When Tufts University dean of arts and sciences Robert J. Sternberg, PhD, wants to reignite his creativity, he reaches for pure pleasure reading. gradPSYCH asked Sternberg, a former APA president and renowned intelligence researcher, to share his recent favorites:
"The Reader" by Bernhard Schlink. "I lost part of my family tree in the Holocaust. So for me, it was interesting reading what was not exactly the other side of the story, but about how other people might perceive the events of the Holocaust. This book dealt with—in a very interesting way—the moral ambiguity of the protagonists' lives.
"Revolutionary Road" by Richard Yates. "This book was especially interesting to me because I grew up in the '50s. It captured the energy and conflict of a society that was typical of the '50s, where there was a lot of emphasis on appearances, with those appearances often very different from what was going on psychologically in the family.
"The Trial" by Franz Kafka. "This is my favorite book. There comes a time in everyone's life when one can't understand why one is caught up in a sequence of events that seems to be sliding downhill, with the world closing in. That's what this book is all about. It's also a book you can keep reading again and again and see things you didn't see before."