Of the non-fiction books I read in 2019, here are the ones I recommend:
- Nick Chater: The mind is flat. Our subconscious minds analyze vast amounts of information, and once they reach a conclusion, the conscious part of our mind is notified. At least that's what I used to think before reading this book, which proposes a radical and well-argued departure from the way most people assume our minds work. It argues that there is no subconscious of which the conscious is the surface. Instead, the conscious may be all there is.
- Paul Schneider: Brutal Journey. This is an account of the Narváez expedition, which departed Spain in 1527 to colonize Florida. Things went wrong and only four out of 600 men made it back to Europe after trekking through what today is Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and Mexico for eight years. When it comes to physical hardship, nothing today approaches what they went through.
- Temple Grandin: Animals in Translation, reviewed here.
- Jonathan B. Losos: Improbable Destinies, reviewed here.
- Ben Blatt: Nabokov's Favorite Word Is Mauve, reviewed here.
Happy New Year!