We’ve come to the fifth and final installment of the best books for you, based on your college major!
Now, of course, there is no way to fully address every single subject a person could major in, especially not to the detail that each subject deserves, so I apologize for any majors out there that weren’t highlighted! However, if you have any suggestions for books based on those majors, please don’t hesitate to list them in the comments section.
Going off the most popular and most commonly requested majors, here is our final installment!
The Best Books, According to Developmental or Abnormal Psychology Majors:
1. Neurotribes: The Legacy of Autism and The Future of Neurodiversity by Steve Silberman
Autism remains a largely misunderstood and mysterious disability (or difference, depending on your perspective). This book begins the difficult work of unpacking the history of this condition, including its initial diagnoses to the many developments and discoveries since. Silberman’s work is important because it is helpful in explaining what those of us who are neurotypical define as a disability and deciding whether that name is limiting in our understanding of genetics and neurodiversity as a whole.
2. The Woman Who Changed Her Brain: How I left My Learning Disability Behind and Other Stories of Cognitive Transformation by Barbara Arrowsmith-Young
This book is a personal account of one woman’s life with a learning disorder and her struggles to overcome it. Inspired by her own difficulties, Arrowsmith-Young researched and developed her own unique cognitive exercise to shape the behaviors that had once made her life so difficult. This memoir is an excellent read for anyone wishing to go into the psychological field or education, as well as anyone who has been personally affected by learning disabilities.
Honorable Mentions: The Way I See It: A Personal Look at Autism & Asperger’s by Temple Grandin; Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger’s by John Elder Robinson; The Out of Sync Child: Recognizing and Coping with Sensory Processing Disorder by Carol Stock Kranowitz
The Best Books, According to Philosophy Majors:
This is a great text for philosophy buffs because it details Jean-Paul Sartre’s attempt to connect the concept of existentialism, an idea previously left to philosophers alone, and makes it accessible to the general public. This book the published version of the speech that first brought Sartre critical acclaim and serves as the perfect jumping off point for understanding the most culturally relevant branches of contemporary philosophy.
2. The Critique of Pure Reason by Immanuel Kant
This book will challenge you, that much is undeniable. However, this work by Kant is also crucial for understanding metaphysics and is equally as important because the influence of this book can be seen in every philosopher that follows. This book is not a sprint, but rather a marathon; a text to be digested leisurely and with a sharp attention to detail, making it the perfect read for a winter break free of responsibilities!
Honorable Mentions: The Republic by Plato
The Best Books, According to English Majors (Memoir/Short Stories):
Again, English is such a large and encompassing major with so many different concentrations that I had to make some judgment calls based on the books that were suggested to me by my peers, as well as the books I thought would be unique compared to the titles featured on your average course syllabus. These are the ones I’ve settled on, hope you enjoy!
1. When Women Were Birds: Fifty-Four Variations on Voice by Terry Tempest Williams
This book was gifted to me by my significant other last holiday season and it is the perfect book for a college student. The stream of consciousness style in which it’s written makes it the type of book that you can pick up when you have a minute and dive right back in, regardless of how long it’s been since you left off. William’s work contains breathtaking prose and is simultaneously a compelling reflection on womanhood, motherhood, nature, and society that makes it memorable long after the final page.
2. Difficult Women, Roxane Gay
Roxane Gay’s latest published work (one of our book recommendations for 2018!) features an array of women whose characters are complex and interesting and complicated, something that is so often lacking in our female characters onscreen and in books. Gay is a brilliant author who details beautifully what it means to be a woman in modern America. More importantly, her work shows that there is no one woman in America, no universal female experience, and that is precisely what makes it so compelling.
The Best Books, According to Music Majors:
1. Cowboys and Indies: The Epic History of the Record Industry by Gareth Murphy
Cowboys and Indies is the first and most comprehensive history of the recording industry. This volume is incredibly well researched through interviews with and memoirs of some of the biggest names and game-changers in the industry. Spanning the earliest invention of a sound recording device in the 19th century to the current era of music technology, this novel is a must have for anyone hoping to make it in the biz or at the very least anyone with a passion for music.
2. Selling Sounds: The Commercial Revolution in American Music by David Suisman
This book takes a slightly different turn in that in that this work focuses on the commercialization of sound and music. It explores how and why our current music industry came to be, across the legal, personal, and economic realms. It explores the culture of music that we live in today, one in which we are constantly listening to music whether through our own earbuds and Spotify playlists or the seemingly endless stream of Christmas music playing in your local grocery store.
Honorable Mentions: Just Kids by Patti Smith; Uncommon People: The Rise and Fall of The Rock Stars by David Hepworth; Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!: The Story of Pop Music from Bill Haley to Beyoncé by Bob Stanley; All Shook Up: How Rock ‘n’ Roll Changed America by Glenn C. Altschuler
What do you think?
What are you currently reading a book for class (or for fun) that you can’t put down no matter how hard you try? Any good titles you’re reading over the winter holiday? Let me know in the comments below!