Common Reads

Common Reads for Knowledge and Success

The following books are suggested reading for every type of student interest within the Saddleback College community. The list is designed to inspire creative thought, expand knowledge and develop a deeper appreciation for everyday reading. If you’re interested in a more extensive reading list then please contact Dr. Vogel at jvogel@saddleback.edu.

 

NURSING & HEALTH SCIENCE

 

Published in 2013, Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital is a work of nonfiction by American journalist Sheri Fink. The book, which takes place in August 2005, describes the struggle of staff and patients to survive when trapped in New Orleans’ Memorial Medical Center during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Lacking critical resources, the doctors make a drastic decision that will cause many patients to die via euthanasia. After Katrina struck and the floodwaters rose, the power failed, and the heat climbed, exhausted caregivers chose to designate certain patients last for rescue. Months later, several health professionals faced criminal allegations that they deliberately injected numerous patients with drugs to hasten their deaths. Five Days at Memorial, the culmination of six years of reporting, unspools the mystery of what happened in those days, bringing the reader into a hospital fighting for its life and into a conversation about the most terrifying form of health care rationing.  Five Days at Memorial is written in a straightforward journalistic style that is densely detailed with eyewitness testimony.

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y5Ctg9SRm_0

 

MATH

 

A math-world superstar unveils the hidden beauty and logic of the world and puts its power in our hands. The math we learn in school can seem like a dull set of rules, laid down by the ancients and not to be questioned. In How Not to Be Wrong, Jordan Ellenberg shows us how terribly limiting this view is. Math allows us to see the hidden structures underneath the messy and chaotic surface of our world. It’s a science of not being wrong, hammered out by centuries of hard work and argument. Armed with the tools of mathematics, we can see through to the true meaning of information we take for granted: How early should you get to the airport? What does “public opinion” really represent? Why do tall parents have shorter children? Who really won Florida in 2000? And how likely are you, really, to develop cancer? Ellenberg pulls from history as well as from the latest theoretical developments to provide those not trained in math with the knowledge they need. Math, as Ellenberg says, is “an atomic-powered prosthesis that you attach to your common sense, vastly multiplying its reach and strength.” With the tools of mathematics in hand, you can understand the world in a deeper, more meaningful way. How Not to Be Wrong will show you how.

Free pdf: http://46.100.53.74/IdeaWeb/Files/Data/Library/20169131536812.pdf

 

Whether you are a student struggling to fulfill a math or science requirement, or you are embarking on a career change that requires a higher level of math competency, A Mind for Numbers offers the tools you need to get a better grasp of that intimidating but inescapable field. Engineering professor Barbara Oakley knows firsthand how it feels to struggle with math. She flunked her way through high school math and science courses, before enlisting in the army immediately after graduation. When she saw how her lack of mathematical and technical savvy severely limited her options—both to rise in the military and to explore other careers—she returned to school with a newfound determination to re-tool her brain to master the very subjects that had given her so much trouble throughout her entire life.
 
In A Mind for Numbers, Dr. Oakley lets us in on the secrets to effectively learning math and science—secrets that even dedicated and successful students wish they’d known earlier. Contrary to popular belief, math requires creative, as well as analytical, thinking. Most people think that there’s only one way to do a problem, when in actuality, there are often a number of different solutions—you just need the creativity to see them. For example, there are more than three hundred different known proofs of the Pythagorean Theorem. In short, studying a problem in a laser-focused way until you reach a solution is not an effective way to learn math. Rather, it involves taking the time to step away from a problem and allow the more relaxed and creative part of the brain to take over. A Mind for Numbers shows us that we all have what it takes to excel in math, and learning it is not as painful as some might think!

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XHTV1uyVkhw

 

HISTORY

 

On a winter day in 1903, in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, two unknown brothers from Ohio changed history. But it would take the world some time to believe what had happened: the age of flight had begun, with the first heavier-than-air, powered machine carrying a pilot.

Who were these men and how was it that they achieved what they did? David McCullough, two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize, tells the surprising, profoundly American story of Wilbur and Orville Wright.  Far more than a couple of unschooled Dayton bicycle mechanics who happened to hit on success, they were men of exceptional courage and determination, and of far-ranging intellectual interests and ceaseless curiosity, much of which they attributed to their upbringing. The house they lived in had no electricity or indoor plumbing, but there were books aplenty, supplied mainly by their preacher father, and they never stopped reading. When they worked together, no problem seemed to be insurmountable. Wilbur was unquestionably a genius. Orville had such mechanical ingenuity as few had ever seen. That they had no more than a public high school education, little money and no contacts in high places, never stopped them in their mission to take to the air. Nothing did, not even the self-evident reality that every time they took off in one of their contrivances, they risked being killed.

