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These Books Are So Good — You Won’t Be Able to Put Them Down (Seriously, Prepare to Be Hooked)

The truth behind money, time, and the human body

These Books Are So Good — You Won’t Be Able to Put Them Down (Seriously, Prepare to Be Hooked)
Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko

Books are like drugs.

The more you read them, the more you like them.

Today we are going to discuss a list of books that are going to entice you to pick them up again and again. Every time you read them, you are going to dig out new gems for yourself.

Let’s start by going through each of them!

These Books Are So Good — You Won’t Be Able to Put Them Down (Seriously, Prepare to Be Hooked)

Time vs reality!

Time is an illusion, says Caro Rovelli, a theoretical physicist.

He tells us that we don’t really know what time is, but we try to make sense of it.

“…there is no such thing as ‘the same moment’ definable in the universe. The “present of the universe” is meaningless.”

The author discusses human interactions. We live through our emotions. Talking to each other and spending ‘time’ together is how we create bonds. Rovelli says that these bonds exist free from the constraints of time and space.

We can connect with, and influence people who will be born decades after us.

“Cause precedes effect.”

The author likens time to an arrow. We can’t go back. A glass shattered can’t be put back.

“I do not fear death. I fear suffering. And I fear old age…”

Rovelli also reflects on death. He is at peace with dying. The only things he fears are suffering and loss of love in his life.

I think of physicists as somewhat dry and serious folks. In light of that assumption, this book is surprisingly poetic.

These Books Are So Good — You Won’t Be Able to Put Them Down (Seriously, Prepare to Be Hooked)

Can we be of any use after our death?

Mary Roach has a knack for tackling difficult and sometimes macabre subjects in an informed and light-hearted way.

In this book, she tells us all about the journey of the human body after death. She tells us how the cadavers make our lives better. She also discusses various ethical issues related to cadaver use.

“H appears no different from the corpses already here. But H is different. She has made three sick people well.”

Organ donation is something I have been thinking about for perhaps a decade now. I am still not a registered donor. Whenever I bring up the subject of being an organ donor after I pass away, a loved one shuts me down.

Perhaps, it’s their love that doesn’t want to imagine my death.

But the story of H, whose organs were donated including her heart reminds me once again of my ever-long wish to be an organ donor. The author says that H is without a heart, but you can’t call her ‘heartless’.

Did you know that surgeons sometimes drop the hearts that are meant for transplant?

That makes my heart skip a beat. The solution is so simple that it will throw you for a loop.

New York heart transplant surgeon Mehmet Oz says:

“We wash them off and they do just fine.”

I mean wow!

To be more amazed, you have to pick up this book.

These Books Are So Good — You Won’t Be Able to Put Them Down (Seriously, Prepare to Be Hooked)

The dawn of the Homo sapiens.

What is religion? Or democracy? Or capitalism?

According to Harari, all these are imagined orders. They have helped humans collaborate with one another on huge scales.

“How do you cause people to believe in an imagined order such as Christianity, democracy or capitalism? First, you never admit that the order is imagined.”

How did humans achieve this?

Owing to evolution, the human species also improved. Our brains became bigger. We started walking on two legs.

And these brains gave us the ability to imagine, an ability other organisms don’t possess. We live in 2 realms. A physical one and an imagined one.

This allows us to discuss ideas and create imagined realities together.

The book ends with the author’s prediction of even better humans emerging in our world, thanks to technology.

“Evolution didn’t stop with Homo sapiens — there is still a long way to go.”

This book provides a concise overview of mankind’s history.

These Books Are So Good — You Won’t Be Able to Put Them Down (Seriously, Prepare to Be Hooked)

The reality of money.

In this book, the author informs us about the reality of the Federal Reserve, the central banking system of the US.

“People who will not turn a shovel full of dirt on the project nor contribute a pound of materials will collect more money…than will the people who will supply all the materials and do all the work.”

He calls into question the actions of the Federal Reserve. It promotes usury, taxation, war, and unfair distribution of money, all the while filling the pockets of the elites.

“…open taxes at some level serve to perpetuate public ignorance which is essential to the success of the scheme.”

The author criticizes the use of fiat money and the havoc it creates on the economy.

He also discusses the global effects of the Federal Reserve through its coalition with the World Bank and IMF.

This book is the exposé that we all deserve to know about.

These Books Are So Good — You Won’t Be Able to Put Them Down (Seriously, Prepare to Be Hooked)

What happened to Jean McConville?

This book covers ‘The Troubles’. It was a conflict that dominated Northern Ireland for 3 decades.

Largely between the state and the paramilitary groups, this conflict claimed many lives.

Using the various people who were the face of this conflict, Keefe traces the roots and the aftermath of this conflict.

“There is a concept in psychology called ‘moral injury,’ notion, distinct from the idea of trauma, that relates to the ways in which ex-soldiers make sense of the socially transgressive things they have done during wartime.”

He focuses on the abduction and the murder of Jean McConville by the Irish Republican Army (IRA).

The author writes about the personal experiences of people who were at the center of the bloody conflict. Many lives were lost, and many others disappeared.

“Outrage is conditioned not by the nature of the atrocity but by the affiliation of the victim and the perpetrator.”

This book will acquaint you with the reality of a violent nationalistic, and ethnic conflict.

