December was full of good fact books. It was hard to pick one over another because it all depends on the mood and matter discussed, which one I would recommend first.
- Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are? by Frans de Waal. No, we are not. Not at least if we keep measuring them on our standards. All animals are smart in their own ecological system. And if we have to compare them to humans, then we better admit that some of them appear to be a lot smarter than us. A great book. I loved every page of it.
- None of Us Were Like This Before: American Soldiers and Torture by Joshua E.S. Philips. How can I describe this book? All I can say is, please read it. It has an important message about how torture is harmful, ineffective, and why it keeps happening. *Sigh* I wish we lived in a different kind of world.
- How to Be a Victorian by Ruth Goodman. As I write gaslamp fantasy about the industrializing world, but still in its early stage. This book was an excellent source material. But I would say that was its only merit. It made me re-evaluate our modern they through the eyes of Victorian English and see how much progress has happened with things like work safety and food and everything but also to see that where this idea of consumption and living for fashion comes from. That most of us are living like aristocrats of that era if we look at our material wealth.
Thank you for reading, have a great January!