What to Read: April

Margaret Fuller noted that a person can be “today a reader, tomorrow a leader”, and we tend to agree with the sentiment.  Christian Benedict is keen to help you avoid wasting time on mundane tasks so that you can spend it productively and on pastimes you enjoy.  We would suggest that reading more fulfills both those aims.  Whether you would like to take up reading before bed or better spend your time commuting to and from work (apparently the average round trip commute was 57.1 minutes in 2015), we thought we should give you a helping hand.   As such, we’ve put together a series of posts that highlight some of the better reading material currently on the market.  So put down your smart phone and pick up one or two of these books:

Informative

Sapiens – A Brief History of Humankind

by Yuval Noah Harari

Written in ‘unforgettably vivid language’, Sapiens explores humankind’s extraordinary history – from the Stone Age to the Silicon Age – and our journey from insignificant apes to rulers of the world.  The book considers how different factors have shaped human society and the environment in which it exists.  In so doing it has certainly gained popularity becoming a current UK bestseller.  One to read this spring.

Fiction

1984

by George Orwell

This dystopian classic was written in 1948 (the title stems from the reversal of that year’s last two digits) and is one of Orwell’s finest achievements.  It is also one of his great warnings against the threat of totalitarianism.  Follow Winston Smith as he rebels against Big Brother by embarking on a love affair with a co-worker, and pays a horrific price for doing so.

Biography

When Breath Becomes Air

By Paul Kalanithi

At the age of thirty-six, on the verge of completing a decade’s training as a neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer. When Breath Becomes Air chronicles Kalanithi’s transformation from a medical student to neurosurgeon to, finally, a patient and a new father. This book is both engaging and insightful in its observations.  A moving exploration of what makes life worth living.

Classic

Don Quixote

By Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

The story of Don Quixote is such a classic that it is referenced by other classics (including The Three Musketeers, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Cyrano de Bergerac, among others).  The book follows the misadventures of the eponymous hero of the novel, who prefers to see and experience the world as though he were a chivalric knight, and not a normal, everyday gent. Read this for amusement.  Read it in the original the Spanish for kudos.

Magazine

The Economist

If a paperback isn’t for you, then perhaps you’d prefer a magazine?  In this post we’re recommending you give the Economist a go.  The magazine ‘offers authoritative insight and opinion on international news, politics, business, finance, science, technology and the connections between them”.  Among others, its readers include Bill Gates, who finds the time to read it cover to cover weekly. Read it and you will be one of the best informed people you know (as well as probably slightly neo-liberal).

Thanks again for taking the time to read this post.  Now read a book.

All the best,

CB