Sam over at Taking on a World of Words recently revived the weekly WWW, and I love it. Of course, when you’re reading literally four or five books at any given time (no, really, check my Goodreads feed), it can be hard to pick which one to highlight. But I’ll do my best.
WWW works by readers either writing a response to the three questions on their blog and posting the link in Sam’s post comments or simply answering the questions in the comments. Either way, it’s fun and a great way to get book recommendations.
The three questions are:
- What are you currently reading?
- What did you recently finish reading?
- What do you think you’ll read next?
I’m currently reading Enlightenment Now by Steven Pinker. I haven’t read a solid, informative nonfiction book in a while, and this one is fascinating. I’ve picked up and put down Pinker’s books in the past, never finding enough time to get through one, and we’ll see how long it takes me on this tome.
In a nutshell, Enlightenment Now considers the world from the point of view of the Enlightenment era values, such as reason, science, and humanism. It decries the popular modern myth of moral and environmental decline in detail, with plenty of charts and graphs to back up Pinker’s arguments.
It’s quite an uplifting book, even to a die-hard optimist like me, who sometimes felt that I was pushing the world uphill with no one to help. Obviously I haven’t finished yet, so I don’t know if he issues any ultimatums while concluding his arguments, but so far it’s been a lot of “hang on, the world isn’t as bad as you, the news, and your parents fear it is.”
Recently, I’ve been on a long Hamish Macbeth spree. Although, not that long, seeing as most of the books are less than two hundred pages. But I’ve read the first twenty in less than a month, which is probably excessive. Ah, who am I kidding. It is definitely not.
I love these books. I started them for a couple reasons. Firstly, I’m writing a mystery (surprise, surprise) and wanted to get a feel for how clues and red herrings were handled. Also, being so short, the story is really just the mystery, which is great for research.
Secondly, I remember watching the TV show way back when, and though, to me, they aren’t anything like the books, they were still cozy and delightful and quirky. And anything set in the Highlands is going to interest me. And no, M.C. Beaton, you do not deter me from wanting to live there with your tales of dark winters and bitterness and strife.
Aside from finishing all the following Macbeth books, I think the next book I’m going to read will be Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari. I heard someone comment on reading both Harari and Pinker and comparing the two philosophies on life, because apparently Harari is less optimistic than Pinker and a hard determinist. I don’t know at all if that’s true or to what extent, so I’ll be interested to read what he has to say on the human race.
But, knowing me, I’ll probably be reading five more books after this five, so…who knows.
There’s my three! I would love to hear what you’re reading, so drop a comment here or reply to my comment over at Sam’s blog. I’ll be posting a link there as well.