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.