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2022.12.31

Books From 2022

Every year I try to compile a list of games, books, and movies I experienced. For the complete list, check the Ratings. Here we go (sorted by rating)!

I continue reading (mostly listening to audiobook versions, in fact) almost every day for the past few years. It’s in my daily routine when I walk the dogs. It’s a very different proposition from laying down and dedicating some time to read them. I have an urge for a secondary task when I am performing a no-brainer routine, such as… walking the dogs. Otherwise, I feel like wasting my time by walking and not thinking.

This is the list of this year’s books that I ingested. These lists are -definitively- not comprehensive ones. Since I always forget to update my GoodReads personal records or write about them on this blog, they are just the ones I remember. I will edit this post in case I remember other entries.

This year I’ve already compiled a mid-term list back in July, so it’s just the books from the second semester.

Fiction

  • The Silver ShipsThe Silver Ships (Silver Ships #1) (S.H. Jucha)(9★★★★★★★★★): Great recommendation from Steve Gibson in the Security Now podcast. The author tells science fiction stories with rich details about the character and ordinary tasks. The protagonist is clever, to say the least.
  • LibreLibre (Silver Ships #2) (S.H. Jucha)(7★★★★★★★): The second book captures a character trait I do not like: constant winner. Alex Racine faces rare and extremely low-odd events and surpasses them daily. At some point, I started to care less and less about him because I knew very little was at stake. The higher note is the rising of artificial intelligence characters.
  • MéridienMéridien (Silver Ships #3) (S.H. Jucha)(7★★★★★★★): 3rd book. SADEs (the artificial intelligence characters) shine. The main character, again, is too much powerful/lucky. The timeline jumped several years in the future, giving a fresh look for each character.

Non Fiction

  • MindsetMindset: The New Psychology of Success (Carol S. Dweck)(5★★★★★): One could summarize Mindset into a single slide. People either have a fixed mindset (believe people do not change, things are what they are) or a growth mindset (everything is changing and evolving, including ourselves). It’s interesting, but the book is self-indulging (a common trait for self-help books). Dweck repeats her mantra over and over, exploring her theory in a variety of scenarios. Most of them are ad hoc: she justifies the known past as the mindset of the people involved was THE reason why things happened as they did.

Some books for the next year

  • Steve Jobs by Walter Issacson
  • How Democracies Die by Steven Levitsky, Daniel Ziblatt
  • The Law by Frederic Bastiat
  • Essays on Political Economy by Frederic Bastiat
  • Quiet by Susan Cain
  • Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kadneman
  • Doomsday Book by Connie Willis
  • Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
  • Silver Ships 5-10 by SH Jucha
  • Mistborn 3-4 by Brandon Sanderson

For more books, you can check my online read list on GoodReads.

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2022.07.08

Books From 2022 (So Far)

Every year I try to compile a list of games, books, and movies I experienced. Here we go.

I continue to read (listen, in fact) almost every day for the past few years. It’s in my daily routine when I walk the dogs. It’s a very different proposition from laying down and dedicating some time to read them. I have an urge for a secondary task when I am performing a no-brainier routine, just like.. walking the dogs. Otherwise, I feel wasting my time by just like walking and not thinking.

This is the list of this year’s books that I ingested. These lists are -definitively- not comprehensive ones. Since I’m not updating my GoodReads personal records nor writing about them in this blog, they are just the ones I remembered. I may edit this post if I remember other items.

