Books for Terps. A Brief Overview

One weekend, more than 30 comments and at least a dozen PMs later, we finally have it… a one page list (in very small print) of books to recommend our students, beginning interpreters, and just enjoy ourselves, with subjects covering finance, history, politics, the mighty and beautiful English language, and a bit of this and that trying to explain how the world works.

And here’s the final compilation:

◽️ Robert’s Rules of Order

◽️ World Order by Henry Kissinger

◽️ Prisoners of Geography by Tim Marshall

◽️ Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari

◽️ Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies by Jared Diamond

◽️ The Culture Map by Erin Meyer

◽️ Beyond Culture by Edward T Hall

◽️ Freakonomics by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner

◽️ Why Nations Fail by Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson

◽️ Talking to My Daughter about the Economy by Yannis Varoufakis

◽️ The Ascent of Money by Niall Ferguson

◽️ How to Make the World Add Up by Tim Harford

◽️ A Walk Around the Block by Spike Carlsen

◽️ The Prize & The Quest by Daniel Yergin

◽️ The Age of Extremes by Eric Hobsbawm

◽️ Chernobyl by Serhii Plokhy

◽️ The Empire Must Die by Mikhail Zygar

◽️ Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945 by Tony Judt

◽️ The Great Game by Peter Hopkirk

◽️ A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn

◽️ Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community by Robert Putnam

◽️ The English and Their History by Robert Tombs

◽️ Pax Britannica by Jan Morris

◽️ Y️our Voice Speaks Volumes by Jane Setter

◽️ The English Language by David Crystal

◽️ Getting Past No by William Ury

◽️ The Uses of Argument by Stephen Toulmin

◽️ Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

◽️ Don’t Think of an Elephant by George Lakoff

◽️ The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion by Jonathan Haidt

◽️ For Dummies series & Big Ideas Simply Explained series by DK

◽️ The World in 2021 (2020, etc) by The Economist

◽️ The Bible

◽️ Podcasts, Shows & Streams to consider:

Stuff You Should Know, A History of Britain by Simon Schama, Curiosity Stream, ARTE & BBC World Service Documentaries, David Attenborough, The Troublesome Terps.

And this is where I thank you, all of you who wrote in and recommended authors and titles. We have three clear winners, The Culture Map, Prisoners of Geography, and Freakonomics, and enough history to have us all occupied over the summer… which is why not all the history books have made the final cut. And I am very sorry about that.

In my defense, the idea was to at least try to keep it to a page, and as balanced as possible.

Special thanks go to Julia Poger and Chris Guichot de Fortis for getting me started on the idea in the first place, and to Julia Oskina and Heather McCrae for reminding me about streams and podcasts. Naturally, ARTE and Attenborough had to follow.

I would also like to apologize to those of you whose suggestions I couldn’t include, mainly because we eventually decided to stick to books in English for this one, but you have gotten me thinking.

I also have a pdf version I’d be happy to share with you, just let me know in a PM or via the comment section below.

P.S. This is by no means an exhaustive list…

It is also a somewhat subjective one based on and largely influenced by personal experience, and that of colleagues working in – more often than not – similar or “neighbouring” language combinations.

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