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Need something new to read? Me too. Here are three picks from A Nerd’s Guide to Reading. I’ve pulled something from a couple of different genres. Have at ‘er!

Popular Science: Chaos: Making a New Science – James Gleick

James Gleick’s bestseller introduces the story of one of the most significant waves of scientific knowledge in our time. Gleick makes chaos theory not only fascinating but also accessible, and opens our eyes to a surprising new view of the universe.

 

History: War is a Racket – General Smedley D. Butler

General Smedley Butler’s frank book shows how American war efforts were animated by big-business interests. This extraordinary argument against war by an unexpected proponent is relevant now more than ever.

 

Classics: Hamlet – Shakespeare

Set in the Kingdom of Denmark, the play dramatizes the revenge Prince Hamlet exacts on his uncle Claudius for murdering the king, Claudius’s brother and Prince Hamlet’s father, and then succeeding to the throne and taking as his wife Gertrude, the old king’s widow and Prince Hamlet’s mother. The play vividly portrays both true and feigned madness – from overwhelming grief to seething rage – and explores themes of treachery, revenge, incest, and moral corruption.

Fantasy: The Golden Compass – Philip Pullman

11-year-old Lyra Belacqua is a precocious orphan growing up within the precincts of Jordan College in Oxford, England. It quickly becomes clear that Lyra’s Oxford is not precisely like our own—nor is her world. In Lyra’s world, everyone has a personal dæmon, a lifelong animal familiar. This is a world in which science, theology and magic are closely intertwined.

Science Fiction: Ender’s Game – Orson Scott Card

In order to develop a secure defense against a hostile alien race’s next attack, government agencies breed child geniuses and train them as soldiers. A brilliant young boy, Andrew “Ender” Wiggin lives with his kind but distant parents, his sadistic brother Peter, and the person he loves more than anyone else, his sister Valentine. Peter and Valentine were candidates for the soldier-training program but didn’t make the cut–young Ender is the sibling drafted to the orbiting Battle School for rigorous military training.

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