Five science fiction and technology books to take to the beach this summer

We all agree that this is not going to be another summer. Most of us will not go beyond the Pyrenees and those who go to the beach will discover that they have to use an app that informs them about how much space they can occupy on the sand and for how long. The mask will accompany us to the edge of the pool and “safety distance” has all the roles to become a musical hit. With these ingredients, reading will serve to move us away from that dystopia in which it seems that we have lived for months.

As usual in recent years, at MCPRO we want to recommend some of the best readings you can take to disconnect. On this occasion we propose five “technological” novels that point to the future of Artificial Intelligence and what it is that defines us as human beings. Good reading!

Machines like me (Ian McEwan)

In what has been one of the literary sensations of last season, Ian McEwan poses a world in which machines could come to think like human beings.

The action of «Machines like me» takes place in the eighties of the last century, in a dystopian and alternative London, in which the United Kingdom has lost the Falklands War and the scientist Alan Turing has not only not committed suicide but who has dedicated all his energies to the development of Artificial Intelligence and the first “synthetic” human beings: practically perfect beings, without the fissures but also without the moral nuances of true human beings.

Agency (William Gibson)

Since William Gibson published his “Neuromancer” in 1984, he has become one of the leading science fiction writers. In his new novel “Agency”, he introduces us to Verity Jane, a beta tester who is tasked with trying out a new product: a digital assistant accessed through smart glasses.

Of course, nothing is as simple as it seems and «Eunice», which is the name of the AI ​​that the new glasses incorporate, is not just any assistant; in fact it turns out to be so smart that it doesn’t seem to have been programmed by any human being. At the same time, the action moves to a different timeline in which in what could be a scenario out of “The Hunger Games” everyone is fighting for the big Jackpot.

Modified Carbon (Richard Morgan)

The plot of “Modified Carbon” earned Richard Morgan that in 2018 Netflix premiered “Altered Carbon” on its platform. The novel collects some classic ingredients of the genre, also introducing some of the premises that we have already seen in other series such as “Black Mirror” (Netflix) or in the fun “The Upload” (Amazon Prime Video).

The action takes place in the year 2384 and we are at a time when human identity can be stored on a digital medium and transferred from one body to another, allowing human beings to survive physical death by ensuring that their memories and your consciousness is “inserted” into new bodies.

With these premises, Takeshi Kovacs, a former member of the special military units, “will be reborn” in a new body to investigate his own murder.

Armada (Ernest Cline)

Ernest Cline achieved world fame with “Ready Player One”, a dystopia that made virtual reality its main element and which ended up being taken to the cinema by Steven Spielberg in 2018, becoming one of the biggest box office winners of the year.

In his second book, «Armada», Cline returns for his privileges in what is another declaration of love for video games. In this case, he introduces us to Zack Lightman, a geek who does not leave his computer and who spends his day dreaming in a world of adventure that seems totally remote from his reality.

Of course, one day you see from your window a flying saucer you did not expect. And that you have to use everything you know about the world of video games to save the planet, much less.

Never abandon me (Kazuo Ishiguro)

That an author who is able to recreate the English aristocracy like no one else in the magnificent “The Remains of the Day” marks a dystopia lady in “Never abandon me” deserves a Nobel Prize. In fact, the jury of the Awards agreed and the English author won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2017.

At first glance, the youngsters studying at Hailsham Boarding School are just like any other group of teenagers. They play sports, or have art classes where their teachers are dedicated to stimulating their creativity. It is a hermetic world, where the pupils have no other contact with the outside world than Madame, as they call the woman who comes to take away the most interesting works of adolescents, she represents one of the few figures that puts them in contact with the world real. The reader will discover that in Hailsham everything is a performance where young actors do not know that they are, nor what is expected of them.


The 20 best business books of the year, according to Amazon

The best business books that came out while we were all distracted by the headlines about the pandemic across the world.

Much has happened so far in 2020 and largely negative. But not all. While we were all buried in the headlines about a devastating virus, a social justice uprising, and murderous hornets (and methamphetamine, apparently), incredibly smart people have been quietly producing great books on business, economics, and leadership.

Chances are you’ve been a little distracted and missed a lot of them. But fear not. The Amazon editorial team has been up all this time, reading hundreds of titles and ranking the mediocre of the outstanding, and they’ve just released their pick for the 20 best business books of the year so far.


So if you’re looking to get a little smarter while you’re stuck at home, consider picking some of the titles below.

