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Readings and Dialogings
I don’t post very often. It’s hard for me to understand why but I’m not sure understanding why is that important. Regardless, I’d like to start posting more. Specifically what I’d like to post more about is not just what I’m reading, but about the conversations I’m having about what I’m reading. One day I could see it growing into a more formal effort or organization. For now I’ll just share more.
First off a sentence or two about my stance on reading and talking. For me, reading is better when you can discuss it with someone else. Halfway through a book, or after you finish. It doesn’t really matter. I know this might vary based on personality (introvert v extrovert) or learning style (do those still exist?) but I think that when trying to understand complex communications from authors in the form of their written works, it helps to unpack them with someone else who’s also read the same text. And while it’s the understanding that matters most, a part of me also wants to have these conversations in fun, cool, nice, interesting, and related-to-the-book-places. Not fundamentally necessary, but a real fun cherry on top.
Second off is what I’m reading at the moment and what’s up next. I’ve been wanting to create this little Kanban board for ages. https://bit.ly/3UERiIf I finally finished and updated it yesterday. Some of the books I’m reading or have recently read I’ll get to process out loud with someone else, and I’m grateful for that. Some I used as fodder to experiment with what I call solo reading retreats. More on that here: https://bit.ly/3qRVNkW. Other books, I’d love to talk about with someone, so if you’ve read the same work, let’s set up a wee dialogue irl or over zoom!
Third off is what I’m dialoguing about and what’s up next. On Friday, I’m going to try recording a zoom to share me and my friend Collins’ conversation about Shadow of the Sun by Rysard Kupuscinsky. It’s about a Polish foreign correspondent’s livings and travels and impressions of his time in mostly middle sub-saharan Africa. I’m excited to talk through Collins’ experience reading the book of a Pole living in a variety of parts of Africa having grown up himself Kenyan in Western Kenya close to the Ugandan border, the setting for a few of his vignettes.
On Saturday I’m talking to another friend, Kola, about Value: The Four Cornerstones of Corporate Finance. I’m going to test out recording this conversation using otter.ai. We’ll see how that goes given we’re not going to be in a soundproof booth, but at a restaurant in the World Financial Center. I love setting up the discussion environment in a way that relates to the book. Choosing this book began when Kola and I struck up a conversation about learning more about investing and crypto, compiled a list of stuff to read/listen to, and ended up with this book having been highly recommended by a friend/colleague of his. It’s been an interesting if at times dry read. But that is the magic of discussion.
Two weeks later, a handful of friends from my college years and I will unpack Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse. I haven’t read this book since college a million years ago so I recall nothing of it aside from the vague impression that it was a really great work of art. This group in some ways began the pattern of reading and dialoguing, especially in cool, fun brunch places. At this point, over the course of maybe 4 or 5? years we’ve read Don Quixote (Part I), Moby Dick, Jane Eyre, 100 Years of Solitude, and many others. We unpacked them over brunch in several fun places mostly in lower Manhattan, a convenient place for all of us.
Looking ahead, the book that has my eye is, Inverting the Pyramid: The History of Soccer Tactics. I’m going to cast about and to see who wants to dialogue about it with me. I’ve watched a lot more soccer in the past couple years after adopting Liverpool as my team in English Premier League Football. Consistently watching is something I enjoy, but I want to dive into how the game actually works. Remove some of the mystery. I’d love to better understand what managers think about, why any given team might be better than another aside from having some superstar on the team. There are a number of soccer and team theme bars in the city. I think a brunch in one of them when a game’s not on could be real fun.