Monthly Archives: February 2016

A Young Doctor Comes Face To Face With His Own Mortality

9780812988406Dr. Paul Kalanithi died in March of 2015 while completing the manuscript for his book When Breath Becomes Air (Random House, January 2016).  Here, his widow Lucy explains why college students will be interested in his writing.

Dear Reader,

At the age of 36, my husband Paul Kalanithi was on the verge of finishing a decade’s worth of training as a neurosurgeon at Stanford when his health began to falter. A CT scan confirmed what we had both come to suspect: he had lung cancer, widely disseminated. In the very hospital where Paul had learned to perform surgery, he was checked into a room and handed a blue patient’s gown. We held each other tightly in his hospital bed, both understanding that the cancer was terminal. Continue reading

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What makes Unfair an ideal first year experience selection?

9780770437763A checklist from Adam Benforado on what makes his Unfair: The New Science of Criminal Justice (Crown, June 2015) ideal for common reading:

√ Student Engagement.   It’s impossible to choose a book that all students will find interesting and relevant, but Unfair comes awfully close. Crime and the responses to crime define our lives—the paths we walk, the rules we follow, the taxes we pay, the shows we watch. And there is something about criminal law stories that hold us by the edge of our seat. The cases I explore have all the drama of Law & Order or CSI episodes, but they’re real and they raise compelling questions: What could lead an otherwise upstanding attorney to conceal a critical piece of evidence from the other side? Why would a person confess to a crime she didn’t commit when under no physical duress? Is it possible to tell whether someone is guilty by looking at a scan of his brain? The answers from psychology and neuroscience are often just as riveting. Continue reading

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