Books worth reading

Books I read or I'm still reading

Book reading stats

In May 2020, I’ve decided to keep track of my reading habits.
Below are simple reading stats.

Completed per year:
  • 2020: 4
  • 2022: 1
Total number of completed books: 5

In English

The School of Life

published: 2019
genres: philosophy, psychology, self-help
completed: 2022-10-25

Ciekawie otwiera oczy na powszechność problemów z którymi wszyscy się borykami. Myślę, że jest to jedna z niewielu książek, które wywarły pozytywny wpływ na moje życie.

  • but people simply never need to harm others if they are not first tormented themselves.
  • One has to feel very small in order to belittle.
  • We will still be anxious when we finally have the house, the relationship and the right income.
  • Being a good listener is one of the most important and enchanting life skills anyone can have.
  • People are bad, always, because they are in difficulty. They slander, gossip, denigrate, and growl because they are not in a good place. Though they may seem strong, though their attacks can place them in an apparently dominant role, their ill intentions are all the proof we require to know as a certainty that they are not well. Contented people have no need to hurt others.
  • Anxiety is not a sign of sickness, a weakness of the mind, or an error for which we should always seek a medical solution. It is mostly a hugely reasonable and sensitive response to the genuine strangeness, terror, uncertainty, and riskiness of existence.
  • A daily period of philosophical meditation does not so much dissolve problems as create an occasion during which the mind can order and understand itself. Fears, resentments, and hopes become easier to name; we grow less scared of the contents of our own minds—and less resentful, calmer, and clearer about our direction. We start, in faltering steps, to know ourselves slightly better.
  • ideas, however noble, tend to require a little help from beauty.
  • Paradoxically, it is friendship that often offers us the real route to the pleasures that Romanticism associates with love. That this sounds surprising is only a reflection of how underdeveloped our day-to-day vision of friendship has become. We associate it with a casual acquaintance we see only once in a while to exchange inconsequential and shallow banter. But real friendship is something altogether more profound and worthy of exultation. It is an arena in which two people can get a sense of each other’s vulnerabilities, appreciate each other’s follies without recrimination, reassure each other as to their value and greet the sorrows and tragedies of existence with wit and warmth. Culturally and collectively, we have made a momentous mistake which has left us both lonelier and more disappointed than we ever needed to be. In a better world, our most serious goal would be not to locate one special lover with whom to replace all other humans but to put our intelligence and energy into identifying and nurturing a circle of true friends. At the end of an evening, we would learn to say to certain prospective companions, with an embarrassed smile as we invited them inside – knowing that this would come across as a properly painful rejection – ‘I’m so sorry, couldn’t we just be … lovers?
New words, idioms & terms:
  • be-all and end-all - prime cause: essential element
  • come what may - regardless of what happens; niech się dzieje, co chce; bez względu na cokolwiek.
  • inchoate - świeżo zapoczątkowany. An example usage: We could experience this inchoate restlessness when we read an article, hear of colleague’s plans or glimpse an idea about next year flit across our mental landscape as we lie in the bath or walk around a park.
  • putt along - To move along at a very quick, brisk, or rapid pace, especially on a compact motorized vehicle
  • recalcitrant - oporny, krnąbrny. The point of art was to render tough or knotty lessons easier to absorb; to nudge our recalcitrant minds towards accepting ideas that we might nod along to but then ignore if they were not stated in especially varnished and graceful terms.
  • tryst - schadzka, randka. Definition: a private romantic rendezvous between lovers.


