Holiday Book Guide 2019
Here is my annual reading suggestions list from things that I have read this year, and a few suggestions from friends. Please add your own suggestions in the comments.
“Radialised” by Cory Doctorow.
Cory is an activist with the Electronic Freedom Foundation (EFF) and some of that is reflected in his stories. In this there are 4 separate stories of the near future where the consequences of some of the current laws are played out. What if your toaster was like an iPhone, so you could only toast approved bread. What if superman came in a just stopped discrimination, would that solve anything. What would happen if the prediction of “preppers” came true would they be better placed to survive in a post apocalypse world.
“Good Omens” by Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett.
I have not read much Terry Prachett, and only a bit of Neil Gaiman, but I picked this up when I heard about the BBC series of the book. Really enjoyed the dry humour and story. Read it before you watch the rerun of the BBC Series.
“Rendezvous with Rama” by Arthur C Clark.
I first read this many many years ago. Picked it up to re-read this year. What a wonderful story. And with the amazing scientific rigueur that allows an amazing space story without having to invent imposable things like warp drive, ray guns and teleport machines. Why hasn’t this been made into a film.
And here are some suggestions from my friends.
“The End Is Always Near” by Dan Carlin.
A superb history of apocalypse, suffering and extreme human situation throughout history. Amos if your history buff and makes you think about the world today.
“The Storm Before The Storm” by Mike Duncan.
If you’re interested in the Roman Empire, this is a thorough take on the period prior to the downfall of Rome. An appreciation of what it took to be at the top of a society where everyone is striving to get their name set into history.
“Invisible Women” by Caroline Creado-Perez.
An absolutely superb book about the gender data gap. Explores how society dominated by men, designs everything for men.
Oh I read Birdsong recently. I know it’s on all the lists of books to read but it is bloody brilliant.
“The Order of Time” by Carlo Rovelli.
Very accessible perception altering book on the nature of time and how fundamental it is.
Gives a good background from classical to quantum and includes philosophical perspectives from Aristotle etc.
“A Gentleman in Moscow” by Amor Towles.
A historical fiction about a Count sentenced during the revolution to spend his days in a Moscow hotel. Amusing easy going book with something of everything.
I’ve been very intellectual and reading the Bernie Gunther series by Philip Kerr this year. Very much a detective/action Set in Hitler’s Germany and post Hitler, he’s a German detective and then SS intelligence officer (hates Nazis), then escapee to Argentina. Interesting history elements and perspective from a non-Nazi. Set between 1930s and 1950s. Easy reading, though some heavy and disturbing bits. Fiction, of course.