Here’s a selection of my favourite reads from 2019 so far. There’s quite a strong non-fiction theme which I think reflects my current mindset and as-is thought process. Perhaps it’s time to transition into some more fiction and story-telling for Spring. Any good recommendations? Share them below.
21 Lessons for the 21st Century – Yuval Noah Harari
I have enjoyed both of Harari’s previous editions in this series, Sapiens and Homo Deus, so it’s unsurprising that this was an early first read for me in 2019.
As we move more into the future, the world is becoming more uncertain. Just look at current affairs and news reporting to see that as a whole, we don’t seem to be coping too well with this change in status-quo. If like me, you’re struggling to understand this new polarization and feeling of constant flux that is in the air, this is a really good read to help put it into perspective.
It asks really important questions, and invites you to consider values and culture in an ever-changing world.
This book was not only a source of great insight, but also of comfort.
Hello World. How To Be Human In The Age Of The Machine- Hannah Fry
Data is the new oil, and with this, a lot more of our behaviour, personal details, likes, dislikes and needs are being processed every second in the big online world.
As a global data manager, I work regularly on the commercial or operational side of data, when it’s more important to be focused strongly on the human side. Data is impacting us all already, and it’s important for us to know where this will lead in the next two, five or fifty years.
Hannah is a professor in this area, and bring the world of data science, AI and automation to all of us in an accessible and easy to read format.
It’s a fantastic book, and well worth a read, even if it just gets you to reconsider doing one of those online DNA tests or hereditary mapping exercises.
The New Silk Roads – Peter Frankopan
No image of this one as I lent it to my boss!
This book had me hooked from the first chapter, so much so that my husband was amazed that it made me stay up regularly past my 10pm bedtime (love a good night’s sleep!) to keep reading more of it each night.
Living in the West, it’s very easy to be oblivious to what is currently happening in the East and Africa. Especially with headlines focused mainly on Brexit and Trump’s Wall right now.
It’s entertaining, carefully researched and fascinating. It’s got enough detail to please people looking for hard facts, but then enough light-hearted storytelling to entertain and bring people looking for a lighter introduction to new history on the journey.
Well worth a read.
In Your Defence – Sarah Langford
Sarah describes, with honesty and great detail, many cases which she has individually worked on during her career as a Barrister in England.
There’s plenty to shock, and several to tug at the heart strings, but what is most surprising is how many of us are unaware of exactly how the law operates in the country we live in, and how just one incident can change your life for good.
She adds in her own insight to each story, whilst also making sure you have enough of both sides of the case to make your own choice about how you feel about the situation at hand.
For me, the way many cases develop, how people plead, and the rules around sentencing made for new learning and understanding.
Ghost – James Swallow
The only fiction book on this list, and unfortunately, for me this one wasn’t nearly as good as the other books I have read so far in 2019. I read James’ Nomad, released in 2017, and really enjoyed it, so was keen to pick up this sequel and read it on a long journey I recently took.
Unfortunately it didn’t live up to expectations. The book felt frenzied and the action hard to follow. I was really sad and kept going as I wanted it to be great but I think my expectations left me feeling disappointed.
It’s a good premise, I just think the drama and characters let it down a little.