As always this is a list of books that I read this year and includes recently published books as well as classics.
Two recent books about the mind of the octopus. How much more can we learn about the universe? A pre-history of post-truth, East and West. Nobel laureate Sheldon Lee Glashow weaves some threads in the tapestry of physics. Religious freedom in Europe was driven by statecraft not philosophy. The greatest civilisation ever forgotten? Gregory Chaitin takes a look at complexity using algorithmic information theory. J.M. Coetzee on a great writer we should know. 100 books set in/about Los Angeles. 25 Articles and essays by David Foster Wallace.
Charles Taylor on some conditions of a viable democracy. Alaska's permafrost is thawing. An appreciation of Fernando Pessoa. Arthur Schopenhauer the first European Buddhist. Francis Fukuyama still believes in progress. The mysteries of the Russian mindset. Karl Ove Knausgaard by the book. An interview with mathematician and author John Mighton.
Scientists unveil a new inventory of the universe’s dark contents. The finance franchise. How your mind protects you against hallucinations. You are the product. The curious conundrum of Freud’s persistent influence. The LA rag trade. Tim Parks on books we don't understand. The hijacking of the Brillante Virtuoso, a USD 100 million supertanker. Michael Lewis on why the scariest nuclear threat may be coming from inside the White House. How to defeat procrastination. The story of a blue pigment. John Supko on how he taught his computer to write its own music. And more.
I greatly enjoyed this short documentary about Vladimir Nabokov and the butterflies he collected on a road trip through the US. It's in 360º so best watched in Chrome.