What I'm Reading - Aug. 1

8/1/2022 10:57 am |

Just Finished

Daily Rituals: How Artists Work by Mason Curreyy - Bite sized entries of varying size and depth about many famous artists and people of all sorts. It's infotainment. There were no real major insights or realizations, but it was interesting and fun to read.

Currently Consuming

Sleeper Agent: The Atomic Spy in America Who Got Away by Ann Hagedorn - Still early into it, but it's interesting and providing context to the era, the Cold War, and the cultures in their respective countries.

This “historical page-turner of the highest order” (The Wall Street Journal) tells the chilling story of an American-born Soviet spy in the atom bomb project in World War II, perfect for fans of The Americans.

George Koval was born in Iowa. In 1932, his parents, Russian Jews who had emigrated because of anti-Semitism, decided to return home to live out their socialist ideals. George, who was as committed to socialism as they were, went with them. There, he was recruited by the Soviet Army as a spy and returned to the US in 1940. A gifted science student, he enrolled at Columbia University, where he knew scientists soon to join the Manhattan Project, America’s atom bomb program. After being drafted into the US Army, George used his scientific background and connections to secure an assignment at a site where plutonium and uranium were produced to fuel the atom bomb. There, and later in a second top-secret location, he had full access to all facilities, and he passed highly sensitive information to Moscow.

Dopamine Nation: Finding Balance in the Age of Indulgence by Ann Lembke - Listening to this audiobook. Came to it after hearing her interview on Tim Ferriss' podcast. I've got the audiobook checked out and need to get back to listening to it.

This book is about pleasure. It’s also about pain. Most important, it’s about how to find the delicate balance between the two, and why now more than ever finding balance is essential. We’re living in a time of unprecedented access to high-reward, high-dopamine stimuli: drugs, food, news, gambling, shopping, gaming, texting, sexting, Facebooking, Instagramming, YouTubing, tweeting....

The increased numbers, variety, and potency is staggering. The smartphone is the modern-day hypodermic needle, delivering digital dopamine 24/7 for a wired generation. As such we’ve all become vulnerable to compulsive overconsumption.

Think Like a Rocket Scientist by Ozan Varol - Another Audiobook I have checked out from the library, just started it on the drive home this evening as I wasn't in the mood for Dopamine Nation. Still in the intro but enjoying it.

A former rocket scientist reveals the habits, ideas, and strategies that will empower you to turn the seemingly impossible into the possible.

Rocket science is often celebrated as the ultimate triumph of technology. But it's not. Rather, it's the apex of a certain thought process -- a way to imagine the unimaginable and solve the unsolvable. It's the same thought process that enabled Neil Armstrong to take his giant leap for mankind, that allows spacecraft to travel millions of miles through outer space and land on a precise spot, and that brings us closer to colonizing other planets.

Fortunately, you don't have to be a rocket scientist to think like one.

Next Up

Checkmate in Berlin by Giles Milton - Picked it up based on the read of the book cover, haven't delved in at all.

In Queen Esther's Garden by Vera Basch Moreen (translator) - This line from the book cover caught my interest: "An anthology of Judeo-Persian literature." -- It's far outside my comfort zone and something I'm excited to dive into.

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