These Books Are So Good — You Won’t Be Able to Put Them Down (Seriously, Prepare to Be Hooked)

What can we do to avoid a dystopian future?

AI is taking over. And it is no joke.

Once it is able to enhance itself, the growth will be unprecedented. And that will give rise to superintelligence. Superintelligence will surpass humans by leaps and bounds.

The author discusses the good, the bad, and the worst of superintelligence.

“An emulation operating at a speed of ten thousand times that of a biological brain would be able to read a book in a few seconds and write a PhD thesis in an afternoon.”

But that might not be good for us.

Imagine, if we tell AI to eradicate cancer and it responds by killing all humans with cancerous genes. Such a misunderstanding would be a nightmare.

We need to discuss issues like this today and now so that our future can be saved.

“Far from being the smartest possible biological species, we are probably better thought of as the stupidest possible biological species capable of starting a technological civilization…”

This book will inform you about the possible threat looming ahead.

These Books Are So Good — You Won’t Be Able to Put Them Down (Seriously, Prepare to Be Hooked)

Forget Dr. Alan Grant. Learn from a real paleontologist!

Steve Brusatte is a paleontologist. He has worked on many dinosaur fossils.

In this book, he uses his knowledge and experience to trace the footsteps of the dinosaurs, starting from their emergence to their dominance and eventually extinction.

“Feathers are nature’s ultimate Swiss Army knife, multipurpose tools that can be used for display, insulation, protection for eggs and babies, and of course, flight.”

He brings us many fascinating facts about dinosaurs.

For example, did you know that scientists have estimated the intelligence level of a T Rex? They have done this by using the encephalization quotient (EQ). It measures the relative size of the brain to the body.

Humans have an EQ of 7.5. Dolphins’ EQ is from 4.0 to 4.5. The EQ of chimps is around 2.5, whereas that of dogs and cats is around 1.0.

The EQ of T Rex is 2.0 to 2.4.

“…we can say that Rex was roughly as smart as a chimp and more intelligent than dogs and cats. That’s a whole lot smarter than the dinosaurs of stereotype.”

Through the book, we also meet many interesting people who have made significant contributions to the research and knowledge about dinosaurs.

These Books Are So Good — You Won’t Be Able to Put Them Down (Seriously, Prepare to Be Hooked)

A crash course in human anatomy.

If Bill Bryson was a science teacher, I would never skip his class.

Bryson takes us through the organs and systems of the human body from the head to our toes. He shares the information in a humorous way.

“This is a planet of microbes. We are here at their pleasure.”

The author tells us that every time we breathe, we exhale 25 sextillion (that’s 2.5 × 1022) molecules of oxygen. In a day, we might even inhale at least one molecule of oxygen from the breath of every person ever alive.

Similarly, others would breathe the oxygen molecules that you did.

“At the atomic level, we are in a sense eternal.”

Why can’t we tickle ourselves?

This is because the brain tells us how something must feel along with how it feels. We like the touch of our loved ones, but the touch of a stranger just feels wrong.

“An interesting thing about touch is that the brain doesn’t just tell you how something feels, but how it ought to feel.”

This book will teach you a lot about the human body with solid resources and humor that you won’t forget.

These Books Are So Good — You Won’t Be Able to Put Them Down (Seriously, Prepare to Be Hooked)

A man awfully wronged.

Pamela Newkirk is a journalist and a professor of journalism.

In this book, she discusses the life story of a man who was wronged. He was wronged so deeply that it ended with his suicide.

“We cannot know exactly what Benga felt, but research on the psychological trauma associated with shame suggests that it is not substantially different from the effects of physical torture.”

Ota Benga was taken from the Free Congo State in Africa during the reign of King Leopold 2. He was bought and taken to America.

Here, he was exhibited at St Louis World’s Fair of 1904, and later put on display at Bronx Zoo in 1906.

The author calls into question his treatment by those who brought him and those who displayed him. In the wake of him being displayed in the monkey house as a savage, there was strong outrage from the African-American community.

Ultimately the display ended and Ota Benga was given in the care of Reverend James H Gordon.

At the time of World War 1, Benga was making preparations to return to Africa. War made that impossible. This led him to take his own life.

These Books Are So Good — You Won’t Be Able to Put Them Down (Seriously, Prepare to Be Hooked)

Understanding cancer!

The author calls cancer cells, ‘organized chromosomal chaos.’

What is cancer? That is precisely what this book answers in great detail.

Each of our healthy cells responds to growth inhibition signals. That means when they get the signal to stop multiplying they do so. However, if mutations happen, they can leave cells unable to respond to the signal.

“Cancer’s life is a recapitulation of the body’s life, its existence a pathological mirror of our own.”

This unchecked division of cells can lead to cancer. And cancer is an ‘expansionist disease’. It migrates from one organ to the other.

Siddhartha Mukherjee is an oncologist. We also meet his patients. We read stories of hope, loss, and survival.

A heartwarming story is that of one of his patients with multiple myeloma (bone marrow cancer). That patient asked Mukherjee if he would be alive to see his daughter graduate from high school.

Five years later, he attended his daughter’s college graduation. He was also a baseball coach for his son’s team.

“All cancers are alike but they are alike in a unique way.”

This book discusses the history, research, and treatment of cancer.


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If you enjoyed these book recommendations, check out the rest of my book lists on my blog-

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