39. Read 52 Books in a Year (Part 4)

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Today marks the halfway point of my goal to read 52 books in a year!  I started this goal about 5 months ago, so I am ahead of schedule (Thank god for lengthy commutes and audiobooks!).  I’ve been digging into non-fiction subjects that interest me recently, instead of my go-to mystery or fiction novel:

23. Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil DeGrasse Tyson: 3 Stars
Three stars only because I still don’t understand Astrophysics…  I bought this audiobook because I find Neil DeGrasse Tyson so charming and, for someone science-illiterate like me, I thought this might be a good way to understand the basics of astrophysics.  Nope, still don’t understand.  I’ll try it again sometime. Maybe.

24. Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity by Katherine Boo: 4 Stars
I was assigned this for class, and I’m so glad.  I’ve read a few books in the narrative non-fiction style and they are almost always great.  Boo paints a realistic and un-patronizing portrait of the reality of a Mumbai slum on the outskirts of Mumbai.  Highly recommend.

25. Confessions of a Sociopath: A Life Spent Hiding in Plain Sight by M. E. Thomas: 3 Stars
I’m not quite sure how to feel about this book.  It was touted by the Economist as more of a self-help book, which makes me reeeeeally nervous about the staff at the Economist.  Thomas writes from a pseudonym, which is understandable, but also takes away some of the credibility.  She talks about her own experiences and feelings as a highly functioning sociopath, which got a little tedious at times.  Also, a symptom of being a sociopath is self-aggrandizing, which as a non-sociopath or empath, could be a turn off.  I think Sherlock may do more good for the public image of sociopaths than this book.

26. Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates: 5 Stars
Coates’ commentary on being black in America today, structured as a letter to his son.  First, the way he weaves imagery is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.  His writing style is like cool silk.  (See how I tried to use imagery there?!)  This book is beautiful and violent and lofty and bleak all at the same time.  In the 3.5 hours I spent reading this book, I feel like I smiled, learned, teared up, and reached for a notepad to quickly jot down a phrase more than I have in a long time.

Progress: 26/52

Check out Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3!  And please send me your recommendations, your questions, and your comments!

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