I'm unparalleled in my ability to collect books somehow, whether it's Little Free Libraries, gifts, library check outs, or buying them new or used. of course, I do this with all of the best intentions, but there is another sad and enduring truth: I'm very good at starting books and I'm absolutely terrible at finishing them. it's not for lack of interest - I basically have the staying power of an adult infant and I'm really easily distracted by shiny things.

I'd like to be a cliche and set a n̶e̶w̶ y̶e̶a̶r̶s̶ r̶e̶s̶o̶l̶u̶t̶i̶o̶n̶ 2024 goal to read more. I intend to read more than 24 books but I'm setting a hopefully attainable number for this market, considering it a minimum. book recommendations welcome 🧡

some factors for resolution:

  • I've organised my work life in such a way that I have a fair amount of autonomy, flexibility, and free time during week days, but the nature of my role (for now) doesn't support me listening to books or content while I'm working

  • I walk when possible (minimum 1.5hr a day given my current daily commitments, it's not unusual to clock 2-3+) and typically listen to podcasts, occasionally books

  • I had an accident a couple of years ago and since then, I've had challenges focusing which has impacted my reading print or listening to audiobooks a bit (I'm addressing this in a few non-medical ways which may appear as side quests here)

  • I am in one book club and joining another before the end of the year - neither require participants to complete the reading to participate (it's obviously encouraged)

  • I own and read a fair bit of poetry and prose, but I won't count these books in the market regardless of page count

  • books can be any other genre or format (print or audio), minimum 200 pages

  • I'm highly motivated by the accountability of transparency, hence the market

  • I'm incensivised to resolve Yes

  • for full disclosure, I will track my reading on this spreadsheet from today, adding a value of 0 for books that don't count toward the goal and 1 for those that do

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I've been a bit slack so far, mostly reading books that don't count for the market lately. that said, the current count is 8, and I have a couple I'd like to get through in the near term so I can join in a couple of meetups.

@shankypanky Have you read Ficciones by Jorge Luis Borges? Each story is short and somewhat mind-bending. Also, The Lathe of Heaven by Ursula LeGuin <3 it's about this dude whose dreams alter reality and then some evil therapist builds a machine to control his dreams

@schlongenheim ooh nice I'll look these up - I haven't actually updated my reading list in a while so I'll dig back into that tomorrow. thanks Daniel!

Wait, so does null in the spreadsheet mean you haven't read the book? That list has a few very interesting inclusions with a current null value.

@AlQuinn once I've read it I'm putting it in bold and adding a count. since I originally wrote the market for books 200+ pages I've had to not count some things. (also for the sake of momentum I started tracking things late last year)

predicts YES

@shankypanky Thanks. Plainsong is the book I noticed in particular. It is a good thing to read if you have no connection to the great plains. I lived in a small town on the great plains for 10 years before reading Plainsong, so it was less meaningful to me as a result of being less exotic. I was just surprised to see such a book on your list at all, which I think, means it's a good list. Good luck!

@AlQuinn oh great I'll pick that one up - that was a recommendation from someone else on Manifold when I bet on his reading market. I've lived in a few different contexts that are wildly different haven't spent much time in the Great Plains. happy to read it and hear more of your experiences afterward if you feel like sharing.

predicts YES

@shankypanky I was kind of trying to turn my own experiences in to a longform something which I don't understand yet. I have a few sections written, but not a coherent whole. It feels like its about an egregore, of which, I was a part.

For small town settings, I like stuff like Empire Falls better than Plainsong, but Plainsong had the ultra-austere style that is in its own way impressive. The opening line is perhaps decisive: "Here was this man Tom Guthrie in Holt standing at the back window in the kitchen of his house smoking cigarettes and looking out over the back lot where the sun was just coming up." I just love that opening.

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by Joyce is a must-read! Relatively short too

@AxelJacobsen thanks - I'll add it to the list!


book recommendations are really welcome and appreciated here!

the list in the tracking sheet aren't as much a commitment as a potential selection, mostly some of the things I own that I haven't gotten to yet

For recommendations, what kind of books do you like? (Concrete examples or vague descriptions both helpful.)

oh thanks! I'd love some recs.

tbh I've mostly been reading long poetry lately as I've been in a short course. I'd love to read some nice essay collections this coming year? there's a link in the market description with some ideas for things I'd like to pick up.

I don't tend to read much fiction so if there's anything you like that's fiction or in an adjacent genre (like scifi or historical fiction) I'd take that, too.

this is pretty unhelpful I guess? sometimes the nice thing about recommendations is finding things I might not typically reach for.

@shankypanky hmm, looking at that list, I'm not sure I'll be much help to you. :)

But here goes, a few off-the-top-of-my-head ideas, generally aiming for short and gripping-ish:

- Long form poetry: The Golden Gate by Vikram Seth, the Emily Wilson translation of the Odyssey (long and intense)
- Fiction: Plainsong by Kent Haruf (simple, deeply human), Circe by Madeline Miller (great companion for the Odyssey)
- Adventure: Endurance by Alfred Lansing
- Sci-Fi: Venomous Lumpsucker by Ned Beauman

Personally, I'd skip GEB. Some fun stuff in there but it is also long and ponderous.

If you like Klara and the Sun, most of Ishiguro's work is excellent.

If you read any of the above and decide your tastes overlap with mine, I'm happy to add more. But it's easy to overwhelm, so I'll stop here. :P

I love this - thank you!
I've heard such good things about Klara and the Sun for so long, but it hasn't quite captured me yet. I should pick it up again.
"simple, deeply human" is a combination of words that gets right into me

for reference, the list I've cobbled together in the spreadsheet is entirely unscientific and mostly books I have on hand or have near access to, and my Goodreads list is like 1200 books deep lol

basically, anything that makes me feel is an easy bet (and tbh that's a pretty easy task) or anything that makes me really inspired by the writing (I didn't love everything about The Overstory, for example, but I'm so captivated by all that went into researching and creating it). I could ramble on, but I'll stop here, too. :) Thanks for taking a moment to send things my way; I'm off to look them up!

I am a Strange Loop


Already read GEB?

@Broseph no! But I saw it on your market! Book club? 😅

It sounds like you’re setting yourself up well. Good luck!

Thanks Alice!

do audiobooks count?

@billga yes, I will update for clarity

@shankypanky well that's a whole different kettle of fish 🐠🐟

@billga distraction history still applies - I find it easier to listen to dynamic content like podcasts than to follow audio books, generally speaking

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