1. BJ Fogg’s Tiny Habits: “A practical guide to intentionally making small changes to your routine that can lead to great results,” according to the Amazon review.Tiny Habits by BJ Fogg, one of the best 20 business books 2020 for Amazon

2. Capital and ideology by Thomas Piketty. “Nothing less than a global story of inequality and the stories that societies tell to justify it,” says Wired.

3. Justin Farrell’s billionaire desert. “A Yale sociology professor documents the division of classes in Teton County, Wyoming,” is Publishers Weekly’s description. The billionaire desert is an interesting story about class division

4. The Economy of Velvet Rope by Nelson D. Schwartz. “From the New York Times business journalist Nelson D. Schwartz comes an exciting investigation into how a virtual velvet rope divides Americans in all walks of life,” says Amazon.

5. Joy in the work of Marie Kondo. The Japanese cleaning guru turns her attention to our messy workspaces. Marie Kondo arrived with her techniques to the world of work

6. Think like a space scientist by Ozan Varol. “A fascinating read that’s full of actionable ideas,” according to Wharton’s Adam Grant.

7. Designing your work life by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans. “Burnett and Evans show how to apply Stanford’s famous design principles to find their place in the world,” says Brian Lehrer of NPR.

8. Leadership is language by L. David Marquet. Another favorite of Adam Grant, who he says is “full of compelling advice on how to lead more effectively by choosing your words wisely.”

9. The economy of passion for Adam Davidson. “The brilliant creator of NPR’s Planet Money podcast and award-winning New York staff writer explains our current economy,” says Amazon.

10. Leadership Strategy and Tactics: Jocko Willink’s Field Manual. This one from a Navy SEAL veteran “explains how to take leadership theory, quickly translate that theory into applicable strategy, and then put leadership into action at a tactical level,” according to Amazon.

11. The future is faster than you think by Peter H. Diamandis and Steven Kotler. “A powerful and beautiful masterpiece that depicts a compelling future for humanity,” says Tony Robbins.

12. Arguing with Zombies by Paul Krugman. Amazon calls this Nobel Prize “an accessible and compelling introduction to today’s top policy issues.”Amazon recommends this Nobel Prize-winning work, Paul Krugman, as one of the 2020 business books.

13. More than ready by Cecilia Muñoz. “Tips and Inspiration for Women of Color Seeking New Heights of Influence” is Amazon’s description.

14. Ethan Sherwood Strauss’s Victory Machine. “An unvarnished internal account of the Golden State Warriors,” says ESPN writer Jackie MacMullan.

15. Economic dignity by Gene Sperling. “A timely and important new book … It should be our North Star for recovery and beyond,” according to Hillary Clinton.

16. This is not a Danielle Bernstein fashion story. “A revealing description (in more ways than one) of a Long Island girl turned international fashion influencer, designer, CEO and tech entrepreneur Danielle Bernstein,” says Amazon.

17. Very Important People by Ashley Mears. “A sociologist and former fashion model leads readers to the global elite circuit of‘ model and bottle parties, ‘”says Amazon.

18. The Price of Peace by Zachary D. Carter. A highly praised new biography of the economist John Maynard Keynes.

19. How Innovation Works by Matt Ridley. “Ridley builds a fascinating theory of innovation, including its prehistoric roots, how it will shape the future and what makes it successful,” says Scientific American.

20. Upstream by Dan Heath. “If you want to stop firefighting problems and prevent them from happening in the first place, then you should read what Dan Heath has to say,” says best-selling author Charles Duhigg in recommending this book.

Cooking and Food

11 cookbooks you should have to eat healthy (and tasty)

We review some of the best cookbooks you can find on the market to innovate between stoves, eat better, immerse yourself in gastronomies from other cultures or learn the recipes of the world’s most renowned chefs.

“The kitchen is a language through which harmony, happiness, beauty, poetry, complexity, magic, humor, provocation, culture can be expressed.” We don’t say it, says Ferrán Adriá. If you are one of those people who loses track of time chopping ingredients, sniffing spices, tasting sauces and, in short, experimenting between stoves, or you have great curiosity and concern about improving your diet to make it healthier and more respectful of the environment, A good collection of cookbooks is top quality material to invest in to get down to business.

Diners at the table! The 7 best apps for cooking at home
In this article you will find more than a dozen of the best volumes of recipes to achieve a healthier and more conscious diet, to explore other different typical gastronomies, to know what is behind the ingredients of your dishes or to improve your health, your mood, your heart or your mind -among others- using the kitchen as a tool. At the same time, it does not hurt to remember that preparing food for other people is positive to cultivate your hobbies, relax, flee from stress and improve your mental health. Take out the chef hat and read on!

