Top Right Search Box

OneSearch   |   My Account

FSU Libraries' Celebration of Tenure 2019

Below are the newly tenured faculty and a brief explanation of the books or materials they hand-picked to be purchased and book plated in their honor.


Katherine C. Mooney
Nothing Personal by Richard Avedon and James Baldwin


Richard Avedon and James Baldwin were high school friends who collaborated on this project of photographs and essays once they were both recognized as great American artists. This book is immensely meaningful to me because it's a work by two people trying to use their talents to tell the truth about the United States in their time. It's beautiful, sad, and often jaw-dropping, because you're confronted with the human frailties and legacies that make history. And, as Hilton Als says in his introductory essay, this book challenged him as a teenager; it told him he could and should be brave and find and tell the truth. So the book encapsulates both what I try to do as a scholar and what I try to do as a teacher. I think it's one everyone should read.


Tanya M. Peres Lemons
Grit-Tempered: Early Women Archaeologists in the Southeastern United States
Edited by Nancy Marie White, Lynne P. Sullivan, and Rochelle A. Marrinan

I chose Grit-tempered because it has been a part of my personal and professional journey in archaeology since before it was published. This edited volume honors the lives and experiences of pioneering women in Southeastern US Archaeology pre-1960s. While I was a master’s student in Anthropology at FSU in the 1990s, Dr. Marrinan (my mentor) was hard at work on this book. During our Archaeology Method and Theory seminar, she would close class by reading from Carol Mason’s autobiographical essay, “This Ain’t the English Department: A Memoir of Becoming an Archaeologist in the 1950s at Florida State University.” Mason’s experiences brought to light a moment in time of our department’s history, giving us a sense of place and belonging unlike any I have experienced before or since. The chapter on Elizabeth Wing is special to me as she was my mentor’s mentor, and later was a member of my PhD committee at the University of Florida. I remember being on an FSU Anthropology sponsored trip to the Southeastern Archaeological Conference where Dr. Marrinan introduced all the students to Hester A. Davis – one of the women in the book. We were in awe of her and it was not lost on us how special it was to be in the same room with her and the book’s editors - our own mentors – all strong, determined, and extremely smart women. This book is an integral part of my professional history and I share it with colleagues, require my students to read it, and I have been known to give it as a gift to my students when they graduate. Grit-tempered gives me a way to share a part of our collective professional history with my students who I hope will cherish it as much as I do.

Rob Duarte
Hertzian Tales: Electronic products, aesthetic experience, and critical design by Anthony Dune

Hertzian Tales is one of several books that has been extremely influential to my art practice. A large part of my work is driven by the notion that designed objects can become the backdrop for a critical examination of the ways in which we produce, consume, and discard technology. Hertzian Tales challenges its reader to consider how even the simplest of technologies are steeped in political ideology, mediating our social and cultural experiences. It also questions why we value designed objects through the arbitrary criterion of “functionality,” instead of considering them in the context of the personal, the poetic, or the absurd, for example. This book, more than any other, has come to reflect the conceptual basis of the artwork that I have been producing for over a decade.

Daniel T. Hallinan Jr.
Electrochemical Systems. 3rd ed by Newman and Thomas-Alyea

It was difficult to choose a single book to represent me, as there have been so many that have shaped my career from the Bible, which has been a part of my finding a work-life balance, and Plato’s Republic, whose allegory of the cave has shaped my approach to science and teaching, to de Gennes’ Scaling Concepts in Polymer Physics, which is an essential polymer physics text. I finally decided to choose the book that I have turned to more in the past six years than any other:  Electrochemical Systems by Prof. John Newman and Dr. Karen Thomas-Alyea. This is a beautiful and challenging book. In its engineering approach to electrochemistry, it brings together all the fundamental Chemical Engineering concepts:  Thermodynamics, Transport Phenomena, and Reaction Kinetics; and shows that they are coupled via potential. I was fortunate to attend Prof. Newman’s final offering of his electrochemistry course during my postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California, Berkeley. That foundation has significantly shaped my research success as an independent investigator.


Erin Ingvalson
Language Experience in Second Language Speech Learning: In honor of James Emil Flege, edited by Bohn Ocke-Schwen & Murray J. Munro

I got my start in graduate school studying non-native speech perception and second language speech learning. Jim Flege's Speech Learning Model (SLM) was instrumental in influencing my ideas about how speech sound categories are shaped through experience. I found his model to be so influential that I built my whole dissertation around it. Since then, I've expanded my research portfolio to include studies of older adults perceiving speech in noise or children with hearing loss learning language, but I continue to be influenced by Jim's model and the importance of speech experience. This book is a collection inspired by his retirement--one year before I completed my PhD--and demonstrates that I am not the only person whose research he influenced.


Iain Quinn
Bach: a musical biography by Peter Williams

For young British organists in the 1980s the name of Peter Williams was synonymous with new and exciting scholarship regarding the performance of Bach’s organ works. His considerable writings challenged many to think about Bach afresh and because they were written by a performer-scholar his views had considerable resonance. I was fortunate to talk with Peter on three occasions in his later years at conferences in Birmingham, Oxford and Gothenburg and each time I was left wondering what piece of history he would challenge next. Peter had a staggering intellect coupled with the investigative prowess and oratorical command of the finest barrister. His departure from the sceptered isle left British musicology bereft of one of its greatest minds and personalities while his legacy will be cherished by all those who read his thoughts and ask their own questions.

Angela Knapp

Chemical Oceanography and the Marine Carbon Cycle by Steven Emerson and John Hedges

I took a year off in between college and graduate school and worked in the lab of John Hedges at the University of Washington. I was able to sit in on the Chemical Oceanography class taught by Steve Emerson and John Hedges and wasn't aware at the time of their stature in the field. The lectures from that class eventually became this textbook that was published after John Hedges passed away. Working there that year gave me exposure to ideas and the opportunity to go to sea that helped me identify research questions that I am still pursuing today. Today I refer to this textbook to help me prepare lectures when I teach Chemical Oceanography, as well as to answer questions that come up in my own research. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to sit in on their class and am humbled to have the opportunity to teach the same material.


Yan-Yan Hu
Multidimensional Solid-State NMR and Polymers by Klaus Schmidt-Rohr & Hans Wolfgang Spiess

This book, written by my Ph.D. advisor Prof. Klaus Schmidt-Rohr and his Ph.D. advisor Prof. Wolfgang Spiess, has been with me since graduate school. It has helped me to build the foundation of my current research program and its depth has never failed to inspire me to further my understanding of solid-state NMR. In addition to the content, the writing itself is infused with all the qualities of a good scientist, i.e., dedication, creativity, and accuracy of observation with a skeptical approach.


Eren Erman Ozguven
Fundamentals of Transportation and Traffic Operations by Carlos F. Daganzo

I have started working on research related to transportation engineering in 2006, and I have realized how multi-disciplinary transportation research was over the last 13 years as part of my focus on people and their mobility. I had the chance to work with researchers and practitioners from other engineering disciplines as well as social sciences over the last 6 years since I joined the college. I selected this book because it represents this multidisciplinary nature at the very basic level, leveraging valuable mathematics, systems and other science and engineering knowledge with a specific focus on transportation.

Gang Wang
Methods of Meta-Analysis: Correcting Error and Bias in Research Findings by Frank L. Schmidt & John E. Hunter

Meta-analysis allows the use of secondary data (published and unpublished) to correct study artifacts and arrive at more accurate parameter estimates than can any primary study. Dear Frank and his deceased co-author, Jack, have not only conducted pioneering and seminal meta-analyses themselves, but also written perhaps the first and most comprehensive books on how to perform meta-analysis in organizational sciences. Their geniuses, devotion to teaching and mentoring, and scholarship undoutedly and directly have contributed to the flourish of meta-analysis today. I had the privilege of learning how to do meta-analysis from Dear Frank. In addition, I was lucky enough to take four more doctoral courses from him. I respect and admire him as a professor, scholar, and person. More importantly, I thank Frank for enabling me to do meta-analysis, which is a research method I use on a daily basis and helps me earn my tenure. This new edition of Frank and Jack’s book contains the latest advances in meta-analysis. I look forward to reading it, and hope you too.

Baixiao Liu

Mostly Harmless Econometrics: An Empiricist’s Companion by Joshua Angrist and Jorn-Steffen Pischke

The beginning point of research in Economics is to ask what is the casual relationship of interest. Then you start to daydream about the ideal experiment that could be used to capture the casual relationship, an experiment that in 99.99% of the case not available. Then comes in the biggest challenge of research, at least in economics, what is your identification strategy and your mode of statistical inference? I constantly find myself lost in terms of the answers to the last question. And whenever I feel lost, I turn to this book, and every time I can recoup my strength in econometrics that can keep me going  on this long long journey.


Antonio Terracciano
Personality in Adulthood: A Five-Factor Theory Perspective by Robert R. McCrae and Paul T. Costa Jr.

