We talk a lot about nonfiction on this podcast. We’ve covered The Procrastination Equation, Deep Work, The Productivity Project, and many others. But is there a place in our busy schedules for fiction? Do we read for fun?
Few things make me as happy as reading. I grew up a voracious reader, even going so far as to flip through and read sections from an encyclopedia set my Dad got me. Obviously that’s an example of nonfiction writing, but I read plenty of fiction — I actually still have a trophy I won for reading 100 books in 1st grade.
Unfortunately, not everyone is so immediately drawn to stories and words. It’s easier to sell the idea of a productivity book — who doesn’t feel like they’re on the verge of something great if they could just focus a little better? I’ll read some words if it’ll make me more money somehow, but what good’s a story?
We’ll talk a bit about the more “productive” benefits of reading fiction in this episode, and to make it a little more fun we’ll go over a few of our favorite books and what they mean to us. No spoilers though, I promise!
Things mentioned in this episode:
- American Gods, by Neil Gaiman
- The Diamond Age, by Neal Stephenson
- Logicomix, by Apostolos Doxiadis
- The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams
- Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality, by Eliezer Yudkowsky
- The Sirens of Titan, by Kurt Vonnegut
- The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, by David Mitchell
- The Buried Giant, by Kazuo Ishiguro
- The Slow Regard of Silent Things, by Patrick Rothfuss
- Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Lost Adventures, by Gene Yang, Michael DiMartino, and Bryan Konietzko (also see The Promise, which takes place after the television series)
- Tom on Goodreads
- Martin on Goodreads
- Crash Course
- Tom’s Impossible List
- How Ben Franklin Structured His Day
- The Procrastination Equation: An In-Depth Breakdown (Ep. 167)
- How to Make Consistent Progress on Your Goals (Even If You’re Lazy)
- Man’s Search for Meaning, by Viktor Frankl
- Buffer – The Surprising Power of Reading Fiction
- Cuckoo’s Egg, by Clifford Stoll
- Story of a Shipwrecked Sailor, by Gabriel García-Márquez (Spanish version)
- How to Remember More of What You Learn with Spaced Repetition
- 9 Life-Changing Books (Ep. 96)
- Neuromancer, by William Gibson
- The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making, by Catherynne Valente
- Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, and Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There, by Lewis Carroll
- A Crash Course on How to Start Investing (Even If You’re in Debt) (Ep. 168)
- Listen Money Matters
- Tom’s Top 10 Favorite Fiction Books!
- The Name of the Wind, and The Wise Man’s Fear, by Patrick Rothfuss
- Rogues, by George R. R. Martin, Neil Gaiman, Patrick Rothfuss, and more (the anthology with a story about one of the characters from The Kingkiller Chronicle)
- Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card
- Rationality: From AI to Zombies, by Eliezer Yudkowsky
- Predictably Irrational, by Dan Ariely
- Thinking, Fast and Slow, by Daniel Kahneman
- A Short History of Nearly Everything, by Bill Bryson
- Marvel Unlimited
- Mistborn: The Final Empire, by Brandon Sanderson
- The Metropolitan Man, by Alexander Wales
Want more cool stuff? You can find all sorts of great tools at my Resources page.
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