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Read “meaty” books

Every so often I read a book that I can’t describe with any other adjective than “meaty”. They’re large, complex and tough to get through. I read them 5-10 pages at a time. They are slow reads (and sometimes I don’t finish them) but they either change my perspective in multiple ways or introduce me to an entirely new perspective.

Some of these books:

  • Capital in the 21st Century by Thomas Piketty, which changed my thinking on how capital accumulates and what that means for societies.
  • These Truths by Jill Lepore was a re-examination of the history of the USA from perspectives I hadn’t considered.
  • The Case for Mars by Robert Zubrin is a book examining the real world possibilities for space colonization.
  • Refactoring by Martin Fowler exploded my ideas about how to modify software and gave me a new vocabulary too.

The latest book that I’ve read in this category is The Comanche Empire by Pekka Hämäläinen. This book has totally reworked my understanding of native tribes, political economy of the southwest in the 1700s-1800s, US western expansion, the wealth of Texas, social organization and more.

While it is fun to read books that don’t challenge my thinking, it is also good to read these “meaty” books periodically as well.