Current research in personality psychology has been shaped in influential ways by the work of Robert (Jeff) McCrae and Paul Costa. These prolific scientists have made remarkable contributions to the field of personality psychology, beginning in an era in which even the existence of personality was challenged. With persistence, integrity, a collaborative spirit, and ingenious work, they built a body of scientific evidence that today supports a major paradigm in personality psychology, the five factor model of personality (also known as big five). Paul and Jeff are also known for their bold and controversial theory of personality, their work on the developmental patterns of personality with age, and their finding that many features of personality are similar across cultures. These and other ideas are masterfully presented in their book “Personality in Adulthood: A Five-Factor Theory Perspective”, a classic for personality and developmental psychology. I had the fortune of working closely with Paul and Jeff since 1999. To celebrate my tenure at Florida State University in 2019, I selected this book for the impact that Paul and Jeff had on my career and as a testament of my gratitude to them.

Katarzyna Bugaj
Aspects of Playing the Violin by Tadeusz Wroński

The pedagogical methods of violinist Tadeusz Wroński have influenced me from my first elementary school violin lessons (although I was not aware of any of that at the time).  A legendary violinist, pedagogue, diplomat and renaissance man, Wroński played an important role in rebuilding artistic infrastructure in Poland after the destruction of World War II.  He is credited by many as the father of the 20th century Polish violin school.  Returning to Tadeusz Wroński’s influences throughout my life it wasn’t until graduate school when I became aware just how much of an influence his pedagogy—both through his books and directly from his students who were my teachers—had on my development and understanding of the art and craft of violin performance.  What is more, his influence went far beyond the borders of Poland, as Prof. Wroński spent 20 years of his life teaching at Indiana University in Bloomington where he had a profound influence upon a generation of violinists who now teach and perform throughout the world.  My current research includes bringing Prof. Wroński’s final pedagogical text—Techniki Gry Skrzpcowej—to English-speaking readers. 

Lisa Schelbe

Ethnographer’s Toolkit edited by Jean Schensul & Margaret LeCompte

I first became aware of the Ethnographer’s Toolkit soon after I had decided to use ethnographic methods for my dissertation. I was completely overwhelmed and fraught with insecurity that I would be unsuccessful in conducting an ethnography. My university’s library did not have the Ethnographer’s Toolkit, a seven book series that I believed held all of the answers to the methodological questions with which I was wrestling. I splurged buying it, the most expensive book purchase I had ever made. I remember the joy of the day the books arrived at my apartment. The books were invaluable to me and contributed to my development as a scholar. While they did not have all of the answers, they offered guidance throughout my dissertation process and continue to be an excellent reference. When asked to select a book of significance, this is the first thing that came to mind.


Arash Fahim
Louis Bachelier's theory of speculation : the origins of modern finance by Louis Bachelier

The thesis of Louis Bachelier inspired me indirectly through the work of many scholars that had inspired me in the past. Unfortunately, his work did not received the recognition that it deserved during the Bachelier's life and the three decades thereafter. However, many scholars later discovered the importance of his contribution and started to build the theory of probability  diffusion, and mathematical finance. The list of  scholars include but not limited to Norbert Wiener, Andrey Kolmogorov, Kyosi Itô, Paul Samuelson, Joseph Doob, and Myron Scholes, Fischer Black, and Robert Merton, among which there are three Nobel prize winners and one Gauß  prize winner. For a long time, this inspiring work remained only in French and was not accessible to many scholars and enthusiast  until in 2006 Mark Davis and Alison Etheridge did the long overdue task of translation of this work. One particular feature of this translation is that the translators added comments to guide the reader through the way Bachelier was thinking; not understanding how he was thinking was the main obstacle that people could not overcome during Bachelier's life, and therefore, they could not understand the significance of his work.

Md Omar Faruque
Computer Aided Analysis of Electronic Circuits: Algorithms and Computational Techniques by Leon O. Chua and Pen-Min Lin

This book has been published almost 40 years ago and can be considered significantly old. However, it helped me understand many basic concepts related to computer simulation of electromagnetic transients in electrical systems. While I was a graduate student and doing my research on real-time modeling and simulation of modern power systems, I was immensely benefited by reading this book, especially when I found out an algorithm for numerical simulation of systems using higher order approximations. I have applied that in my Ph.D. work in combination with some other existing methods to achieve a better simulation performance. After I went through a couple of topics from the book, I decided to buy a copy even though it was out of print.  It still serves me as a reference book to understand some good old numerical techniques that are being used in some circuit simulation programs.


Hanwei Gao
A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking

Even the most abstruse science should be accessible and appreciated by the general public. It is us, the scientists, who did not do our job if it is not.

