This page is written for my current students, although some of the suggestions might be helpful to others. To honor copyrights, I’ve put all pdfs behind firewalls, which means only my advisees will be able to access them. Hopefully the titles, and pdfs if they’re available to you, will be helpful. I’ve divided my suggestions into broad categories.

Stephen King. 2000. On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft. New York: Scribner.

For that matter, Stephen King’s Misery was the most wonderful book I ever read while writing my dissertation. It is an incredibly smart book about writing. The dynamic between author and crazy fan, each involved in the writing and characters in different ways, was what I needed to read. I am not (only) trying to make the simple joke that it’s kind of miserable to write a dissertation; it’s also helpful to remember that you can be creative and think well even when the stakes are high.

Paul Silva. 2007. How to Write a Lot: A Practical Guide to Productive Academic Writing. [PDF of beginning chapters here.]

Joan Bolker. 1998. Writing Your Dissertation in 15 Minutes a Day.

See also my syllabus for "Academic and Professional Writing."

Grants / Fellowships

Adam Przeworski and Frank Salomon. 1995. SSRC’s On the Art of Writing Grant Proposals. On the Social Science Research Council’s website.

Leslie Aiello’s tips for the Wenner-Gren application, which are nevertheless quite helpful for other proposals. Part 1, Part 2.

Teaching / American Undergraduate Lives
Ken Bain. 2004. What the Best College Teachers Do.

Paul Tough. 2012. How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character.

Doug Lemov. 2010. Teach Like a Champion.

Rebekah Nathan. 2005. My Freshman Year: What a Professor Learned by Becoming a Student.

Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa. 2011. Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses.

Academe / Career
Kerry Anne Rockuqmore’s articles in Inside Higher Ed, including this on planning.

James Lang. 2005. Life on the Tenure Track: Lessons from the First Year.

Valerie Young’s work on “impostor syndrome” comes in a few forms: a two-hour long talk, a nine-minute talk, and her book -
Valerie Young. 2011. The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women: Why Capable People Suffer from the Impostor Syndrome and How to Thrive in Spite of It. The book is much more gender-neutral than the title suggests, and includes the detail that only in professional academic contexts do men and women experience impostor syndrome at equal rates. I.e. for both male and female academics, impostor syndrome is a common experience.

Money / Financial Intelligence
Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko. 1996. The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America's Wealthy.

Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez. 2008 edition. Your Money or Your Life.

A great list of books from Marketplace.