Jumper by Steven Gould

Jumper (and its sequel, Reflex) are light yet deeply engaging sci-fi novels about a young man who can, as you might know if you’ve seen the movie, teleport at will. The books are far better than the movie, just FYI. Mr. Gould doesn’t delve too deeply into the mechanics of teleportation itself; the novel uses Davy’s — the protagonist — ability as a catalyst for the plot and character development. It’s rather well-done, and the second book especially had me frantically tapping my Kindle screen to advance through the pages.

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Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World by Jack Weatherford

This book was overall a 9/10 for me. 12/10 for the first half and a 7/10 for the second. You can learn so much from the rise of Genghis Khan, and the story reads like an actual story. Rather than just saying there was X battle in Y year, Weatherford lays out the motivations behind the powers and the conflicts that erupt, and the narrative comes alive. This is a perfect book for somebody who wants to begin reading history or learn about an infamous figure who deserves a much better reputation.

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How I put a barrier to spending too much time on my phone: Tasker

I noticed (thanks to Rescuetime) that I was wasting too much time on my phone. You know the feeling: oh, I’m ‘just’ going to check Facebook/reddit and then 45 minutes of you just staring at the same thing has gone by. So I opened up the trusty app Tasker, which people have used for some ingenious things, and made a small profile that I’ll use for a little while: if I open up Facebook or the Internet browser, it immediately closes, and pops up a reminder to think of 3 things I’m grateful for, and to briefly remind myself of the mental opportunity cost I’d pay. Here’s how.

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Around the World in Fifteen Friends by Tynan

Around the World in Fifteen Friends by Tynan is an entertaining and short read, yet still mind-expanding and interesting. You can almost feel Tynan’s curiosity for life come through, and each story is short enough for the book to be easily finished, yet still engaging; all are well-told, and you’ll learn about things like a family in Japan famous internationally for their quality of tea and personal hospitality.

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