What engineers read

In discussion with an engineer whose book reviews I enjoy, I discovered that most of his reading was non-fiction.

He said,

Personally, I read like 95% non-fiction and focus on books that help me improve various areas of my business and personal life.

That 5% of fiction reading is just to relax a bit and consists almost entirely of John Grisham legal thrillers.

Now I have no problem with John Grisham, but I couldn’t help feeling that my colleague was missing out.

So, I set out to find ten reasons – and ten novels – to help change his mind.

1 – Empathy

2 – Gender Balance

3 – Travel (Intercontinental)

4 – Travel (Temporal)

5 – Emotional Intelligence

6 – Lateral Thinking

7 – Escape

8 – Appreciation of other cultures and religions

9 – Rest and Relaxation

10 – Support writers, publishers and bookshops

I make a recommendation for each section, based on books I’ve enjoyed, but these should be taken as illustrative examples only. Some are bestselling classics, other are tiny runs from independent presses.

Choosing a book is incredibly personal and my sole aim is to encourage you to go to your local bookshop or library, if you can.

But wherever you get your books from – try something new.

Fiona Erskine is a professional engineer and the author of Jaq Silver thrillers The Chemical DetectiveThe Chemical ReactionThe Chemical Cocktail and genre defying Phosphate Rocks: A death in Ten Objects.