I read a lot. Usually several books at the same time. It’s an occupational hazard. Here are some great titles that are currently stacked next to my bedside table in various stages of being read and marked up with marginalia.
The Social Construction of Reality: A Treatise in the Sociology of Knowledge, by Peter L. Berger
Social reality is a critical topic I discuss in my books Seven and a Half Lessons About the Brain and How Emotions are Made, as well as a series of blog posts. Recently, I learned that the concept was invented and named earlier than I’d realized, so I’m reading this book for more information.
Negotiating with the Dead: A Writer on Writing, by Margaret Atwood
I’ve been a Margaret Atwood fangirl since my teens. This is her thoughtful and sometimes wry musings on what it’s like to have a writer’s mind.
Metazoa: Animal Life and the Birth of the Mind, by Peter Godfrey-Smith
The latest book by the author of (the fascinating) Other Minds: The Octopus, the Sea, and the Deep Origins of Consciousness.
Twilight of Democracy: The Seductive Lure of Authoritarianism, by Anne Applebaum
If you live in the United States, read this book. Applebaum does a masterful job at describing the insidious creep of authoritarianism in modern societies.
The Knowledge Machine: How Irrationality Created Modern Science, by Michael Strevens
The author, a historian of science, poses a question: why did it take so long for humans to invent the scientific method? He spends most of the book pursuing an answer.
Pieometry: Modern Tart Art and Pie Design for the Eye and the Palate, by Lauren Ko
Each year, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving is “pie day” in my house. My family spends the entire day baking pies. This year, I’m finally going to nail decorative pie crusts.
That’s it for now. This holiday season, please remember your local independent bookstores.