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ILxNvBbLTzU

 

LANGUAGE

The ultimate rapid language-learning guide! At thirty years old, Gabriel Wyner speaks six languages fluently, and in Fluent Forever Wyner reveals what he’s discovered.  The greatest challenge to learning a foreign language is the challenge of memory; there are just too many words and too many rules. Fluent Forever tackles this challenge head-on. With empathy for the language-challenged and abundant humor, Wyner deconstructs the learning process, revealing how to build a foreign language in your mind from the ground up.  This is brain hacking at its most exciting, taking what we know about neuroscience and linguistics and using it to create the most efficient and enjoyable way to learn a foreign language in the spare minutes of your day.

 

PERSONAL SUCCESS

 

Shark Tank and New York Times bestselling author Daymond John explores how grit, persistence, and good old-fashioned hard work are the backbone of every successful business and individual, and inspires readers to Rise & Grind their way the top.  He knows what it means to push yourself hard--and he also knows how spectacularly a killer work ethic can pay off. As a young man, he founded a modest line of clothing on a $40 budget by hand-sewing hats between his shifts at Red Lobster. Today, his brand FUBU has over $6 billion in sales. Daymond takes an up close look at the hard-charging routines and winning secrets of individuals who have risen to the challenges in their lives and grinded their way to the very tops of their fields. Along the way, he also reveals how grit and persistence both helped him overcome the obstacles he has faced in life and ultimately fueled his success.

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UgEr9IsZOaE

 

A young woman walks into a laboratory. Over the past two years, she has transformed almost every aspect of her life. She has quit smoking, run a marathon, and been promoted at work. The patterns inside her brain, neurologists discover, have fundamentally changed. How did she do it? By transforming her habits.

The Power of Habit contains an exhilarating argument: The key to exercising regularly, losing weight, raising exceptional children, becoming more productive, building revolutionary companies and social movements, and achieving success is understanding how habits work. As Duhigg shows, by harnessing our habits, we can transform our businesses, our communities, and our lives. Along the way we learn why some people and companies struggle to change, despite years of trying, while others seem to remake themselves overnight. We discover how the right habits were crucial to the success of Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, and civil-rights hero Martin Luther King, Jr. We go inside Procter & Gamble, Target superstores, Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church, NFL locker rooms, and the nation’s largest hospitals and see how implementing so-called keystone habits can earn billions and mean the difference between failure and success, life and death.                                                            

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMbsGBlpP30

 

Major life transitions such as leaving the protected environment of school or starting a new career can be daunting. It is scary to face a wall of choices, knowing that no one is going to tell us whether or not we are making the right decision. There is no clearly delineated path or recipe for success. Even figuring out how and where to start can be a challenge. Stanford professor Tina Seelig guides her students as they make the difficult transition from the academic environment to the professional world, providing tangible skills and insights that will last a lifetime. These pages are filled with fascinating examples, from the classroom to the boardroom, of individuals defying expectations, challenging assumptions, and achieving amazing success. Seelig throws out the old rules and provides a new model for reaching our highest potential. We discover how to have a healthy disregard for the impossible, how to recover from failure, and how most problems are remarkable opportunities in disguise.
 

The diaries of a remarkable young woman who was determined to live a meaningful and happy life despite her struggle with cystic fibrosis and a rare superbug--from age fifteen to her death at the age of twenty-five.  Despite the daily challenges of endless medical treatments and a deep understanding that she'd never lead a normal life, Mallory was determined to "live happy," a mantra she followed until her death. Mallory worked hard to make the most out of the limited time she had, graduating from Stanford University, becoming a cystic fibrosis advocate, and embarking on a career as a professional writer. Along the way, she cultivated countless intimate friendships and ultimately found love. She hoped that her writing would offer insight to those living with, or loving someone with, chronic illness.  What emerges is a powerful and inspiring portrait of a brave young woman who did not allow herself to be defined by disease. Her words offer comfort and hope to readers, even as she herself was facing death. Salt in My Soul is a beautifully crafted, intimate, and poignant tribute to a short life well lived--and a call for all of us to embrace our own lives as fully as possible.

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KZSjPrC2SMI

 

SCIENCE

 

This is the science that should be taught in high school and college. Bill Bryson confronts his greatest challenge: to understand—and, if possible, answer—the oldest, biggest questions we have posed about the universe and ourselves. Taking as territory everything from the Big Bang to the rise of civilization, Bryson seeks to understand how we got from there being nothing at all to there being us. To that end, he has attached himself to a host of the world’s most advanced (and often obsessed) archaeologists, anthropologists, and mathematicians, travelling to their offices, laboratories, and field camps. He has read (or tried to read) their books, pestered them with questions, apprenticed himself to their powerful minds. A Short History of Nearly Everything is the record of this quest, and it is a sometimes profound, sometimes funny, and always supremely clear and entertaining adventure in the realms of human knowledge. Science has never been more involving or entertaining.   