Theresa Van Lith

Knowing differently: Arts-based and collaborative research methods edited by Prannee Liamputtong and Jean Rumbold

During my journey towards tenure, this book has served as a vital source for how to seek out understanding of the human experience in novel and different ways. The premise of the book strives to elicit diverse perspectives that can be weaved together with more traditional methods to form a unified conceptualization of an experience. It also acknowledges the importance of fostering collaborative interdisciplinary partnerships that celebrate differing epistemological positions. Going forward in my career, this idea speaks to me as a value system that I hope to continually install in my roles as both a researcher and as an art therapist.


Jessica Clark
Omnium Annalium Monumenta: Historical Writing and Historical Evidence in Republican Rome edited by Kaj Sandberg and Christopher Smith

In the field of Classics, specialists are often divided into types; historians, literary scholars, and archaeologists may work together at universities (as we do here in the Classics Department), but true multi-disciplinary conversation and collaboration can be difficult to achieve. I selected this book in part because its many chapters correspond closely with my own research interests, but also because it brings together a wide variety of scholars - from different academic cultures, career levels, and areas of specialization - that mirror the strengths of our program at Florida State.

Marty Swanbrow Becker

Way of the Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman

Way of the Peaceful Warrior accompanied me as a guide and companion as I sought to clarify my purpose in life. As I worked to understand myself more fully and explore how I would engage in meaningful work, the themes of finding inner strength, peace and fostering curiosity helped me discover my identity and purpose. Now, as a Counseling Psychologist and faculty member, I rely on my experiences with self-discovery to help others find their way in life. The book also motivates my research as I explore how to enhance health and well-being among college students. This story helps me remember that there is strength in flexibility and openness to experience. I hope others find support from Way of the Peaceful Warrior as they embark on their journey of self-exploration.

Dawn Carr

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas Kuhn

As a graduate student, I read the Structure of Scientific Revolutions and became empowered by the notion that I could contribute to a larger community of science. Like many graduate students, I felt like much of what was known was a “fact” and was unchangeable, and my job was to memorize these facts. This book helped me realize that some of the things we used to recognize changed or became more nuanced because of the accumulation of additional knowledge. This perspective helped me feel like I had the potential to play an important role in shaping my field, and realize the importance of collaborative thinking and learning. I believe that the most significant contributions in my field are the product of interdisciplinary thinking and collaborations, the product of the work occurring in scholarly communities. I have dedicated my career to improving the lives of older people, and Kuhn’s writing has helped me realize that I will only be able to see progress if I surround myself with others working together in the pursuit of this goal.

Amanda Driscoll
Social Choice and Individual Values by Kenneth Arrow

Political institutions—broadly defined—empower, privilege, constrain and shape actors’ choice sets in unforeseen yet politically relevant ways. Seemingly mundane institutional rules define the process by which preferences become policy, or the prerequisites for ambitious citizens to enter the class of political elites. Moreover, political institutions are not only a cause for particular outcomes, but also as a reflection of power and coordinated interests: those with the capacity to design institutions do so with special regard for their own political agenda. Arrow's 1951 book Social Choice and Individual Values is a touchstone to the formal study of political institutions because it lays plain the inherent tradeoffs to any form of democratic institutional design. In it, he elegantly articulates his now famous "impossibility theorem," for which he was awarded the Nobel prize in Economics in 1972. To summarize, Arrow showed that when voters are tasked with collectively choosing between three or more outcomes, there is no voting method that simultaneously provides for both coherent social choice while still meeting minimal standards of fairness. Arrow's insights inspired me to research and theorize democratic institutions, and to recognize that mundane though they may seem, institutions are not value neutral. Instead, they adjudicate the boundary between fairness and democratic decisiveness, representation, and stability.

Brian Graves
Give My Poor Heart Ease by William Ferris

I met Bill Ferris in the Fall of 2005 when I enrolled in his Southern Music Seminar at the University of North Carolina. I knew little about him, other than he came highly recommended from a musician friend, and to my dismay, only taught classes at eight in the morning. On the first day of class, I took a seat among some other students at a large conference table. As we waited in groggy silence, I noticed an older man with glasses and graying hair, whom I presumed to be Ferris, sitting quietly at the head of the table looking at some notes. At precisely eight o’clock, he pulled a guitar out from under the table, stood up, and began playing the blues. He had my attention.

I have since discovered many more impressive things about Bill. He’s a widely recognized leader in southern studies, African-American music and folklore, a prolific writer and documentary filmmaker, former chair of the National Endowment for the Humanities, and one of Rolling Stone magazine’s top ten teachers in America. Most of all, however, I am impressed by the many profound ways that he has expanded and enriched the cannon of learning and teaching about American history and culture. Based on Ferris's fieldwork in Mississippi during the 1960’s and 70’s, Give My Poor Ease provides a good introduction to his groundbreaking work. I hope the voices inside will touch your life as they have mine.

