Bookshelf

Here's a list of books that I've read recently (I'm also on Goodreads).

Bold means must read/strong recommendation. Italics means worth reading/weaker recommendation.

2017

Although it's written more from the perspective of trying to help parents, I got a lot out of a rigorous academic look at my, and what feels like everyone my age's, adolescence online. I personally identified with most topics and ideas about social media use in this book.

Every page of the graphic novel either brings a smile or a tear to my face. Jomny captures basic, weird parts of being a human being with feelings beautifully through his characters and his Twitter feed.

I read all 15 books in this fictional series in one month, and could barely put them down. The world is mesmerizing and deep, and the characters (and their interactions) fascinating and wonderful.

I don't think I understood this book well. The world painted is quite fascinating and interesting (especially an alt-history San Francisco), but I didn't quite feel the emotions around truth that I expected (especially since I felt they seemed to squish in at the end). But it's quite a page-turner.

Cline has created a fantastic, amazing world - both in VR, and reality. However, the book is light on themes about the future (other then the amazing world portrayed) and the plot and characters are good, not great. But the world is absolutely amazing, and I'd recommend reading this book just for that.

Great set of anecdotes, guidelines, and practical tips for how to engage and motivate serious hard work. Newport has great stories, rules, and ideas that I plan to put into practice immediately.

2016

I agree with my parents that it is a great introduction to the world of responsible personal finance - if you can get over the cheesiness - and, bluntly, pure white Midwestern 60's vibe - of the characters.

I understand many consider it to already be a classic - it is an incredible telling of the American black experience in a simultaneously cold and emotional way. I also recommend his podcast with Ezra Klein, where he talks a bit about the novel.

Unbelievably well-written fiction, and rather short for a novel. FYI: if you've seen the movie, I've been told it has a slightly different ending then the book, so read the book!

As an alt-history fiction novel explaining a possible fall of American democracy to fascism in the '30s, it felt disturbing and thought-provoking. In the hindsight of the 2016 election, it has begun to feel a bit more prophetic.

Short, mesmerizing account of a near-apocalyptic event (firebombing of Hamburg) and a great perspective of the victimhood the Germans felt post-World War II. Required reading for a history course.

Contained interesting anecdotes and survey data, and was quite entertaining. I didn't pull away too many lessons, however.

It was a good first-person account (fiction, but based in the author's experience) as a way to understand 1920's Germany and how the seeds of Nazism/fascism could form in such a climate as 1920's Germany. Required reading for a history course.