World Cup Book Haul and How I Pick My Next Read

World Cup Book Haul and How I Pick My Next Read

It’s World Cup time and I’m right where I need to be—in Moscow, Russia! Soccer/football vibes are in the air all over the place. Brightly dressed fans repping the colors of their favorite teams, loud and boisterous chants and sing-alongs, joyous celebrations, horn blowing, drum beating, foot stomping, dancing, jumping and, of course, flag wavin’ and waka-wakaing fill every street and corner of the city turning it into one big sports carnival. Whether you’re a fan or not, if this doesn’t get you excited, I don’t know what will!

Argentina, the team that my girlfriend and I so passionately supported, got kicked out. But even without the two greatest players, Messi and his arch-rival Ronaldo, the next couple of weeks promise to be filled with fun, good sportsmanship and the spirit of the most popular game in the world.

As the top players try their best to score more goals for their teams, I keep my eyes on my reading goals. That’s why I decided to share my World Cup book haul with you and list everything I bought in the couple of months leading up to the tournament. It’s also a great opportunity to write a little bit about how I pick my next read and what goes into my decision to buy a book.

Moonwalking with Einstein | Joshua Foer

This is a truly amazing book on the art and science of memory. I have already finished reading it and I will definitely write a review sometime soon. But one thing I can say now is go read it!

Ironically, I don’t remember how I first found out about this book—I think I saw a reference to it in another book I liked and then my friend also told me about it. Hearing about it from two independent sources definitely made me want to hit a bookstore. My expectations were very high and I wasn’t disappointed. Joshua Foer’s masterpiece definitely had me feeling like I could join the pantheon of intellectual giants like Einstein and, if I’m lucky, even memorize a few Michael Jackson moves.

English for the Natives | Harry Ritchie

The title of this one is pretty self-explanatory—essentially, it’s a grammar book for the native speakers of English. Harry Ritchie is on a quest to prove how much we know about the English language without realizing it. And while he’s at it, he does his best to shatter the myth that grammar can’t be fun!

I’ve always been interested in linguistics and the title attracted my attention. Also, for the better half of my life I’ve been debating whether I should consider myself a native speaker of English or not (this dilemma deserves a separate post), and I was hoping that this book might help me understand who I am a little better.

I just started reading it and I’m about one third in. While I definitely love the message, I’m not entirely sure I like the way it has been put together. I’ll definitely let you know when I finish!

Play Stronger, Better, Happier | Arnold LeUnes

This book is an introduction to sport psychology. It may seem like a pretty random subject to read about, but I really want to learn something about it. My girlfriend is a psychology major and a huge sports fan. Naturally, both interests rubbed off on me and that’s why I was super happy when I spotted this book in a store. I haven’t started yet but I'll definitely get to it soon. Also, I think it’s a perfect read for the World Cup!

Africa’s Tarnished Name | Chinua Achebe

A very short book of essays by the patriarch of the African novel—this is something I simply couldn’t pass on.

What Do You Care What Other People Think | Richard Feynman

Richard Feynman, in addition to being one of the smartest people of the 20th century, was also definitely a curious character. I recently read Surely You’re Joking, Mr Feynman! and I want more!

Swing Time | Zadie Smith

Swing Time, as well as other books by Zadie Smith, has been showing up on my Instagram feed ever since I joined. I’m so happy I found out about bookstagram and got to know so many amazing people. I trust your opinion! So when I saw the unmistakable yellow cover neatly tucked between other books on a shelf I grabbed it almost instinctively. I’m on a budget, what are you doing to me bookstagram?

I hope you enjoyed this post and the books I picked for my to-be-read list. Now I would love to hear about yours! Let me know in the comments what books you’re into and how you pick what to buy. I also hope this post inspires you to try reading something new and keep your book game strong!