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The Syllabus Book Subscription

With The Syllabus, we want to introduce you to new(ish) academic books (published within the last, say, ten years) that are not chasing the next big thought. These books emerge from a long thinking that's already been ongoing and will continue when others have moved along to the next thing. We take these books seriously, but we also want this be fun. There will be a quarterly theme/class, but our aim is to show that these formalities are informally run. 

Each quarter, you will receive by USPS Media Mail one book a month pertaining to the current "class." There will be no test, only good or bad ideas. We will not announce the books in advance. Should you have read book already or you already have it, we would encourage you to do as students have the world over: sell it to a great used bookstore and/or donate it to an institution who accepts such.


WINTER/SPRING Course 2023 (Jan. - Mar.)

When It Doesn’t Add Up: Math for the Humanities Major

Course Description

This course is for the Humanities student who, as life progressed, the days compounding into years, found themselves interested in mathematics. It wasn't that they were necessarily bad at it in school -- though perhaps they were -- or that they hated it -- though possibly they did. As things happen, they had their intellectual lane and felt that it had sufficient rabbit trails for what seemed like a lifetime. But life, they found, is both longer and shorter than they imagined, which they recall might be an math problem as it is philosophy. 

We'll be reading books that provide a "way in" into higher math discourse. Those already in that discourse may very well appreciate the readings too. Indeed, we hope that they will. But the choices will be made by a Humanities major. So ... just saying. 

The Syllabus Book Subscription

$100.00

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The Whys & Wherefores

We at East Bay Booksellers have a special fondness for academic publishing -- whether through formal university publishers or their more free-wheeling non-institutional kin. For a number of obvious and non-obvious reasons, they do not make "good business sense." But if we're being honest, this is largely why we love them! 

Academic publishing kicks against commercial norms and ambitions. Their success stories are, more often than not, measured in longevity and influence, citation and circulation. So much of publishing is about the moment, capturing it and the sale that goes with it. While there may be nothing necessarily wrong with that, there's nothing inherently right about it either! Somebody has probably written an academic book about this very dilemma. 

We can't feature with a stack all of the academic jewels on our shelves, so our hope is that with The Syllabus the sometimes maybe-a-little niche (another word for "discipline," I suppose) gets its moments and finds its readers. 

You can read more about Brad's passion for these sorts of books, and how he approaches them as a bookseller, here