  1. Piranesi (Susanna Clarke)(9★★★★★★★★★): Piranesi lives in a fantastic place. He has a memory issue but keeps detailed notes. A great mystery.
  2. The Well of AscensionThe Well of Ascension (Mistborn #2) (Brandon Sanderson)(8★★★★★★★★): just after the events of the first book, the protagonists now have to maintain the power they acquired. Fascinating.
  3. Steal Like an ArtistSteal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative (Austin Kleon)(8★★★★★★★★): great super-short book about the creative process. He incentives people to leap forward in creative work disregarding self-judgment. Get inspired and try to copy the work of others to practice and find one’s voice.
  4. Keep GoingKeep Going: 10 Ways to Stay Creative in Good Times and Bad (Austin Kleon)(8★★★★★★★★): another small but very motivational work from Austin Kleon. Do not stop creating. Do small iterative work until it’s done.
  5. Show Your Work!Show Your Work!: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered (Austin Kleon)(8★★★★★★★★): another small piece of Austin. Create a blog, Twitter, Instagram, or Tiktok account and show people what you are working on. Even hobbies stuff, like sketches. Eventually, it could become your masterpiece.
  6. Parable of the Talents (Octavia E. Butler)(8★★★★★★★★): is the sequel of the excellent Parable of the Sower (Octavia E. Butler)(9★★★★★★★★★), telling about the protagonist is her daughter.
  7. The President Is Missing (James Patterson, Bill Clinton)(7★★★★★★★): modern cyber terrorism thriller. Very believable. Tips and checks are done by no other than Bill Clinton!
  8. The Power of HabitThe Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business (Charles Duhigg)(7★★★★★★★): a modern classic self-helping book. It starts preaching the power of understanding and controlling habits. Then it exemplifies, chapter after chapter, the different facts of habits interfering in our decision-making. Very good.
  9. DifferentDifferent: Escaping the Competitive Herd (Youngme Moon)(7★★★★★★★): essay about the competitive advantage of being different in the market. Curiously enough, in the second half of the book, she acknowledges that being different might not be important depending on the situation and market. Good book.
  10. Communication Skills TrainingCommunication Skills Training: How to Talk to Anyone, Connect Effortlessly, Develop Charisma, and Become a People Person (James W. Williams)(7★★★★★★★): comprehensive discussion about communication skills. Nothing fantastic. But very good.
  11. JusticeJustice: What's the Right Thing to Do? (Michael J. Sandel)(7★★★★★★★): several philosophical aspects, situations, and approaches of what is justice. It does not, however, present definitive answers about anything.
  12. The 4-Hour BodyThe 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman (Timothy Ferriss)(5★★★★★): several tips about a proper workout, diet, and routines to get the body you want.
  13. The 10x RuleThe 10x Rule: The Only Difference Between Success and Failure (Grant Cardone)(4★★★★): salespeople kinda talk. Super aggressive, alpha behavior about using all your power and will to achieve goals and success. I tried to focus on the core messages and occasional motivation in his words, but it’s hard to not get pissed with the alpha male dominant attitude.
  14. Think Sex and Grow RichThink Sex and Grow Rich: How to use the power of your sex drive to succeed in business (Marcus El)(4★★★★): it tries to sell the idea that we are driven by sex and we should channel this constant desire towards business goals. It starts fun, then became very tedious.

From the second part of 2021 that was not on the mid-2021 list

  1. Dune (Frank Herbert)(8★★★★★★★★): read in 3 nights to watch the movie. Loved it.

For more books, you can check my online read list on GoodReads.

edited in 2022-07-14 because I forgot some books. Quite sure there are more.

2021.08.15

Books From 2021 (So Far)

I continue to read (listen in fact) almost every day for the past years. It’s in my daily routine when I walk the dogs. It’s a very different proposition from laying down and dedicate some time to read them. I have an urge of a secondary task when I am performing a no-brainier routine, just as.. walking the dogs. Otherwise, I just feel wasting my time my just walking and no thinking.

This is the list of this year’s books that I ingested. Later I present a list of books from the previous years that did not mention before. These lists are -definitively- not comprehensive ones. Since I’m not updating my GoodReads personal records nor writing about them in this blog, they are just the ones I remembered. Eventually I might edit this post in case I remember other entries.

