I had another fantastic month of reading this time around.

For last months update, please go here.

I had a couple of weeks to myself having moved back to Chennai this time around and that opened up time for more focused reading, I finally finished a book that I’ve been ‘reading’ for the past 3 years

I read 9 books in April.

The books I read were:

  • Origin of Species - Charles Darwin

This was a fantastic read. What’s amazing about this book is Darwins
i. Masked denial of his theory
ii. Incredible logical jumps to explain phenomena
iii. Willingness to admit that while he may be able to explain why some things happen, he might not be able to explain how they happen
iv. Level of detail
v. readiness to incorporate randomness as a means of explaining evolution

Sometimes incredibly dry and verbose. If you’re looking for a TL;DR, read Chapter 14, which is his own summary of the text.

  • The Early History of the Airplane - Orville and Wilbur Wright

A short read, but, it was amazing to see the industry and experimental capacity of two stalwarts.
An interesting read. It’s also interesting how smart and humble these 2 guys were, my favorite line from the book was :

After long arguments we often found ourselves in the ludicrous position of each having been converted to the other’s side, with no more agreement than when the discussion began.

Which takes some level of humility from all parties involved.

  • Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World - Cal Newport

I wrote a seperate post after reading this book. Please do go to this link to read more!

  • Man’s Search for Meaning — Viktor E. Frankl

I read this book a long time ago and never got around to re-reading it. I first learnt about this book through another book called Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.

It took me some time to get back to it, but, this re-read had a completely different effect to the one I had last time. In some sense, I was a little wet behind the years and without reasonable experiences when I had read it the last time.

This time however, I think I’ve experienced more life and as a result, my ability to empathize and relate has grown. Granted, no experience can come close to the harshness of the what Frankl endured, but, it has brought me closer than I was before.

A must read.

  • The Modi Effect - Inside Narendra Modi’s Campaign To Transform India  — Lance Price

I’ve had this book around me since when it was published but, I never read it. This time with the elections looming, I decided to give it a read. Modi is one of the most polarizing figures in Indian political history.

It incredible how relevant and current he always is, everywhere I go, whoever I meet, a common topic of discussion (which I do not enjoy, I tend to avoid politics for discussion) is always Modi.
It was interesting to read about the mans focus and temerity while running the previous campaign, some of which I was not aware of. No wonder he is where he is at the moment.

  • Letters to a Young Contrarian — Christopher Hitchens

Disgustingly good read. Wish I’d read this a long time ago. Read it on what would’ve been this absolute legends’ 70th birthday. Going to re-read this as many times as I can.

Hitchens dives deep on far too many topics to list here in different letters addressed to the reader. Lovely personal anecdotes and a plethora of book recommendations.

  • A Universe from Nothing : Why There Is Something Rather Than Nothing — Lawrence M. Krauss

A book on physics, astronomy, cosmology bookended on either side by the authors discussion on philosophy and creation. Engaging read, quite informative, sometimes presumptive of audience.

  • Moonwalking with Einstein — Joshua Foer

The last book I read in April. This one is about Memory, rather, the art of remembering everything, if not everything, as much as you can, and not necessarily useful stuff.

The author is a journalist who on being intrigued by a memory challenge event explores the past and present world of memory. He interviews some interesting people through the book and the author himself turns out to be quite a character towards the end.

An interesting overview with a slightly distinct take on what constitutes memory, how it works and why it matters in the modern world.

  • The Wealth of Nations — Adam Smith

This book took me 3 years to get through. It requires good chunks of concerted time and effort to fully appreciate. I’ve dropped it 4 times in the past and really needed to get over the hump. I’d read chapters here and there from time to time, but, this time I did it right.

One of the greatest economics books ever written, not that I needed to tell you that, everyone knows that. To me, the feat was, just reading the book, I knew it would be valuable.

Do follow my Goodreads for more regular updates on my reading.

Thank you for reading what I’m reading

Sainath