My January Reads of 2021

My January Reads of 2021

February 2, 2021

January of 2021 has been a very productive and a strangely witty and humorous month.

All Systems Red by Martha Wells

When a robot is designed with a dash of quirk, a pinch of wit, a storage system full of TV series and of course, hitech cool stuff, you get Murderbot. All Systems Red is an amazing introduction to the Murderbot Diaries. It introduces the world in merely 100 pages and leaves you excited for more. Muderbot, itself (itself, because Murderbot has no gender), is a great character to follow. The cynicism, wit as well as self-governed ethics makes Murderbot awesome.

Artificial Condition by Martha Wells

The next book in the Murderbot Diaries is also a pretty awesome read. It defines the world more clearly. Introduces another amazing AI character and builds up the mystery of the world and the things to follow.

The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie

Abercrombie knows how to combine beautiful prose with morally shitty characters. The book could have easily been renamed as The Ethical Dilemma of Shitty People. Even with such grey characters, you empathize with them, the humanity is not lost and you root for them. The plot wasn’t the main part of the book. It was rather the setup for what’s to come in the First Law Trilogy.

Writing Down The Bones by Natalie Goldberg

If there was one book I would recommend anybody who wants to write fiction, poems, self help books, PowerPoint presentations or maybe even grocery lists, you need to read Writing Down the Bones. This book doesn’t get into the technical aspects of writing. Rather it explores the human aspect of writing. It is not a long read and every chapter is short and can standalone based on your mood.

Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World by David Epstein

Another nonfiction was the month. But this one was in Bill Gates’ list for 2020 Books to Read. The title is fairly obvious on what it covers. And I do follow the philosophy of being a generalist. This book reinforces it with data and some really interesting stories. It also doesn’t diss on specialists in anyway. Rather the author shows the synergy between the two kinds.

Pyramids by Terry Pratchett

Sir Terry is a genius. I don’t laugh out loud while reading; unless it is Terry Pratchett’s Discworld. The ridiculous disc world and the strange magical shit that happens to incompetent and hilarious characters, this book has all those beats.

Take this writing exercise: Try to write about a dismembered person in a closed room. All his sensory organs are in opaque glass jars, his limbs flailing away somewhere in the room. Now try to write about his journey of finding his organs. The answer is in this book.

I recommend everyone to read at least one of Terry Pratchett’s books. Either The Colour of Magic, Guards! Guards! or Mort. All of them are independent books in the world. So you can start anywhere.


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