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1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus

Charles C. Mann. Non-Fiction,

Pulling together evidence unearthed by archaeologists, geneticists, historians, anthropologists, and paleolinguists along with first-person accounts of the period, Mann upends accepted wisdom about human civilizations in the Americas before the arrival of Europeans. For me, this book was a revelation.

-Clay Gish, ESI Design
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1984

George Orwell. Fiction,

A beautiful vision of a possible dystopia.

-Pete Vigeant, ESI Design
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1q84

1Q84

Haruki Murakami. Fiction

“It’s hard for me to talk about this in perspective as a big Murakami fan…Despite the ambitious volume (1500+ pages in Japanese version), I found it a simple sweet love story, with a parallel world of a disappearing woman and a man searching for her.”

-Ria Shibayama, ESI Design
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A Brief History of Time

Stephen Hawking. Non-Fiction,

A story on cosmology from one of the most otherworldly thinkers I have had a great honor of knowing. A fascinating, mind-bending exploration of our universe — a must!

-Olga Osipenko, ESI Design
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A Clockwork Orange

Anthony Burgess. Fiction

A bizarre, frightening vision of the future, yet a testament to the need for music and culture. It comes with a whole lexicon of words that I new well by the last page.

-Clay Gish, ESI Design
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a-day

A Day at elBulli

Ferran Adri. Non-Fiction,

An insight into the ideas, methods and creativity of Ferran Adria, the most creative chef working today

-Ria Shibayama, ESI Design
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A Fine Disregard

Kurt Vordnadoe. Non-Fiction, ,

First book I read that made modern art accessible.

-Alex Alfaro, ESI Design
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A Long Way Gone

Ishmael Beah. Non-Fiction,

I believe it’s important to be aware of what goes on in the world. This book gives a first-hand look at the decade-long civil war in Sierra Leone.

-Esther Torres, ESI Design
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A Personal Matter

Kenzaburo Oe. Fiction

A heart-wrenching story about the struggles of a man becoming a father. Amazing writing.

-Michael Schneider, ESI Design
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A Piece of Cake

Cupcake Brown. Non-Fiction,

This book was extremely inspiring. About a woman who who grew up alone, bouncing to different foster homes, suffered from child abuse/molestation/countless issues and triumphed into a successful attorney. Her story inspires, makes me grateful and reminds me to count my blessings.

-Esther Torres, ESI Design
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A Reason for Hope

Jane Goodall. Non-Fiction,

In its details about her current work in animal welfare, I was inspired to become a vegetarian. A beautifully written memoir of her life

-Joan Lunoe, ESI Design
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A Shopkeeper’s Millennium: Society and Revivals in Rochester, New York, 1815-1837

Paul E. Johnson. Non-Fiction,

An examination of the Second Great Awakening, which Johnson argues transformed the country and helped coalesce the consciousness of America’s emerging middle class. This book so influenced me that I decided to focus my studies on 19th social history, particularly class identity and conflict.

-Clay Gish, ESI Design
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A Short History of Nearly Everything

Bill Bryson. Non-Fiction,

A book for the curious that everyone should read.

-Pete Vigeant, ESI Design
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A Song of Ice and Fire (Series)

George R.R. Martin. Fiction,

An incredible epic that defies prediction.

-Pete Vigeant, ESI Design
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A Space on the Side of the Road: Cultural Poetics in an “other” America

Kathleen Stewart. Non-Fiction,

Kathleen Stewart not only writes about West Virginia, but also writes in and with it. She shows that, as an anthropologist, you cannot remove yourself from the story — context is critical.

-Leah Gotcsik, ESI Design
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A Thousand Splendid Suns

Khaled Hosseini. Fiction

This is a novel that took me to a cruel reality of women in Afghanistan. It is a beautiful story supported with many, many facts that make the reading experience truly enjoyable. It is incredible what women in the Middle East have to go through. A real eye-opener.

-Amanda Agulnick, ESI Design
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A User’s Guide to the Brain

John J. Ratey. Non-Fiction,

-Joe Karadin, ESI Design
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visual-display

A Visual Display of Quantitative Information

Edward Tufte. Non-Fiction,

Used this for my thesis in grad school and undergrad.

-Ania Wagner, ESI Design
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After Dark

Haruki Murakami. Fiction

Taking place over the course of one night, part dream, part reality.

-Greg Gallimore, ESI Design
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Akira

Katsuhiro Otomo. Fiction,

Katsuhiro Otomo’s sci-fi masterpiece, Akira regarded by many as the finest comic series ever produced.

-Ria Shibayama, ESI Design
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Alexander Hamilton

Ron Chernow. Non-Fiction,

A very engaging book that takes the reader back to the founding of America through the story of a truly self-made man.

-Robert Vinci, ESI Design
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Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty

Andrew Bolton. Non-Fiction,

About one of the most influential, imaginative, and provocative designers of his generation, Alexander McQueen. This book is to look at (for hours!), but also to read his ideas, inspirations, and deep thoughts on race, class, sexuality, and religion.

-Ria Shibayama, ESI Design
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American Medical Association Family Medical Guide

American Medical Association. Non-Fiction,

When I was a kid and I was sick, I would head to the bookcase and use the self-diagnosis flow charts in this guide to try and figure out the cause. Perhaps I was drawn by the desire to solve the mystery, or maybe it was just the satisfying infographics. Either way, I became a writer and my sister became a doctor and this book may have had a hand in both.

-Leah Gotcsik, ESI Design
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And the Band Played On: Politics, People, and the AIDS Epidemic

Randy Shilts. Non-Fiction,

It is more than a masterpiece of investigative reporting; it has educated the world and me about the AIDS epidemic.

-Robert Vinci, ESI Design
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Another Roadside Attraction

Tom Robbins. Fiction

A quintessential homage to the children of the 60s.

-Greg Gallimore, ESI Design
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