Non-fiction Books

22 September 2019

Over 2019, I’ve been reading books, mostly fiction books, but a considerable amount of them are non-fictions. One of my goals that I set in “2018 in Review” is to read more non-fiction books than that in 2018. It’s pretty easy to achieve, since in 2018, I only read 1 non-fiction book.

I use Goodreads to keep track of what books I’ve read. So far in 2019, up until today, 22 September 2019, I’ve read 9. Here is the list and my comments for each one of them:

  • Sapiens. Author presented a few really unconventional ideas at the start, and it was pretty interesting to follow, but as the book goes by, the ideas presented has drifted to what I’ve already known and it’s kinda boring after that.
  • The Secret Lives of Colour. A beautiful book about colors! After reading it, you’ll appreciate each color that you see. Fun fact: It has been on loan to my colleagues since end-March.
  • The Book of Tea. It’s a free book and short one. It has some intriguing ideas about tea, but I didn’t really understand the content.
  • A Brief History of Time. Very mind blowing. It makes me think of why I never question scientific laws. Also a very heavy book, I need to pause at every other sentence to understand the point.
  • Freakonomics. I’ve been listening to its podcast, Freakonomics Radio, for a year or so and only known that it started as a book. After reading the book, I’ve actually heard about some contents of book through podcast episode rebroadcasts.
  • Thinking, Fast and Slow. A psychology book which makes you wonder which “self” are you operating at any moment. Since I’ve gone through an Introduction to Psychology MOOC, this book reminded me a lot of the biases and experiments presented in that MOOC. This is also a very thick book, I didn’t realize it since I read the e-book version. It took me almost a month to finish it (typically, I finish a book in 2 weeks)
  • History of the World, Map by Map. A big visual book that I happened to pick when I visited library, and I “accidentally” spent 3 hours in the library, skimming this book. Although at the end, it focuses a lot on the wars, it’s still a great book. Reminded me a lot of the interactive maps from Encarta Encyclopedia that I used to interact back when I was a kid.
  • Thing Explainer. Imagine you are tasked to write a book to explain padlock, rocket, and human anatomy, using a fixed set of 1,000 common words. And illustrations, lots of illustrations. I borrowed this book from a library and finished it over the weekend.
  • Reactions. It’s a books about chemistry with lots of beautiful photos! It described chemistry very visually and accurately. It also answers some basic chemistry question, like “what is fire?”, “why can’t we see an atom?”, and “what is a chemical reaction anyway?”

2019 is ending in around 3 months and I’m really positive that this list will keep growing. Perhaps I will have another post much later to sum up my non-fiction reading journey in Q4 2019.

P.S. I realized that I haven’t been writing in my blog lately. I’ve been writing, just not in my blog. It’s just that it has been way too personal to be shared here.

P.P.S. About fiction, I’ve been on hook in Star Wars (Disney) Canon universe since late 2017 and the new books keep getting better! Perhaps, I shall make a list and put some comments on each of them.

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