Colleen Ganley

Cognitive Psychology In and Out of the Laboratory by Kathleen M. Galotti

In my first semester of college, I took the course Cognition, which used this textbook. The book is a great introduction to the history, theories, and empirical research in Cognitive Psychology, and it is written in an accessible way to spark the interest of undergraduate students, like myself at the time. I had always planned to be an elementary school teacher, but reading this textbook was the first time I had thought deeply about what is required of humans in order to learn. I had no idea that there was research on how people think and learn, and that we could use this research to inform how we teach. This textbook was the very beginning of my path toward the research that I conduct now examining factors related to learning in mathematics.


Amy Huber

Sun, Wind, and Light: Architectural Design Strategies by Mark DeKay and G.Z. Brown

As designers we need to protect our environment while harnessing it’s powerful forces. This book was my first introduction on how to do so.


Robert Stilling
The Veiled Suite by Agha Shahid Ali

Agha Shahid Ali was born in New Delhi in 1949, raised in Kashmir, and spent much of his poetic career in America. He died in 2001, and his loss is still profoundly felt by those who knew him personally and by those who came to know him through his poetry, as I did. Ali is best known today for introducing Western audiences to the ghazal, a tightly rhymed verse form composed of thematically autonomous couplets that had been passed down for centuries from Arabic to Persian to Urdu. Since I first read Ali’s poetry in graduate school, I have been ravished (a favorite word of his) by its striking imagery and cross-cultural generosity. His poem “The Dacca Gauzes” rattled around my brain for so long that it became the impetus for a whole dissertation and, later, my first monograph. The poem, which begins with a quotation from Oscar Wilde, recounts how a beautiful fabric once woven in Bengal was passed down through the family as it became increasingly rare. Its rarity, it turns out, was the result of Britain’s decimating industrial trade policy during the colonial era: “In history we learned: the hands / of weavers were amputated, / the looms of Bengal silenced, // and the cotton shipped raw / by the British to England.” And yet, Ali poetically reimagines these lost gauzes, a “dead art,” when he writes how his grandmother, when she wakes up at dawn to pray, can still “feel that same texture again.” Ali transforms memory into diaphanous new forms, light as gauze, but freighted with history. I hope his work finds new readers here at Florida State University.

Jaejin Lee
Into the Magic Shop: A Neurosurgeon's Quest to Discover the Mysteries of the Brain and the Secrets of the Heart by James R. Doty

As a mother of two girls who are almost 4 years old and 18 months old, a wife, a daughter, a teacher, a consumer behavior researcher,... recently I was really interested in managing myself, especially my mind. There are a lot of things in my life I can't control. But, this book taught me that I can control my body and my mind, at least. That really inspired me during current years with various life events and challenges, how to see differently and how to think differently. This book is a great reminder of impact of "myself" on my life as well as on others' lives.

"Each of us in our lives experiences situations that cause pain. I call them wounds of the heart. If you ignore them, they won't heal. But sometimes when our hearts are wounded that's when they are open. Frequently it is the wounds of the heart that give us the greatest opportunity to grow" (224-225).Kenneth Hanson

National Geographic Picture Atlas of Our Universe by Roy A. Gallant

Thanks to my parents, I spent my childhood surrounded by books like the Berenstain Bears and Dr. Seuss collection. One book that stood out in my mind, and still does, is the National Geographic Picture Atlas of Our Universe by Roy A. Gallant. The book contains beautiful illustrations of planets, stars, and galaxies. It has facts about the universe including comparisons between the size, temperatures, and compositions of planets and the origins of celestial names. I think what made this book stand out in my memory was the fearless way the author and artists stepped outside the norms of traditional science books and offered creative expressions of the known and unknown aspects of the universe. From comparing planet densities by showing how they would sink or float in a glass of water, to speculating what life on other planets might be like, the book captured my attention and imagination. The best part is that I now get to revisit and relive that adventure by reading this book with my own daughter, Bowen.

