I’m not a big book reader, but the few books (and some cases magazines) that catch my attention, I really latch on to. It takes a lot for books to get my attention but when they do I’m all in. Here are some of my recommendations (of the last year (2018-2019) for some interesting reads in a range of books that go from a kid’s story to a non-fiction about genocide. Not all are new but, in my mind they are still relevant. If you have any additional recommendations, shout them out:
- Seuss-isms! by Dr. Seuss – this was a random purchase, but for those with short attentions and craving big philosophical impact this is great. A few pages of some profound statements albeit in a fluffy child like presentation – but don;t let that fool you some of these are gold and truly gives a new perspective on life.
2. Mind Hacking by Dir John Hargrave: Well it’s written by a “Sir” so that should be enough to check it out. It’s good tools and exercises to think outside the box, it had a profound affect on how I look at things. didn’t really do much for getting rid of my bad habits but to be fair I didn’t focus on the exercises fully and sort of went back and forth. Every so often though I do re-read it to remind my self how to look at things differently.
3. A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking: This book is an oldie but a goodie and I’m sure everyone has heard of it. doesn’t mean that those who heard of it read it. Listen – I have short attention disorder (self diagnosed) and this book caught me completely. Just get through the first 20 pages and you’ll be hooked – it’s not a big book at all despite the intimidating name.
4. Cruelty and Silence by Kanan Makiya: This is another popular one, and although it’s not a short book, this non-fiction is a horror movie in real life. It will truly capture your attention with all the creative violence and the horror of Iraq during the Baath dictatorship regime. I have to admit my bias in finding this stuff interesting because of my background – but if you get through the first chapter, it’s so surreal you’ll be going through the pages in a flash with your mouth open (especially when you realise this stuff actually happened).
5. Information is Beautiful by David McCandless: this is a visual feast. For those data and info nerds this is mouth salivating fun. Lots of info graphics on various thing, creative and beautiful coffee table book.
6. Mr Majeika and the Haunted Hotel by Humphrey Carpenter: This is a childhood favourite of mine, absolute favourite! Got me into reading (somewhat) and this was pre-Harry Potter days but has the same vibe. A small one for the young 8-11 crowd just before they get into the larger novels (not sure what the reading standards are but that’s sort of my rough assumption). Loved this book and its characters, really hard to find though, or any information about it on the net.
7. What Does it All Mean? by Thomas Nagel: This is one of the few (5) university books I kept after I read it for my philosophy elective. A tiny book, but jam packed with philosophical gold in a palatable easy to read novices (the title isn’t as insulting but it is like Philosophy for dummies). Less preachy and more getting to you to ask those out of the box questions in life.
8. the Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin: for those looking for happiness this will not help you find it. What it will do is to get you to be more grateful and appreciate life more – and I guess if that isn’t true happiness what is. so in a sense it does help you top be happier but indirectly and without attacking you with that absurdity. It does it in a subtle way by getting you to change your attitude, in steps. Worth a read.
9. Art of War by Sun Tzu: A classic, and a small one which got me to buy it in the first place. Loved it, still relevant, and really makes you wonder how we underestimate the genius of people that were here before us. The approach is easy to get despite the old subject matter, and really got me to appreciate strategic thinking and bigger picture approach.
10. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway: you can tell by now that I don’t read a lot of fiction. But I wanted to read something of the famous Hemingway and to be honest the reason I chose this is because it’s short and it was cheap at $6 (as you can see in the pic). although the story line is slow and not much seems to be happening, that’s part of its appeal I think. It’s a relax read and gives you some details that (as a person with short attention) I don;t usually appreciate, but after I finished it, the details and the slam story line are what stayed with me. It’s more about appreciating the writing style than the story itself.