Rob’s Summer Reads 2019

This is a roundup of the books I’m reading over the summer of 2019. Enjoy and let me know what you think and please feel free to recommend books you think I should read and let me know what you think of the books on my list. So without further ado lets get into it:

For my birthday this year I asked mostly for book vouchers and one of the books that came out of that voucher was I, Robot. I have all read about how prolific a writer Issac Asimov was, a quick look at his Wikipedia and can pull out a pretty astounding number of works ,’ Asimov wrote or edited more than 500 books and an estimated 90,000 letters and postcards’. As a voracious reader it seemed almost wrong to not have read anything by him. Not only was he a prolific writer he was also  professor of biochemistry at Boston University. Asimov lived from 1920 he died in New York City in 1992.

I, Robot is the title of a 1950 novel , it consist of a collection of short stories all bound together by the pretense that they are being told for an interview with the elderly, successful robopsychologist Susan Calvin in the year 2052. Each story is about a different robot and each story contains the themes of morality, humanity and technology. The story stems from the early stages of robotic development in the year 1998 to a full-robot related government in 2052.

Asimov’s I, Robot is known in the Sci-fi community for the Laws of Robotics:

1 – A robot may not injure a human being, or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.

2 – A robot must obey the orders given to it by it’s human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.

3 – A robot must protect its existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

These Laws then play an important foundation throughout each story being told by Susan Calvin and each is a tale of some aberrant behaviour that a robot was experiencing.

Rating: 4/5. Great read, highly recommend.

I bought Albert Camus’s ‘The Outsider’ from a charity book sale for Temple street Children’s Hospital, hence the crease in the photo above. I wasn’t sure that I was going to like Camus style of writing nor did I think his take on “existentialism”, something of a label that Camus rejected, resonate with me. Boy was I wrong, I loved reading this book which also helped me with my writing own style.

Spoilers ahead:

The Outsider is a 1942 novel that see the events of Meursault who learns of the death of his mother. Meursault travels to the nursing home that she had passed in, At her funeral, he expresses none of the expected emotions of grief. When asked if he wishes to view the body he declines. What is stranger still is Meursault starts a sexual relationship the day after his mother passes. Events lead Meursault to finding himself behind bars for committing murder, never commenting the events to the reader about how he felt other than the fact that he was too hot. After his subsequent trail Meursault finds a final happiness in his indifference towards the world and the lack of meaning he sees in everyone and everything.

Rating: 4/5.Another great read, I would recommend, I feel not everyone is going to like this style of writing or type of book. You won’t know until you give it ago.

I borrowed this book from the library, I actually read a few books this summer after checking them out of the library. I enjoyed this one so much that I put this on this ever slow growing list of summer reads.

Live work work work die by Cory Pein, explores Silicon Valleys tech culture from the inside. One of the reasons that I found this book so un-put-downable (is that a word?) is that this books scathing book examines one of the most unequal society in the developed world. The practices there seem to reflect agendas that are being pushed globally around the world. The book is a well written examination of the costs to achieving the impossible.

Rating: 3/5 Well put together, an enjoyable read.

This book was recommend to me in my first year politics class. I skimmed the book at the time because in a bid to make us read the book he put it in an exam. I was in a charity shop and came across The Spirit level and had to buy it and give it a proper read. I was not disappointed, this book is probably one of the most important book on the effects of inequality.

Excerpt from Goodreads:

A groundbreaking work on the root cause of our ills, which is changing the way politicians think. Why do we mistrust people more in the UK than in Japan? Why do Americans have higher rates of teenage pregnancy than the French? What makes the Swedish thinner than the Greeks? The answer: inequality. This groundbreaking book, based on years of research, provides hard evidence to show how almost everything—-from life expectancy to depression levels, violence to illiteracy-—is affected not by how wealthy a society is, but how equal it is. Urgent, provocative and genuinely uplifting, The Spirit Level has been heralded as providing a new way of thinking about ourselves and our communities, and could change the way you see the world.

Rating:5/5 Well researched and easy to read.

I bought Fight Club for my birthday from gift vouchers, Fight Club was a recommended reading from a guy from college in 2014. Fight Clubs follows a depressed man suffering from insomnia meets a strange soap salesman named Tyler Durden and soon finds himself living in his squalid house after his perfect apartment is destroyed.

It follows the experiences of an unnamed protagonist struggling with insomnia. Inspired by his doctor’s exasperated remark that insomnia is not suffering, the protagonist finds relief by impersonating a seriously ill person in several support groups .

Rating:5/5 If you thought the movie was great read the book.