As part of my 2020 public goals, I read 2 books on January:
- The Telomere Effect: A Revolutionary Approach to Living Younger, Healthier, Longer, by Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn and Dr. Elissa Epel
- Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, by Yuval Noah Harari
The Telomere Effect
I read many reviews from Goodreads saying that they were expecting more of the book despite some basic information like don’t eat too much sugar or try to have a less stressful life but after reading that I think the opposite.
Dr. Blackburn and Dr. Epel are, both of them, scientists. What they bring to the table is a résumé of hundreds of scientific studies in a very simple way that everyone can understand. If you’re looking for data, I would suggest to google what they are presenting and read the studies.
People still think that there is a miraculous way of becoming healthy and those scientists are hiding from us. People don’t want to read that doing exercise is one of the best way of keeping your health on track. They also don’t want to read that being black and poor are huge disadvantage and these are problems that we must deal together.
Nevertheless, it’s not a perfect book. The author keeps the entire book focusing on self-help and presenting quizzes to the reader to help determine the role of stress in one’s life. The fault of the author was to not make clear to the reader that they wouldn’t find a magic key for the eternal life in the book.
The book also didn’t tell that we need more research on the topic, specially for those that are not used to follow scientific studies. If you pay attention to the text, you can notice that, although harmless (in my point of view), the authors present suggestions of life improvement based in only some studies. Few things are presented as a conclusion although it’s been a field of study for more than 40 years.
Sapiens aims to explain very complex issues of some thousand of years in a way which people can understand. All in one book.
It’s a book made for those who would not have time and will for reading but still could make people think more about the world that we live within.
It was a nice reading, but with some flaws:
- You cannot compress thousand of pages and studies of the humanity in 1 book. It has a very, very simplified view of everything.
- It begins with a very interesting presentation of early human history, but the author contaminate (in a very deliberate way) the facts from that time on. The author makes you think that the agricultural revolution was humans biggest mistake ever.
- Specially when writing about the last century, the author uses a very simplified view of how things works and our “homo deus” tendency.
Don’t get me wrong, I still recommend this book, but I suggest taking care of not following some fallacies presented.