Based on a conversation with @bartadamley —
What are the next ten books you want to read?
This can be a fun personal challenge, and opportunity to think intentionally about what you want to prioritize in your reading & learning. Here’s my list…
Next 10 books I plan to read:
- Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
- Pedagogy of the Oppressed - Paulo Freire
- Braiding Sweetgrass - Robin Kimmerer
- Fantasies of the Library - Springer and Turpin
- A Perfect Vacuum - Stanisław Lem
- Imaginary Magnitude - Stanisław Lem
- The House of the Spirits - Isabel Allende
- The Argonauts - Maggie Nelson
- Collected Essays - James Baldwin (Library of America)
- The Teenage Liberation Handbook - Grace Llewellyn
Outline of my list-making process:
- Went through the books in my nightstand, which serves as my loose and aspirational “next up” queue
- Removed a half dozen or so that I was no longer excited about, abandoning them (for now) intentionally, to make room for…
- Then adding several others I was actively looking forward to reading / wanted to prioritize
- Left a few I was already reading (not counted in the list, more fun to start fresh!)
- Narrowed down from ~25 books to the final list of 10, thinking about balance and diversity of topics, authors, etc.
Some reflections / observations:
This was particularly useful as an opportunity to think about diversifying my reading list — sometimes I don’t think about this, and then realize, oh, the last five books I read were all by men, or all by western authors, or all about one topic; let me see how I can mix it up more.
The challenge here isn’t in making this a race (no deadlines necessary), or in picking the most ostentatiously challenging books (though it does feel nice to pick a few that stretch you). For me at least it’s about the selection process itself, and a flexible but real commitment to get through some books I’ve been meaning to even if they may not be the ones I’d instinctively turn to when I’m tired.
I think it’ll be interesting to evaluate in a few months and see how closely I stuck to this list. I know I’ll inevitably get into some random other books (started one already, ha) but it still seems useful to articulate my priorities, try to stick to that reasonably well in the short term, and observe how those priorities may change over the coming months.
Want to share your list?
You can view Adam’s list here, by the way. (Ones I’d also love to read include The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind, The New Media Reader, and The Printing Press as an Agent of Change.)
He framed it as both self-assignment + (potentially) a fun public challenge. If you end up making your own “next ten books” list, we’d love to see it. Reply here, comment on Adam’s post, tag us on Twitter (@schlagetown + @bartadamley), or all the above!