The nomination of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court has heated the debate on the future of the Court. Two books can help to understand better how the Court works. One is a biography of Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, who "run the nation for nearly two decades as a majority of one".
The other is an essay by Stephen Breyer, "the first extended defense of judicial pragmatism by a sitting Supreme Court justice".
The Los Angeles Times review is worth reading.