Summary of “Best books of 2017”

This truly is one of the best books I’ve read in years: funny, outrageous, touching, intimate, glorious.
I like most of the books I read but, now and again, I read one I wish I’d written myself.
I’ve barely started reading The White Book by Han Kang, but I can already tell it will be one of my books of the year.
A man recently claimed that 2017 had been “a thin year” for poetry; this has certainly not been the experience of attentive readers.
In the first annus horribilis of Trump, I found myself reading more periodicals than books – and small magazines rather than the mainstream journals.
The linked stories in Elizabeth Strout’s Anything Is Possible are among the best fiction I’ve read this year, and the poems in Simon Armitage’s The Unaccompanied the best verse.
I think it’s one of the finest books I’ve yet read. Then there’s Sebastian Barry’s Days Without End and Kamila Shamsie’s Home Fire.
What have you enjoyed reading in 2017? Send your choices in 150 words or fewer to readers.

The orginal article.

Summary of “A Wave of New Fiction From Nigeria, as Young Writers Experiment With New Genres”

A new wave of thematically and stylistically diverse fiction is emerging from the country, as writers there experiment with different genres and explore controversial subjects like violence against women, polygamy and the rise of the Islamist militant group Boko Haram.
Rather than selling publication rights to American publishing houses, as most foreign publishers do, Cassava Republic prints and distributes its titles to American booksellers through Consortium, a book distributor based in Minnesota.
When Ms. Bakare-Yusuf co-founded Cassava Republic in Abuja in 2006, her primary goal was to publish Nigerian writers who had gained stature in the West but weren’t being read at home.
More than a decade later, Cassava Republic has published more than 50 titles, and has expanded into romance, crime, memoir, fantasy, science fiction and children’s books.
Cassava Republic has published eight books in the United States, including children’s books, crime novels and literary fiction, a nonfiction book about the West African music scene and “Longthroat Memoirs,” a food memoir by Yemisi Aribisala, which came out this month.
The novel, which was published in Nigeria this spring, was shortlisted for Britain’s Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction, and received ecstatic reviews in The Guardian and The New York Times.
Writers and publishers in Nigeria still face significant obstacles.
The minimum wage in Nigeria hovers around $59 a month, and a new book costs around $8.Despite such hurdles, Nigeria’s publishing industry has blossomed in recent years, following the country’s return to democracy in 1999 after decades of military dictatorship.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Best books of 2017”

I’ve read some brilliant books this year, but a few stand out for me.
Can’t we talk about all my unread new books? I’m a late adopter; the more I’m told to read something, the longer it dawdles downstairs, waiting for that unquantifiable moment of ripeness.
The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan is, like all of his books, wildly entertaining and enlightening, challenging perceptions.
Numerous books have shown me how utterly ignorant I am about most creatures I share this planet with, but none humbled me more than What a Fish Knows by Jonathan Balcombe.
The product of many years of detailed archival research, Wilson’s book is without question the best one-volume history of the Raj currently in print.
There are two 2017 books of nonfiction that have really stayed with me.
My favourite books of 2017 were, first, Elmet by Fiona Mozley.
George Saunders’s Lincoln in the Bardo is one of the books where the jacket description gets it right: they use the word “Kaleidoscopic” to describe this ingenious, polyphonic structure that is at once as entrancing as it is beautiful.

The orginal article.

