If you’re looking for something good to read, you might like one of these books from my January reading journal:
Moonshots: Creating a World of Abundance by Naveen Jain– Ignore the first three chapters, which read like a mundane treatment of the philosophy of abundance. After that, it gets much better, with lots of examples of how technological progress is accelerating even faster than Moore’s Law predicted. Jain gives you good reason to believe that many if not all of our biggest problems, including war, poverty, and global warming, could be largely solved in the relatively short term.
Ansel Adams: 400 Photographs– Sometimes it’s hard to understand why a particular artist is considered to be a standout, while his contemporaries whose works seem similar are not. It’s much easier if you look at the entire scope of the artist’s work instead of a single example that is considered to be “brilliant.” Such was my experience looking through this collection of Ansel Adams photos, mostly landscapes but including a handful of mesmerizing portraits and still lifes.
Alchemy: The Dark Art and Curious Science of Creating Magic in Brands, Business, and Lifeby Rory Sutherland– Thoughts from an advertising man about how imagination can transform experience and our understanding of the world.
I Used to Know That: Stuff You Forgot From School by Caroline Taggart– True to its title, the book is chock full of interesting bits you could have learned in school. Example: In geometry class, I learned how to calculate perimeters and areas and have used those simple equations thousands of times since then. But I had forgotten how to measure the circumference of a circle (diameter times pi) and got reacquainted with the Pythagorean theorem – fun to know but apparently useless.
And here’s a book that’s not worth your time…
Why Love Hurts: A Sociological Explanation by Eva Illouz– I began with the best expectations, but couldn’t finish it. This is a profoundly stupid book that argues that “love” doesn’t work today because the “institutional organization of marriage” precludes the “possibility of maintaining romantic love as an intense and all-consuming passion.”