Somehow I never really got around to reading books in recent years. Now I try to read fifteen minutes every day before going to bed. And on weekends or days off, I try to take some extra time to read. You will be surprised how many books you can read that way. The best book I have read recently is ‘The Overstory’ by Richard Powers. Trees will never be the same. Keep reading.
In this blog I write about are the 10 books I have read in the past six months in order of personal preference. And indeed: The Overstory is number 1.
A while ago I started with the habit of reading regularly. I always loved to read, even as a kid, but for some reason I never really got around to it in recent years. Yet the love for reading remained. Especially when I was in a bookstore and I saw all those beautiful books lying there just waiting to be read!
Now I try to read fifteen minutes every day before going to bed. And on weekends or days off, I try to take some extra time to read. You will be surprised how many books you can read that way.
These are the 10 books I have read in the past six months in order of personal preference.
1. The Overstory by Richard Powers (2018)
Strange as it may sound, trees are the main characters in this book. In this well written novel we follow the lives of nine American people that all have unique experiences with trees. At some point, the storylines in The Overstory come together and they all join forces to fight against the destruction of forests.
The Overstory may be the strangest book I have ever read. But also one of the best. And I promise you: trees will never be the same.
2. Fall and Rise by Mitchell Zuckoff (2019)
This impressive book is a minute-by-minute account of 9/11. You experience the day from the point of view of different victims in New York, at the Pentagon, and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
I loved and hated reading this book at the same time. It is extremely well written and tells the story from the eyes of the victims.
3. The Dutch House by Ann Patchett (2019)
This novel tells the story of a brother and sister that grow up in a beautiful house in Pennsylvania. We follow their lives over the course of five decades.
It is a beautiful, well written book that I finished in a few days. So I guess I really enjoyed it!
4. Midnight in Chernobyl by Adam Higginbotham (2019)
Journalist Adam Higginbotham tells the definitive, dramatic untold story of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster, based on original reporting and new archival research.
We all think we know what happened in Chernobyl. But when I read this book I really understood it.
5. Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari (2014)
This book is based on a series of lectures Harari taught at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and it surveys the history of humankind from the evolution of archaic human species in the Stone Age up to the twenty-first century.
This may be the most important book I have read in recent years. Why isn’t it at number 1? Well this list is about the books i enjoyed the most.
6. Ghost in the wires by Kevin D. Mitnick (2011)
Kevin Mitnick is the father of computer hacking and social engineering. In this memoir he writes about his hacking adventures in the 70’s and 90’s.
The book is fun to read, especially if you are into ‘tech’ like me but it is also quite long-winded.
7. Uncanny Valley by Anna Wiener (2020)
Uncanny Valley is a memoir by writer Anna Wiener. She writes about her transition from the publishing industry to various jobs at tech companies in Silicon Valley.
The definition of Uncanny Valley (according to WikiPedia): in aesthetics, the uncanny valley is a hypothesized relationship between the degree of an object’s resemblance to a human being and the emotional response to such an object.
I liked to read about all the funny and strange things that happen in the tech companies in Silicon Valley but I found it difficult to empathize with the main character in the book.
8. Into the wild by Jon Krakauer (1996)
Into the Wild is the story of Christopher McCandless, a young man whose body was found inside an abandoned bus in Alaska. Author Jon Krakauer retraced McCandless’ steps during the two years between college graduation and his demise in Alaska.
I was really looking forward to reading this book because I heard about the movie that was quite good. I enjoyed reading it but I did not really like the writing style which is a bit like reading someone’s diary.
9. The 4-hour workweek by Timothy Ferriss (2007)
The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9–5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich (2007) is a self-help book by Timothy Ferriss, an American writer, educational activist, and entrepreneur. He writes about life/work hacks that allow you to work less and make more money.
The idea behind the book is very interesting but I do not like the way that Ferriss tells it. It is a bit arrogant, unrealistic and sometimes even childish.
10. The Outsider by Stephen King (2018)
The Outsider is a mix of a detective and a horror story. It is about a baseball coach that is accused of raping and mutilating a young boy. But this is a Stephen King book, so of course supernatural forces also come into play.
I have always been a fan of Stephen King. But somehow this book was a bit of a disappointment. The story just was not very compelling.