  1. Remote (Jason Fried, David Heinemeier Hansson)(10★★★★★★★★★★): I’ve read this book few years back and I’m planning to do an annual reading of this book, along with the other Jason Fried books. They are mind opener, very opiniative and thought-provoking. Yet so elegant and simple. It points advantages and disadvantages of remote working, some misconceptions and prejudices. During the radical change of life during the pandemic, it was still valid (it was published in 2013)
  2. Foundation (Isaac Asimov)(10★★★★★★★★★★): a SCI-FI classic that was always in my “want to read” list. Since I’ve heard that it’s going to become a TV Show from Amazon Prime, it climbed up to the top of my next books. And it did not disappointed. A superb novel that deals with the idea of a guy that can forsee the future and plan each step to change it.
  3. Parable of the Sower (Octavia E. Butler)(9★★★★★★★★★): a 5 stars recommendation from The Wertzone, it was amazing and rich as I was told. The next book, Parable of the Talents (Octavia E. Butler)(8★★★★★★★★), also recommended, will be read soon.
  4. Torto Arado (Itamar Vieira Junior)(7★★★★★★★): this Brazilian first time author conquered most of national and international Portuguese awards. Tells a story of two girls from the almost deserted region in Brazil, fighting against poverty, misogyny and happiness.
  5. 21 Lessons for the 21st Century (Yuval Noah Harari)(8★★★★★★★★): another hit from the same author of Sapiens, focusing on some pressing issues of the contemporary times, like genetics, robotics and artificial intelligence.
  6. Shaping the Future of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Klaus Schwab)(8★★★★★★★★): the same vein of the previous book, analyzing global issues, from the executive chairman of the World Economic Forum. I think I liked more than 21 Lessons
  7. The Final EmpireThe Final Empire (Mistborn #1) (Brandon Sanderson)(7★★★★★★★): in an universe that magic spells can be cast by consuming metals, Sanderson starts the sprawling saga with an epic heist.
  8. Letters From An Astrophysicist (Neil deGrasse Tyson)(7★★★★★★★): Tyson is a well known scientist and his polite, yet firm, way to respond questions in TV shows is also presented in this collection of letters received by fans and not-fans alike. He talks a little bit of everything: science methods, physics, astrophysics and, but also about astrology and religion.
  9. Project Hail Mary (Andy Weir)(7★★★★★★★): The Martian was a mega hit. As a movie adaptation, it was the most viewed and profitable project from the acclaimed direction Ridley Scott, which includes Gladiator, Blade Runner and Alien. It takes the same Weir’ nerdy writing style, again with a very lonely protagonist and the roller coaster plot. This time, I have big doubts that a film adaptation would be a similar success, due to the complex narrative and scope.
  10. Foundation and Empire (Isaac Asimov)(6★★★★★★): the second book have two different stories and is less interesting due to the lack of the main characters from the first book. Of course, it takes places centuries after the first book’ events. The new characters are all nice, but the Hari Seldon previsions becomes both too mystical and precise to my taste.
  11. The Miracle Morning (Hal Elrod)(4★★★★): I heard about it while listening the Jeff Goins podcast interviewing the author. He mentioned coming to Brazil to advertise his new book and discovering a huge fan base. So why not try. I found a very obnoxious self-help book about waking up early, do some exercises, meditate and suddenly one would become 999% more productive.

From previous years but not yet mentioned (and worth mention)

  1. It Doesn't Have to Be Crazy at Work (Jason Fried, David Heinemeier Hansson)(10★★★★★★★★★★): Like Remote, it’s worth to re read periodically.
  2. The Name of the Wind (Patrick Rothfuss)(10★★★★★★★★★★): Kvothe’s early stories are fascinating. The universe blends Harry Potter with Lord of the Ring, with a very likable cast of characters.
  3. The Hate U Give (Angie Thomas)(8★★★★★★★★): read years before the Black Lives Matter movement, is still a valid story about racism and police brutality. I’m yet to see the movie adaptation.
  4. On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft (Stephen King)(7★★★★★★★)
  5. Judas Unchained (Peter F. Hamilton)(8★★★★★★★★): the second book, just after the events of Pandora’s Star. Breath holding.
  6. How To Write 50,000 Words In 30 Days, and survive to tell your story! (Mike Coville)(7★★★★★★★): dogmatic but can serve as a powerful inspiration.
  7. Artemis (Andy Weir)(7★★★★★★★): first Mars, now the Moon. This sci-fi story is well grounded in science and the protagonist is tenacious
  8. The Wise Man’s Fear (Patrick Rothfuss)(5★★★★★): The Name of the Wind’s protagonist transformed from a poor underdog in the first movie to an almighty demigod. There are basically no impossible obstacles that are solved a couple later.

For more books, you can check my online read list on GoodReads.

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2018.12.13

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck

This title-provoking book tries to tell a very important lesson: not everything is worthy of your attention and worries. Most of the things that make us worried and down could be easily avoided if we maintain a strict rule of not giving a F.

It’s kinda a Buddhism in the modern blogger language. Like the book, Buddha says desire leads to suffering. So you must clear your mind of all desires, not giving a f*ck about stuff. Especially material stuff.

The first third of the book is pretty nice. Is a bit thought-provoking, giving you a sense of perspective on your life. I liked this part very much. I believe that it’s worth a reread from time to time. The second and third parts direct the same philosophy towards more practical aspects of life, like relationships, love, and work. There the advice becomes a bit too narrow and full of must-do and must not do kinda lists.

Overall, I liked the book. It’s that kind of self-helping book that shakes a bit the status quo and makes us reevaluate our lives.

My Rating: 7★★★★★★★
Goodreads: 4
2018.05.15

Zoe’s Tale

The fourth installment of the Old Man’s War series focuses on the same events of the third book, The Last Colony. This time it uses the perspective of the little girl Zoe, the adopted daughter of John Perry and Jane Sagan.

She is quite brilliant and clever. As a teenager, she is experimenting with love, fear, and adventures for the first time.

And you might find many important events from the previous book.

My Rating: 7★★★★★★★
Goodreads: 3.74
Bruno MASSA