Christmas is upon us.

Today, I went to town after work to get a present for a Friend of mine. She wanted a book, by Daniel Kehneman, Thinking Fast and Slow. I bought it at Kinokuniya and had it gift wrapped. I read this book before. Or tried reading it it. I have read hundreds of books ever since I first started tracking what books I have read over the years. I started tracking all the books that I read when during my years in Polytechnic. After 10 years or so, I have collectively read close to 400 books. And these were just the ones I was able to remember and track.

Thinking Fast and Slow was one of the very few books that I selected to be in my reading list but I never gotten the chance to finish reading it when it was time to pick this book up. The book was extremely technical and academic in it’s writing that it was hard to follow. Language was not complicated, but rather, the subject matter that was discussed within those pages. As a renown psychologist who won a Nobel prize for his works in the field of the psychology of judgment, decision making and behavioural economics, this book, in order to appreciate it, requires fundamental understanding of these three topics. I clearly didn’t, or maybe not to the level that is required to fully appreciate his works and experiences as an academic who have spent his entire life researching on the topic. Now, as he wrote this book as a reflection of the fields that he has advanced throughout the years, without sufficient knowledge behind those concepts, you can easily get lost in the technical jargons founds within the pages of this book.

And so, my friend’s wish list was this book. I chose not to warn her about it, but rather just get the book as her Christmas gift. Whether or not she gets to enjoy the book is completely up to her. If she actually manages to finish reading it, then I admire her tenacity, but judging from experience, she may be able to read the passages in this book, but I highly doubt she will be able to follow the concept through at the end of each chapter. Imagine each chapter, being written and read like an academic paper. Now imagine multiple academic papers bound together to give birth to this book. The topics are complex, and the delivery, extremely dry. On a positive note, its a pretty good book to fall asleep with every night if he or she suffers from occasional insomniac episodes.

I feel bad not warning her about this book. So I decided to get her another one, based on my own personal recommendation. She won’t know that she has another gift waiting for her, until the day we exchange gifts. I hope that the second book I have chosen would serve as a counter-balance to the dense book she wished for as a Christmas gift. It calls for light reading with light-hearted humor found on almost every page. It’s none other than Trevor Noah’s Born a Crime. One of the best books I have read in recent years. It is so funny. I hope she can appreciate the humor found within the pages and serves as a great alternative to Thinking Fast and Slow, should she require some light reading material. I think Born a Crime would nicely serve that purpose.

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