Tag: books

  • Prioritising the Search for Good Books

    A favourite hobby of mine is research. Structured or unstructured, informal or scholarly. Deep diving on a topic, old or new, is my jam. For that reason, I spend a lot of time reading about the thing, rather than actually doing the thing. The meta-activities. There are clear negatives to this approach (limited impulsivity, slower…

  • Create a Learning Guide for Any Topic

    Want to learn a new topic but unsure where to start (or even whether the topic is what you expect)? The Curricula is an AI-driven learning tool, that will develop a detailed learning guide for any topic you feed it. Developed by Mike Dyer, the Curricula will generate a list of pre-requisites/related learning topics, a…

  • Five Books: Books Reviews Through Expert Interviews

    Five Books has been a favourite reading discovery site of mine for a few years. Twice a week, an expert in a given field is asked to select five books on a related topic, and then explains that selection in an often-enlightening short interview. I’ve never failed to come away from an interview with some…

  • NPR’s Annual Book Concierge

    One of my favourite annual publications is NPR’s Book Concierge, released each December. After suffering from “an acute case of list fatigue”, NPR stopped producing year-end lists in 2012 and, from 2013 onwards, has instead elicited recommendations from NPR staffers and other critics to create this “interactive reading guide [that’s] more Venn diagram-y than list-y”.…

  • “If you like to play [computer game], then try [book]”

    If you like to play [computer game], then try [book]. That’s the simple premise of a post from the imitable Powell’s Books, back in 2018. In Console-free camping, for a bunch of popular computer games, they recommend a book you might like. The list, for posterity (non-commission, non-tracking links to Powell’s):

  • Long Reads and the Stockholm Syndrome

    Since reading one of the¬†longest novels¬†I have shied away from other lengthy tomes despite thoroughly enjoying my 1000-page adventure. When considering this choice, I frame my decision as defending against a type of literary¬†post-purchase rationalisation: after investing such an enormous amount of time in reading a book, will I be able to objectively consider both…

  • The Inefficiencies of Local Bookstores

    We should not hold Amazon in contempt for pressuring local¬†independent¬†bookstores to the brink of closure and instead should embrace the company for taking advantage of inefficiencies, furthering a reading culture, and–believe it or not–helping us ‘buy local’ more effectively. In response to Richard Russo‘s recent New York Times article¬†berating a recent not-so-well-considered Amazon promotion, Farhad…

  • Our Self-Centered ‘Default’ Worldview: DFW’s Commencement Address

    Recent talk of the correspondence bias (here) reminded me of possibly the best commencement speech that I’ve not yet written about (and I’ve written about quite a few): David Foster Wallace’s commencement address to the graduates of Kenyon College in 2005. The speech, often cited as Wallace’s only public talk concerning his worldview,¬†was adapted following…

  • WordPerfect Business Advice

    In 1980, as a $5-an-hour part-time office manager,¬†W. E. Peterson joined the small company that would go on to become¬†WordPerfect Corporation. Then, twelve years later, after helping grow the company to half a billion dollars in annual sales and becoming the Executive Vice President, Peterson was forced out of the company and set out to…

  • How We Read

    What we know about how we learn to read and how our ability to read developed is fascinating, and in a review of a book that looks at exactly this ‚ÄĒ Stanislas Dehaene’s¬†Reading in the Brain ‚ÄĒ Jonah Lehrer offers us a wonderful teaser on exactly that:¬†the hows of reading,¬†from a neuroscience perspective. The introduction:…