Books for Thinking and Learning

❦ First Published on

Tim recently used some channel points to ask me to take a book off my shelf and talk about it during a stream, but I was busy and almost completely forgot!

I sent him two recommendations that I’m putting here along with a few others to redeem my lapse of attention.

These are books that were important to me at different points in my life, and I read them again quite often.

A pencil drawing of an open book.

Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer. Scientific and spiritual wisdom about living in harmony with the natural world.

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius. Timeless advice about life and death from a ruler/philosopher who seemed to have been actually good and uncorrupted by power.

The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter. A book given to me by my dad, it taught me to care for and appreciate animals and nature, and it brings to mind the scents of the old garden in my uncle and aunt’s place in Norfolk.

Think on These Things by Jiddu Krishnamurti. The author was brought up to lead a religion but abolished it instead. Probably the book that had the greatest effect on my life so far.

Pragmatic Thinking and Learning by Andy Hunt. Tips on knowledge and creativity and process. Written from a software developer’s perspective, but useful to anyone, I feel.

Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards. Teaches you to draw and gives insight into how your brain works.

Art is Work and Graphic Design by Milton Glaser. These books were the spark of my professional life and I was lucky to later meet and work with Milton before he passed. See also his essay, Ten Things I Have Learned.

The Medium is the Massage by Marshall McLuhan and Quentin Fiore. It took me a long time to notice that the word in the title is “massage”, and not “message”. An illuminating book about the manipulative nature of media.

The Psychopath Code by Peter Hintjens. Most people are kind, but not all. This book helped me learn to identify and avoid conniving troublemakers.

Narcissus and Goldmund by Hermann Hesse. A story about two friends who take different paths in life. The ending stays with me.


When I think of other books I will add them to this list, and if you want to ask me about a book, video game, or anything else while I am broadcasting, come on by!

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