My Summer Reads 2023

Regardless of how busy life may get, I always find the time to settle down and enjoy a good book – especially in the summertime! I’ve developed a knack for reading multiple books across genres, and it has been one of the greatest driving forces of my creativity and understanding, helping me to find value in various ideas, stories, and narratives.

It’s important for me to stay up to date with current events and global happenings to best navigate my personal and professional life. Now, I’d like to share the top three reads that recently captured my attention. 

Take a look at my Top 3 Summer 2023 reading list: 

“The Avoidable War: The Dangers of a Catastrophic Conflict between the US and Xi Jinping’s China”

If we turn a blind eye to history, we know that we are doomed to repeat it. That is one of the reasons why author Kevin Rudd’s “The Avoidable War” was as necessary as it was interesting. The book highlights the volatile relationship between the US and China based on prolonged cultural misunderstanding, historical grievance, and more.

This reading is key to understanding how crucial it is for global superpowers and local communities alike to coexist peacefully and find common ground, even among turmoil and seemingly ideological incompatibility. Without it, a geopolitical disaster may be impending that will rewrite the planet’s future. 

Being You: The Inside Story of Your Inner Universe

Being you is not as simple as it sounds – which is what Anil Kumar Seth, a British professor of Cognitive and Computational Neuroscience at the University of Sussex and author, emphasizes in his mind-bending book. “Being You: The Inside Story of Your Inner Universe” dives into the mysterious concept of consciousness and our scientific understanding of the brain. 

I highly recommend this book to every person to gain insight into radical interdisciplinary breakthroughs that must transform how we think about the self. As someone who works in the Life Sciences field and is constantly looking for ways to evolve and improve patient and community health, I was left feeling exhilarated and inspired by theories about how humanity experiences the world and why we should view ourselves as a part of the rest of nature. 

Cultural Analytics

Data is one of the most important and valuable forms of modern currency. With the internet and technology constantly evolving to unimaginable depths and scales, what analytical methods can we bring to bear on the astonishing scale of digital culture, where we are bombarded with billions of images and pieces of content daily? This is one of the questions Lev Manovich asks in “Cultural Analytics,” a book at the intersection of data science and media studies. 

This was a particularly interesting read for colleagues in the Life Sciences and healthcare professions, whose reliance on data is truly the difference between life and death. However, is evaluating media the same as monitoring the human body? Manovich presents concepts and methods for computational cultural data analysis and draws on more than a decade of research and projects from his own lab. 

As an avid reader and advocate for people to engage in creative pastimes that lead to innovative developments, I strongly encourage you to read at least one of these influential books this summer!

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