Archive for category Books
It is rather rare to come across a book that is educational and interesting to read at the same time. Some focused on laying down a great deal of facts, but failed to or didn’t bother to connect the dots; and some couldn’t seem to get even the fact right (no, I am not talking about most of the self-enrichment books).
Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari is a rather rare book.
With more than 400 pages, it did not attempt to offer much that I didn’t know. Instead, the author spent most of efforts in rationalising why history of humankind progressed the way it did. In other words, connecting the dots and forming insights.
Though the title writes “history”, it is not quite a history book. Quite often, I found myself contemplating life and the choices I made in my life while reading it. It made me think about myself and for myself. How many history books, or books in general, do that?
It is rare also in the sense that the author values objectivity higher than political correctness. He questions things that we’ve all been taught positively, agriculture revolution and individualism for example, and “praises” capitalism for uniting the world. The unconventional ideas do not make the book weird, they make it insightful.
I recommend this book to all, not only to know our own story, but as a member of the master species of this planet, “Is there anything more dangerous than dissatisfied and irresponsible gods who don’t know what they want?”
刚开始还真有点不适应两百年前的英语，感觉有点像读惯了白话网络文学的中文读者回头去啃晚清小说，虽然语言类似但总是有那么一点点不自然。两百年的时间里某些单词的含义也经历了明显的变化，印象最深的便是 ”gay” 和 “want”。
狄更斯经常使用 “gay” 来形容心情高兴，这层意思在现代英语几乎完全消失。We had a gay old time down at the dance hall.
而 “want” 在大卫科波菲尔里更多有“缺乏”和“需要”的意思，而非“想要”。比如，For want of anything better to do I read newspaper for a while.
前几年吸血鬼泛滥，这几年流行丧尸。在大众对该题材开始有审美疲劳的阶段，有这样一本视角和观点都很新颖的小说出现，既偶然又必然。很多看过该作电影的预告说挺像The Last of Us的，我觉得基本可以判定为没读过此书。
This is undoubtedly the weirdest book written by George Martin. Yes, many of his books are weird, but the creativity and Martin’s quite unique writing style normally offer tremendous fun to read. However, “The Armageddon Rag”, which is probably the 19th Martin’s books I read, is just weird.
Perhaps it is due to the cultural background that the story sets in. I am, after all, not grew up under influences of Rock n Roll nor I could easily associate myself to the anti-war movement took place decades ago in a foreign country. Throughout the book I found myself standing as a third person afar from all characters and utterly uninterested by things happening among them, a completely un-GRRM reading experience.
It appears that this book was indeed a commercial failure for Martin. It almost made him quit writing – this was the period in his life that he went to become a screenwriter. Fortunately, he gave himself a second chance in fiction book writing.
在柏林工作很享受一边走路上班一边听Podcast的感觉，书反而读的少了许多。说来也巧，昨天刚读完的一本书其实原本也是BBC Radio 4和大英博物馆推出的一个Podcast系列。因为实在是喜欢，今年五月我在参观大英博物馆的时候就顺手买了一本实体书。
（说完这三点，夹带点私活：为什么中国的历史教育很失败？因为三点中它一点都占不全。历史书特别是关系到党的都是杜撰的，编的差根本不能用逻辑串在一起，例如前一年还在延安为生存艰苦奋斗后一年就百万雄师过大江，这种跳跃式发展让人摸不着头脑。而且为了扭曲着突出党统治的合理性，把其他的因素或者简化或者阉割 – “真理只有一个，就是你们课本上的。”）