My reading list 2018 curation #1

Thoughtfully curated for you, dearest “eager young minds” …

— John Nash, A Beautiful Mind

More than a mere list of random jumbles I’ve read/watched in 2018, including some on my list next year (as a slow eater, it takes a while for me to swallow a large piece of intellectual/ aesthetic meat).

  • The sequence of this list is completely randomised.

Nonfiction: just started exploring this genre of books and I found them so enriching and thought-provoking!

What Love Is and What it could be by philosopher Carrie Jenkins *Audiobook available

Why this book: spurred by personal experience, curious about “what love is and what it could be”, interested in a philosophical take on the theory of love (or is there one?)

Layman-friendliness: ****

Motivated by personal experience, Jenkins curated her own research and thoughts on the meaning, origin, components and purpose of love in this explorative book, in order to justify polyamorous relationships in today’s day and age yet venturing far beyond this purpose. Romantic love, with the rise of social media, is increasingly recognised as having both biological and social components; however, the true importance of the social role love plays is often overshadowed by its presumed biological foundations.

Incognito: the secret lives of the brain by David Eagleman *Audiobook, ebook available

Why this book: a captivating read about neuroscience and how the internal wirings of your subconscious brain affects your daily decision making and perception of the world! 

Layman-friendliness: *****

Fully stuffed with fun examples and the hottest research, topped with Prof Eagleman’s unique sense of humour! This sweet cake of neuroscience is served in bite-size pieces, perfect for your everyday commute!

Very Short Introduction: Philosophy of Science

This will make you smarter *tbc 2019

See my post on 24th September 2018 😉

Layman-friendliness: ****

Object-oriented Ontology (OOO) by Graham Harman *tbc 2019

Why this book: Object-oriented ontology, OOO for short, is a newly-emergent field of philosophy coined by the speculative philosopher Graham Harman in 1999. The school of thought, as a subset of speculative realism, overturns the superiority of human existence over that of nonhuman objects.

Layman-friendliness: ***

Just started flipping through the first couple of chapters. The language is layman-friendly, perhaps due to which the philosophical rigour of some illustrative examples is compromised. But on second thought, the analogous use of human or socially-constructed entities to explain natural phenomena embodies OOO precisely. The whole concept may taste raw and be hard to chew, but is undoubtedly an eye-opener to a 21st century “theory of everything”. However, I recommend “Speculative Everything” more highly as a guide to the larger realm of speculative realism. *tbc 2019

Campbell Biology 10th edition

Why this book: a scary brick with dialectic and drab technical contents? The Bible of all biologists would prove the direct opposite of its first impression. 

Layman-friendliness: ***

Elegantly designed diagrams, intriguing examples, captivating articulation … You would not fall asleep reading it (if you are highlighting things, taking notes, and keeping to the time limit of one hour). If you are using it as a textbook, try the exercises and review questions, and the Pearson online cumulative tests: the former two can be a good challenge, but the latter are a confidence booster.

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