Reading list: Summer 2022 reads to spark your imagination

Consider adding these books to your summer reading list!

Whether you’ve already finished your summer reading list, need some inspiration to start one, or just want to add a few more books to the list, we have several inspirational reads to consider. Here are some books written by alumni of the Society for Science Research Competition and some recommendations from former students to help you think of interesting additions throughout the summer.

The alignment problem

Brian Christian, WW Norton & Companythere

Nonfiction | Maggie Grasecka former STS 2022 recommends “The alignment problemby Brian Christian. “If you’re interested in artificial intelligence,” Maggie says, this book “is a beginner-friendly exploration of the biases behind machine learning.” The author explores the influence of algorithms and artificial intelligence on human life and what this means for the future.

Sweetgrass Braiding: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and Plant Teachings

By Robin Wall Kimmerer, Editions Asclepiade

Non-fiction, Philosophy| Chinmayi Balusua former ISEF 2019, reads « Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and Plant Teachingsby Robin Wall Kimmerer. “It is an eye-opening reflection on the influence of heritage on the identity of scientists and on the redefinition of science from a cultural perspective,” says Chinmayi. In this New York Times Best Seller Robin, a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, embraces the idea that “plants and animals are our oldest teachers” by giving us lessons and gifts.

Fundamentals: ten keys to reality

By Franck Wilczek, Penguin Publishing Group

Non-fiction, Physics| Frank Wilczek, a former STS 1967, is the author of “Fundamentals: ten keys to realitypublished in January 2022. The Nobel laureate guides readers through essential concepts that help us understand the world and how it works, exploring the ideas of time, space, matter and energy. A review by The Washington Post says: “In this age of growing skepticism, he wants his readers – whether he imagines to be lawyers, doctors, artists, parents or just the curious – to be ‘born again, in the way of science’ .”

hell hound

By Lewis Perdue, Independently published

Thriller| lewis lostalumnus of ISEF 1966, is the author of the recently released science fiction thriller, “hell hound.” Lewis explains, “The book delves into theories of the quantum basis of consciousness, such as that espoused by Nobel laureate Roger Penrose and the possible link to the origins of good and evil. Lewis explores government documents that discuss an alleged secret military drug, designed to “deprive soldiers of empathy and fear, turning them into ruthless killers”.

The last question

Isaac Asimov, Publications from Colombia

Science fiction | freer floraan alumnus of Broadcom MASTERS 2020 and 2021, recommends the new “The last questionby Isaac Asimov. A much-loved favorite of science fans everywhere, Flora says, “It was a really good short story involving the universe being overtaken by entropy.” The author ponders the fate of the universe and, ultimately, what will become of the human race.

Lose the Nobel Prize

Brian Keating, WW Norton & Company

Nonfiction | Maximilian Dorzweilera former ISEF 2022, recommends “Lose the Nobel Prize” by Brian Keating. Maximilian says it’s “a book worth reading for scientists, especially ambitious ones. After reading this book, you really feel like you’ve grown up as a scientist, with a healthier perspective and good advice in the toolbox. Scientific News said, “Lose the Nobel Prize dissects the humanity of science, prone to error, but cuts through the ugly details with beauty… Charming and intelligent, Lose the Nobel Prize oscillates between clear explanations of basic science, stories of personal relationships and historical lessons.


By Maya Sharma, Olympia Editions

Non-fiction, Biography | Maya Sharma, a former STS 2022, is the author of “Pavingpublished in 2021. She interviewed 25 women leaders from around the world, including New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Nobel Laureate Ada Yonath. “Paving” deals with the difficulties that women face in the modern world and draws valuable insights from their remarkable minds.

To mock a mockingbird

By Raymond Smullyan, Oxford University Press

Logic Puzzle | Jonathan Shafteran alumnus of STS 1993, reads “To mock a mockingbirdby Raymond Smullyan. “A really fun book of logic puzzles where you end up building and exploring combinatorial logic,” Jonathan shares. Aiming to appeal to readers of all ages, the author combines a collection of puzzles with a choose-your-own-adventure style storyline, introducing readers to puzzles commonly presented in computer science and artificial intelligence.

The words that made us

By Akhil Reed Amar, Basic books

History | Ethan Chiuan alumnus of STS 2022, reads “The words that made usby Akhil Reed Amar. “It’s a fascinating dive into the American Constitution and the people and ideas that built the United States,” Ethan shares. Published in 2021, the author assesses the early constitutional questions Americans faced in the formation of the United States and the answers they offered in a vivid account that combines history and law.

Are you an alumnus of the Society? Do you think you should be on a reading list? Contact us and let us know!

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