published: 2018
genres: psychology, science
completed: 2020-08-08
  • Life without memory is not life at all… Our memory, is our coherence, our reason our feeling, even our action. Without it we’re nothing. - Luis Buñuel
  • Oblivion, except in certain case, is thus no malady of memory, but a condition of its health and its life. - William James
  • Was it a coincidence? The universe is rarely so lazy. - Sherlock Holmes
  • Our reality is a fantasy that coincides with a reality. - Chris Frith, a psychologist
  • Our reality is merely a controlled hallucination, reined in by our senses. - Anil Seth, a cognitive and computational neuroscientist
  • The only thing that separates two people is a layer of skin. - Vilayanur Ramachandran, a neuroscientist.
  • If the human brain were so simple that we could understand it, we would be so simple that we wouldn’t. - George Edgin Pugh, a nuclear physicist
New words, idioms & terms:
  • a waff of (e.g. smoke) - a puff or blast, a brief view, glance
  • affliction - a state of pain, distress, or grief; misery
  • allure - (v) to attract or tempt by something flattering or desirable. (n) fascination; charm; appeal.
  • bleary - indistinct; unclear; fatigued; worn-out
  • cauterise - to burn with a hot iron, electric current, fire, or a caustic, especially for curative purposes; treat with a cautery.
  • congenial - agreeable, suitable, or pleasing in nature or character
  • crinkled - wrinkled
  • disconcerting - disturbing; upsetting; discomfiting; confusing
  • disparate - distinct in kind; essentially different; dissimilar:
  • ditty - a poem intended to be sung. a short, simple song.
  • edgeways - with the edge forwards or uppermost; on, by, with, or towards the edge
  • foreshorten - to abridge, reduce, or contract; make shorter.
  • modicum - a moderate or small amount:
  • graft - a bud, shoot, or scion of a plant inserted in a groove
  • fettle - state; condition: in good fettle.
  • incongruence - not agreeing; not accordant
  • ineffable - incapable of being expressed or described in words; inexpressible; not to be spoken because of its sacredness; unutterable
  • inundate - to overwhelm; to flood; cover or overspread with water; deluge.
  • lanky - ungracefully thin and rawboned; bony; gaunt
  • lei - (pl. leis) a wreath of flowers, leaves, etc., for the neck or head.
  • lesion - an injury; hurt; wound. any localized, abnormal structural change in the body.
  • muster - (v) to assemble (troops, a ship’s crew, etc.), as for battle, display, inspection, orders, or discharge.
  • musty - having an odor or flavor suggestive of mold, as old buildings, long-closed rooms, or stale food. obsolete; outdated; antiquated:
  • pinprick - any minute puncture made by a pin or the like. a negligible irritation or annoyance.
  • prescient - having prescience, or knowledge of things or events before they exist or happen; having foresight
  • propensity - a natural inclination or tendency
  • qualia - In philosophy and certain models of psychology, are defined as individual instances of subjective, conscious experience
  • rife - of common or frequent occurrence; prevalent; in widespread existence, activity, or use. abundant, plentiful, or numerous.
  • salient - prominent or conspicuous; projecting or pointing outward;
  • shingle - A small, thin piece of building material, often with one end thicker than the other, for laying in overlapping rows as a covering for the roof or sides of a building. A small signboard designating a professional office;
  • shroud - That which clothes, covers, conceals, or protects; a garment.
  • on a sixpence - Within a very short distance.
  • sprawling - To sit with the limbs spread out. Expansive; extensive
  • startle - to move suddenly, or be excited, on feeling alarm; to start. To excite by sudden alarm, surprise, or apprehension; to frighten suddenly and not seriously; to alarm; to surprise.
  • stubble - Short, coarse hair, especially on a man’s face.
  • synaesthesia - A neurological or psychological phenomenon whereby a particular sensory stimulus triggers a second kind of sensation.
  • tack - A small nail with a flat head. A direction or course of action, especially a new one.
  • taunt - to make fun of (someone); to goad (a person) into responding, often in an aggressive manner.
  • thalamus - Either of two large, ovoid structures of grey matter within the forebrain that relay sensory impulses to the cerebral cortex.
  • amble - An unhurried leisurely walk or stroll. An easy gait, especially that of a horse.
  • to be out of earshot - Far enough away that one is not able to hear what someone else says or does.
  • to feel a little out of sorts - To be in an irritable, grouchy, or unhappy mood; to feel unwell, displeased, or in poor spirits.
  • to lug - To haul or drag along (especially something heavy); to carry; to pull.
  • outfall - To burst forth, as upon an enemy; make a sally. A quarrel; a falling out. The point or place of discharge of a river, drain, culvert, sewer
  • to potter around - To potter, to be gently active doing various things in an almost aimless manner.
  • to stifle a yawn - To interrupt or cut off a yawn
  • at close quarters - at very near proximity
  • wistful - Full of longing or yearning. Sad and thoughtful.
  • wonky - Lopsided, misaligned or off-centre. Feeble, shaky or rickety.

Po Polsku

Absurd Everestu

by: Denis Urubko (orig. Абсурд Эвереста)
published: 2013
genres: biography, mountaineering
completed: 2020-06-05

Denis Urubko opisuje od podszewki początki swojej pierwszej wyprawy w Himalaje. Oprócz opisu ciężkiego podejścia bardzo spodobały mi się zdjęcia zrobione przez członków wyprawy. Polecam każdemu kto lubi chodzić po górach.

New words, idioms & terms:
  • zrejterować - wycofać się, zrezygonować, uciekać, brać nogi za pas
  • dworować sobie z kogoś - szydzić, wyśmiewać się z kogoś, drwić, odnosić się z pogardą
  • somnambuliczny - lunatyczny
  • sybaryta - człowiek, który spędza czas na przyjemnościach i uwielbia zbytek; hedonista, epikurejczyk, wygodniś
  • jumar - urządzenie sportowe umożliwiające przemieszczanie się po pionowo przymocowanej linie


published: 2014
genres: history, biography, science, mathematics
completed: 2020-05-27

Ciekawa historia o uczonych, którzy tworzyli Lwowską szkołę matematyczną w czasie dwudziestolecia międzywojennego, w trakcie i po II wojnie światowej. Kilku z nich brało udział w projekcie Manhattan.

  • David Hawkins, żegnając przyjaciela, napisał: “Ludzie, którzy żyją tylko trochę, tylko trochę umierają. Stan żył bardzo…”
  • Marynarz, który lgnie do kobiet: majtek - Hugo Steinhaus
  • Nasz ustrój ekonomiczny: postępowy paraliż - Hugo Steinhaus
  • Między duchem a materią pośredniczy matematyka. - Hugo Steinhaus
  • Nałogowe chodzenie na pogrzeby: zabawa w chowanego - Hugo Steinhaus
  • Taki co obywa się bez wszystkiego: obywatel - Hugo Steinhaus
  • Taki, co przez omyłkę się ożenił: bigamoń - Hugo Steinhaus
  • Taki, co wszystko reguluje okólnikami: dekretyn - Hugo Steinhaus
  • Ziemia, kula u nogi - Hugo Steinhaus
New words, idioms & terms:
  • probierz - miernik służący za podstawę oceny czegoś; kryterium, sprawdzian; przyrząd do sprawdzania składu ciał stałych i płynnych;

Podróż do Alfy Centauri

by: Michael D. Obrien (orig. Voyage to Alpha Centauri)
published: 2013
genres: science-fiction, christian fiction
completed: 2020-05-14

Smutna wizja przyszłości (z cieniem nadzieji na nowy start) opanowanej permanentną kontrolą narodzin, inwigilacją i walką dobra ze złem. Ludzkość z przełomu XXI i XXI wieku odkrywa, że kiedyś też byliśmy kosmitami…

New words, idioms & terms:
  • wręga - wycięcie lub załamanie w elemencie konstrukcyjnym, wcięcie
  • króciec - ( króćce) krótki odcinek rury przy zbiorniku lub aparacie, służący do przyłączenia przewodu rurowego