11 cookbooks that can not miss on your shelf

Healthy food to live better (Lily Simpson and Rob Hobson): As a subtitle this book is defined as “the detox bible: the 150 recipes that take care of your health”. It is a true best seller that will help you to be aware of what you eat, to look for foods that improve your physical circumstances and above all, to provide wellness through the kitchen. With a careful editing, you’ll be able to access nutritionist Rob Hobson’s health guidelines and 150 delicious and flavorful recipes – all gluten-free, lactose-free and refined sugar-free by chef Lily Simpson.

1080 kitchen recipes (Simone Ortega): It appeared forty years ago as a paperback but today reinvented in a special format with original color illustrations by Pablo Sobisch. More than a thousand recipes, gastronomic plans, cooking times, vocabulary, calories and numerous culinary techniques, all with detailed yet simple explanations. Thanks to this comprehensive manual, over five million people have learned the secrets of cooking. If you could only buy one book, it probably should be this one.

Modernist Cuisine At Home (Nathan Myhrvold and Maxime Bilet): Two things are clear: you will have to drop a good pinch to get this gastronomic bible – around 100 euros – and of course, you will not regret it at all. It is an exquisite compendium of cooking techniques, ranging from the most classic homemade dishes such as pasta and chicken wings to seafood soup with pistachios and sous vide snails. The main volume, 456 pages, includes all the information a cook needs to equip and manage a modern kitchen, while all the recipes have been included in a practical 230-page additional kitchen manual with more than 400 new recipes.

The Encyclopedia of Flavors (Niki Segnit): An appetizing reference book with which you will learn in spurts. If there are still ingredients that are great for you or you don’t know the combination of certain flavors, this complete guide provides everything you should know, with 980 entries in total and 200 recipes or suggestions in the text. You’ll be able to learn from traditional combinations like pork and apple, vanilla and cherry or garlic and parsley to recent favorites like chocolate and chili, vanilla and lobster or goat cheese and radishes, as well as interesting but strange couples at first sight, like blood sausage and chocolate, lemon and veal, mushrooms and blueberries or watermelon and oysters.

Recipes with history (Enrique Berra Gómez): If, in addition to food, you have the illusion of learning little anecdotes, this work will seem like a real delight. Focused on traditional Andalusian cuisine, with its ingredients and manners, Enrique Becerra breaks a spear in favor of “non-modernity” in the most novel sense of its meaning. Inside you will find tasty and healthy recipes of a lifetime surrounded by stories, anecdotes or tales.

Gourmet vegan cuisine (Iosune Robles López and Alberto Aragón Mora): This work, written by the authors of the popular blog Danza de stove, allows you to eat fully, healthy and rich hundreds of dishes without animal products, with a gourmet touch is possible and very easy. This book will teach you how to eat vegan without giving up your favorite dishes, or their taste, learning how to make a 100% vegetable version of any recipe and providing you with the main ingredients, techniques and recipes.

The family meal (Ferrán Adriá): If you get this book, you can refresh yourself with the menu that the kitchen team at the famous El Bulli restaurant prepared every day with fresh, energizing and delicious products. When elBulli closed, Ferran Adrià, the best chef in the world, left a compilation of well-structured, easy, cheap menus with traditional roots. Far from being in a drawer forever, you can learn all its keys and recipes in this complete book.

The fucking yaya recipes: If you are a student and you are going away for the first time away from home or you have just become independent, this hilarious and simple book with a touch of sharp humor and comic-style illustrations, aims to teach you how to fry an egg, prepare a gazpacho or cook some muffins. Basic kitchen for dummies, edition.

The Silver Spoon: This book is known as “the bible of Italian cuisine”, so it will deeply interest all fans of this type of Mediterranean cuisine. Originally baptized as Il cucchiaio d’argento, it is a manual of no more and no less than 1,500 pages with 60 years of success behind it and a great wealth around the classic Italian cookbook.

Tokyo: the recipes of worship (Maori Murota): If you want to delve into a different and exquisite cuisine, try to get this manual, a walk through the secrets of Japanese cuisine that will allow you to prepare sushi, gyozas, ramen, bento at home , tonztzu and much more. In total, it includes 100 delicious recipes typical of the Japanese tradition.

Peru (Gastón Acurio): This book is a real gem, both visually and in content. Known as the definitive bible of Peruvian home cooking, it is written by the great chef Gastón Acurio. Gastón Acurio, a national celebrity with thousands of followers on networks and his own television program. Within this fantastic manual you will find up to 500 homemade recipes from the Latin American country, from quinoa to ceviche, from gluten-free amaranth to yellow chili. Unique ingredients and health among stoves with a Peruvian seal.



