Books summaries/reviews

  1. The 4 hour body by Tim Ferriss (Aug. 2019)

I have finally came around my first Tim Ferriss book. I already listen to his podcast regularly, even listed under my page of resources I often use. The book was recommended as a starting point for people who want to start a slow carb diet, a challenge a friend and I decided to embark on then. It did not disappoint!

I listened to the audio version, finding it easy to follow and well laden with facts and proof from scientific research, which I’m already predisposed to enjoy as a scientist myself. In a few words word I would say the book has so much depth and is thorough.

I found the book to be a good and quick guide to healthy lifestyles by manipulation of diet, exercise, sex and sleep. It sounded realistic and did not make outrageous claims that I was prompted to give some of the suggestions a try.

I highly recommend the book for anyone interested to understand the science of weight and fat/muscle loss/gain, the author covers this quite a bit.


2. Superior: The return of race science by Angela Saini (Sept. 2019)

A very well written (and read, I listened to the audio version on Scribd) book in the subject or race and racism as related to science and how this relationship was weaponised for political gain. Reading this book was eye-opening; as a person of colour I had always been aware of racism and its implications. What I wasn’t aware of was how science rendered to legitimacy to racism.

This book also helped me understand personal biases that we all may harbour, especially as scientists. Before reading this book I thought science to be an objective field, but this could not be further from the truth. 

The book is informative and insightful but also really painful to read/listen to as a person of colour AND scientist. 

3. Thanks for the feedback by Doublas Stone and Sheila Heen (October 2020)

I hadn’t paid attention to my role as a feedback receiver in making the whole process effective but this book changed my perspective. A large part of receiving and using feedback lies on the outlook, skills and emotional intelligence of the receiver, regardless of how biased, mean and unhelpful the feedack is.

There is always a lesson from any feedback. Focusing on negative aspects only wastes a learning opportunity.

I learned two more lessons from the book:

i. How to differentiate the three main types of feedback; evaluation, coaching and appreciation

ii. How to actively solicit feedback and manage the process of receiving it.

I highly recommend this book for anyone seeking to understand the art of giving and receiving feedback, in both personal and professional spheres. We are constantly giving and receiving feedback anyway, whether we realise it or not. It helps to be conscious about it and intend to make the most of the process.