• "The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin" by Benjamin Franklin (audiobook) - this book is surprisingly good, especially the first 2/3rds of it or so. Franklin was a very inspiring individual, worth learning from.
  • "Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think" by Peter Diamanidis and Steven Kotler - it's hard to avoid comparing this book to Matt Ridley's "Rational Optimist", if only because the authors quote from Ridley quite a bit. IMHO it's a strictly worse book - the interesting parts can all be found in Ridley's book, just explained better. This is not to say that it's a bad book; I certainly enjoyed parts of it. But if you only have to pick one book on this subject, "Rational Optimist" should be your choice.
  • "Creation: How Science is Reinventing Life Itself" by Adam Rutherford (audiobook) - very interesting book focusing on the biologic origins of life and genetic engineering. The first 2/3rds of the book are superb. The part that came later - about the ethical debate surrounding genetic engineering - I found too polemic and somewhat less interesting. I'd hope for more dive-ins into the latest scientific discoveries. The author does pick that up in the afterword that's actually a long and interesting chapter, describing more of the latest research.
  • "The Philadelphia chromosome" by Jessica Wapner (audiobook) - this is definitely one of the best books I've read this year. A very well put-together account of the research leading to a revolutionary treatment for CML - a type of leukemia. The treatment is one of the first drugs targeted specifically at the core cause of the cancer at the molecular level. Most of the book deals with the basic biological and genetic research, the slow scientific advances during decades, that enabled the drug. It also talks about the clinical trial process of new drugs, FDA approvals, and so on. Very highly recommended for anyone with an interest in biology & genetics.


  • "La Soledad de los Numeros Primos" by Paolo Giordano


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