Monday, March 14, 2022

Reading in 2021


Wave after wave of the pandemic hit us this past year, and made it yet another great year for reading. Here are some notable ones from my reading list in 2021.

The book club at work was active this year, which resulted in me reading a lot of fiction that I wouldn't have picked myself. 

And here are the novels that I happened to pick myself. Especially liked the first two in this list.
A friend whose taste in reading I really appreciate gifted this collection of science fiction short stories. Most of them blew my mind away.
Over the last few years I've been trying to include at least one book in my mother tongue. This year Ii managed to read two, and coincidentally by arguably the greatest father-son combo in the history of literature. 
And here's the long list of non-fiction titles I managed to get through this year. 

  • Empires of the Word: A Language History of the World - Nicholas Ostler
  • Seven and a Half Lessons About the Brain - Lisa Feldman
  • The Bitcoin Standard - Saifedean Ammous
  • The Journalist and the Murderer: Janet Malcolm
  • Nine Lives: In Search of the Sacred in Modern India - William Dalrymple
  • The New Climate War - Michael E. Mann
  • Going to Pieces Without Falling Apart: A Buddhist Perspective on Wholeness - Mark Epstein
  • Permanent Record - Edward Snowden
  • Reality Is Not What It Seems: The Journey to Quantum Gravity - Carlo Rovelli
  • Atomic Habits - James Clear
  • Man's Search for Meaning - Victor Frankl
  • The Lonely Century - Noreen Hertz
  • 4000 weeks: Time Management for Mortals 
  • The Bronzeback

    Watching Bronzeback Tree Snakes is like watching magicians at work. Their near-perfect camouflage makes it almost impossible to spot them when they are up on a tree, especially if they are not moving. I’ve been finding their moulted skin regularly around our house, sometimes several of them together, which tells me we are surrounded by them. Yet I’ve only managed to see them clearly only once or twice, and that too when they were down on the ground. If you are lucky to spot them before they spot you back, you get to follow them as they try to look for cover. And this is when they perform their special trick. They rise up, in a gravity-defying way, reach out to the lowest hanging branch and lift themselves up into the foliage. If your luck continues you will see a gently progressing wave of shaking leaves as the snake travels - or is it “surf - in the foliage. When the wave stops, you inspect the general area and you might find the snake come to rest on a twig, motionless, fully trusting its own camouflage.

    Today happened to be a lottery-winning kinda day, because I managed to trace one of these snakes over two trees before it came to rest. The lucky bit was that I also happened to have my camera in my hand. The snake let me take a half dozen pictures before it realised its cover was blown. Like the consummate superhero, it promptly put on its invisibility cloak and disappeared into the foliage.