Michael J. McVicar
Conspiracy: A Biblical View by North Gary

"For, from the days of Cain, there was a secret combination, and their works were in the dark, and they knew every man his brother.” Moses 5:51, The Pearl of Great Price

Javier Cano-Urbina
Equilibrium Unemployment Theory by Christopher A. Pissarides

I repeatedly come back to this book as a reference to help me set up the theoretical frameworks that I use in my research. The book provides a unified environment to study the labor market that starts with a simple framework and builds on it at every step of the way leading to rich environments and extensions useful to understand interesting questions about the labor market. A key element of this book is the way that it conceptualizes the process by which workers find jobs, that is, the time and effort involved in finding a job. This is done in a very simple and elegant way that is consistent with the job-searching process we observe in the labor market. A second key element of this book is the way it conceptualizes the process by which workers lose their job. This is once again done in a very elegant way that is consistent with both worker and firm behaving optimally. The main contribution of this book revolves around the research that Christopher Pissarides did with Dale Mortensen and that lead them both to earn the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2010. While the book focuses on the study of the labor market, it provides a theoretical framework that can be translated to the study of other markets where two individuals are looking for a partner and the location of the “ideal” partner is not known, leading to a period of search where each individual is “unmatched,” for example, the marriage market. This book is also a key element of my PhD class, Labor Markets.

Mainak Mookherjee
Introduction to Mineral Sciences by Andrew Putnis

One of my college professors introduced me to the “Introduction to Mineral Sciences” by Andrew Putnis. This book adopts a modern material science approach to minerals and deviates from the traditional approach to teaching mineralogy. This aspect fascinated me as an undergrad, and I was inspired to pursue a career in mineral physics.

Ilana Goldman

Alonzo King Lines Ballet

I was blessed to dance for Alonzo King in his world-renowned company LINES Ballet as a guest artist in 2005. Even though I worked for him for only a short amount of time, the impression he made will last a lifetime. He taught me that the choreography you are given as a dancer is just the starting point. You must put it into your body and translate it into your own language so that your individual voice is heard. As a dancer, we do not just imitate; we create. This concept has shaped my work as a performer, choreographer, and educator.


David G. Meckes Jr.
Principles of Virology by Flint et al.

My fascination with viruses started at a young age when I watched the movie Outbreak and read The Hot Zone by Richard Preston and Level 4: Virus Hunters of the CDC by Joseph McCormick and Susan Fisher-Hoch. A curiosity to better understand viruses and infectious diseases propelled me to pursue a bachelor’s of science degree in microbiology. Like most undergraduate science majors, I started as a pre-med student with an interest in going on to medical school. After I began working in a research laboratory and took an advanced virology course using this textbook, I realized that my true passion was studying the molecular mechanisms of how viruses replicate and cause disease. This textbook helped shape the trajectory of my education and career. After completing my undergraduate program, I continued my education in graduate and postdoctoral programs focusing on virology. I am now a professor who teaches virology to students and a researcher of the molecular biology of Epstein-Barr virus and associated cancers. To this day, I still refer to this excellent textbook as a resource for my research and teaching. I hope this book stimulates your curiosity to learn more about viruses and discovery the same way it did for me.


Christine Andrews-Larson
Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea by Charles Seife

I read this book as an undergraduate majoring in mathematics. This book was my first introduction to the idea that mathematics is an endeavor in human sense-making rather than a set of rules and procedures to be memorized. That notion has guided much of my work, and inspires me to continue to work to broaden access to mathematics in a variety of settings and contexts.

Stephanie Pau

A Magic Web: The Tropical Forest of Barro Colorado Island by Christian Ziegler and Egbert Giles Leigh Jr.

My first visit to the tropical forest of Barro Colorado Island, Panama was not until the summer of 2014, a couple of years after I analyzed decades of data collected by scientists there. During this visit I met Dr. Ebert Leigh, who wrote the text accompanying the stunning photography in A Magic Web. He gave me a copy the book with an inscription inviting me back to the island soon. Dr. Leigh gives many lucky visiting scientists a copy of this book but it doesn’t diminish the pride I feel seeing it on my bookshelf. Flipping through the pages I recognize familiar sights such as the show of golden Tabebuia blooms during the dry season or the distinct shape of Cecropia leaves. The photographs also reveal more mysterious nighttime activities that I have never seen, for example, a young female ocelot at night or a nocturnal woolly opossum drinking nectar from a Balsa tree flower. It is not an academic book but it captures the magic that has inspired scientists from all over the world to return to one of the most studied tropical forests on Earth.