Summary of “100 Notable Books of 2017”

The new novel by the author of “The Reluctant Fundamentalist” and “How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia” mixes global unrest with a bit of the fantastic.
In his delightful first story collection, the author of the National Book Award-winning novel “The Good Lord Bird” continues to explore race, masculinity, music and history.
What if human beings are neither inevitable nor ultimate? That’s the premise of Erdrich’s fascinating new novel.
Egan’s engaging novel tells overlapping stories, but is most fundamentally about a young woman who works at the Brooklyn Naval Yard during World War II.MRS. OSMOND. By John Banville.
Ward’s novel, which won the National Book Award, combines aspects of the American road novel and the ghost story with an exploration of the long aftershocks of a hurricane.
Jemisin won a Hugo Award for each of the first two novels in her Broken Earth trilogy.
In the second novel of a planned trilogy, Cusk continues the story of Faye, a writer and teacher who is recently divorced and semi-broke.
Jasanoff uses Conrad’s novels and his biography to tell the history of that moment, one that mirrors our own.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Learn how to read more books this year”

How many books have you read recently? If you’re similar to a quarter of Americans, your answer could be zero.
According to the Pew Research Center, 26% of Americans don’t read a single book, even in part, over the course of a year.
Even if you’re a regular reader, you probably wish you had more time to get through your bookcase and actually read all the books you’ve got piling up in there, instead of just saying you did.
Speed readers are pretty much the masters of getting sh*t done.
The Insider School has picked up the secrets of speed readers like Bill Gates and Elon Musk and put them into a course called Become a Speeding Reading Machine.
You’ll learn what they call the “Double time solution,” which will get you reading twice as much without spending more time on it.
Finally, they’ll even teach you how to pick books that will help you succeed, and how to use what you learn to make more money and become more successful.
You can pick up the speed reading course at the Mashable Shop for $25, a savings of 87% off the regular price.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Our Love Affair With Digital Is Over”

What we can do is to restore some sense of balance over our relationship with digital technology, and the best way to do that is with analog: the ying to digital’s yang.
Thankfully, the analog world is still here, and not only is it surviving but, in many cases, it is thriving.
Analog, although more cumbersome and costly than its digital equivalents, provides a richness of experience that is unparalleled with anything delivered through a screen.
The limits of analog, which were once seen as a disadvantage, are increasingly one of the benefits people are turning to as a counterweight to the easy manipulation of digital.
In a world of endless email chains, group chats, pop-up messages or endlessly tweaked documents and images, the walled garden of analog saves both time and inspires creativity.
In contrast with the virtual “Communities” we have built online, analog actually contributes to the real places where we live.
Analog excels particularly well at encouraging human interaction, which is crucial to our physical and mental well-being.
We do not face a simple choice of digital or analog.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How to Remember What You Read”

Why is it that some people seem to be able to read a book once and remember every detail of it for life, while others struggle to recall even the title a few days after putting down a book?
It’s not what they read. It’s how they read. Passive readers forget things almost as quickly as they read them.
Passive readers who read a lot are not much further ahead than passive readers who read a little.
“Every time I read a great book I felt I was reading a kind of map, a treasure map, and the treasure I was being directed to was in actual fact myself. But each map was incomplete, and I would only locate the treasure if I read all the books, and so the process of finding my best self was an endless quest. And books themselves seemed to reflect this idea. Which is why the plot of every book ever can be boiled down to ‘someone is looking for something’.”- Matt Haig, Reasons to Stay Alive.
After you’ve read the book, peruse the bibliography and make a note of any books you want to read next.
Referring to the time before the internet, Nicholas Carr writes in The Shallows: “In the quiet spaces opened up by the prolonged, undistracted reading of a book, people made their own associations, drew their own inferences and analogies, fostered their own ideas. They thought deeply as they read deeply.”
If you want to remember what you read, forget about keeping books pristine.
If you read something and you don’t make time to think about what you’ve read, your conclusions will be shaky.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Reading Books Will Help You Build These 7 Habits”

