Driven to Distraction (***) 324p One of the seminal texts on ADHD with great input on adult ADHD, child ADHD on biology and techniques of how to deal with it as well as the information on the history and the many types of ADHD. A slow read but a good book to learn about the issue.
A Primer in Ecology (****) 190p A Short book on computational ecology, a great book for economist as it outlines the same forces that impact economies and corporations but also give some mathematical models that can be applied to markets. Goes into predation, resources, birth, death, species richness and how they all impact and ways to predict how species change in an area.
A Journal of the Plague Year, written by a citizen who continued all the while in London -Daniel Dafoe (****) 400p Daniel Dafoe is known for his novel Robinson Crusoe. But I enjoyed this non-fiction. Really calms one’s nerves to see how people lived through the plague before, and one where 20,000 people were dying a day, in a single city. Surprisingly, besides the vaccine, not much was different. They had quarantine, they had lockdowns and they had people who didn’t listen to the lockdown. There were scams and rich people fleeing for the hills. People were losing their business and losing family members and everyone was afraid of each other. Dafoe really goes into every possible group and nuance of living through the plague even how people act when they get tired of the plague.
Collected Works of Kafka (****) Each story by Kafka, even if 15 pages is a look into the modern human. The human who is callous, self absorbed and yet sensitive. The humans who seek attention from others and kindness but cannot bear to give it to others. Metamorphosis is the ultimate story of these failed human emotions in the modern world. The story of a man who becomes a cockroach, but to me, it is the HIV patient, the addict, the person that the modern family dare not tell the world about, who is dying in front of them and they fear showing kindness to the monster on the outside who is still their son and brother on the inside. The person knows it, but the family does not, and all they feel when the person dies, is not love or loss or grief, but relief.
Cochin Synagogue (52p) **** A book was given to me by a Jewish representative in Cochin. It was written in 1929 about the Cochin Jewish community by one of the representatives of the Jewish community who was the Jewish representative of India to Israel and was also a member of the Indian parliament. It was illuminating to learn about the pogroms by the Portuguese in the 1600s, the help to Jews by the Dutch, the help and good relations between Jews and the Rajas who gave land to Jews adjoining the royal palace. Also how Jews continued to read in Hebrew, had the Torah scroll and built in the local style but practiced the same Jewish holidays but with an Indian twist. It is a short book but is a treasure.
Don’t Leave Me! (240p)- Nicole Wilde **** We have a dog and it has some serious separation anxiety. I read this book in a day on how to train your dog, specifically for leaving home and leaving it alone. It is well researched, with great suggestions. It is written in an easy-to-follow manner with background, diagnosing, step-by-step training and tips and tricks with well-placed stories throughout the text as examples. Great book if you want to train a dog!
Predictably Irrational – Daniel Arieli (450p) **** I may have already read this book but it is always great to discover in Daniel Arieli’s writings. He is one of the best well-known behavioral economists, looking at how we actually interact in the economy. He looks at human nature, as we are, not as we should be according to the monetary system placed on us. Once you understand who we are and how we interact, our “irrationality” makes a lot of sense.
African Myths and Folk Tales- Carter Goodwin Woodson -(340p) **** When I was a kid, we had a book of African folk tales. I loved to lay on the bed and read stories. They were wild and from so far and yet they were so relevant with deep wisdom and life lessons. This book by Woodson was no different. But with 30 years of experience, I see the allegories and stories so much more interesting. Some of them are as imaginative as an LSD trip, like an Outerspace monster that eats children. Some explain the mundane in a funny way as just a way to answer a question that possibly some child had, like why people keep chickens. Some stories are practical like why men speak differently from women and why women get kids in a divorce. I love reading diverse stories from diverse authors as they truly expand our minds, and this book did not disappoint.
Designing Your Life (300p) **** Great book that I wish I read as an undergrad and maybe even in High School of how to find what I love, work at it and stick to it. But who knows, maybe I’d have a less colorful life. Maybe not. It’s a book that is not just about finding a passion, but to how to find again and again and find work in that field, how to find people who help you and you help in the design of life. It is Stanford professors who approach life with the approach of a startup product design: gauge the demand, gauge ability and gauge what gives you energy and passion and what you are able to do well in.