptized in PCBs: Race, Pollution and Justice in an All-American Town by Ellen Griffith Spears (2014)
Devon Payne-Sturges also recommends this "important environmental injustice story."