I've always read a lot and enjoyed it but over the past couple years I kinda fell out of the habit and didn't realize it. I picked up my pace towards the end of 2017, but I'm committed to keeping it up through 2018.
I filled out a bunch of shelves on Goodreads (check it if you care) and have been stalking the Kindle store for sales. So far I've finished 4 books in 2018.
So I started reading this after listening to the Hamilton musical by Lin-Manuel Miranda, like, oh probably half of the world. This biography is exquisitely researched and thorough. I think I'd classify this as pretty much the best history textbook I've ever read and if all textbooks were this good, school would be a lot more beneficial. But still it felt like a textbook at times. It was fascinating and while it was a brilliant work of scholarship, the biggest takeaway I have is that Lin-Manuel Miranda is a freaking genius to transform this book into Hamilton.
I'm counting this, but it is a cookbook and I "finished" it in under an hour. Some pretty legit vegetarian recipes in here. The one downside I noticed was there were some pretty exotic ingredients that the authors seemed to assume were readily available. I live in Lakeland, hometown of Publix. If Publix doesn't carry it, I can't get it. But I'll definitely skim through this again and see if there are some things I can try out.
This book was fascinating. More so for its structure than for its content, in my opinion. The book centers on the invention of a medical marvel. A method for storing the "soul" or "lifeforce" or whatever you want to call it, after death is discovered. You soul is held in stasis until your body can be healed and then it is reinserted and you continue about your life. All of this happens in the first chapter of the book. The rest of the book delves into all the social, religious, governmental, and ethical dilemmas that stem from such a transcendent technology in the decades after its invention. What was created as a medical device to prevent unnecessary deaths is transformed in a hope for immortality, a tool for justice, a new form of slavery, and multiple other forms that were never foreseen by its creator. If you have any interest in the ethics of medicine or life in general, this is a very interesting read.
In 2018, I've made it a mission to read more authors who are distinctly different from me. Scaachi Koul fits this billing and is a wonderful writer. She details her life as a child of immigrants from India in unflinching realism. I laughed, I cried, and I learned from a different perspective on life. She holds no pretensions of being prefect and makes the reader feel more perfect through shared imperfections. Uplifting and depressing all at the same time, I can't recommend this book more if you are looking to see life from a different point of view.
Holler if you want to discuss any of these books, or shoot me some recommendations. My reading list is 200-something books long but I'm always on the lookout.