When we learn how to appropriately value, select, and acquire them with stakes and incentives reading books helps us build priceless habits.
Reading books helps you build the habit of taking the right kind of nootropicI apologize to all the modafinil lovers out there, but books have most nootropics beat.
Reading books helps you build the habit of upgrade your mental operating systemThere are many people who never update their mental operating systems through reading.
Reading books helps you build the habit of getting direct experienceThere are tradeoffs for everything in life, but reading a lot isn’t dangerous.
Reading books helps you build the habit of meditationThe more we read and spend time with books, the more we’re forced to practice mindfulness and meditation.
Reading books helps you build the habit of strategic isolation”Sanity in this culture, requires a certain amount of alienation.” -Terence McKennaBooks and reading are one of the last societally acceptable reasons for being alone.
Reading books helps you build the habit of telling the truth”I am of course confident that I will fulfil my tasks as a writer in all circumstances - from my grave even more successfully and more irrefutably than in my lifetime. No one can bar the road to truth, and to advance its cause I am prepared to accept even death. But may it be that repeated lessons will finally teach us not to stop the writer’s pen during his lifetime? At no time has this ennobled our history.” -Aleksandr SolzhenitsynThroughout history, books have given artists and philosophers an antifragile vehicle to place truth.
Let me know in the comments: what habits have books and reading helped YOU build? And stay tuned at The Mission, this entire month is reading and writing month!

The orginal article.

Summary of “Carl Sagan on the Power of Books and Reading as the Path to Democracy – Brain Pickings”

“Someone reading a book is a sign of order in the world,” wrote the poet Mary Ruefle.
Four centuries earlier, while ushering in a new world order, Galileo contemplated how books give us superhuman powers – a sentiment his twentieth-century counterpart, Carl Sagan, echoed in his shimmering assertion that “a book is proof that humans are capable of working magic.”
Books, purchasable at low cost, permit us to interrogate the past with high accuracy; to tap the wisdom of our species; to understand the point of view of others, and not just those in power; to contemplate – with the best teachers – the insights, painfully extracted from Nature, of the greatest minds that ever were, drawn from the entire planet and from all of our history.
Books are patient where we are slow to understand, allow us to go over the hard parts as many times as we wish, and are never critical of our lapses.
Books are key to understanding the world and participating in a democratic society.
Tyrants and autocrats have always understood that literacy, learning, books and newspapers are potentially dangerous.
The Demon-Haunted World remains one of the most important books written in the cosmic blink since we first began writing and its central message is, rather sadly, increasingly relevant in our time of unreason.
Complement this particular portion with Gwendolyn Brooks on the power of books, Rebecca Solnit on why we read and write, Anaïs Nin on how books awaken us from the slumber of almost-living, and Mary Oliver on how reading saved her life, then revisit Sagan on science and spirituality and this lovely animated adaptation of his famous Pale Blue Dot monologue about our place in the universe.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Cory Doctorow: How to Do Everything – Locus Online”

Danny described a research project in which he interviewed “Overprolific” tech workers who had a reputation for doing a lot of things at once, and reported on their commonalities.
One intriguing takeaway from the talk was a recommendation to read David Allen’s 2001 book Getting Things Done, an instant classic in the “Personal productivity” genre.
Allen’s book is a fantastic and inspiring read. The core of his philosophy is to recognize that there are more things in the world that you want to do than you could do, and that, in the absence of a deliberate approach to this conundrum, you are likely to default to doing things that are easy to scratch off your to-do list, which are also the most trivial.
Allen counsels deliberate, mindful prioritization of this list, jettisoning things on the basis that they are less satisfying or important than the other things you’d like to do – even if those other things are harder, more time consuming and less likely to result in a satisfying chance to scratch an item off the list.
It’s been more than a decade since I took up Allen’s method and started lifehacking, and I have a report from the field.
The past 14 years have regularly featured junctures where I had to get rid of something I liked doing so I could do something I liked doing more.
The more parts of my life were implicated in an activity, the more likely I was to keep the activity in my daily round.
People often ask, “How much of your day do you spend writing, and how much being an activist, and how much on journalism?” The answer has always been that it’s hard to cleanly separate these activities, because they overlap – writing a blog post is a way to think through and track an idea that might show up in a story, and also a way to raise alarm at a political affair.

The orginal article.