Books Read This Year (So Far) - Jul 2023
These are the books I have read this year (so far)
Iran - Empire of the Mind - I was looking for a good, readable history of Iran, and this was not it.
Islam - A Short History - Again, I was looking for a good history of Islam, and Karen Anderson's book was definitely not it.
Mastery - The Keys to Success and Long Term Fulfillment - A good treatise on what it takes to master something.
The Arabs - A History - This is a very readable narrative of Arab political history from the Ottoman conquest of the 16th century to the first couple of decades of the 21st century by Eugene RoganMindset - The New Psychology of Success - Carol Dweck's book on how adopting a growth mindset over a fixed one is the key.Arabia and the Arabs: From the Bronze Age to the Coming of Islam - A very dry history of pre-Islamic Arabia.
The Quest for the Historical Muhammad - A collection of articles on the early history and historiography of Islam, focused on the Revisionist school.
Meta Learning: How To Learn Deep Learning And Thrive In The Digital World - This book was a misnomer. It's very well regarded by many, so maybe I missed some deeper meaning hidden between the paragraphs.
Siva - The Siva Purana Retold - A "retelling" of the Shiva Purana.
A Brief History of Time - I last read this when I was in school. The second reading was not so enjoyable.
Tools of Titans - Tim Ferriss's collection of anecdotes from successful people. Trite.
Autobiography of a Yogi - Autobiography of Paramhansa Yogananda.
The Moon is Down - The first fiction book in the list. John Steinbeck's powerful novel about a town that resists wartime occupation. I've (re)read a couple of other short stories and a couple of classic science fiction books, but did not include them here.
Europe - A History - I started reading this last year and wrapped it up earlier in 2023. A sweeping, massive tome by Norman Davies.
How to Fail at Almost Everything and still win big - I reread this Scott Adams book after a few years.
Xagor Dekhisa - Dev Kant Barooah's well known Assamese poem is one among others in this eponymous book. It literarally translates to "Have you seen the sea?"
Outbreak - Robin Cook's thriller about a plague was the second (escapist) fiction book I read this year. The sexism is a put-off.
Atomic Habits - James Clear's well known book on how to build good habits and drop bad ones.
The Lost Years of Jesus - Pseudohistory about how Jesus supposedly spent his lost years in the Indian subcontinent. The few facts which are unrefuted do need scholarly study, and popular books are not the way to go about it.
Site Reliability Engineering - I read half of this, and plan to get back to it in a few months.
Linux Kernel Development - Robert Love's book on the kernel's architecture. This is in the same bucket as the SRE book in terms of getting back to it.
I dropped these books midway -
Deviate - There is almost nothing in this book about how to actually perceive the world differently (which is what the title claims) and pages and pages of stating the same thing - that we all perceive things differently.
The Ways of the Strangers - Encounters with the Islamic State - This one was unreadable.
Being a Man in the Lousy Modern World - I don't understand the high ratings on Goodreads and elsewhere. Here's a quote - "In Japan the handshake has yet to replace the bowing, but in the rest of the world it has triumphed over genuflection and kowtowing to each other." The world according to this British writer is made up of the western world and Japan.
Hyperspace - This was a rambling book by Michio Kaku on the multidimensional theory of space-time that did not go anywhere.
I use Goodreads to track most of my reading - https://www.goodreads.com/challenges/11633-2023-reading-challenge