Book Reviews

Book Review: The Silk Roads: A New History of the World by Peter Frankopan

This book follows the cities and countries which fall on the infamous ancient Silk Road to explain the rise and fall of some of the world’s greatest empires, as well as how ideas and languages have travelled across the world.

As a result of its global scope and coverage, this book provides a firm grounding in international affairs and an understanding of today: Why are country relations as they are? Why do languages have commonalities? Why are economic inequalities as they are?

Book Review: Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

“It is only a slight exaggeration to say that happiness is the experience of spending time with people you love and who love you.”

This is a very comprehensive book that takes you through different models of thinking and perception. It will help you to understand basic psychological theory and how to tap into your own intuition to use it effectively in daily life, such as for making decisions.

Book Review: This is London: Life and Death in the World City by Ben Judah

What side of London do you never get to hear about in general media? This book is a literary masterpiece, as journalist Ben Judah takes the reader on a tour around London, meeting the people who make the city live and move and who are usually ignored (literally – bus drivers, the homeless, shop keepers, amongst others).

Even residents of London will learn about a side of London they may have not previously encountered. Judah enlightens us with the immigrant side of London including those rich, poor, and everyone in between. This book is highly recommended for anyone who wants to understand London beyond the tourist attractions.

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Book Review: Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande

This book explored on a deeply philosophical level, what really matters at the end of life? How can we have a good death? By cleverly combining the science of medicine with the philosophy of life, Gawande explores how modern medicine has changed over time. He shares his personal story from his own family and personal life, as well as examples from his patients. This book confronts difficult conversations around death and human mortality up front.

Book Review: Do No Harm by Henry Marsh

This book is written by Henry Marsh who shares his unconventional journey into neurosurgery after studying medicine as a second degree. The title of the book is reminiscent of the first hippocratic oath, which is an oath often taken by medical physicians: “first do no harm”.

The book is littered with candid examples of his patients and his reflections, through his time in medical school to becoming a neurosurgeon. The book tries to address how to deal with the consequences if everything goes wrong, but this time in a life and death situation. It crosses the fields of philosophy, ethics, and medicine.

Book Review: Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

I am normally a bit sceptical of ancient philosophy books. However, I was pleasantly surprised with this one. This short and sweet book is full of practical wisdom and little reminders for when things feel too much, such you should “consider anything that is humanly possible and appropriate to lie within your reach”.

(Reblog) Book Review: What Do We Know and What Should We Do About Social Mobility? by Lee Elliott Major and Stephen Machin

In What Do We Know and What Should We Do About Social Mobility? Lee Elliott Major and Stephen Machin give an account of the long experience of social mobility in the UK, its barriers and a possible way out. Offering a strong base for those who are new to the subject and fresh viewpoints to those more well-versed in theContinue reading “(Reblog) Book Review: What Do We Know and What Should We Do About Social Mobility? by Lee Elliott Major and Stephen Machin”

Book Review: Political Order and Political Decay by Francis Fukuyama

This book explores how the state, its law, and its democracy, have developed over a series of historical events, and how in current times, the state of democracy has started to decay in today’s most developed democracies. This book is very much a classic in political theory and science and, especially with its focus on history, it is likely to be timeless. I would recommend this book to anyone studying or interested in political science, political theory, economics, and world history.

Book Review: Bullsh*t Jobs by David Graeber

This book is not a list of every type of pointless job. Instead, it provides a breakdown of why society has pointless jobs, how we got to this stage, and what we can do about it. It is deeply honest and revealing, sharing unspoken truths about the human condition, ultimately asking how we can reach human freedom.

Book Review: Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain

What is your personality type? How can you be an inclusive leader? These are only a couple of the questions that Susan Cain addresses in this empowering book. Cain dispels myths about having an introverted personality type to change society’s perception of what it means to be introverted. This book would be of most interest to all those who are aspiring to be inclusive leaders, as well as those interested in personality and psychology.

(Reblog from @BuckysBookReviews): Five Key Take-Aways from JS Mill, On Liberty

To round off my read-along of John Stuart Mill’s On Liberty, I will reflect here upon the five key things I have taken away from this book in this reading. I won’t go over every point that I have raised during the read-along: if you want my thoughts in more detail, please revisit parts oneContinue reading “(Reblog from @BuckysBookReviews): Five Key Take-Aways from JS Mill, On Liberty”

Book Review: Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker

Walker encourages the reader to feel empowered to protect their sleep and health. This is a science and evidence backed book about why humans sleep in the first place, even though sleeping is such a strange concept, and why sleep is so important to human survival and longevity. This book is a must-read.

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Book Review: Inglorious Empire: What the British Did to India by Shashi Tharoor

This is a powerful read which will leave the reader with a lot of thoughts to ponder on the reality of the British Empire and why things are the way they are today in Britain and in India. This book was born out of a debate in the Oxford Union in 2015, where Tharoor argued that “Britain Owes Reparations to Her Former Colonies”.

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Book Review: A Woman of Firsts by Edna Adan Ismail

This book would be very suited to someone who wants to read a book about female empowerment, or is interested in medical memoirs, FGM, or international aid. Overall, this book has two particular strong points. Firstly, her story is inspiring as a strong-willed woman who relentlessly pursues what she wants, fighting against societal norms and the many barriers in her way. Secondly, it is a story of caring for others with compassion and kindness, a true story of humanity.

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(Reblog from @BuckysBookReviews): Sathnam Sanghera, Empireland (2021)

We may know well Britain’s impact on the world. We have all heard about how, given that it covered a quarter of the globe at its peak, the sun never set on the British Empire. Through empire, Britain spread its language, its customs, and its philosophies. It also spread fear, hatred, and death. While thisContinue reading “(Reblog from @BuckysBookReviews): Sathnam Sanghera, Empireland (2021)”

Book Review: The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream by Barack Obama

This book would be of particular interest to those interested in American politics, in Obama’s early career, and in some of America’s social and political areas of concern. Regardless of political leaning, it is interesting to see Obama’s perspectives on politics being formed at the earlier stages of his political career, as well as his growth before presidency.

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Book Review: The Ungrateful Refugee by Dina Nayeri

Nayeri fled Iran with her mother and brother when she was eight years old. In Iran, her mother was a doctor and they fled their relatively comfortable livelihoods in order to protect their lives. She spent some time in refugee camps in Italy, where she describes how stories became the backbone of their existence.

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Book Review: An Autobiography by Gandhi

The book overall follows Gandhi’s journey during his search for truth. Gandhi wrote the majority of his autobiography in prison, when the British authorities at the time put him on trial for delivering speeches encouraging people to rebel against the authorities. This book is multifaceted and thus it could be approached from different angles.

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