Over the past few years, I’ve taken it upon myself to learn more about health, nutrition, and fitness. I’m not implying that I don’t trust my doctor, or the medical profession in general. However, if the information is out there, why shouldn’t I read it? There’s nothing wrong with a little knowledge, especially when it comes to our own body and health. It also leads to more productive conversations with my doctor during my annual check-up.
As part of my personal health education process, I recently read The Cancer Code: A Revolutionary New Understanding of a Medical Mystery by Dr. Jason Fung. Cancer has been one of the most lethal diseases of my lifetime, and I wanted to understand more about it, how it’s treated, and possibly how to prevent or delay its onset.
When I wanted to learn more about fasting, I read Dr. Fung’s The Complete Guide to Fasting which was very informative and a book I would highly recommend. Based on that experience, I had high expectations for The Cancer Code.
At the beginning of 2018, I read a modern translation of As a Man Thinketh by James Allen. It’s a short read, but it’s very powerful and easy applied to one’s thinking around life.
Author Sam Torode did the translation of the Allen’s work. At the end of the book he offers application ideas along with a couple of book recommendations. One of the books he recommends is The Biology of Belief by Bruce Lipton. His intro to it reads:
For a scientific perspective on how our thoughts affect our lives – even at the cellular level – read these fascinating books.
That was all I needed to read to know I had to add the book to my reading list.
I like reading books by authors I haven’t read before. Every author has their own writing style, and each has their own perspective of reality. Reading a new author can be like seeing the world through another set of eyes.
The problem I have is that I can easily fall into a rut reading books by authors I like. The Amazon recommendation engine, my arch nemesis, doesn’t help either. Because it knows what I buy and what I read, it feeds me a steady diet of books by authors I’m familiar with.
Fortunately, there are a few ways I have of discovering new authors. One is the Amazon First Reads program where they offer up free books to Prime members. Most of the featured authors are ones that I’m not familiar with, but it can be difficult to find titles in my preferred genres. The Naturalist by Andrew Mayne was one such book that appeared on the list. It wasn’t in my preferred genre, but I decided to take a risk anyway and add it to my reading list.
Growing up, I remember marking the calendar and patiently waiting for new movies to open in theaters. I remember waiting every fall for new seasons of my favorite television shows like Seinfeld and Cheers. Never in a million years did I think I would eagerly wait for the availability of a book. Yes, a book. Those things you read.
Well, it’s happened. I’ve become one of “those people.”
I’ve been a big fan of Blake Crouch’s writing since reading the Wayward Pines trilogy. I’ve read Dark Matter, Recursion, and short stories he’s written. I like his style, the pace of his books, and how he often weaves plausible technology and hard science fiction concepts into his stories.
So yes, I had the date circled on my calendar for the release of his latest novel, Upgrade.
The more science fiction I read, the more I find myself drawn to certain authors. Whether it’s their style of writing, their storytelling ability, or their imagination of what’s possible, there is something about their work that speaks to me.
One such author who I particularly enjoy reading is Andy Weir. I’ve read Artemis, Randomize (a short story from Amazon’s Forward Series), and The Martian, which is still one of my favorite books of all time.
So when Andy Weir’s latest book, Project Hail Mary, hit the shelves, it was a no-brainer to add it to my reading list, and to make sure that it ended up near the top of it.
To be successful, it’s imperative that you have lofty expectations and set at least one big, audacious goal. Having such a goal can be overwhelming. It begs the question, how do you go about achieving it?
The simple answer is that it’s like eating an elephant. It’s too big to eat all at once. It needs to be broken down into smaller pieces. You have to do it one small bite at a time. Still, it requires a process. That’s where Tiny Habits: The Small Changes That Change Everything by BJ Fogg can help.
Outside of entertainment and learning, one of the things I enjoy most about reading is discussing and sharing books with others. I especially like it when people share book recommendations with me. Nearly all my most interesting reads have come from recommendations. And while I might not get to all of my recommendations right away, eventually I manage to get to them. I know my daughter Courtney can relate.
Anyway, both Courtney and Amanda read The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides last year. They both liked it, a lot. Since they both highly recommended it, I made it a point to put it at the top of my 2022 reading list even though it isn’t in my primary reading genre of science fiction. I wasn’t exactly sure what I was getting into, but I figured I’d give it a shot.
My final morning read for 2021 was Creativity, Inc. by Ed Catmull. In case you don’t know who Ed Catmull is, which I didn’t before reading the book, he was one of the co-founders and CEO of Pixar. Yes, that Pixar. The one that made movies such as the Toy Story franchise, A Bug’s Life, Up, Cars, Monsters, Inc., and more.
There’s an interesting story behind how I learned about the book, and it’s one I’m going to share. Why? Because it’s what I do. It’s who I am.
There are pros and cons to Amazon’s recommendation engine. On the one hand, it’s uncovered books that I would have otherwise never found on my own. On the other hand, it can lead you into some really deep rabbit holes. Once you read a couple of books around a similar topic or theme, it recommends more of the same.
After I finished reading The Fold, I thought I’d exhausted the books about time travel on my reading list. Apparently, I didn’t. Next up on my reading list was All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai.
Daniel Suarez has been near or at the top of my favorite authors ever since I read Daemon and Freedom. I enjoy how he combines action and suspense with believable near-term science fiction concepts.
In his latest novel, Delta-v, Suarez explores the topic of space exploration and the various options that are currently under evaluation such as colonizing Mars, asteroid mining, and space hotels. Around this backdrop, he creates a techno-thriller around the first team that is selected and sent to space to mine an asteroid in hopes of providing a method to sustain the human race.