Lara Perez-Felkner
Changing Race: Latinos, the Census and the History of Ethnicity by Clara E. Rodríguez (2001)

This book moved me with its clarity on a complex and persistent question that remains relevant. In Changing Race, Professor of Sociology and Puerto Rican Studies Clara Rodríguez thoughtfully presents federal data and the history of government policy around the racialization of Latinos and other peoples who do not subscribe to nor neatly fit traditional U.S. Census categories. She uses sociological theory and an interdisciplinary lens to develop the stakes of this demographic question. This work is further embedded in on the ground advising on Census policy and the future of the race and ethnicity questions. At a personal level, Dr. Rodríguez is the first scholar I collaborated with after college, where she became a hero of mine during the development of my senior thesis project. Reading this book that she gifted me in the weeks immediately after I graduated with my B.A., I was inspired both personally as a Latina scholar and academically as an aspiring sociologist with interest in working on actionable, real-world problems. This book merits attention and inclusion in the Florida State libraries for its continued relevance and value going into the 2020 Census and beyond. As I consider my research priorities post-tenure and the future of Florida State University, this book also speaks to the importance of the Latinx student and faculty population and the compelling research questions relevant to this population of which I am also a member and an engaged scholar. This book may hold special interest for students of sociology, public policy, Latino studies, political science, and the intersections of race and ethnicity.

Michael R. Stukel
The Biology of Pelagic Tunicates by Q. Bone

Pelagic tunicates are a diverse group of marine organisms.  The variety of amazingly intricate life histories and feeding strategies in these plankton would leave most people speechless - or in disbelief - if they learned of them.  Some species live in their own houses ordering takeout food and can build up to 20 of these houses per day.  Other species appear to be little more than living stomachs - but live in colonies of these stomachs that can extend for meters.  Some are so large that you can literally swim inside them.  Others live in mucus "snot" bubbles ranging in size from a centimeter to a meter. Despite these ecological oddities that seem stolen from the pages of a fairy tale, pelagic tunicates play important roles in global biogeochemical cycles.  In fact, their unique feeding habits and ability to reproduce rapidly can fundamentally re-shape marine food webs with commensurately large impacts on fisheries production and air-sea carbon dioxide balances.

Christian Bleiholder
Thermal Physics by Charles Kittel and Herbert Kromer

This was the textbook used in my undergraduate class “Statistical Theory of Matter” and the concepts I learned from this book have been guiding my research ever since.

Holger Kern
The Epochs of International Law by William G. Grewe

William G. Grewe's The Epochs of International Law, first published in German in 1984 but originally written during WWII, is one of the classic twentieth century works of international law. The book's principal idea - that the history of international law can be understood as a sequence of particular epochs defined in each case by the then-dominant power in the system of states - inspired my first academic publication, in which I applied Grewe's framework to Great Britain's attempts during the nineteenth century to legally abolish the transatlantic slave trade. While my subsequent research has examined very different topics, Grewe's book and the questions it asks about the relationship between law and politics continue to stimulate my intellectual curiosity.

Jonathan Holden
From Where I Sit by Jack Brymer

Jack Brymer was an important source of inspiration for me, as his was the first live performance of Mozart's Clarinet Concerto that I attended. I was struck by his manner, the thought of which will always remind me that those who are placed to set an example to aspiring artists may lead with warmth and generosity of spirit, regardless of their high position

Michael Kofler
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another theory which states that this has already happened.

Following the reception, this book can be found in the library on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying ‘Beware of the Leopard.’


Qing Mai
Approximation Theorems of Mathematical Statistics by Robert Serfling

This book gives a comprehensive overview of tools and foundations that are basic to asymptotic and non-asymptotic theory in statistics. It has been well-received by a broad audience, including established statisticians, graduate students, and even researchers outside statistics. This book helped me in some of my earliest projects, and continues to be a pleasure to revisit until today.


Jie Yang
Pervasive Wireless Environments: Detecting and Localizing User Spoofing by Yang, J., Chen, Y., Trappe, W., Cheng, J.

This book is a summary of the research work I have done in my early career. "The highest eminence is to be gained step by step" (Laozi).

Sarah Eyerly
Gideon's People translated and edited by Corinna Dally-Starna and William A. Starna

Gideon’s People is a masterful achievement in early American history and German paleography: a two-volume translation of the German diaries of the Moravian mission in Pachgatgoch, Connecticut, by husband and wife team William A. Starna and Corinna Dally-Starna. The diaries span the period from 1747 through 1763, and capture an intimate portrait of daily life in this important Mohican Christian community. Pachgatgoch was not an isolated community, but functioned very much as a cultural crossroads, a place of overlapping religious identities and ethnicities that reflected the larger geo-political spheres of the Atlantic world which enveloped both settler and Native communities in 18th-century New England. The detailed discussions of sound and music in the Pachgatgoch diaries have been invaluable to my research on early Moravian missions and their musical cultures and sound-ways. I would not have been able to write my first book, Moravian Soundscapes: A Sonic History of the Moravian Missions in Early Pennsylvania, without the skillful and meticulous work of the early Moravian diarists of Pachgatgoch, beautifully rendered in 1,300 pages of modern English prose by the Starnas.

