Superior is an examination of scientific racism, talking to scientists, anthropologists, historians and a whole host of other people. It also talks to some obvious racists, which is kind of fascinating in itself.
I can see why lots of people love this book. It’s like a Russian Doll of a story, all wrapped up in flowery and beautiful language. But in some respects, that’s all it is. So it’s fine, but I’m not sure what all the fuss was about.
Future Crimes is a very detailed book, looking at all various ways that technology can be exploited for nefarious purposes. It’s a really good read, though it leaves you with a lingering paranoia about every device in your home. After the chapter on IoT (internet of things) devices, I googled whether our robot vacuum had a vulnerability (it did).
The Poppy War uses the general frame of Chinese history in the 20th century, but reshapes it with its own fantasy elements. So there’s an invasion from an island nation (Japan), the influx of opium and heroin but then the fantasy elements of being able to call upon gods and become shamans are mixed in with all that.
Astounding is a history of the golden age of science fiction, specifically focussed on John W. Campbell Jr., L. Ron Hubbard, Robert A. Heinlein and Isaac Asimov. And it is quite frankly, bloody brilliant.
The Silk Roads by Peter Frankopan was a really fascinating read and I enjoyed so many aspects of the book.
Inspired by @Tracy King’s tweet (and that I also did this last year which is still valid), here’s a list of the books that I loved this year.