This summer I started reading again. I spent a lot of time with audiobooks as my underscore. Here is a list of what I read, mostly for myself to keep track of:
Gone Girl – this was by recommendation of my girlfriend. Gillian Flynn is her favorite writer, and Gone Girl is her favorite book. I think it might be the only fiction I read this summer. I highly recommend it.
Capitalist Realism – I found this in the bibliography for a YouTube video (or multiple) by Zero Books (and I have the sneaking feeling that it’s been referenced by ContraPoints or Philosophy Tube). This book was my intro to Mark Fisher’s writing (RIP). It is absolutely essential reading for today’s disillusioned youth.
Atomic Habits – This was another recommendation I found from YouTube. James Clear writes about the building blocks of maintaining healthy habits. Out of the books listed here, I think that this one has had the largest influence on my life since reading. Since reading, I picked up learning Spanish again, started running, started going on hikes, started writing more regularly, and started meditating more regularly. I will likely listen to this book multiple times over.
Digital Minimalism – Digital Minimalism was the first of two Cal Newport books I spent time with this summer. This was recommended in multiple YouTube videos that I watched on the subject (see a pattern here?). It inspired me to delve deep into my digital life and habits, organizing my digital environment to be better suited to aiding my personal growth.
Meet the Frugalwoods – Meet the Frugalwoods: Achieving Financial Independence Through Simple Living is an eye-opening book by Elizabeth Thames over at frugalwoods.com (an amazing website I highly recommend you check out if you are interested in simple living, sustainability, and/or early retirement). I listened to this on a road trip, and played at a 1.5-1.8 speed, this book flies by quite fast.
Sense and Sensibility – Admittedly, I haven’t yet finished this book. Jane Austen is not my cup of tea. But my school’s theatre department is putting on a production of Kate Hamill’s adaptation of this book, and so I figured I needed to give it a listen. I was just recently cast as Edward, which I’m very excited about. As I have a long weekend before we begin rehearsals this coming Tuesday, I’ll likely be spending a long time with this book. I think it’s a good story, and I find the relationship between Elinor and Marianne to be especially beautiful and profound. I just really, really don’t like Jane Austen’s style, nor do I like anything about the “rich folks of yesteryear”.
How to Become a Straight-A Student – This is the second of Cal Newport’s books which I have looked into this summer. This was another book I did not finish, but I got pretty far through. It has already had practical application in my life – in my study habits and my organizational habits – in this first week back to school. I feel more on top of my game than I have in any of my previous years.
Sapiens – Yuval Noah Harari’s bestseller Sapiens is an absolute must-read and my most recent obsession. Harari thinks of the world and of humanity in very big ways which I haven’t been exposed to.
How Music Works – Since I love David Byrne, I wanted to check out this book. I heard about this book through a recent recommendation by my high school’s creative writing teacher. I liked this book a lot, and would most definitely recommend it to any musician or anyone else within the music business.
The Art of Living – This is another book that I haven’t finished. This book is a relaxed read, and I’ve heard many people credit Thich Nhat Hanh’s writing with changing their lives. So, I decided to give it a go. I have yet to be disappointed. This is a beautiful, feel-good, soul food kind of read.
How to Invent Everything – I have been listening to this book when I go on hikes. It really is just a list of everything you’d need to know how to invent were you to get trapped in some ancient times. Another book that looks broadly at mankind’s development, and it pair quite nicely with Sapiens.
Kill All Normies – This is an excellent read about toxic internet cultures and about the radicalization of young people (especially young white cisgender men) which has led to countless acts of violence and terrorism in developed countries. In the wake of the manifestos of some of the killers (most notably being the Christchurch shooter this March), this book is a great way to understand the effect that the internet has on people.
Educated – This memoir of a young woman, Tara Westover, growing up and away from a hyper-conservative, patriarchal, tiny family in Idaho is potent and beautiful, and a very notable exhibit of just how privileged us US college students are to be here. I was recommended this one by my English professor for recommending this read to us a few months ago.
There’s not a book on here I wouldn’t recommend. If I didn’t like the book, I didn’t mention it. I’ll probably check back in in a few months with my fall reading, which will largely be textbooks, but I’ll try to avoid the boring stuff.