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Challenging

The Language Instinct (by Steven Pinker)

I had heard a lot about Steven Pinker, so when I saw one of his books, I didn’t think twice before buying it. He’s a professor of psychology at Harvard University and there’s a very long Wikipedia page about him. In this book, he speaks about the topic of language. He’s not a linguist, but a cognitive scientist, which means he focuses on how the brain processes and creates language. Can it get any more interesting than this? As someone who is passionate about understanding… Read More »The Language Instinct (by Steven Pinker)

Start With Why (by Simon Sinek)

It’s amazing how such a simple concept can be so powerful, thought-provoking, and inspiring. The idea is that most successful leaders and organizations have one thing in common: they all start with “why”. This is another book, like “Eat That Frog“, that I started reading many years ago when I was running my own business but never finished. So, I took the opportunity to finally finish reading it. I bought the book because I had watched the TED talk (which now has over 60 million… Read More »Start With Why (by Simon Sinek)

1982-2022 Book Challenge: Complete!

As I was turning 40 this year, I decided to mark the occasion with a special reading challenge: to read a book published in each year of my life, between 1982 and 2022. As someone who loves to read and the freedom it provides for my mind to explore new ideas and places, I was super excited to see what this challenge would bring. As I embarked on my reading journey, I discovered a lot about my own tastes and preferences. I read a mix… Read More »1982-2022 Book Challenge: Complete!

The Unbearable Lightness of Being (by Milan Kundera)

This is a toughie. While I definitely loved the poetic title and the style of alternating fiction with non-fiction, I found the plot challenging to follow. It’s not a typical plotline, it’s non-chronological and non-linear. You need to be fully immersed in the book to understand its structure, otherwise you easily get lost. At some point, I even felt overwhelmed and almost guilty that I was not dedicating to it the right amount of effort. There’s lots of deep philosophy in it that triggered many… Read More »The Unbearable Lightness of Being (by Milan Kundera)

The Mind in the Cave (by David Lewis-Williams)

What is art? The word art is used today to describe a wide variety of things from prehistoric cave paintings to those apparently nonsensical installations you find in modern galleries. Music and literature are also art but here we’re going to consider visual art only. Is visual art made to be looked at? Is it made for spiritual purposes? Is it made just as a creative outlet? Does art have as many meanings as the artists who make it? Should art be beautiful or just… Read More »The Mind in the Cave (by David Lewis-Williams)

Sapiens

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind (by Yuval Noah Harari)

I was really looking forward to reading this book and I had high expectations given that there had been a lot of hype around it. Not only did it not disappoint, but it also even exceeded my expectations. The author, Yuval Noah Harari, is simply a genius. He’s a university professor of history in Israel, so the book is written by somebody who has qualified knowledge. He has made an entire course about the history of humankind too which is available for free on YouTube.… Read More »Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind (by Yuval Noah Harari)

A Wartime Memoir: Hungary 1944-1945 (by Alaine Polcz)

This is an autobiographical and historical account of the terrible experiences that the author went through during the Second World War in Hungary. It’s narrated in retrospective which I particularly appreciated as I could get to know the author’s thoughts from a point of view after the fact as well. It’s a raw, sad and often overwhelming read. It was difficult not to pause every few pages to take a break, breath and reflect on how horrifying war is. At a certain point, when I… Read More »A Wartime Memoir: Hungary 1944-1945 (by Alaine Polcz)

Opium – Selected Stories (by Géza Csáth)

This collection of stories was written between 1905 and 1912 and explores some of the darkest sides of human life. The author, Géza Csáth, was born in Hungary at the end of the 19th century. Amongst other things, he was a short-story writer with a short life – he died when he was just 31 years old, shortly after the end of the Austro-Hungarian empire and after escaping from a psychiatric hospital. I’ve read that he had developed an addiction to morphine to deal with… Read More »Opium – Selected Stories (by Géza Csáth)

The Feeling of What Happens

The Feeling of What Happens

This book was, for me, revolutionary and revelatory as it significantly contributed to helping my quest for something I had been keeping asking myself for a very long period of time – who are we? Many self-help books out there say that we are our awareness – the ability to observe our body and what happens within it, including our thoughts and emotions. Thoughts and emotions are just products of our minds. Let’s explain this concept by adopting the opposite approach as these books do:… Read More »The Feeling of What Happens

A short history of nearly everything

A Short History of Nearly Everything

What a journey I’ve been on! In less than 600 pages, I’ve fast-forwarded through the history of the world and of the human species, from the Big Bang to our recent days through most areas of science. This ambitious masterpiece was very informative and written in a conversational style. In fact, I felt like I was sitting in an armchair, by the crackling fire, with a glass of red wine in hand, in the company of a very knowledgeable friend who was explaining to me… Read More »A Short History of Nearly Everything