Originally featured on Medium
2020 for me is going to be a heavy learning year for me, in so many parts of my life. In the early part of of the year, I’ve dedicated myself to reading some non-fiction books directly aimed at some areas I would like to grow. Here are the first half books I have on my desk to read. (Note: this is in no particular order as I typically read more than one at a time)
Consider This: Moments in My Writing Life after Which Everything Was Different (Chuck Palahniuk)
Who better to learn something about writing than the author of Fight Club?
Anyone with that level of genius has to help someone like me. I mean, it’s Fight Club!
Underland: A Deep Time Journey (Robert Macfarlane)
I have long heard that Macfarlane was one of the greatest nature writers of our time and I’m ashamed to admit I have never read any of his books.
When I saw this book appear on multiple lists of the best non-fiction books of this generation across genres, I had to finally get off my butt and read one of his works.
This Could Be Our Future: A Manifesto for a More Generous World (Yancey Strickler)
The subject of the book is something that is of particular interest to me but two things really made me buy this book.
First, it was recommended by a local bookstore in downtown Houston and I love it when I get personalized recommendations from local bookstores. Secondly, it was written by the founder of Kickstarter…which is interesting.
For Small Creatures Such as We: Rituals for Finding Meaning in Our Unlikely World (Sasha Sagan)
First off, if you know me, you know why I would want to read this book. The fact that it is written by Carl Sagan’s daughter has me even more intrigued.
Successful Aging: A Neuroscientist Explores the Power and Potential of Our Lives (Daniel Levitin)
It’s Daniel Levitin…If you don’t know who this guy is, or what he has done in psychology and music, you should. One of the more impressive resumes out there.
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (Rebecca Skloot)
The story of the HeLa cells has always fascinated and this has been on my list for a while. Finally got around to buying the book and reading it. It’s rare I’ve heard or read a less than stellar review of this book.
Secondhand Time: The Last of the Soviets (Svetlana Alexievich)
This one I am reading as much for the author as the topic. Note: Growing up in the 80s’, the Soviet Union has a little bit of nostalgia feel for me in thinking about the Cold War, Rocky IV, and the Olympics.
Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin (Timothy Snyder)
This one caught my interest as it tells a story about Europe that is often left out. I also thought this may be of interest to my father-in-law so I wanted to read it first to see if he would enjoy it
The Simulation Hypothesis: An MIT Computer Scientist Show Why AI, Quantum Physics and Eastern Mystics All Agree We Are In a Video Game (Rizwan Kirk)
Okay, this one is a bit strange but in a late-night (possibly beer induced) Slack chat, a few people on my team got my interest stirred talking about how we may be in a big simulation. It’s probably a bit out there but that’s the point.