Books I Read in 2021

Let’s face it, this blog has been pretty much dead for a minute but I have been very busy learning and creating so I have decided to share some of the stuff I find myself doing. Im going to start with the following…

In 2021 I set out on a mission to read more books and learn more things about the world and myself. That journey brought me an interesting array of books that have taught me many things and opened my eyes to new developments and different sides of stories I thought I already knew as well as educated me entirely on topics totally outside my wheelhouse.

I mostly stuck to non-fiction and historical books with some breaks from the norm or books that peaked my interest when I saw them. The books I read are as follows:

The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene

I quite enjoyed this book though I’m not sure how applicable it is to me, it did detail some interesting little tidbits that I will take on with me through life. It is also a very dense book that I will likely read again at some point, if you fade off or are distracted even for a minute you can miss the very lesson you are being taught. After a read through it seems like it would be the perfect book to open up to a single law, specific or random, and read through it to get a little refresher.

A People’s History of Computing in the United States by Joy Lisi Rankin

I read this book along with How the Internet Happened (below) and together they were quite interesting, this books gives quite an interesting view of the development of computing in a wide range of different locations in the US and how they developed the ground work for the incredible computers we stick in our pockets and carry around in our backpacks today.

Blitzed Drugs in the Third Reich by Norman Ohler

For me this book was not so much about the history but more about the kind of chaos that was going on in the nazi party while Hitler became increasingly dependent on drugs. It was an interesting and informative read.

Entangled Life How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds & Shape Our Futures by Merlin Sheldrake

The Harvard Psychedelic Club lead me right into this book which is not so much about psychedelics but more about the amazingness of mushrooms, how they grow and live together with their environment, the kind of cooperation that they partake in to help the organisms around them, what we as humans have discovered about them and what we can do with them. It was a wildly informative and interesting book.

The Harvard Psychedelic Club How Timothy Leary, Ram Dass, Huston Smith, and Andrew Weil Killed the Fifties and Ushered in a New Age for America by Don Lattin

This was a book I just read on a whim. When I was younger I read The Electric Koolaid Acid Test and enjoyed it. This book was an interesting tour through Leary, Sass, Smith, and Weil’s time learning about psychedelics at Harvard and how that sent them in different directions in life. Less of a historical read and more of a fun read for me. It does get me interested in Becoming Nobody, maybe in 2022

How the Internet Happened by Brian McCullough

This books seemed like the natural next book after reading A People’s History of Computing in the United States. It brings us through the very early days of the internet when it was meant as a means of communications for scientist and academics, walking us right through some of the biggest developments such as search engines, social media, all in one stops for managing your data, and more.

Lifespan: Why we age and why we don’t have to by David A. Sinclair PhD, Matthew D. LaPlante

I have seen/listened to David on a number of occasions in different places, the most recent of which was on Whitney Cummings podcast Good For You. After that interview I decided I should read his book. It was really quite a fascinating look at aging and the research that is going into it. After I read it I started taking a few new supplements and while I can’t attribute anything in particular to them I do feel better on average than I did before.

The Madness of Crowds Gender, Race and Identity by Douglas Murray

I was drawn to this book given the increasing wokeness and counter wokeness cultures emerging here in the US. It detailed a few incidents and talked about them in context of history. Quite an interesting book to read.

Miracle Workers on the millionth day… god quit by Simon Rich

This was a pure flight of fancy for me, I happened upon the television show and enjoyed it enough to read the book and it was a great read.

The New One Minute Manager by Ken Blanchard, Spencer Johnson

This was a book I picked up upon a job change and a suggestion from my cousin who had just read it. It was a useful book and is work a revisit from time to time.

Taliban: Islam, Oil, and the Great New Game in Central Asia by Ahmed Rashid

This was a great book but, for me anyway, it was a bit over my head. It explained a lot of regional conflict, issues, and history in detail using the names of many people, cities, regions, etc. I felt like my lack of previous knowledge did me a bit of a disservice while reading this book. So this year I plan to learn more about the the regions history and then maybe revisit this book.

The Third Chimpanzee The Evolution and Future of the Human Animal by Jared Diamond

Not the first Diamond book I read and it won’t be the last. This was quite an interesting book, not much more to say about it, if you have an interest in this topic or like any of his other books I highly suggest this one.

Rabid A Cultural History of the World’s Most Diabolical Virus by Bill Wasik, Monica Murphy

This I read right on the tail of The Worm at the Core because it felt to me like kind of an interesting look at what freaks us out about disease and how we have handled what we considered to be a kind of zombie virus throughout the ages of mankind. This book also has quite an interesting account of the creation of not only the rabies vaccine but others as well.

The Worm at the Core On the Role of Death in Life by Jeff Greenberg, Sheldon Solomon, Tom Pyszczynski

I was drawn to this book because of the topic it tackles, what is it about death that motivates us to do… anything? A great book with interesting insights that I will defiantly revisit at some point.