What The Common Reader is about

I write about a few topics.

Being a common reader

I review what I read, either in short posts of one book (or movies) or longer posts of multiple books. Sometimes I’ll send you biographical sketches, or essays. Mostly the reviews are short and sweet.

And I don’t do much plot summary. Don’t you hate plot summaries?

Sometimes I’ll review new books; mostly I’ll review old books. There’s no rhyme or reason to it. There’s no agenda. The number one rule is read what you enjoy. Abandon boring books!

Here’s a recent book review you might enjoy.

The Fitzgerald Rule

Essays and biographical sketches about opsimaths: people who develop slowly, often succeed late in life, or never stop learning. They’re the most enjoyable sort of autodidact.

The Fitzgerald Rules says, ‘you spot talent by looking at what people persist at, not what persistently happens to them.’

If you’re interested, start here.

Wisdom is personal

‘You can never be wise unless you learn to love reading,’ said Samuel Johnson. So sometimes I’ll write essays about how wisdom is personal or the exasperated spirit. The long and the short of it is that the only way out is through.

For these essays, start with this one about reading.

Everything is interesting

I have written a few essays that have been read by thousands of people and featured on Marginal Revolution or The Browser. They don’t come up very often, but sometimes I’ll blog about whatever I want to know about that I can’t get somewhere else. For example: