What Books to Read Based on Your Major
I work in the Interlibrary Loan Department at Landman Library. Basically, if you want something and Landman doesn’t have it, I help you get it from a different library. That means I constantly see books from all disciplines. As a Media & Communication major, library employee, and avid book collector, here’s my try at recommending books based on your major. Not all majors are included, but each title was chosen with love by yours truly.
Virtual Cities: An Atlas and Exploration of Video Game Cities by Konstantinos Dimopoulos
I got this for my art major roommate, and he loves it, so I think it’s safe to say it’s a good choice! This book breaks down settings from beloved video games (the Legend of Zelda series, The Witcher, Fallout: New Vegas, and more) with beautiful map and scenery illustrations. Even if you’re not much of a gamer, the art is so beautiful that it’s worth taking a look at!
Moby Dick by Herman Melville
I have never, ever read Moby Dick. My copy looms menacingly on my bookshelf, beckoning me to open its pages. My boyfriend, an English graduate (and Arcadia alum), has begged me to read it on several occasions. When I dared to ask, “What book should I put in this blog post for Biology majors?” he surprised me by pulling out Moby Dick. I thought, “Surely, this is a joke.”
But then, as if by memory, he flipped to a page full of whale facts – apparently, the entire story stops for a lesson on cetology. So, if you’re a biology major who needs to brush up on whale facts, flip to Chapter 32.
Business, Politics Government and Law
Capital City: Gentrification and the Real Estate State by Samuel Stein
Urban planner Samuel Stein talks about the role of urban planners in the “real estate state,” and the efforts to reclaim urban life. The origins, development, and role of urban planning have led to the cities and towns we know today and are directly influenced by political interests and the wealthy elite. This has been an excellent read so far, and it links politics and business in a really intriguing way, especially for someone with no knowledge in these areas.
Love Poems by Michael Horovitz
My favorite thing to do while I have extra time at work is flip through old poetry books. Love Poems is truly a hidden gem and is home to one of my favorite poems, “no birds.”
The Knot Book: An Elementary Introduction to the Mathematical Theory of Knots by Colin C. Adams
I’m horrible at math. Looking at an equation is enough to make me shudder. But this book made me pause. I haven’t read it, and I don’t know why there’s a book on such a niche topic, but what I do know is that it intrigued even me, so that has to mean something!
Media & Communication
Mass Media In 2025: Industries, Organizations, People, and Nations, edited by Erwin K. Thomas and Brown H. Carpenter
This collection of essays written by scholars in 2001 predicts the future of several aspects of media, such as computers, journalism, politics, and television. One passage reads:
It is the year 2025. You are sitting on the sofa in the family room, looking at a picture that hangs on your wall. But it is not a painting or a photograph. It is the heart of your communication center. Yes, you’re watching a music video with CD-quality sound that you ordered through the Internet, but you have paused it to see the latest news at the top of the hour. Your doorbell has just rung and you see the visitor’s face in the corner of the screen. You might just return to the room later to use your communication center to do some research for the paper you are writing.
Weirdly accurate, right? If you want a short, fun glimpse into the future, and a little history of how media has evolved, check this one out.
The Book by Alan Watts
I started reading this in 2020, and now, this book is filled with highlights, annotations, and dog–eared pages. Alan Watts held a master’s degree in theology and a doctorate in divinity, which he used to interpret Eastern religion for a Western audience. The publisher describes the book as explaining “the illusion that we are isolated beings, unconnected to the rest of the universe, has led us to view the “outside” world with hostility, and has fueled our misuse of technology and our violent and hostile subjugation of the natural world.”
The Experience of Place by Tony Hiss
This is the book I’m most excited to start reading. It explores how and why we feel the way we do in certain environments, and how changes can be made in these environments to improve our everyday lives. Some places unsettle us, and others inspire, and the reasons why are worth looking into.