I frequently post about what I am reading and even more often, get involved in discussions of books with various blogospheric cronies on their blogs, social media networks or via email. Some of the books discussed end up becoming full-blown roundtables, others find their way into the Antilibrary or even fall by the wayside. Time is finite and the number of good books exceed the time available. At least my time.
In an effort to be a little more efficient in my reading this summer, I decided to compose what I am sure is a wildly overambitious reading list for the next three months. The method will be to discipline myself to put in a minimum of two hours of book reading a day, seven days a week. While like most bloggers, I read a large volume of information daily, too much of it is online – listservs, blogs, email, PDFs, twitter, e-zines and so on. This gives my reading a scattered, “searchlight” quality as opposed to a drill-down focus of a “laser beam”. The former habit has its cognitive virtues, but so does the latter and it is good for the brain to periodically dive back into “old school” reading of physical books. It will also help whittle down the ominously growing pile of unread books.
There is not any particular order in mind here, except that The Anabasis of Cyrus and Accidental Guerilla are high priorities, the former due to the upcoming roundtable discussion at Chicago Boyz. I have all of the books at hand on the shelf, ready to go and a stretch of time ahead of me that is freer than usual. I may omit books as time passes and add others, but I will give a formal report of my reading after Labor Day weekend.
Without further ado, THE SUMMER READING LIST:
Military History and Strategy
Wired for War: The Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the 21st Century – PW Singer (Finish, currently reading)
The Anabasis of Cyrus (Agora) – Xenophon
The Accidental Guerrilla: Fighting Small Wars in the Midst of a Big One – David Kilcullen
The Scientific Way of Warfare: Order and Chaos on the Battlefields of Modernity – Antoine Bousquet
The Culture of War – Martin van Creveld
Certain to Win –Chet Richards
Science, Futurism, Networks, Economics and Technology
How the Mind Works – Steven Pinker
Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets – Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Emergence: The Connected Lives of Ants, Brains, Cities, and Software – Steven Johnson
The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology – Ray Kurzweil
The Hyperlinked Society: Questioning Connections in the Digital Age (The New Media World)– Lokman Tsui
Ho Chi Minh: A Life – William J. Duiker
Philosophy and Intellectual History
The Open Society and Its Enemies, Vol. 1: The Spell of Plato
The Open Society and Its Enemies, Vol. 2: Hegel and Marx – Karl Popper
The Closing of the Western Mind: The Rise of Faith and the Fall of Reason – Charles Freeman
What will you be reading this summer ?
It occurred to me that I left out an important category….