Short History of the World by H.G.Wells.

Book Review by Cari Mayhew.  Rating 7/10.

Best known for his classic fiction, HG Wells also wrote a non-fiction book summarising the history of the world, going from the history of the solar system, right up to the date the book was published in 1922. Continue reading Short History of the World by H.G.Wells.

When Hitler Took Cocaine and Lenin Lost his Brain by Giles Milton.

Book Review by Cari Mayhew.

If only all events in history could be taught this way! This is his hands down one of the most entertaining history books you’ll ever read!  The book is composed of 50 chapters depicting from lesser known points in history.  The stories are dramatic, compelling, and often shocking.  There are tales of heroism, injustice, conspiracy, and cannibalism. Continue reading When Hitler Took Cocaine and Lenin Lost his Brain by Giles Milton.

Book App/Site of the Fortnight – Blinkist.

If your anything like me, you may be interested in non-fiction but struggle to find the time.  If so, Blinkist is a fab little app for you.  It summarises thousands of non-fiction works, which can either be read or listened to within 15 minutes.  It’s available on Android and iPhone.  The mere 15 minutes means you can fit them in around your day with ease, and you can read/listen offline which can be really handy.

Its summaries are really well written, with an introduction to each one, including reasons to read each one, who they’re aimed at, and an author bio.  Main points are communicated not in a chapter by chapter basis but grouped into main areas.  Notable quotes from the book are made to stand out, and there’s a wrap up at the end, where the summariser normally aims to provide actionable advice from the book.  Best of all the info from the quick 15 minutes read is plenty enough to enable you to sound like you know what you’re talking about.  If nothing else it will help you decide whether you want to read the whole book, as it’s quicker and more informative than reading a free sample.

It appears to be mainly sought over for its self-improvement titles, but also draws a lot of attention for its new perspectives on the world with bestsellers in psychology, politics, economics, science, history & culture.  Some use it to stay abreast of developments in their field of expertise.

It has an excellent rating on Google Play, and rightly so.  I gave the free trial a go, and the app was soon able to pick up on what I was more interested in, and provide some great recommendations of titles.  During the free trial, you can read any summary in its collection.  When my free trial ran out, I was (and am) able to access one free summary a day – which is great for my personal target of aiming to learn something in non-fiction every week.

For me, it’s an app I wouldn’t be without!

This Idea Must Die – Edited by John Brockman.

Book Review by Cari Mayhew.

There’s nothing like reading a popular science book to make you feel more worldly wise!  The Idea Must Die is a compilation of over 150 separate articles, by different contributors, arguing that certain scientific concepts are blocking progress and should be put to rest.  Continue reading This Idea Must Die – Edited by John Brockman.