This week in Summer Reading

Book cover for The Ornament of the World

The Ornament of the World
María Rosa Menocal

In her history of the vibrant Islamic state that governed Spain during the Dark Ages and its far-reaching cultural influence, Menocal shows us a very different set of rules for worship, war, and art than we typically associate with medieval Europe. The emergence of a society so steeped in learning and religious and linguistic diversity, and the mutual rewriting of rules brought about as it rubbed shoulders with its neighbors, make an eye-opening story.

Assistant Professor
Department of Statistics


Book cover for Caste

Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents
Isabel Wilkerson

Caste: The Origins of our Discontent, by Isabel Wilkerson, really opened a new perspective into how I view race, particularly in the United States. It goes beyond the understanding of class and addresses a deeper issue of “caste” that underlies much of how we see race and class in this country.

Information Systems Analyst
Berkeley IT