I want to give a short story…

When I was younger, I was constantly reading books – late into the night, during my classes, or in the car on road trips. When I got a bit older and a lot busier, the whimsical fantasy worlds became something of the past. The years went by and for most of them I hadn’t read an ounce of fiction that wasn’t required by my schoolwork. At the start of my graduate studies, I gave serious thought to this: “why not read again?” I think at the time I yearned for some of the simplicity that came with being a kid. (I wasn’t thinking about this, but the real answer is pretty simple. I stopped reading mostly because I became obsessed with my studies and focusing on my career growth. On the other hand I was becoming pretty unhappy without a ton of fun in life and pretty reasonably I wanted it back. I similarly gave up most television, sports, video games, and regular competitive exercising once I entered college. The fun I had definitely wasn’t at zero, but it was less than that of a normal person. I don’t really regret my choices, but I also don’t think I could make them again.) So, I picked up a few fiction novels and read through them. After a few years of this, I can safely say that it was a good choice. So many good ideas can come from the fantasy and science fiction authors of yesterday and today. The way their words paint the future are inspiring, scary, thought-provoking, and, above all else, creative. The core skill required of a scientist is to have the creativity to turn nothing into something. I feel this is pretty similar skill required of fantasy and science fiction authors. To take myself back to the child-like imagination, I decided I’ll keep working on this hobby.

Unfortunately, deciding to resume an old hobby during graduate school is some pretty bad timing. When can I find time to read for fun when there is already so much to read for graduate school? I didn’t really have a problem reincorporating other fun back into my life, but reading more after a long day of reading is a pretty lofty ask. Luckily, Ann Arbor is home to a pretty decent public transportation system and a multitude of amazing local coffee shops. I have been fortunate enough to use it for my commute to and from the university each day, and get a few pages of reading during those rides. On the occasional free weekend, I’ll take whatever book I’m reading to a coffee shop and read until I need to head home. Otherwise, I get a bulk of reading done during flights when I’m traveling, while relaxing on a vacation, and during the evenings when I’m feeling a bit of insomnia. (Reading under the shine of a book light really takes me back to what it was like reading as a kid.)

I’m keeping a running list of what I end up reading here. It’s mostly for myself, but if you’re curious about any of the books I’m reading or have any recommendations, reach out to me! It’s an easy ice-breaker for getting to know me.

Currently Reading

  • The Dragon Republic (Poppy War Trilogy: Book 2) By: R. F. Kuang
  • A Man Called Ove
  • Dune
  • Thinking, Fast and Slow

Plan to Read

  • The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive: Book 1) By: Brandon Sanderson
  • The Priory of the Orange Tree By: Samantha Shannon
  • The Final Empire (Mistborn: Book 1) By: Brandon Sanderson
  • The Once and Future King By: T. H. White
  • A Psalm for the Wild Built By: Becky Chambers
  • She Who Became the Sun (The Radiant Emperor Duology: Book 1) By: Shelley Parker-Chan
  • He Who Drowned the World (The Radiant Emperor Duology: Book 2) By: Shelley Parker-Chan
  • Tress of the Emerald Sea By: Brandon Sanderson
  • The Three-Body Problem By: Cinxin Liu
  • The Adventures of Amina Al-Sirafi By: Shannon Chakraborty
  • The Burning God (Poppy War Trilogy: Book 3) By: R. F. Kuang
  • Babel By: R. F. Kuang
  • Seven Surrenders (Terra Ignota: Book 2) By: Ada Palmer
  • Assassin's Quest (Farseer Trilogy: Book 3) By: Robin Hobb

Finished Reading (top is most recently completed)

2023

  • The Poppy War (Poppy War Trilogy: Book 1) By: R. F. Kuang
  • The Narrow Road Between Desires (The Kingkiller Chronicle: Novella) By: Patrick Rothfuss
  • The Wise Man's Fear (The Kingkiller Chronicle: Book 2) By: Patrick Rothfuss
  • Royal Assassin (Farseer Trilogy: Book 2) By: Robin Hobb
  • Too Like the Lightening (Terra Ignota: Book 1) By: Ada Palmer
  • The Slow Regard of Silent Things (The Kingkiller Chronicle: Novella) By: Patrick Rothfuss
  • Stardust By: Neil Gaiman
  • Assassin's Apprentice (Farseer Trilogy: Book 1) By: Robin Hobb
  • The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle: Book 1) By: Patrick Rothfuss
  • Season of Storm (The Witcher Short Story Collection) By: Andrzej Sapkowski
  • The Lady of the Lake (The Witcher: Book 6) By: Andrzej Sapkowski
  • The Tower of Swallow (The Witcher: Book 5) By: Andrzej Sapkowski
  • Baptism of Fire (The Witcher: Book 4) By: Andrzej Sapkowski
  • Time of Contempt (The Witcher: Book 3) By: Andrzej Sapkowski
  • Blood of the Elves (The Witcher: Book 2) By: Andrzej Sapkowski
  • The Last Wish (The Witcher: Book 1) By: Andrzej Sapkowski

2022

  • Sword of Destiny (The Witcher Short Story Collection) By: Andrzej Sapkowski
  • Pet Sematary By: Stephen King
  • Salem's Lot By: Stephen King
  • The Sun Collective By: Charles Baxter

2021

  • The Girl on the Train By: Paula Hawkins
  • Misery: A Novel By: Stephen King
  • Life After Google: The Fall of Big Data and the Rise of the Blockchain Economy By: George Gilder
  • Where the Crawdads Sing By: Delia Owens
  • Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy By: Cathy O'Neil
  • The Hobbit By: J. R. R. Tolkien
  • Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants By: Robin Wall Kimmerer
  • Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism By: Safiya Umoja Noble
  • Burn-In: A Novel of the Real Robotic Revolution By: P. W. Singer and August Cole

2020

  • Mindset: The New Psychology of Success By: Carol S. Dweck