As leaves turn grey, chilly breezes blow dead leaves, scatters the last fragile piles of leaves over the silent streets, 2019 is coming to the end. In the last 10 months of 2019, I have read 35 books and completed my goal of 30 books. Now, looking back, I feel satisfied with how much I have learned and grown. Honestly speaking, I was not expecting to surpass the 30-book milestone set at the beginning, but I did. Since I have had an enjoyable journey with books, I think it would be nice to recall some of the best books which enlightened me in 2019. This year, I chose 5 books.
I looked at my book collection of 2019 and picked 5 of the best, and it is surprising that three of them are non-fiction books. Only one novel! I was surprised because I have read a lot of novels in the last three months and they are all excellent. It seems like, however, non-fiction books have given me more significant impacts this year. So, here I share them with you.
Bad Blood | 2018 | Non-fiction
The fact that the book was written about an existent startup attracted me. Inventing a breakthrough blood-testing technology using just a small volume of blood, voted the youngest billionaire (Thermos was at 9-billion dollar value if I am not wrong) by Forbes, Elizabeth Holmes is undeniably a mastermind. Her business turns out to a huge fraud. The book sounds like a thrilling criminal novel. Since the startup is real, I spent time cross-checking factual interviewing videos and images, and it was thrilling. Though Thermos was an extreme case, the book has revealed the other side of Silicon Valley, the heaven of technology innovations, but also a place where cheats, lies, and frauds are not uncommon
The happiness advantage | 2010 | Non-fiction
This is the first book I ever read about the topic of happiness. The Happiness Advantage, as a psychology-based book, has completely persuaded me with its logic. The author’s suggestions and tips on how to integrate proven knowledge in daily life are surprisingly simple and practical. I found applicable routines in the book. I strongly believe you will find yours, and believe me, a better understanding of happiness is no waste of time. Especially in this age of disruptions.
Factfuness | 2018 | Non-fiction
Fact fullness is a phenomenal book about facts and the importance of looking at facts. In the age of mass media and constant streams of data, the boundary between personal opinions and data becomes fragile than ever. This is dangerous. It is not uncommon seeing cases of people manipulated by immoral and corrupt agendas aiming to disrupt social stability. I believe that the book will enlighten and help all readers to acquire smart filters on what they see.
Educated | 2018 | Biography
Educated is a cruel, detached but phenomenal biography of Tara Westover about her childhood, born in an anti-government family, grown uneducatedly with uneducated brothers and sisters, and suffered from deadly accidents just with her mom’s herbs. The story of young Tara stuck between obligations to her family and obligations to friends, to society and herself is an extreme case. However, the fact that she became a Cambridge doctorate, fully knowledgable and having total control over her life is inspiring and makes me realize the importance of education.
A Fire Sparkling | 2019 | Novel
A Fire Sparkling is an outstanding debut novel in 2019, for fans of historical fiction. The novel brought me back to the 1940s, years of WWII when Hitler invades Poland, pushing France and Britain into the cycle of horrendous wars filled with chaos, secrets, adventures, dangers, betrayals, sacrifices and romances. Julianne's novel is relatively simple in plot construction, the ultimate truth constantly shifts. I think twists and turns significantly contribute to the beauty of her novel.