My name is Alin and welcome to my channel. Today I am going to talk about six books that I read in March and April, this will be my second wrap up video. So let’s do this.
Good Omens by Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett
- The first book that I am going to talk about today is Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett and I have to say I never read any book by these two authors. I’ve only listened to a speech that Neil Gaiman delivered at Harvard or Stanford and that’s about it.. the speech was funny though.
- the book was fun as well, I did not expect to enjoy it that much. I haven’t seen the Good Omens series yet but I would love to watch them now to see the differences. So the books is about the end of the world, and A.J Crowley’s mission to prepare the Antichrist (a boy named Adam Young) for the Apocalypse.
- Crowley is not very sure about wanting to participate in this, and he is not involved in preparing Adam for the ultimate war of humanity and Adam develops as a normal boy. But this does not help him to stop the Armageddon from happening, so Crowley and the angel Aziraphale need to find some ways to prevent this, and this will be a race against the clock. In conclusion, the book is easy to read, I really loved all the characters portrayed, especially Crowley and Aziraphale. I would give this book five stars out five, I really loved it.
Up From Slavery by Booker T. Washington
- Another book that I read was Up from Slavery by Booker T Washington which is an inspirational autobiography and it describes the journey from being a slave on a plantation in Virginia to become an important educator, public speaker and writer – there are few important things that Booker T. Washington emphasizes in throughout the book: the cult of working, the importance of education, the importance of having role models and keeping yourself clean
- What is impressive about Booker T Washington is the fact he fought for the education of Afro-Americans and his school at Tuskegee is a proof of his commitment to education, he believed that if he can do this, others can do it as well
- I would give this book three stars out of five because sometimes I felt that there are too many insignificant details.
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
- Another book that I read was the Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood and this might come as a surprise for you guys, I have to say this book was a disappointment because I did not feel I was being part of the story – maybe it was because I read the book on my way to work, so I was reading it on the tram and wasn’t focused enough.
- So the book tells the story of a handmaid called Offred who lives under a totalitarian regime and her only purpose is to bear children, but the state can’t control everything, so things don’t go as expected
- When I was reading the I always felt the story stagnates because there are too many descriptions which are going nowhere – At one moment, when she discovered that inscription in pseudo-Latin: Nolite te Bastardes Carborundorum, I thought the story gets more interesting, something will happen but I was disappointed again – so, in conclusion, i would give this book two stars out of five, and I am generous – but I promise I will read it again or I will watch the series, maybe I will have a different perspective.
The Myth of Sisyphus by Albert Camus
- The Myth of Sisyphus is a philosophical essay about the problem of suicide and if this type of action is legitimate or not . Camus believes that even in a world without a God, an absurd world, suicide is not a legitimate option. I want to say that Camus starts with a really good hook his essay:‘There is but one truly serious philosophical problem, and that is suicide.’
- At the same time, I felt that some parts of the essay were added there just to fill the blank space – otherwise, there are lots of interesting ideas about how we think about life, meaning and suicide – Camus observes that the absurdity of the modern world was captured by the writers and philosophers of the 19th and 20th century, figures like Dostoyevsky, Kierkegaard, Heidegger and so on.
- The French writer suggests that we should look at Sisyphus, the absurd hero when we think about the absurdity of the modern world and suicide. There we can find a happy man, even if he is doing a repetitive and absurd thing, by raising that rock, again and again, Sisyphus still believes he has some sort of purpose
- So, in conclusion, what Camus is suggesting that even if life disappoints us and becomes absurd, and we don’t have anything to live for, we shouldn’t resort to suicide, that’s not a solution – it is definitely a book worth reading if you have an interest in philosophy and, I have to say, in this very serious essay, Camus has time to be funny as well
The End of Epidemics by Jonathon D. Quick
- Because we’re going through these times, I said to myself I have to read a book about pandemics and I got this book written by Jonathon Quick, who is a physician and a professor at Duke University,
- So the book talks about the threat of epidemics and how we can solve these problems. In the first part of the book Jonathon Quick provides 7 ways that states and governments can reduce these threats: 1) bold leadership at all levels; 2) building resilient health systems, 3) 3 lines of defence: prevention, detection and response; 4) timely and accurate communication; 5) investing in smart innovation; 6) spending wisely before epidemics erupt; 7) mobilising civil activism
- There is a lot of talk in this book about where viruses appear and what makes viruses spread fast. The author observes that there is a high risk of getting viruses from animal farms, where animals are bred for meat (that’s how swine flu, bird flu, mad cow disease appeared). He points out as well, that the spread of viruses is faster today because of climate change and deforestation.
- In conclusion, Dr Quick suggests that to become better at fighting epidemics we have to develop new vaccines and fast tests, global early warning systems, genetic mapping of viral threats and mosquito control – so if you want to have a better understanding about what is happening today with the coronavirus pandemic, get this book.
Sapiens: A Brief History of Mankind by Yuval Noah Harari
- So before reading this A Brief History of Mankind by Yuval Harari, I heard mixed opinions about it and that’s why I decided to read it – I don’t think this book will impress people who are historians or have studied history but I think there are some interesting ideas that you can find in this book – another good thing about it is that the author doesn’t add lots of dates and events to overwhelm the reader with their historical knowledge
- So from the first chapter of the book, you will understand why this book is popular with Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and others, it’s because of his constant references to entrepreneurs and businesses (imagined orders as he likes to call them) – an imagined order can be a religion, business democracy and so on
- So the book looks at how three revolutions have impacted the development of human civilization: the cognitive revolution, the agricultural revolution and the scientific revolution –
- In his opinion, the agricultural revolution was a ‘fraud’ because farmers were working more than before and the people who continued to hunt, they were fed better – as I said there are some interesting things to say about some different historical events and about the contemporary period but nothing that would impress a historian – overall, the book is interesting to read but if you’re interested to read a short history of the world, I would recommend other books, like Gombrich’s Short History of the World. I would give the book 3 stars out of 5.
That’s the end of my reading wrap up if you enjoyed this video don’t forget to hit that like button, add a comment and subscribe to my channel to see new videos every week.