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3 weeks ago

Books I Read In June 2022

I read much less in June than in previous months this year. But at least one of the two books I finished was amazing.

I’m moving soon. That means a lot of my reading time was taken up with far less entertaining things than books full of stories and poetry and big ideas. Also, there was about 200 hours of Stranger Things to watch as well!

Anyway, enough with the excuses. Here’s my short reading list for June.

The Power of Fun: How to Feel Alive Again by Catherine Price

The basic premise of this book is that we’d all be better off prioritising fun in our lives rather than happiness, productivity, focus, or any of the other remedies suggested by self-help and productivity books for our current, digital-technology-fuelled, emotional malaise. It’s a good theory. Unfortunately, you have to embark on a very long, very slow, very drawn out journey through every self-help and productivity idea you’ve already read and forgotten about to get to the juicy new insights. And when you get to the practical suggestions, you end up feeling like the only way to be sure you’re having fun is to build spreadsheets and checklists to monitor your progress. An odd and frustrating book with lots of good ideas but one which leaves you hoping for a revised, much shorter version of the same material.

When We Cease to Understand the World by Benjamin Labatut (trans Adrian Nathan West)

This is a history of science. Sort of. It tells true stories about 20th-century scientific breakthroughs in the same way biopics tell the story of famous musicians. All the important details are there, but the personal dramas are elaborated upon like works of good fiction. The result is a fascinating treatise on the nature of imagination and insight and the role that political forces and conflicts play in shaping scientific discovery. Nothing happens in isolation, least of all moments of genius. An odd but compelling book.

Other Books I’ve Read In 2022

Rather than use some other app or service I’ve chosen to collect all my reading here on the blog from now on. You can see my reading lists from other months here.
Books I Read In May 2022
Books I Read In April 2022
Books I Read In March 2022
Books I Read In February 2022
Books I Read In January 2022

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