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qxNPNvygTH0

 

BUSINESS

 

There is a quiet revolution that is radically reshaping the Muslim world: 50 million women have entered the workforce and are upending their countries' economies and societies. In Fifty Million Rising, award-winning economist Saadia Zahidi illuminates this discreet but momentous revolution through the stories of the remarkable women who are at the forefront of this shift--a McDonald's worker in Pakistan who has climbed the ranks to manager; the founder of an online modest fashion startup in Indonesia; a widow in Cairo who runs a catering business with her daughter, against her son's wishes; and an executive in a Saudi corporation who is altering the culture of her workplace; among many others. These women are challenging familial and social conventions, as well as compelling businesses to cater to women as both workers and consumers. More importantly, they are gaining the economic power that will upend entrenched cultural norms, re-shape how women are viewed in the Muslim world, and change the mindset of the next generation.

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fouS-iVOFiA


 

This bestselling biography of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs tells the story of the roller-coaster life and searingly intense personality of a creative entrepreneur whose passion for perfection and ferocious drive revolutionized six industries: personal computers, animated movies, music, phones, tablet computing, and digital publishing.  At a time when America is seeking ways to sustain its innovative edge, and when societies around the world are trying to build digital-age economies, Jobs stands as the ultimate icon of inventiveness and applied imagination. He knew that the best way to create value in the twenty-first century was to connect creativity with technology. He built a company where leaps of the imagination were combined with remarkable feats of engineering. Jobs speaks candidly, sometimes brutally so, about the people he worked with and competed against. His friends, foes, and colleagues provide an unvarnished view of the passions, perfectionism, obsessions, artistry, devilry, and compulsion for control that shaped his approach to business and the innovative products that resulted.  His tale is instructive and cautionary, filled with lessons about innovation, character, leadership, and values.

Video: https://news.stanford.edu/2005/06/14/jobs-061505/

 

ATHLETICS

 

Athletes at every level have one thing in common: they want to excel. In The Champion’s Mind, sports psychologist Jim Afremow, offers the same advice he uses with Olympians, Heisman Trophy winners, and professional athletes, including: • Tips and techniques based on high-performance psychology research, such as how to get in a "zone," thrive on a team, and stay humble• How to progress within a sport and sustain excellence long-term• Customizable pre-performance routines to hit full power when the gun goes off or the puck is dropped. The Champion’s Mind distills actionable advice into clear and concise steps for athletes looking to find confidence, concentration, and mental preparedness—the mental edge that sets champions apart.

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BmQzylDOrXk

 

ARTS

New York Chef Anthony Bourdain gives away secrets of the culinary trade in his wickedly funny, inspiring memoir/expose. Kitchen Confidential reveals what Bourdain calls "twenty-five years of bad behavior and haute cuisine."


Free pdf: https://joeandjin.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/anthony-bourdain-kitchen-confidential.pdf

 

 

 

CRITICAL THINKING

 

Factfulness: The stress-reducing habit of only carrying opinions for which you have strong supporting facts. When asked simple questions about global trends—what percentage of the world’s population live in poverty; why the world’s population is increasing; how many girls finish school—we systematically get the answers wrong. In Factfulness, Professor and TED phenomenon Hans Rosling reveals the ten instincts that distort our perspective—from our tendency to divide the world into two camps (us and them) to the way we consume media (where fear rules) to how we perceive progress (believing most things are getting worse). Our problem is that we don’t know what we don’t know, and even our guesses are informed by unconscious and predictable biases. It turns out that the world, for all its imperfections, is in a much better state than we might think. When we worry about everything all the time instead of embracing a worldview based on facts, we can lose our ability to focus on the things that threaten us most.

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5uooRe07mYM

 

Providing abundance is humanity’s grandest challenge—this is a book about how we rise to meet it.  We will soon be able to meet and exceed the basic needs of every man, woman and child on the planet. Abundance for all is within our grasp. This bold, contrarian view, backed up by exhaustive research, introduces our near-term future, where exponentially growing technologies and three other powerful forces are conspiring to better the lives of billions. The authors document how four forces—exponential technologies, the DIY innovator, the Technophilanthropist, and the Rising Billion—are conspiring to solve our biggest problems. Abundance establishes hard targets for change and lays out a strategic roadmap for governments, industry and entrepreneurs, giving us plenty of reason for optimism.

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DRp3DfRI3bA