Press "Enter" to skip to content

We talk a lot about nonfiction on this podcast. We’ve covered The Procrastination Equation, Deep Work, The Productivity Project, and many others. But is there a place in our busy schedules for fiction? Do we read for fun?

Absolutely.

Few things make me as happy as reading. I grew up a voracious reader, even going so far as to flip through and read sections from an encyclopedia set my Dad got me. Obviously that’s an example of nonfiction writing, but I read plenty of fiction — I actually still have a trophy I won for reading 100 books in 1st grade.

Unfortunately, not everyone is so immediately drawn to stories and words. It’s easier to sell the idea of a productivity book — who feel like they’re on the verge of something great if they could just focus a little better? I’ll read some words if it’ll make me more money somehow, but what good’s a story?

We’ll talk a bit about the more “productive” benefits of reading fiction in this episode, and to make it a little more fun we’ll go over a few of our favorite books and what they mean to us. No spoilers though, I promise!

Things mentioned in this episode:

Tom’s Books:

  • , by Neil Gaiman
  • , by Neal Stephenson
  • , by Apostolos Doxiadis
  • , by Douglas Adams
  • , by Eliezer Yudkowsky

Martin’s Books:

  • , by Kurt Vonnegut
  • , by David Mitchell
  • , by Kazuo Ishiguro
  • , by Patrick Rothfuss
  • , by Gene Yang, Michael DiMartino, and Bryan Konietzko (also see , which takes place after the television series)

Other links:

  • Tom on Goodreads
  • Martin on Goodreads
  • Crash Course
  • Tom’s Impossible List
  • How Ben Franklin Structured His Day
  • The Procrastination Equation: An In-Depth Breakdown (Ep. 167)
  • How to Make Consistent Progress on Your Goals (Even If You’re Lazy)
  • , by Viktor Frankl
  • Buffer – The Surprising Power of Reading Fiction
  • , by Clifford Stoll
  • , by Gabriel García-Márquez (Spanish version)
  • How to Remember More of What You Learn with Spaced Repetition
  • 9 Life-Changing Books (Ep. 96)
  • , by William Gibson
  • , by Catherynne Valente
  • , and , by Lewis Carroll
  • A Crash Course on How to Start Investing (Even If You’re in Debt) (Ep. 168)
  • Listen Money Matters
  • Cryptonomicon
  • Tom’s Top 10 Favorite Fiction Books!
  • , and , by Patrick Rothfuss
  • , by George R. R. Martin, Neil Gaiman, Patrick Rothfuss, and more (the anthology with a story about one of the characters from The Kingkiller Chronicle)
  • , by Orson Scott Card
  • , by Eliezer Yudkowsky
  • , by Dan Ariely
  • , by Daniel Kahneman
  • , by Bill Bryson
  • Marvel Unlimited
  • , by Brandon Sanderson
  • , by Alexander Wales

Want more cool stuff? You can find all sorts of great tools at my Resources page.

If you enjoyed this episode, subscribe to the podcast on iTunes! It’s easy, you’ll get new episodes automatically, and it also helps the show gain exposure 🙂 You can also leave a review!

Here’s an image for sharing this episode on social media: