The books we loved..
Festive season is coming up. Don’t deny it. You are all secretly as excited as we are. The lights, the family time and all the me-time you are hoping to get. Envision it. By the fireplace (yes, we know this is a northern hemisphere cliché), holding a book and immersing yourself fully in it. Isn’t it the dream?
So, I decided to become the good ‘elf’ this year and help (enable) you choose THE book. In celebration of our STEAM month we are going to focus on books that somehow involve science but do not fret! There is a bit of everything in here. I have asked my beloved Greek Women in STEM for their favs and behold what I have wreathed.
(This piece is going to be a longer one so, please, bare with me).
Starting with our founder, Lina, she said she would, hands down, suggest ‘Outliers: the story of success’ as well as ‘The theory of everything’. Chrysovalantou, a lover of books and writing herself, gave me a hefty list of suggestions but ‘The Music of Life: Biology Beyond Genes’ and ‘Physics for Poets’ really stood out. Natasa who usually tells us ‘our planet is not doing that well’, insisted that we need to get our teeth on ‘Less is more’, ‘Braiding Sweetgrass’ and ‘The Origin of Feces: What Excrement Tells Us about Evolution, Ecology, and a Sustainable Society’. Georgia loved ‘What If?’ and ‘Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!’, while our social media maven, Katerina, suggests ‘H κόμη της Βερενίκης’, ‘Γεωγραφία για αγεωγράφητους’ and ‘Logicomix’. This last one is a favourite of Danai as well but she also suggested that we read ‘The Gendered Brain’ and the ‘Invisible Women: Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men’. Tatiana told us that she has a love/hate relationship with this last-mentioned book because she got incredibly annoyed while reading it, due to the accuracy and the severity of the facts stated. She also re-directed us towards ‘Alone together: why we expect more from technology and less from each other’ which she characterised as a must read! Lastly, Maria told me in one of our looong coffee dates that ‘Why we trust science’ made her want to work in science communication, so, if this doesn’t make you go for it, who are you?
Lastly, myself, I read quite a few books this year, some of them I really loved and are mentioned above, but there is one that stuck with me, ‘The body keeps the score’. Seriously, get up and run to the bookstore. Talking about trauma and how this affects our minds, brains and bodies, it will help you understand yourself and people around you better, especially when you find out how common it is.
Coming to the end of my long article today – can you see how excited I get over books? – I will briefly mention a few of the literature books we loved. Maria cried her eyeballs out- her words not mine- reading ‘Where the crawdads sing’, while I got very wrapped up in ‘Sister Outsider’, smiled to myself with ‘Humans’ and laughed out loud multiple times with ‘Calypso’. Natasa suggested ‘Chemistry’ and ‘Bluets’ but also in an unexpected plot twist she told me about ‘Dispossesed’, while Katerina, Lina and Chrysovalantou insisted you should read anything from Tefkros Mihailidis such as ‘Ο Μέτοικος και η συμμετρία’ and ‘Πυθαγόρεια Εγκλήματα’. Katerina also sneaks in the, newly out, ‘Χωράει όλη η αρχαιότητα στο ασανσέρ;’and Lina says her favourite will always be ‘The parrot’s theorem’. Finally, we all love a bit of ‘Harry Potter’ – please don’t ask us to choose – especially recommended by Lina and Chrysovalantou.
You might think that this article is in a state of chaos as far as the themes of our suggestions go. This is because it really is. We are so close to each other but also very different. We are women in STEM but we are also engineers, biologists, chemists and tech women. We are Greeks, but we live in different countries and continents, and our influences are different. Of course, our suggestions are all over the place, but they are all extremely interesting and we all believe that you become a different person after each book experience. I can also tell you that this article can have a part 2, 3, 4, ∞ if you wish.. Me, personally, cannot wait to immerse myself in all these books! What about you?
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