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Top fiction and non-fiction of last few years

June 05, 2020

A note on reading more

Matt Clifford and Nadia Odunayo both write great annual reading lists. They have both inspired me in book choice and in publishing what I’ve enjoyed, but also to be more ambitious in how much I read. Here are a few ways I found to help me read more:

  • Measure what you want to improve: keep an annual list of what you’ve read.
  • Making time by making a habit - replacing mindless timeline scrolling and Netflix by putting the book/Kindle somewhere accessible, and take app icons off my home screen.
  • Put something down if it’s knocking the habit - I paused a couple of great books (A History of Seven Killings, Destined for War); they’ve been easier to pick up again later, now the habit’s more cemented.
  • Gamify - I mainly read on Kindle with “percentage of the way through” and “time left in book” indicators as motivation.

Nonfiction

  • Automating Inequality, Virgina Eubanks
  • Becoming, Michelle Obama
  • Content Design, Sarah Richards
  • Feynman, Jim Ottaviani & Leland Myrick (graphic nonfiction)
  • Open Borders: the Science and Ethics of Immigration - Bryan Caplan & Zach Weinersmith (graphic nonfiction)
  • Superior, Angela Saini
  • World After Capital, Albert Wenger
  • Weapons of Math Destruction, Cathy O’Neil

Fiction

  • Parable of the Sower, Octavia E. Butler
  • Homegoing, Yaa Gyasi
  • Station Eleven, Emily St. John Mandel (Update PSA: not recommended during COVID-19 pandemic)
  • Pachinko, Min Jin Lee
  • The Three Body Problem trilogy - Cixin Liu
  • La Belle Sauvage, Phillip Pullman
  • Petals of Blood, Ngūgī Wa Thiong’o
  • Seveneves, Neal Stephenson
  • Lock In, John Scalzi

Recommendations welcome. Tweet me.

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