I apologize for the lack of promised posts over the past week, but I have been deep in a reading funk. Despite being partway through several different books a week ago, I have only managed to complete one since then. Instead of finishing my eleventh and twelfth books of the year, I have been staring blankly at pages, dozing with a book on my chest, or trying to force my way through a book only to land on “How I Met Your Mother” instead. I wanted to read. I tried to read. For some reason, I just couldn’t read more than two painful pages before giving up. The funk only ended yesterday, when I finally finished one book and made good progress on another. I don’t know why yesterday was different, but it all finally clicked. The funk now defeated, I should have multiple reviews soon. If I am going to get to 100 before the end of the year, I need to avoid returning to the funk. Have you ever gone through a similar funk? Couldn’t find your reading groove? What can be done to get over it? Suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
Luke Walker said:
I just found your blog and thought I’d chime in. Although I don’t have any suggestions, I do have some reading suggestions to broaden your repertoire. Most of them violate your old-man, dusty book criteria, but they’re good books nonetheless.
John le Carre – The Spy Who Came in from the Cold
The best espionage writer of all time, and the anti- Ian Fleming. Not a guilty read by any measure, this one has been rated one of the 100 best English-language novels of all time by several sources. I’ve read almost all of his books, and I highly recommend them.
Pistol – The Life of Pete Maravich
A great bio on one of the most interesting athletes of all time. Dude had some serious issues, but he could ball like no one else.
Walter Isaacson – Einstein: His Life and Universe
This is one of the most comprehensive bios on Einstein, and a very good read. I read it in a week.
Brian Greene – The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space, Time, and the Texture of Reality
Your liberal arts mind may be blown by this one. Greene is a world-renowned theoretical physicist, but also one of the best communicators of complex science. It’s written for the general reader and explains some of the most complex subjects (relativity, quantum mechanics, string theory) in ways that high school readers can understand.
Raghuram Rajan and Luigi Zingales – Saving Capitalism from the Capitalists: Unleashing the Power of Financial Markets to Create Wealth and Spread Opportunity
This one came recommended by my finance professor, and it delivered. A bit academic at times, but it presents a powerful reasoning for why capitalism is beneficial and what we need to change about it in America.
John Bunyan – Pilgrim’s Progress
You’ve probably read this one, but this is one of my favorite religious books of all time.
Tom Wolfe – The Right Stuff
You thought I’d make it through the list without a space book, didn’t you? I’ll recommend the classic, as you get more of the human element than most of the space books I’ve read.
I’ll be interested to watch and see how your progress goes. I know I struggle to carve out time to read in grad school, but it definitely helps me stay sane.
Hey buddy, good to hear from you! I appreciate all of the suggestions. I have been planning to pick up le Carre at some point, and based on your recommendation I think I will search for it on my next trip to Half Price Books. The other suggestions are outstanding. My goal is to read more than just the kind of books I am already interested in, and these books will add some much-needed diversity to the list. I am particularly intrigued by the Greene book. I read Hawking’s Brief History of Time several years ago and enjoyed it, and Greene’s book sounds like another great read. You will definitely see these books on the blog at some point. Thanks for the ideas!
Yeah I know the reading funk, but I’m not sure what to do about it myself. Sometimes it helps if I start a very light book which doesn’t need much attention to get me going again. Other times I just wait for it to go away.
@Luke Walker: Thanks for the Brian Greene suggestion, just ordered a copy on amazon.
My to read pile is growing and growing, it’s probably double my height right about now.
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