What are Exeter instructors reading this summer?

Science Instructor Jim Dicarlo shares his just-for-pleasure book list.

Jennifer Wagner
June 11, 2019
Science Instructor Jim Dicarlo at Exeter

Which titles top our erudite instructors’ reading lists? Are they mysteries and memoirs, comics and poetry collections? We decided to find out.

Science teacher and accomplished wooden flutist Jim Dicarlo kicks off our summer reading list series with a compilation of scholarly papers and well-written fantasy. “I teach physics and I love the way mathematics and the physical world connect,” Dicarlo says, offering this sobering literati tip: “You might need to sit at a table with a notepad and pencil to make it through Coleman's book.” 

Quantum Field Theory Lectures of Sidney Coleman

“I am nerdily devouring this text. It’s a compilation of notes (and homework problems!) from courses in quantum field theory given for decades at Harvard by the iconoclastic, chain-smoking, bespectacled Sidney Coleman. These lectures were videotaped back in the 1970s and Harvard still has them available online. Coleman was a master at making the arcane details of QFT sensible and logical. A quote: ‘The career of the young theoretical physicist consists of treating the harmonic oscillator in ever-increasing levels of abstraction.’ Who knows how far I’ll get, but I’m going to give it try.”


“The Mistborn Trilogy,” by Brandon Sanderson

“I’m in the middle of this trilogy by Brandon Sanderson, which is incredibly well-written fantasy with magic, thievery, political intrigue and the end results of climate destruction. He’s thought through the world-building in such a believable way.”

On deck: “I’m eagerly awaiting the next installments of both Patrick Rothfuss’ ‘The Name of the Wind’ trilogy and George R.R. Martin’s ‘Game of Thrones’ opus, but I’m not holding my breath for either. …we’ve all been waiting for quite a while.”