2019 went so quickly and I did a lot of reading. I'm an active Goodreads user and I constantly found myself scanning more and more books.

So, without further ado, here's the list (no order of priority).

Homo Deus (Yuval Noah Harari)

Even though I also read Sapiens this year, the sequel proved to be better than the first part. I sometimes joked that every 12-year-old kid should read Sapiens. Now I think, every 10-year-old should read Homo Deus.

This is a book that will shake your beliefs and will destroy every idea you have about technology and the future. In this particular matter, there are lots of myths and ideas that are either apocalyptic or dead wrong. In the book, Harari presents a more realistic definition of how technology will impact humanity. Some random thoughts I kept thinking:

  1. Software and algorithms are gathering more data about ourselves and what we think. How is that impacting democracy and how voting works? Should we maybe let an algorithm vote for us? Is the idea of democracy dying, and are we giving birth to a new type of democracy?
  2. Humans will extend their average age in the next 50 to 100 years. How will that affect marriages and pensions? How will be the transition towards current humans and better and long-lasting humans? How the perception of life will change?
  3. Religions will become obsolete because of advancements in technology. Holy texts (Bible, Coran, etc) will run out of explanations because of human genetic manipulation, in vitro fertilization and many other procedures to modify mankind.

Three Body Problem - Liu Cixin

I started hard on science fiction this year and this was the highlight. Many WTFs and mind-blowing facts in the story.

It's a mix of mathematic/physics nerd plot, plus hardcore history and intergalactic invasion. It's placed in China and its surroundings and tells the story of a girl who is detained around China's revolution in 67.

The girl is moved to a secret facility and then she discovers an alien civilization. Then the book moves to our present and there's a cult seeking people who can solve the "three-body problem", through a game.

The book is the definition of a page-turner, and I can't wait to read the sequel. Don't tell anybody, but from the 3 books here, pick this one.

I Am Pilgrim - Terry Hayes

I was travelling in Belgium and I met this woman in Antwerp who has probably read more than 1,000 books. My family and I stayed at her Airbnb place and she suggested this book.

I'm not sure why this book is not a movie or a TV show. It will blow you away. If you're seeking for a good thriller/terrorist plot/secret agent kind of book, this is it.

To make it simple, Pilgrim is a secret agent that is ordered to stop a terrorist attack in the USA. What makes this book different, is that you read and understand how the terrorist became this evil, through a series of short stories and flashbacks.

There are 2 other murder mysteries in the book that are solved, and they follow the usual suspense waiting to find the killers.

The conclusion shows, how even evil men, can be broken and pause or stop an attack regardless of decades working on a single output and life call.

Honorable mention: Ego Is The Enemy - Ryan Holiday

Ryan Holiday has become an unsung heroe in current literacy. This guy is quite an introvert with deep and practical thoughts on how to live life, choose better goals and let go of usual human narcissism.

The book is an endless list of tips and thoughts of how ego is affecting us in our lives. Here are some highlights from the book:

Real people preferring to live in passionate fiction than in actual reality.
“You can’t build a reputation on what you’re going to do,” was how Henry Ford put it.
Sobriety, open-mindedness, organization, and purpose—these are the great stabilizers.
If you’re not still learning, you’re already dying.

Here's the full list of notes I took from it. I think it's a nice list to wrap up this year.

You can also check the whole list of books I read in 2019.

Happy reading in 2020!