February and March 2022 reading list and notes
- Get Started in Stand-Up Comedy by Logan Murray
- Post-Truth by Matthew d’Ancona
I half-read several books in February and just didn’t have the focus to get them finished. I think Twitter was a major factor in this and I’ve sorted that.
Not many books are as timely as this one. Recommended.
- A Director’s Guide to the Art of Stand-Up by Chris Head
- Write It All Down by Cathy Rentzenbrink
- Control: The Dark History and Troubling Present of Eugenics by Adam Rutherford
- The Future of Food by Matt Reynolds
- How to Stay Sane in an Age of Division by Elif Shafak
- This Is Vegan Propaganda by Ed Winters
- Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig
- Corruptible by Brian Klaas
- The Five Health Frontiers by Christopher Thomas
- Structured Chaos by Victor Saunders
- Butler to the World by Oliver Bullough
Quite a difference this month. While I’m not chasing numbers with my reading I have come back to it after a couple of months of drifting. It has confirmed to me that I just feel a lot better when I read a lot and when I read with some purpose. I like the deep explorations and it just emphasises the superficiality and toxicity of the flitting and doom scrolling that characterises web browsing and social media.
In one of the books above Rentzenbrink said Twitter made her “jealous, judgemental and jittery” and books are the antidote to that. Shafak in her short book also had a comment on reading. Funnily enough How to Stay Sane in an Age of Division was recommended to me when I told someone I was leaving Twitter. I think, though I may have it wrong, they recommended it because they thought it would encourage me to stay on Twitter but to find a path through it. In the end, it cemented my decision:
Knowledge requires reading. Books. In-depth analyses. Investigative journalism. Then there is wisdom, which connects the mind and the heart, activates emotional intelligence, expands empathy. For that we need stories and storytelling.
So, that’s what I am doing. I am reading - but I am also seeking out longer essays and analyses where I can as well.
I also read a couple of times, in some detail, a long essay:
- Augmenting long-term memory by Michael Nielsen
This online essay is well worth your time. I did what I now usually do with longform essays and I converted it to an epub file for my own personal consumption. I read it twice and got some detailed notes. Basically, it outlines a process for using Anki to understand and learn from your reading. It is excellent and I have since started using Anki, albeit in a limited way, to enhance my reading.