Reading matter(s) of the month: February, 2016

book list february 2016

There goes the second month of 2016, 09 weeks have passed, and I am happy with my reading habits. I did finish some unfinished books from last year, so that resulted in a high number of books read. But, I also added new books to my never ending “to-read” pile…

The “To-Read” pile of February, 2016:

In February I added a total of 09 books to my “to-read” pile. They are:

  1. The Productivity Project: Accomplishing More by Managing Your Time, Attention, and Energy  by Chris Bailey => I’ve been wanting to improve my focus because I still get distracted by little things, specially social media
  2. Yoga Anatomy, Second Edition  by Leslie Kaminoff, Amy Matthews => This book is an illustrated guide to Yoga and it seems there’s no digital edition available. It’s more like a “someday/maybe” book for me right now.
  3. The More of Less: Find the Life You Want Under Everything You Own by Joshua Becker => that’s a new book from Joshua that will come out this month. I hope it will inspire my minimalism project.
  4. What To Say When You Talk To Your Self  by Shad Helmstetter => this seems an interesting read to address the voices in my head.
  5. Cure: A Journey into the Science of Mind Over Body  by Jo Marchant =>I read an article about this book this month and her research investigates the influence of our minds over our bodies: a topic I want to explore.
  6. Everything That Remains: A Memoir by The Minimalists  by Joshua Fields Millburn, Ryan Nicodemus =>a book from The Minimalists on why to become a minimalist. Their podcast is awesome!
  7. enough  by Patrick Rhone =>another book into the “minimalist” theme: I think it was a recommendation I heard on The Minimalists podcast.
  8. How to Be Alive: No Impact Man’s Guide to a High Impact Life by Colin Beavan => a book on the theme of zero waste living: another topic I want to explore more.
  9. Zero World by Jason M. Hough => the only fiction book on this list, it’s a sci-fi thriller recommended by Felicia Day that I saw on Goodreads. I think it’s worth a try!

The “Read” list of February, 2016:

This month I wanted to read and/or finish some books that have been on my pile for way too long. I think I did a great job, I am happy with this list!

read books of february 2016

  1. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury => a classic that was on my Kindle waiting to be read. Enjoyable.
  2. The Freedom Handbook: An Incomplete Guide to a More Complete Life  by Jeff Hirz =>a very short book that was also forgotten on my Kindle.
  3. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change (25th Anniversary Edition) by Stephen R. Covey =>I started reading this book last year and put it down many, many times… I wanted to read it because almost everybody that is into productivity cites this book. I wasn’t impressed, really.
  4. Clear the Clutter, Find Happiness: One-Minute Tips for Decluttering and Refreshing Your Home and Your Life by Donna Smallin =>I love reading about organization and decluttering tips and this was a fast read on the subject.
  5. Delicacy: A Novel by David Foenkinos =>I finished a French book! Yay! I read this in its original version: achievement unlocked 🙂

The “I started reading but haven’t finished yet” pile of February, 2016:

  1. The Pillars of the World (Tir Alainn, #1)  by Anne Bishop => This book in the pick of the month of the Vaginal Fantasy book club, on Goodreads (it’s a book club for romance genre books with strong female lead characters). It sounds interesting!
  2. L’île mystérieuse by Jules Verne => I chose this book as my French reading practice this month, but I am already regretting it. It’s a very long book, and the pace is too slow for my taste, although I love Julio Verne. Maybe I’ll leave it and change to another one…just saying…

And, since March has already started, a quick update: I started reading “An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth” by canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield. I’m just loving it!

 

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Reading matter(s) of the month: January, 2016

I will start a monthly series of posts with a review of my “reading matters” of the month. It is just a way of celebrating my achievements, sharing books recommendations and (maybe) helping others make their “to-read” piles even bigger (I’m sorry!).

to-read pile 2016-02-03

The “To-Read” pile of January, 2016:

So, since last month marked the beginning of a new year, I actually did a huge list of all the books I want to read in 2016 focused on personal development. For 2016 I have the goal of changing my habits, improving my GTD system and read more non-fiction books, including biographies (which I rarely read). The list contains books I have already added years ago, so this month I am going to share a (huge) list that contains not only the books I added in January, but also older ones, in no particular order:
  1. The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right by Atul Gawande => GTD related because it talks about checklist. I think it can be very useful to my GTD system.
  2. The Practicing Mind: Developing Focus and Discipline in Your Life by Thomas M. Sterner => I think I saw a recommendation of this book on a Lifehacker post. It’s always good to know how to focus.
  3. Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up by Marie Kondō => last year I read her first book and made huge changes in life. This the second one: I am looking forward to reading it (it was illustrations!!)
  4. Elon Musk: Inventing the Future by Ashlee Vance => a must read biography (or so I’ve been told) because I am huge fan of Elon Musk.
  5. The Mindful Geek: Secular Meditation for Smart Skeptics by Michael Taft => Part of my quest to dive deeper into meditation.
  6. Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi => I am really curious to know about “THE FLOW” and how to get there.
  7. The Information Diet: A Case for Conscious Consumption by Clay A. Johnson => I think it might contain some valuable information on how to deal with lots of information.
  8. The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload by Daniel J. Levitin => another one about how to deal with too much information.
  9. My Life on the Road by Gloria Steinem => the first of the Book Club about Feminism created by Emma Watson called “Our Shared Shelf” (check it out on Goodreads). I will be a little behind the schedule, because this was their January pick.
  10. Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell => I am always interested on the success of the non-conventional.
  11. The Dorito Effect: The Surprising New Truth About Food and Flavor by Mark Schatzker => I want to know what’s inside processed food (and be scared!)
  12. Hatching Twitter: A True Story of Money, Power, Friendship, and Betrayal by Nick Bilton => I want to know how the 140 character revolution started.
  13. Abundance: The Future is Better Than You Think by Peter H. Diamandis => a little bit of optimist is always good!
  14. Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us by Michael Moss => Another one o get a little scared about the food industry.
  15. The Innovators: How a Group of Inventors, Hackers, Geniuses and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution by Walter Isaacson => this book has been on my list for a long time now!
  16. Buyology: Truth and Lies About Why We Buy and the New Science of Desire by Martin Lindstrom => Consumption or Consumerism?
  17. An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield => I am a huge fan of Chris Hadfield!
  18. Bad Astronomy: Misconceptions and Misuses Revealed, from Astrology to the Moon Landing “Hoax” (Wiley Bad Science Series) by Philip Plait => I love Philip Plait blogs and videos (his series Crash Course Astronomy was amazing!)
  19. Billions & Billions: Thoughts on Life and Death at the Brink of the Millennium by Carl Sagan => one of my favorite authors!
  20. Where Wizards Stay Up Late: The Origins Of The Internet by Katie Hafner by Matthew Lyon => I want to know how the internet came to be.
  21. The Drunkard’s Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives by Leonard Mlodinow => a friend of mine recommend me this almost a decade ago. I think it’s time for me to read it!
  22. 168 Hours: You Have More Time than You Think by Laura Vanderkam => I love to read about time management and productivity and this one seems nice.
  23. Tubes: A Journey to the Center of the Internet by Andrew Blum => I bought this book 3 years ago because I wanted to know how is the internet, physically speaking, literally.
  24. Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion by Sam Harris => I am curious to know what this man has been talking about.

The “Read” list of January, 2016:

This month I finished reading two books. One of them has completely changed the way I think about my routines and life goals. The other was just fun and a bit silly:
  1. The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8AM) by Hal Elrod => the first book of 2016 about personal development and I can say that it was an intense reading. Because of this book I totally embraced the morning person inside me.
  2. Radiance (Wraith Kings, #1) by Grace Draven => this goes into my “guilty pleasure fiction” pile. I didn’t enjoy it so much maybe because it had a young-adult feel.

The “I started reading but haven’t finished yet” pile of January, 2016:

  1. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain => I am loving this book! I consider myself an introvert and this book resonates deeply with me! And also the title of the book is fantastic!
  2. L’île mystérieuse by Jules Verne => it’s from a classic French author and it’s part of my “French Learning” project. It is a long book, so I’ll probably take a few more months to finish it.
And that’s it! I am actually now a little bit scared of my “To-read” pile but (hopefully) I’ll be able to tackle it until the end of 2016.
I will probably continue adding more books to my “to-read” pile but I’ll try to leave the new ones on a “someday/maybe” list because the ones I listed above are truly the books I’ve been wanting to read for a while so they have priority!
I also have an endless list of fiction books to read, but I haven’t decided yet which are my favorite ones because I started this year focusing more on non-fiction.
And, as I’ve been doing since 2012, I joined the Goodreads Reading Challenge with a goal of reading a total of 45 books in 2016 🙂
If you want to see a glimpse of all the books I read in 2015 click here.
What about you? Do you plan on reading more fiction or non-fiction this year? Do you also have an endless pile of books to read?

