Bookshelf

My attitude towards books has oscillated over time. When younger, I'd lick my lips and devour reams and reams of fiction. As I grew older and transitioned to non-fiction, I started to question why I was reading at all.

I'd reflect on books I'd read, books on topics like criminal law or infectious disease, and I'd think about the amount I'd retained. Books were only worth reading if they pushed your intellectual abilities while reading them, or if you retained most of their contents. I realised that most books did neither.

And so I stopped reading.

From the ages of about 14 to 17, I learned by scouring web forums and watching YouTube videos. It wasn't much--but it was honest, unpretentious work.

At 18, hesitantly, as if tasting a broth that had scalded me in the past, I started reading again. This time, I started reading books 3 times each, making notes where I disagreed, connecting the content to other things I'd read. I'd type up my notes. Then revisit them. Again. And. Again. I found though, that this method lent itself to number chasing. I'd set a topic I wanted to learn about, then read lots on it, taking lots of notes. In the end, I found myself racing to read books and understand their material more than to make insightful links and answer deep questions I had. Now, I find myself straddling a balance. I see books for what they are: a tool. I now set out with a few questions I want answered, and then assess which media will most clinically answer them. Sometimes the answer is a book, other times it's a documentary or a magazine article. So I sadly will not be able to end the year with some sexy statistic of how I read a book a week, because I think that's ultimately focusing on the wrong goal.

The following is a list of books I have read since September 2019, or plan to read in the near future. In fact, most are those I read before September 2020, when schoolwork started to monopolize my time. w Books that I found particularly excellent or those that had a profound impact on me are highlighted in blue. Books that I am currently reading are highlighted in green.

Energy, Climate, Environment

Gaming

Education

Defense and Military

Architecture and Urban

Mobility, Manufacturing & Logistics

Great Individuals

Great Groups

Mathematics

Economics

Historical Fiction

Science Fiction

Classics

Miscellaneous

Got recommendations? Drop me a note!