It’s the Summertime, but that doesn’t mean you should stop reading. Now is your chance to actually read things you want to read – instead of being told what to do from some teacher you respect, but believes assigns way too much work. These books are thought-provoking and surely something you would enjoy.

Okay, maybe not all in the fiction section, but... (photo by Enokson)

Okay, maybe not all in the fiction section, but… (photo by Enokson)

#1. Mark Stevenson’s An Optimist Tour of the Future

Mark Stevenson states:

“This is a book that won’t tell you how to think about [the future], but will give you the tools to make up your mind about it. Whether you’re feeling optimistic or pessimistic about the future is up to you, but I do believe you should be fully informed about all the options we face. And one thing I became very concerned about is when we talk about the future, we often talk about it as damage and limitation exercise. That needn’t be the case — it could be a Renaissance.

#2. Live Now by Eric Smith

As quoted by The Atlantic:

“When illustrator Eric Smith was diagnosed with three different types of cancer, he decided to start a collaborative art project inviting people to live in the moment through beautiful, poetic, earnest artwork that celebrates life. This season, the project was published as a book, the candidly titled Live Now: Artful Messages of Hope, Happiness & Healing — an absolute treasure of Carpe Diem gold in the vein of Everything Is Going To Be OK, full of stunning illustration and design reminding us of what we all semi-secretly want to believe but the cynics in us all too often discount.”

#3. The Filter Bubble by Eli Pariser

This is a book that I’ll actually probably read on my own time. The book talks about, as quoted by The Atlantic:

“a compelling deep-dive into the invisible algorithmic editing on the web, a world where we’re being shown more of what algorithms think we want to see and less of what we should see. (Did you know that Google takes into account 57 individual data points before serving you the results you searched for?) Implicitly, the book raises some pivotal questions about the future of the information economy and the balance between algorithm and curator.”

I wonder if they talk about the Deep Net.

#4. God Bless You, Dr. Kevorkian by Kurt Vonnegut

If you’re interested in satire and Kurt Vonnegut (which are two things that I appreciate in literature) then this book might be for you.

The Atlantic says this book is about:

“…iconic writer Kurt Vonnegut pitch[ing] an idea to New York public radio station WNYC: He would conduct fictional interviews with dead cultural luminaries and ordinary people through controlled near-death experiences courtesy of real-life physician-assisted suicide proponent Dr. Jack Kevorkian, allowing the author to access heaven, converse with his subjects, and leave before it’s too late. The producers loved the idea and Vonnegut churned out a number of 90-second segments “interviewing” anyone from Jesus to Hitler to Isaac Asimov. The interviews — funny, poignant, illuminating, timeless, profoundly human — are collected in God Bless You, Dr. Kevorkian.”

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