The best books of 2020

This literary year is going to be very special, with a lot of time ahead to deliver us to the letters with the home confinement for the coronavirus. The latest from renowned authors such as Ian McEwan, Almudena Grandes or Bernardo Atxaga coexist with more representatives of a new feminine wave in Latin American literature, of which Paula Vázquez or Elizabeth Duval are a good example.

We know that there is a love for reading, and a lot, among readers. Topics on books tend to be among your favorites and, among them, literary novelties, such as the one we did on the best books of 2018 and 2019, cause special expectation. Now come those of 2020, a year that is being conditioned by isolation of the coronavirus.

We have a lot of time to spend reading, and we want to give you some good ideas. You can buy all these books on Amazon in their paper version and they also have a digital version that you can buy on Kindle.

What do we start with? With some novels set in the Franco dictatorship; with trips to a United States that oscillates between rock and religious sects; with innovative proposals like that of Elif Shafak or Emilie Pine, some of the best female voices of her generation … As always, stop by and read.

There are many ways to talk about machismo, and the Basque author Karmele Jaio has hit the nail on the head with the idea of ​​’La casa del padre’ (Destino, 17.95 euros), one of those novels that leave you ruminating for several days. . Because machismo is not only that a woman be beaten or despised, it is also all the handicaps that are installed against her in our culture. In the novel we are going to meet two people. Ismael, a writer blocked before his next work whose mother suffers a serious accident and is forced to stay by his side, which will lead him to remember a terrible fact from his childhood. Jasone is his wife and the first reader and proofreader of his texts; he also wrote but left it, until now he has started a new draft. A work that will remind us of the enormous importance of the genre with which we are born.

‘The Cockroach’ (Ian McEwan)

The author of ‘Atonement’ returns with a novel that will remind us of one of the great works of world literature, ‘The Metamorphosis’, by Franz Kafka. But in ‘La cucaracha’ (Anagrama, 17 euros), the start of the story is the other way around: a roach wakes up in the morning and has become a human … But not just anyone, but nothing less than the British Prime Minister. A criticism of Boris Johnson? Of course, and also to Brexit. Because those cockroaches that become politicians come up with crazy ideas? For example, they want to establish ‘reversionism’, consisting of paying for work and being given money to buy things. McEwan approaches the situation in the United Kingdom with anger and scorn – although he insists that it is a work of fiction -, while giving a critical review of the role of the media in these crises.

‘Something to believe in’ (Nickolas Butler)

Be careful, we may be facing one of the first great novels of the year. Libros del Asteroide publishes ‘Something to believe in’ (20.85 euros), the third novel by the American Nickolas Butler, after ‘Love songs at point-blank range (2014)’ and ‘The heart of men’ (2017). It is a warm and intimate work, with wonderful descriptions of the characters, one of those that you do not mind guessing the development of the plot because you enjoy it with enthusiasm. We traveled to a town in Wisconsin, where the couple formed by Lyle and Peg, who lost a child as a child, are happy for the return of their other daughter, Shiloh, the single mother of little Isaac. But Shiloh begins to relate to an evangelical pastor who has an enormous influence on her and Lyle will debate whether to protect his family from this character or let him run …

‘The journey of the eels’ (Albert Lladó)

Things happen on the periphery of big cities. Authors such as Juan Marsé or Elvira Navarro have shown us, and now it is the turn of Albert Lladó, journalist in ‘La Vanguardia’ and editor of ‘Revista de Letras’, who tells us of a Barcelona in the early 90s that did not It has nothing to do with the Olympics. From a neighborhood in Barcelona that lived on the fringes of that shining brilliance. ‘The crossing of the eels’ (Gutenberg Galaxy, 14.72 euros) walks between social denunciation and nostalgia to take us to meet a group of teenagers who learned to survive –and built their own language– on the streets where they abounded evictions, police raids, low-flying criminals, battered women, and men who self-destruct in bars. An epic and warm allegory to the reality of the other neighborhoods and the relationships that are forged in them.

‘Everyone loves Daisy Jones’ (Taylor Jenkins Reid)

With no scheduled release date, Amazon Prime Video is preparing the adaptation of this novel by Reese Witherspoon, who fell in love with it with great enthusiasm: “I devoured this novel in one day. Daisy conquered my heart,” said the actress of ‘ Big Little Lies’. It is known that it will have 12 chapters, that it will star Riley Keough – Elvis Presley’s granddaughter – and that she will play the leader of Daisy Jones & The Six, a group that in the late 70s is among the most influential in rock. ‘Everyone loves Daisy Jones’ (Blackie Books, 21.75 euros) covers the childhood, adolescence and early youth of the dreamy Daisy, who will end up becoming a legend, in conjunction with Billy Dunne, a crazy musician who is famous and fatherhood surpass him.

