It has been slightly more than a year since I got hooked on book reading.
This year I preferred lightweight reads and tried multiple genres. Of the 23 books I read in 2022, these 5 are my favorites.
Project Hail Mary
by Andy Weir
Reason for choosing book by Andy Weir was the Martian movie, and I loved it!
Project Hail Mary is a space mission to save humanity from an alien microbe parasite. The lone survivor of the mission meets with an alien in a distant star system. As the story develops, problems on the way are solved using their combined science and engineering knowledge.
It is so interesting that two life forms that originated in entirely different galactic systems with dissimilar physiques have evolved into the same level of humor!
One of the best science fiction I have ever read.
The Code Breaker
by Walter Isaacson
I picked the book with the assumption that it is about cryptography 😛 The title is a bit misleading from a software developer’s perspective! 😅
From the news, I had heard the term “CRISPR” - a system for gene editing, and a Chinese research team had applied this method to human embryos raising ethical concerns around the globe. But what is CRISPR, and how does the gene editing mechanism work? I found all those answers in this book.
It focuses on the story of Jennifer Doudna, winner of the Nobel prize 2020 in Chemistry, for the development of the method for genome editing. It covers her journey in finding the x-ray diffraction-based approach to uncover the RNA structure, contributions in RNA interference, and later the development of the CRISPR-Cas9 system for precisely editing DNA. Horizontally the book covers related work of others in the field, academic competitions & patent wars, the Human Genome Project, possible uses for gene editing, ethical issues related to human gene editing, etc. In-depth coverage of other contributors in the field was a bit boring. Nevertheless, the knowledge we get about the genome field makes it worth spending time on.
A Brief History of Time
by Stephen Hawking
Is there a beginning and end for time?
Hawking begins with Aristotle’s prediction of the shape of the Earth to be spherical. Then goes through history - Ptolemy’s geocentric theory, Copernicus’s heliocentric model, Galileo’s observation of Jupiter’s moons, Kepler’s orbital motion, Newton’s theory of gravity, Hubble’s observation of galaxies and expansion, Einstein’s theory of relativity, Quantum mechanics, attempts on grand unified theory, and finally string theory.
The book discusses how our thoughts on absolute time and space changed over time, the possible beginnings of the universe, its expansion patterns, how stars end, how black holes’ singularity and boundaries behave, so and so. It goes on the macro level of multiple universes plus the micro quantum mechanical level. It is a great introductory book for understanding space-time.
by Dan Brown
At NSA’s crypto division, their code-breaking supercomputer TRANSLTR encounters an unbreakable code. If not cracked, it will bring catastrophic effects to NSA. The story progresses simultaneously with events at the NSA office and the investigation on another side of the world.
Too intense and breathtaking!! I had to complete it in a single day without sleeping. A good thriller for a weekend read.
by Devon Price
The main focus of this book is how the people in the neurodivergent spectrum try to mask to fit into the neurotypical needs of society. It provides information on autism spectrum disorder and the problems faced by Autistic people.
This book made me realize how the masked autism patterns fit perfectly into the inexplicable weirdness inherent in me. I will recommend it to those wanted to know more about neurodiversity.