If you’re interested in becoming an “expert” in a flash, or at least boning up on a topic, then nothing beats reading a few well written books. The only trouble is finding the time and finding the right books.
Find the time and the books, though, and it is one of the cheapest, and most accessible, ways to an education. A true leveler. Suddenly, you can pontificate with the loudest out there, yell at the T.V. with impunity, and tell Chris Matthews where he’s wrong (a clue: on just about everything that involves a thrill up his leg).
With just a library card and a good library system (which my own Salt Lake County has) a person has access to information and expertise far beyond the time needed to do the actual in-depth research to master a topic.
Each day our editors interview a renowned authority who discusses his or her area of expertise and provides their choice of the best five books to read. Ever wondered what the experts read? Five Books has the answers.
It’s a great resource, and always interesting. I check in every day, and get the thoughts from the experts in the field on what they recommend and why. I don’t always care for the topic, and I don’t necessarily agree with their reasoning, but I always find their selections interesting and insightful.
Some recent examples of topics, and the books, include the following:
- Economics for Teenagers with Yana van der Meulen. She recommended “Swindle” by Gordan Korman, “The Not-So-Great Depression” by Amy Goldman Koss, “Bamboo People” by Mitali Perkins, and “The Year Money Grew on Trees” by Aaron Hawkins.
- Reform in Pakistan with Hassan Abbas. He recommended “The Osama bin Laden I know” by Peter Bergen, “The Looming Tower” by Lawrence Wright, “Cover Up: What the Government is still Hiding about the War on Terror” by Peter Lance, “Against All Enemies: Inside America’s War on Terror” by Richard Clarke, and “The Least Worse Place: Guantanamos First 100 Days” by Karen Greenburg.
- Protest Songs with Dorian Lynskey.
- Baseball with Joe Posnanski.
- The Regency Period (of England) with Stella Tillyard.
- Classical Chinese Poetry with Qiu Xiaolong.
- Understanding Infants with Tobias Hecht.