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Although I prefer fiction over nonfiction, I find it’s good to read a couple nonfiction books every year to keep myself educated about something real. Also, it helps mix things up a bit.
Over the past few years the topics I’ve read about have been varied:
- A lot of books about writing, so that I can becoming a better writer. The two best so far that I can recommend are Stephen King’s On Writing and Larry Brooks Story Engineering. Both have totally changed my mind about what it means to be a writer, especially in the creation and the architecture of a story.
- Books about being a better husband and father. After all: happy wife, happy life. Seriously though, I strive to remind myself of how to be a good servant leader of my family, and these kinds of books help me do that. Recommended: His Needs, Her Needs, Bringing up Girls, and Bringing Up Boys
- Books about understanding myself better (not exactly self-help, but has that flavor). Some notable ones I’ve read lately are Seeing Through Cynicism, and Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking
- Books that are just interesting based on my own hobbies or career, such as software engineering (Want to learn to program Java in a fun way? Head First Java)
I’d like to read some history books and biographies, but haven’t gotten around to it.
Currently I’m reading a book that is blowing my mind apart (and scaring me quite a bit) that talks about how Artificial Intelligence will be our last invention – and then it will kill us all. That is, unless we make AI very carefully, which this book hopes to convince AI programmers to do. It’s called Our Final Invention: Artificial Intelligence and the End of the Human Era. That’s not ominous at all. But it’s also very interesting.
So that’s another thing I’d rather be doing now, reading more nonfiction.