First, thanks to BAM Challenger, Laura Carscaddon, for submitting this month’s challenge. If you’ve got an idea for a future BAM Challenge, e-mail me at bamchallenge{at}gmail.com with your idea.

The quest for knowledge has driven generation upon generation upon generation of humans. Whether it was forbidden knowledge, secret knowledge, or higher knowledge having knowledge has always meant having power. The world’s oldest sin in the Judeo-Christian tradition is Eve stealing the apple from the Tree of Knowledge, forever linking apples with knowledge. Isaac Newton’s nap under the apple tree, getting bopped on the head and coming up with the Law of Gravity cemented the relationship. Secrets and the spies in search of them are always lively reads. If nothing else, read a book on a topic you’ve always been interested in learning more about.

  • Education
    • An Incomplete Education: 3,684 Things You Should Have Learned but Probably Didn’t
    • The Knowledge Deficit: Closing the Shocking Education Gap for American Children by E. D. Hirsch
    • Forbidden Knowledge: From Prometheus to Pornography by Roger Shattuck
    • Why Is Corporate America Bashing Our Public Schools? by Kathy Emery
    • The Shame of the Nation: The Restoration of Apartheid Schooling in America by Jonathon Kozol
  • Secrets & Spies
    • Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh (YA)
    • Passport to Treason: the inside story of spies in America by Alan Hynd
    • The Code Book by Simon Singh
    • The Codebreakers: The Comprehensive History of Secret Communication from Ancient Times to the Internet by David Kahn
    • Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson
  • Title Secrets
    • The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett (YA)
    • The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
    • The Secret by Rhonda Byrne
    • Family Secrets: A Vengeance of Tears by R. A. Siracusa
    • The Sistine Secrets: Michelangelo’s Forbidden Messages in the Heart of the Vatican by Benjamin Blech and Roy Doliner
  • Title Knowledge
    • Key of Knowledge by Nora Roberts
    • Knowledge of Hell by António Lobo Antunes and Clifford E. Landers
    • A Proper Knowledge by Michelle Latiolais
    • The Mountain Place of Knowledge by Marshall Chamberlain
    • The Knowledge of Water by Sarah Smith
  • Tasting the Apple
    • Original Sin: A Cultural History by Alan Jacobs
    • Original Sin: Origins, Developments, Contemporary Meanings by Tatha Wiley
    • Doing Without Adam and Eve: Sociobiology and Original Sin by Patricia A. Williams
    • Evolution and Eden: Balancing Original Sin and Contemporary Science by Jerry D. Korsmeyer
    • Original Sin: Illuminating the Riddle by Henri Blocher