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Reading Notes of Books

I have read a lot of books, and on this page I am posting the ones I’ve read and of which I’ve posted my reading notes. Note: I don’t consider these “book reviews”, nor do I post my reading notes of every single book I read. I have categorized my posts by broad area (e.g. “water”, “waste”, “ethnography”, “academic writing”, “public policy”)

I frequently get asked “which writing book is best for me as a new assistant professor/post-doctoral research associate/undergraduate student/graduate student/established professor”. My answer is: only you can know, but here is a discussion of several ones that I believe work well in tandem.

Academic Writing

Ahrens, Sönke (2017) “How to Take Smart Notes: One Simple Technique to Boost Writing, Learning and Thinking – for Students, Academics and Nonfiction Book Writers”

Becker, Howard (2007) “Writing for Social Scientists: How to Start and Finish your Thesis, Book or Article” University of Chicago Press.

Belcher, Wendy Laura (2009) Writing Your Journal Article in 12 Weeks: A Guide to Academic Success, Thousand Oaks CA, SAGE Publishers. 376 pages.

Berdahl, Loleen and Malloy, Jonathan (2018) “Work Your Career: Get What You Want from Your Social Sciences or Humanities PhD.” University of Toronto Press.

Bernoff, Josh (2016) “Writing Without Bullshit: Boost Your Career by Saying What You Mean“. Harper Business.

Boice, Robert (1990) “Professors as Writers: A Self-Help Guide to Productive Academic Writing“. New Forums Press.

Bolker, Joan (1998) Writing Your Dissertation in Fifteen Minutes a Day: A Guide to Starting, Revising, and Finishing Your Doctoral Thesis. Owl Books.

Davis, Gordon; Parker, Clyde and Straub, Detmar W. (2012) “Writing the Doctoral Dissertation: A Systematic Approach” Barron’s Educational Series.

Dunleavy, Patrick J. (2003) “Authoring a PhD Thesis: How to Plan, Draft, Write and Finish a Doctoral Dissertation Palgrave Macmillan.

Eco, Umberto (2015) “How to Write A Thesis“. The MIT Press.

Erubavel, Eviatar (1999) The Clockwork Muse: A Practical Guide to Writing Theses, Dissertations, and Books. Harvard University Press.

Farkas, Dora (2009) The Smart Way to your PhD: 200 Secrets from 100 Graduates“.Your PhD Consulting.

Foss, Sonja K. and Waters, William (2015) “Destination Dissertation: A Traveler’s Guide to a Done Dissertation“. Rowman & Littlefield.

Germano, William (2013) “From Dissertation to Book” Chicago, IL, USA, University of Chicago Press.

Germano, William (2016) Getting It Published: A Guide for Scholars and Anyone Serious About Serious Books. Chicago, IL, USA, University of Chicago Press.

Glasman-Deal, Hilary (2009) “Science Research Writing for Non-Native Speakers of English ” London, UK. Imperial College Press.

Graf, Gerald and Cathy Birkenstein (2014) “They Say/I Say: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing“. W.W. Norton and Company.

Goodson, Patricia (2017) Becoming an Academic Writer: 50 Exercises for Paced, Productive, and Powerful Writing. 2nd Edition. Thousand Oaks, CA, USA. SAGE Publishers.

Heard, Stephen B. (2016) The Scientist’s Guide to Writing How to Write More Easily and Effectively throughout Your Scientific Career. Princeton, New Jersey. Princeton University Press.

Jensen, Joli (2017) Write No Matter What: Advice For Academics Chicago, IL, USA. University of Chicago Press.

King, Stephen (2010) On Writing: 10th Anniversary Edition: A Memoir of the Craft. Scribner.

Lavaque-Manty, Mika & Lavaque-Manty, Danielle (2016) “Writing in Political Science: A Brief Guide (Short Guides to Writing in the Disciplines)“, Oxford, UK, Oxford University Press.

Lindsay, David (2011) “Scientific Writing = Thinking in Words” Clayton, Australia, CSIRO Publishing

Luker, Kristin (2010) “Salsa Dancing into the Social Science: Research in an Era of Info-Glut“. Harvard University Press.

Mewburn, Inger; Firth, Katherine and Lehmann, Shaun (2018) “How to Fix Your Academic Writing: A Practical Guide”. Open University Press.

Ogden, Evelyn Hunt (2006) “Completing a Doctoral Dissertation or Thesis in Two Semesters or Less.” Rowman & Littlefield.

Powner, Leanne C. (2015). “Empirical Research and Writing: A Political Science Student Guide” SAGE Publishing, Ltd.

Rabiner, Susan, and Fortunato, Alfred (2003) “Thinking Like Your Editor: How to Write Great Serious Nonfiction And Get It Published“. New York, NY, USA. W.W. Norton & Company.

Silvia, Paul (2014) Write It Up!” Practical Strategies for Writing and Publishing Journal Articles”. American Psychological Association (APA).

Silvia, Paul (2007) How to Write A Lot A Practical Guide to Productive Academic Writing”. American Psychological Association. 1st. Edition. 149 pages.

Single, Peggy Boyle (2009) “Demystifying Dissertation Writing: A Streamlined Process from Choice of Topic to Final Text” Stylus Publishing.

Sword, Helen (2017) Air & Time & Place & Space: How Successful Academics Write. Harvard University Press.

Sternberg, David (1981) “How to Complete and Survive a Doctoral Dissertation.” St. Martin’s Press.

Sword, Helen (2012) Stylish Academic Writing“. Harvard University Press.

Thomson, Pat and Barbara Kamler (2012) “Writing for Peer Reviewed Journals: Strategies for Getting Published“. Routledge.

Zinsser, William (2012) On Writing Well: A Guide to Writing NonFiction Perennial Harper.

Ethnography, Process Tracing, Interviewing and Qualitative Methods

George, Alexander L. and Andrew Bennett (2004) “Case Studies and Theory Development in the Social Sciences” The MIT Press.

Mosley, Layna (Ed.) (2013) Interview Research in Political Science Cornell Press.

Saldaña, Johnny (2009) “The Coding Manual for Qualitative Researchers” Thousand Oaks, CA, USA. SAGE Publishing.

Van Maanen, John (2011) Tales of the Field. On Writing Ethnography. 2nd. ed. Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press.

Research Methods

Booth, Colomb and Williams (2007) “The Craft of Research” 3rd. Edition. Chicago, IL, USA. University of Chicago Press.
Personal Habits, Productivity

Rubin, Gretchen (2015) “Better than Before: What I Learned About Making and Breaking Habits–to Sleep More, Quit Sugar, Procrastinate Less, and Generally Build a Happier Life. “Portland, Oregon, USA. Broadway Books.

Public Policy

Engeli, Isabelle, Rothmayr Allison, Christine (Eds.) (2014) “Comparative Policy Studies: Conceptual and Methodological Challenges” Palgrave McMillan.

Mintrom, Michael (201) “Contemporary Policy Analysis” Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Hill, Michael and Hupe, Peter (2014) “Implementing Public Policy: An Introduction to the Study of Operational Governance” Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications Ltd.


Furlong, Kathryn (2016) “Leaky Governance.” Vancouver, BC, Canada. UBC Press.

Anand, Nikhil (2017) “Liquid”. Duke University Press.


Nagle, Robin (2014)


Reno, Joshua Ozias

Sanitation and Wastewater

Black, Maggie and Fawcett ( ) “The Last Taboo”.

George, Rose (2008) “The Big Necessity”.S

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