The Naked Sun [Book Review]

The Naked Sun (Robot, #2)
by Isaac Asimov

Kindle Edition, 271 pages
Published (first published January 1st 1956)
Read from April 23 to May 05, 2015
My Rating: 5 / 5 stars

Science fiction and murder investigation: I love this combination. This is the second book of the Robots series and I read it 3 years after reading “The Caves of Steel”. I am not sure why I took so long to start reading this one, but I not disappointed. It was a great contrast if compared to the first one where the detective Elijah Baley was investigating a murder case on Earth with underground cities and crowded spaces.

The Naked Sun takes place in an Outer World planet called Solaria which has only 20 thousand humans that live with 200 thousand robots. Elijah Baley is once again working with R. Daneel in the investigation. The culture, habits and taboos are completely different in Solaria, where humans are not used to seeing each other, instead, they socialize through “viewing”, something resembling a uber high-tech-quality with immersion Skype talk. Like all good detective stories, there was no obvious motive, opportunity or weapon on the crime scene. There are many elements in the story that reminded of the classic Sherlock Holmes stories, which I love.

Of course, Asimov’s delightful ability of discussing ethics and laws related to robots are present:

He said, “I suppose I should have asked if any robots were present?” (Damn it, what questions does one ask anyway on a strange world?) He said, “How legal is robotic evidence, Daneel?” “What do you mean?” “Can a robot bear witness on Solaria? Can it give evidence?” “Why should you doubt it?” “A robot isn’t human, Daneel. On Earth, it cannot be a legal witness.” “And yet a footprint can, Partner Elijah, although that is much less a human than a robot is. The position of your planet in this respect is illogical. On Solaria, robotic evidence, when competent, is admissible.”

Isaac Asimov, The Naked Sun, pg. 80, loc. 1215-1221. Kindle Edition

And above all the murder mystery the book brings interesting reflections and questions on the human need for robots, the limits of artificial intelligence and our values as human beings.

It was the first time I pre-ordered a book and it has arrived flawlessly

from Instagram: http://ift.tt/1Jb6QMC

I had a pleasant surprise yesterday on my Kindle. I had pre-ordered Felicia Day’s book “You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost): A Memoir” some months ago because I really admire her, I enjoy her work and she gave me enough reasons to give her credit. It was the first time I pre-ordered something in my entire life!

I always prefer to wait the “hype” to cool down before I buy something. I am the kind of person that prefers to buy (and read) a whole trilogy already fully published instead of consuming it as it is released.

But anyway, I am not regretting anything, I just want to say that I am really happy with this new book on my “to-read-right-now” list 🙂

I am currently reading two books, so I will find some room to read Felicia’s memoir this month, because all the reviews are awesome.

#kindle #neverweird #book #memoir #feliciaday #goodreads

Robots and compulsory labor

In the introduction of his novel “The Naked Sun” Isaac Asimov wrote about the origins of the word “Robot”, which is very  interesting:

“Mechanical human beings are to be found in ancient and medieval myths and legends, and the word “robot” originally appeared in Karl Capek’s play R.U.R., which was first staged in 1921 in Czechoslovakia, but was soon translated into many languages. R.U.R. stands for “Rossum’s Universal Robots.” Rossum, an English industrialist, produced artificial human beings designed to do the labor of the world and to free humanity for a life of creative leisure. (The word “robot” is from a Czech word meaning “compulsory labor.”) Though Rossum meant well, it didn’t work out as he planned: the robots rebelled, and the human species was destroyed.”

Isaac Asimov, The Naked Sun, pg. 4, loc. 60-64. Kindle Edition

Robot Rebellion scene from R.U.R. (Rossum’s Universal Robots) 1928-1929

Source: Computer History Museum