We live in the interesting times. The information is available to us through various media. Yes, we are bombarded by the information, and the noise can suppress the valuable bits of it. But it is still there, available for us (as conscious beings, as humans) to absorb it in our limited lifespan.
Getting closer to the end of the 2017, the idea of limited time had sunk in me. Being present here, on a habitable planet, in a solar system, in some corner of the galaxy, in some part of the universe, made me appreciate the time we were given. Let’s call it a resolution (not my favorite word), while my brain functions I decided to learn something new every day.
I decided to increase my reading. To be honest, I was never a fan of reading. I was too picky in the selection of the topics. Growing up, I was more interested in history and science related books rather than fiction. I would generally spend a month or two over a book. In the last couple years I’ve been intensively reading various Computer Science related books (e.g., topics like Python, Data Science, Algorithms, etc.) on a laptop screen. Now I am capable of reading the books on an iPad or on my phone without much discomfort. Compared to the paperback, I am even more productive with the electronic versions of the books. I’ve set a goal of reading minimum 50 pages a day of not CS / IT related books. To be realistic, it wasn’t always possible to meet the goal (life happens). My best day was 219 pages, while my worst was about 10 pages. In January I’ve read 1943 pages, with the average 63 pages/day, and completed 8 books.
Below is the list of books I’ve completed in January:
Douglas Adams – The Restaurant at the End of the Universe
1980 | p.202 | Finished 01/02/2018 | Rating: 3.5 / 5.0
The Restaurant at the End of the Universe is the second book in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series. The story continues to revolve around the main characters (Arthur Dent, Ford Prefect, Trillian, and Zaphod Beeblebrox) and their adventures around the universe. For me the book felt longer than expected, and sometimes confusing, even though it is only about 200 pages and it is a fast read.
Grant Cardone – The 10X Rule
2011 | p.217 | Finished 01/02/2018 | Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
The book is focused on achieving goals by the principle of “Massive Action”, explains the concept, and shows various examples. I am not a fan of motivational books. I had 5 dollars coupon from Google Play which I applied towards the purchase of this book. I wasn’t expecting much from the book. It turned out to be one of the interesting in this subject, and inspirational. It keeps you focused and away from whining.
Douglas Adams – Life, the Universe and Everything
1982 | p.201 | Finished 01/07/2018 | Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
Life, the Universe and Everything is the third book in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series. This book focuses more on Arthur Dent and Ford Prefect, and their time travel throughout the universe. Compared to the second book, it was packed more with science fiction, more interesting, yet sometimes still confusing. Overall I enjoyed the book.
Andy Weir – Artemis
2017 | p.262 | Finished 01/08/2018 | Rating: 3.5 / 5.0
Following his success with the novel The Martian (2011), Andy Weir published another sci-fi book, Artemis, in 2017. The story follows Jasmine “Jazz” Bashara, a porter, in the first city of the moon. Reading it, I had a constant thought in my head that this book wasn’t as captivating as The Martian. It is a fast paced book, detailed, but lacks story-line. It could have been better.
Haruki Murakami – Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World
1985 | p.356 | Finished 01/15/2018 | Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
This book is a science fiction / surrealist novel. The story is split in two parallel narratives. It is my second book of Murakami. The book has a complicated, yet intriguing story. I was hoping for a better ending. Murakami writing is so not Japan we imagine. You could change all the city names in the book and the story wouldn’t change. It a slow paced story, but gets interesting once it is a bit clear. I think it is unnecessarily sexualized. Enjoyed the book.
Ernest Hemingway – The Old Man and The Sea
1952 | p.86 | Finished 01/11/2018 | Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
The Old Man and the Sea is a classic by Ernest Hemingway. Being short novel, it keeps you focused throughout the book. In general extremely detailed, and captivating story.
Neil Gaiman – Norse Mythology
2017 | p.163 | Finished 01/18/2018 | Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
This book is Neil Gaiman’s rendition of the myths about Odin, Thor, Loki, and other northern gods. It is my third book from Neil Gaiman. Previously I’v read Good Omens, and American Gods. The book has a good narrative, fast, and mostly entertaining. I wish it was longer.
Carl Sagan – Cosmos
1980 | p.411 | Finished 01/29/2018 | Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
Cosmos is a popular science book by Carl Sagan. His main purpose was to deliver complex scientific ideas and concepts in understandable manner. The book covers the wide range of topics on cosmology, history, astronomy, and evolution of humans. It is one of the best books I’ve ever read. I wouldn’t say it is a fast speed book. It is extremely detailed and informative. Also additional images and pictures of the outer space are provided. It is a must read book.