Our Favorite Fiction and Why We Read It (Ep. 169)

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:

Tom’s Books:

Martin’s Books:

Other links:

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Our Favorite Fiction and Why We Read It

Martin Boehme is a web developer, language nerd, and Nintendo fanboy. Talk to him in English, Spanish, French, or very basic Japanese on Twitter.

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  1. Hey guys,

    I enjoyed listening to this episode, it was a pleasant distraction while working on Math homework. I also love the Harry Potter series, but my favorite book so far is “The Martian” by Andy Weir, and I absolutely love the audio book version narrated by R. C. Bray. I also love the movie with Matt Damon as Mark Watney!

    Listening to you talk about science fiction inspired me to go downstairs and buy “Leviathan Wakes” from the college bookstore, so now i am looking forward to reading it.

    Thank you!

  2. Hey Tom, after you said you’re interested in the kind of “This is why you think incorrectly all the time” rational books, I have to recommend “Maps of Meaning” by a psychologist named Jordan Peterson, because it’s a phenomenal series of lectures available to everyone on youtube explaining how through storytelling, from pinocchio to egypt mythology, we can understand human behaviors, like why we do what we do. I’m really loving it so far, and I can’t recommend it enough. Go check it out.

    • This was such a crazy moment.
      I was surfing the internet while listening to this podcast episode. I also had this page of the show notes open in my tabs bar. Then I decided to look whats written here in the show notes. I see Andrews comment and read it. This was all while listening to the podcast episode. And the same moment I read the part of Andrews comment where he writes “This is why you think incorrectly all the time” Thomas says the same words in the podcast I was listening.

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