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The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat: And Other Clinical Tales

Oliver Sacks is also required reading in every cognitive neuroscience class. All his books are fascinating.

23ed4a4e tiny Farah for the brain and clinical psychology
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Phantoms in the Brain: Probing the Mysteries of the Human Mind

V.S. Ramachandran was required reading in one of my neuroscience seminars. This is a masterpiece.

23ed4a4e tiny Farah for neuroscience and the brain
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Eat, Drink, and Be Healthy: The Harvard Medical School Guide to Healthy Eating

I saw this gentleman lecture on nutrition. He is very smart.

23ed4a4e tiny Farah for health and eating
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The Merck Manual of Medical Information: 2nd Home Edition

The Merck Manual is the clinician's Bible. They made a version for patients to keep at home, written in lay English for the general public, but with exactly the same information. This is such a valuable book, really.

23ed4a4e tiny Farah for medicine
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Stiff

Yes, this book came out a million years ago, but it's a quick read that manages to pack in lots of super interesting facts (they happen to be about death and anatomy and corpses, but so what). 

16ec9eca tiny Jen for death
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Taste Buds and Molecules: The Art and Science of Food, Wine, and Flavor

Throw out all those pairing books written by overly opinionated chefs and their egos. Instead take a spin with Chartier's book which uses SCIENCE. 

Dbc24d47 tiny Andrew Torrens for science and food pairings
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Oldman's Brave New World of Wine: Pleasure, Value, and Adventure Beyond Wine's Usual Suspects

A book designed to help guide you outside of your comfort level with wine, without trying to bombard you with all the regions, vintages and facts that often make many wine books a drag. 

Dbc24d47 tiny Andrew Torrens for wine
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Maiden Voyage

Because inspiration, even for cooking, came come from unlikely sources. Plus, this is what I can read and re-read and read again whilst stirring chutney all day!

049190b8 tiny Drake Page
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Classic Indian Vegetarian and Grain Cooking

Published in 1985 and widely available in used copies online, Julia Sahni covers the gamut of regional Indian cuisines in a surprisingly succinct tome (well, under 550 pages anyway). A careful selection of highly curated recipes + elegant food writing at its most refined.

049190b8 tiny Drake Page for indian cuisine
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The Complete Book of Small Batch Preserving

Easy to follow instructions and a wide range of quirky and classic food preservation projects - from relishes to marmalades to pickles, ketchups and much more - make this the invaluable, must-have resource for home canners.

049190b8 tiny Drake Page for canning and preserving
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Story

Probably the single best book on cinematic and narrative storytelling out there.

2c6c2798 tiny Andrew Linderman for storytelling and screenwriting
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American Art and Architecture

A fully readable, entertaining primer on all things American art + architecture. Especially good for communicating the themes that have been with us for hundreds of years. (Full disclosure: this was written by one of my favorite college profs, but it's great no matter what.)

16ec9eca tiny Jen for architecture and american art
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Sudden Fiction

An amazing collection of flash fiction that is a great pleasure read and also a great learning tool for every kind of writer. 

Missing Vinny Senguttuvan for writing
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On Photography

Two diverse and game-changing books (along with Ways of Seeing) about art and photography.

Missing Vinny Senguttuvan for photography and critical theory
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The Bear Comes Home

One of my students suggested this book and it sounds awesome. It's a novel about a bear who plays the sax and is involved in the jazz world is also on the hunt for love. It's won some fiction awards, too. 

Missing Stacey Kahn for music and fiction
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The White Album

I'm recommending just the essay here, the essay that comes from the book of the same name, although Joan Didion is an amazing writer all around. This isn't specifically a music essay, but we read a selection from this essay in every class, one that talks about the Doors, and every time without fail, the class is blown away. She's one of the best living writers, I think, and this essay is one way that shows it. 

Missing Stacey Kahn for music writing
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Psychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung

If you haven't read anything from Lester Bangs before, go out and get this book now. His style of writing is brash and all-over-the-place but is also so beautiful and poignant. Somehow he mixes these elements perfectly.

Missing Stacey Kahn for music writing
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The Old, Weird America

This is a book on Dylan but Greil Marcus is just such a great music writer that this is one way to see how he works. He'll make you see Dylan in a whole new way, but more importantly, you'll appreciate the quality of his music writing throughout.

Missing Stacey Kahn for music writing and bob dylan
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Chronicles

This is Bob Dylan's autobiography and it's interesting either for the Bob Dylan fan or the literarily curious. Dylan maintains a very specific voice for the whole book, and you're forced to ask the question how much the "folk" factor plays into his stories--how much is true? How much is false? How much is embellishment? Definitely keeps you wondering throughout. 

Missing Stacey Kahn for music writing
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Let's Talk About Love: A Journey to the End of Taste from the 33 1/3 Series

I recommend this book by way of saying this whole series is great and if you haven't read a book from it yet, you totally should! Each book is devoted to one album and the author can write about it however they choose--fiction, scholarly inquiry, journalistic profiling, personal essays, whatever. This particular book from the series is interesting b/c it's a wildcard subject that delves into the question of how we determine taste and why we perceive certain things as being "good." A really interesting read.

Missing Stacey Kahn for music
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Museum Studies: An Anthology of Contexts

This is THE museum studies primer, containing texts from individuals involved with museums at all levels, spanning centuries of scholarship. It is a great introduction to the history and theory of museums, providing a springboard for additional inquiry. 

3c0c6f9b tiny Elizabeth Abbarno for museum studies
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Dialogues in Public Art

Interviews with individuals who create and experience public art. Finkelpearl was the director of Percent for Art from 1990-1996.

3c0c6f9b tiny Elizabeth Abbarno for public art
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Public Art New York

Fairly comprehensive guide to permanent public art installations in NYC. Also excellent for creating your own self guided walking tour.

3c0c6f9b tiny Elizabeth Abbarno for new york city and public art