David C. Collins
The Way Things Work by David Macaulay

Taking things apart to see how they worked has been a central theme in my life from a very young age.  This drive is what propels me to do and teach science.  David Macaulay's 'The Way Things Work' is an amazing guide to the inner workings of many things, and was a staple of my upbringing.  One of the most powerful aspects of the book is the way Macaulay distills the very essential relationships between the parts of a thing.  His use of woolly mammoths to demonstrate these relationships is both hilarious and elucidating.  Now in my adult life I have become a woolly mammoth as I strive to both disassemble bits of the universe and educate others.


John Kilgore
States of Terror: History, Theory, Literature by David Simpson

States of Terror: History, Theory, Literature is the new book by David Simpson, my advisor as a graduate student at UC-Davis. I want to use the occasion of my tenure to pay tribute to my mentors who taught me, and continue to teach me, how to do serious academic work. I could never have reached the place I am now without people such as David Simpson. As a work that elucidates how a study of political history and philosophy, language and literature, can help us think through and confront the political realities of our present time, States of Terror speaks to my own ethos as a scholar of American literature, politics, and culture. 

Jeffrey R. Lacasse

The Cult of Statistical Significance by McCloskey and Ziliak

This prescient book was deeply important to my intellectual development. It combines persuasive rhetoric, deep scholarly engagement, interdisciplinary, and critical thinking. Above all, it demonstrates that accepting the conventional wisdom within science can often have disastrous consequences - and that we can (and will) do better if we approach scientific methodology with an open mind.

Jeff Beekman
Regarding the Pain of Others by Susan Sontag

Post-9/11, there has been a great deal of work done by contemporary artists and scholars concerned with collective trauma as a result of violence and war. However, I find myself continually revisiting this text: Regarding the Pain of Others, by Susan Sontag. Within, Sontag describes the effects of images of war on non-combatants. She challenges the idea that by viewing images of death and injury again and again, that it desensitizes viewers to the atrocities they see. She argues instead that any sense of apathy and cynicism we assume are not caused by oversaturation, but are the result of impotence, frustration and discomfort at our own inaction. In another section Sontag declares, “To make peace is to forget. To reconcile, it is necessary that memory be faulty and limited.” The ideas contained within this collection of essays has been fundamental to my better understanding the ways in which we collectively confront and memorialize violence. My artistic research explores U.S. Civil War battlefield sites, those locations we charge with preserving the history of that moment where our nation came closest to tearing itself apart. Rather than viewing these battlefields as august sites of remembrance, this text encouraged a recognition of their complex evolution from the scarred and blood-soaked fields where often tens of thousands fell and died over the course of a single day, to the pristine, manicured, and didactic spectacles they are today. Anyone interested in better understanding the impact of violence and its imagery, would be well served by reading this book cover to cover.

Antje Muntendam
Bilingual speech: A typology of code-mixing by Pieter Muysken

This book provides a typology of code-mixing or code-switching, which is the alternating use of two or more languages within a conversation or sentence. The data for this book come from a wide range of bilingual settings and language pairs, including Spanish-English, Moroccan Arabic-Dutch, and Quechua-Spanish. I first read this book as a student at Leiden University in the Netherlands. The author’s work on bilingualism and language contact in general, and on Quechua-Spanish language contact in particular, inspired me to do research on Quechua and Spanish in Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia, starting with my MA thesis and continuing till this day. This book is still an essential book for the study of code-switching, and I still use it for my own research as well as my graduate seminars.

Quintin H. Beazer
Lenin's Tomb by David Remnick 


When I moved to Russia in July 1999, I arrived in a country that was in the middle of a transformation.  It was the first time in my life I had ever confronted the challenges of living with real uncertainty.  The people around me struggled to find enough work to make ends meet, to understand their country, and have faith that -- after all these reforms -- life would get better soon.  By the time I left two years later, I had fallen in love with that Russia and those people, and my life would never be the same.  That experience and those friends set me off on a career of trying to understand why, despite being rich with human capital, industrial infrastructure, and natural resources, a country could fail to prosper economically.  In time, I have come to see politics as a core part of the answer to those questions. This book, Lenin's Tomb, is the perfect prologue for Russia today under Vladimir Putin.  Remnick provides an eye-witness account to the Soviet Union's demise and the chaotic circumstances under which Russia's flawed democracy was born. For me, it captures both the precarious challenges and heady optimism of shaking off authoritarian rule.  In many ways, I study what I study because I want to see when and if the dreams of that eventful period will ever come to be.

About The Florida State University Libraries

The mission of the University Libraries is to support and enhance the learning, teaching, research, and service activities of the Florida State University...