First Reads of 2018

How many of you set a New Year’s resolution to read more? In my opinion, this is one of the best resolutions you can make. Reading can be educational, teaching you new things every time you pick up a book, or it can be an escape from the stress of everyday life.

If you’ve been reading my blog for awhile then you may remember that I set a goal in 2017 to read a new book each week. While this may have only lasted a few months, I became more aware of how I was spending my free time. I realized that I could be putting the time I spend on my phone or watching Netflix to much better use. That being said, I modified my resolution for 2018 to be to read before bed every night instead of falling sleep to Netflix or Youtube. Not only will this help me better allocate my time to read, but it will improve my quality of sleep. I am excited to see where this resolution takes me.

Here is what I read during the first month of the year:

the psychopath test book review

The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson-

I am a sucker for a good read on psychopaths. That definitely sounds like something I shouldn’t admit to, but it is strangely fascinating. In this book, Ronson walks through a particular mystery that is brought to him by a professor in London. In the process of uncovering this mystery he becomes fixated on the idea of “madness”. He educates the reader on different studies conducted, people he meets, and psychologists that have studied this phenomenon. Overall, I enjoyed the way Ronson weaved a personal story into the educational material on the topic.

z: a novel of zelda fitzgerald

Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler-

I could not put this book down. Seriously. If you love F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novels and his romantic word choice, you will equally love this novel. It tells the story of Zelda Fitzgerald’s life with Scott and how it slowly fell apart. Fowler does an ingenious job at intertwining fact with fiction, basing her story off of actual recorded events in the couple’s life. I particularly enjoyed learning about society’s expectations of housewives during this time period.

Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk by Kathleen Rooney-

I saw this book listed on Daunt Books’ website and was instantly attracted to the black and gold cover. I knew I needed to read it. If you are just as obsessed with New York City as I am, then this is a must-read. Told from the perspective of Lillian Boxfish, she walks the reader through her life in the city and the rich memories she has made there. She recounts how the city has changed during the 60 years that she has lived there.  While telling about the city and its wonderful charm, the novel also discusses the challenges faced by Boxfish as a successful working woman during the 1940s.

Incognito book review

Incognito by David Eagleman-

If you enjoy Malcolm Gladwell or Daniel Kahneman books, then you should add this to your reading list. “Incognito” looks at the unconscious aspects of the brain and how it controls decisions we make and actions we take. It really makes you question why you do the things you do. Eagleman describes different conditions caused by damage to these areas of the brain and how those who have them are completely unaware of them.

Leave a comment below telling me what you are currently reading. I would love to hear! Also, follow me on Instagram to see what I am reading right now.

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January’s Reads

I know, I know. This post is a month delayed… but I promise, I have been keeping true to my New Year’s Resolution! I have happily read a new book every week and am learning something new every day. Here is what I read during the month of January:

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St. Marks is Dead by Aba Calhoun-

We all know I love New York City; that is no secret. As Carry Bradshaw once said, “If you only get one great love, New York may just be mine”. When I first saw this book I was instantly intrigued. Some of my fondest memories from my freshman year of college occurred on St. Marks Place. I wanted to learn the deep history behind a street that meant so much to me. The book walks through the colonization of New York City and how the neighborhood changes throughout the decades. It includes personal stories from residents of the street, making the book personal and real. If you love the history of music, art, or New York City, then I highly recommend picking this book up. It even includes vintage photographs!

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Weapons of Math Destruction by Cathy O’Neil-

Some of you may have just read that title and cringed. Ew, math!? Why would I want to read about math? Personally, I love math, but you do not have to enjoy crunching numbers to appreciate this book. O’Neil dives deep into how today’s algorithms favor the wealthy and hurt the middle class. She touches on subjects like college admission and bank loans, describing how these systems work against the typical American. The book is definitely eye-opening; It makes you think how it is even possible to escape this embedded discrimination.

The Black Swan by Nassim Nicholas Taleb-

This book has to be my least favorite of all I read during January. I have had this book for quite awhile, maybe two years. Every time I reached to read it I ended up returning it to the growing stack of books in my bedroom. Taleb is a philosopher by nature so the entire book is quite lyrical, making it one big tangent and hard to follow. While there were chapters that really made me wonder how the world works, and reflect on my own experiences, I found myself lost for quite a majority of it. Also, I may have been a bit bitter that he kept stating the uselessness of statistics, a subject I quite enjoy!

The Rise of the Robots by Martin Ford-

I have a large fascination with robots being that I want to pursue data science in the future. I was initially attracted to this book by the bright, animated cover. Whoever said “don’t judge a book by its cover” clearly never walked around a bookstore filled with the most beautiful books. This book goes into a detailed discussion about how technology is projected to ruin our economical system. Ford dives into each upcoming innovation and how that particular one will destroy opportunities for the middle class. He then provides what he believes to be a solution for the accelerated pace of technology. If you love technology as much as I do, and are amazed by what scientists are creating in the world, give this book a read!

If you have any recommendations on books you think I should read, please leave them below! Look out for February’s Reads, coming soon.