‘In the distance’ (Hernán Díaz)

We are not going to deceive you, when you start reading this book it will be uphill. It is not easy, it is sometimes thick and sandy but that is one of its great findings: to transfer sensations, landscapes, thoughts to the viewer. One of the best books of 2020 is this ‘In the distance’ (Impedimenta, 21.62 euros), the first novel by the Buenos Aires-based writer based in New York Hernán Díaz. It tells the story of Håkan, ‘the hawk’, a Swedish immigrant who comes to California in the Gold Rush and sets out on a long journey to search for his brother, who has allegedly arrived in New York. The book is the wonderful narrative of his journey, with fantastic descriptions such as that of the Irish gold digger or a cruel sheriff. In parts of his journey he will end alone and in others he will exile himself. The volume was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2018.

‘West End’ (José Morella)

Would we be able to say that mental health is no longer a taboo? The books, both fiction and essays, gradually contribute to talking more openly about madness, dementia, psychiatric problems … We are sure that ‘West End’ (Siruela, 18.95 euros), Novel Prize Café Gijón 2019. will be another of those volumes that will allow you to speak without qualms. The protagonist is Nicomedes, a man with delicate mental health who has spent 50 years in a town in Andalusia but who, with the rise of tourism in the 70s, must emigrate to Ibiza with his four children to give them a future with more opportunities. Morella denounces the little sensitivity that society has had with the mentally ill and, particularly, the marginalization to which they were subjected in the last years of the dictatorship.

‘My last 10 minutes and 38 seconds in this strange world’ (Elif Shafak)

For the neophytes in Elif Shafak, let’s start by telling that she is a writer born in Strasbourg, of Turkish parents, settled between Istanbul and London, whose stories are usually carried out by minorities, immigrants and strong women. ‘My last 10 minutes and 38 seconds in this strange world’ (Lumen, 18.90 euros) is his new novel, which has been a finalist for the Booker Prize, which has already been translated into 17 languages ​​and has sold more than 300,000 copies . Leila’s heart has stopped beating, and her body lies in a garbage container in Istanbul. In the ten minutes in which his brain still works, all kinds of thoughts and memories appear: his childhood, the flight to the big city to escape a marriage of convenience, the experience of love … But while he is dying, his friends they look for it. A novel close to death that celebrates the meaning of life.

‘Empty houses’ (Brenda Navarro)

In recent times, we have been fortunate to have a few maternity books published that speak in a different light from having a child. And we are glad of the arrival of another fantastic work, ‘Empty Houses’ (Sixth Floor, 16.05 euros) that, we anticipate, is as extraordinary as it is tough. Mexican writer Brenda Navarro talks about how motherhood can be a nightmare through two women: one, who loses her son in the park; another, who kidnaps him to raise him as his own, for which the child has two mothers. The book tackles issues such as intimacy, family violence, social inequality, loneliness, accompaniment, care, guilt and love with harshness, devastation and difficulty.

‘Everything I can’t say’ (Emilie Pine)

In our article on ‘The best books of 2019’ we talk about Sally Rooney, author of ‘Normal People’, one of the works that marked the last quarter of last year. Emilie Pine and Rooney are the two great exponents of current Irish literature, although Pine’s volume, ‘All I Can’t Say’ (Random House Literature, € 17.95) is now a collection of autobiographical essays with a collection of feminine themes, but of those that sting. No posturing, happy motherhood, patriarchy, etc. Her writings speak of alcoholism, abortions, rapes, depression and silence. All this happens, much more than we think. And so it is necessary to talk about it; of anger, terror, sexual violence, etc. Although it is silent. Although also write about how to work hard, regain strength and raise your voice. Because it is always better to fight than to be silent, to die on your feet than to live on your knees.

‘The stars’ (Paula Vázquez)

At, we have become fans of the Tránsito publishing house, which, with Sol Salama at the helm, publishes books of those that make you explode, which you cannot stop recommending because they are authentic jewels, one after another . We have talked about ‘Las mothers no’, by Katixa Agirre; we have talked about ‘Quiltras’, by Arelis Uribe. They start the year by publishing in Spain ‘Las estrellas’, the first film by Paula Vázquez, founder of Lata Peinada – the first bookstore specialized in Latin American literature in Spain -, a book with which you have to be willing to break your heart. A mother and daughter seek reconciliation and a return to emotional proximity while one of them is on the verge of death. Devastating.