On My Nightstand
January 9, 2018•427 words
Every once in a while, I take a look at what I would like to read for the next 2-3 months. I find that timeline much more digestible than yearly lists of reads. I discover new and great books all the time, and having the flexibility to priorities and change the order of books I will read is very important to me.
At the start of 2018, I sat down and considered the books that I would like to read during the first months of the year. There are 2 short books that I have already finished, which is great, and there a few that I am either working on or have yet to start.
A booked that overlapped between 2017 and 2018 is Essays by Ralph Waldo Emerson. It's a collection of essays and speeches by Emerson that outline and dive deeper in his philosophy on a lot of topics, ranging from gifts to the significance of academia, and the then-new era of Americanism. It is a difficult, but worthy read.
In 2018 so far, I started and finished two of Harry Frankfurt's great books, namely On Bullshit and On Truth. The first discusses in depth what the differences are between bullshit and lying, and how to distinguish the two. Frankfurt also discusses the importance of being able to identify and separate the two.
On Truth, is an antidote to On Bullshit, offering a succinct discussion of what is truth, and what it serves in our day to day lives. Further, Frankfurt highlights the value of truth to our well-being and the well-functioning of society.
In the vein of On's is Timothy Snyder's On Tyranny, a great short book that identifies twenty lessons from the twentieth century that represent key takeaways from his observations as a historian. I have just started the book, so I will write a longer blurb once I finish. However, having only read two chapters, I can still say that the book is particularly relevant for 2018, as this year appears to be rife with attempts at tyranny all over the world, and in particular in the United States.
Lastly, a book that takes me in a different direction is Power: A Radical View, by Steven Lukes. Lukes is interested in the theory of power, and how power is represented, applied and considered in politics. It is a heavily theoretical book, but still easily digestible.
With those, I think my 2018 is off to a great start in the reading realm. I have many books still to be read on my Kindle, and an ever-expanding list on my Amazon account.