Reading in 2020

This was not intentional, but I ended up reading a book a week this year — probably more than I ever have! I went back and looked at what I’d read, and here’s a bit of a summary.

This year was dominated by sci-fi, but these were mainly entire series (total 24 books!):

    • 3-body (3), Broken Earth (3), Witcher (7), and Earthsea (7)
    • 4 others

What was the goal here? Basically entertainment, but quite a few amazing ideas (Ted Chiang, N. K. Jemisen) and beautiful writing (Le Guin).

The next big bucket consists of books that I read in the hope of improving my thinking, understanding new frameworks, and making sense of the world around me (total 14). Highlights are:

    • Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction
    • Alain De Botton – two books
    • Two re-reads – The Road Less Travelled and The Three Marriages

I bailed on quite a few books without completing them — life is too short!

The next categories that I can think of are economics (total 6), technical (total 3), and other miscellaneous (total 5)

My reading has been pretty haphazard thus far. I pick up whatever looks interesting from my pile o’ books at different points in time. I usually read 4-5 books concurrently, and when I’m very busy, I’m more likely to go for fiction. 

This is the first time I’ve tried classifying what I read, and I think I may use this to guide what I focus on. 

Finally, the book that had the largest impact on me was a book recommended by Varad:  Ted Chiang’s “Stories of Your Life, and Others”, for the beautiful, first-rate writing, mind-blowing ideas, and emotional wistfulness.

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