V5 (5 Things 1 Topic)


I’m at present working on a sabbatical proposal and doing a little entry level research to get the ball rolling.  The book I am currently reading is called Superintelligence – Paths, Dangers, Strategies.  It’s a spectacular book written by the founding director of the Future of Humanity Institute at Oxford University, Nick Bostrom.  I haven’t yet finished this book, but it’s time to order the next book on the topic.  Often times when we read a book, we become comfortable with the author’s style, we start to trust their work. We engage with books in a very unique way.  Then, we finish.  Of course, we could buy more works by the same author, but just because an author has additional pieces available, it doesn’t necessarily follow that their catalogue suits the reader’s needs.

For this reason, moving forward, I think all books that are popular enough for reprint be required to list 5 author recommendations for further reading.  Yes, of course we can dig a little to find out what has inspired or motivated an author, but who wants to dig.  Yes, of course we can just immerse ourselves into the bibliography, but that’s just more digging. We’re buying your work, share your inspiration, make a recommendation, make 5!  If it’s too much to actually print a splash page of 5 recommendations in a book, then the very least an author can do is post recommendations to a web-page.

People want recommendations from trusted sources, here are 5 things about recommendations.

  1. The work done at the Future of Humanity Institute is among the most valuable work being done on the planet in terms of human survival.  Important publications come out of the institute and are made available to the public on a very regular basis.  I’ve cited their work on several occasions, especially when it comes to existential risk concerning the changing environment.  They provide spectacular sources, analysis, and original content, it’s almost perfect.  The only thing missing is 5 recommendations from founder Nick Bostrom concerning what to read after Superintelligence.  Again, I know that it won’t take much to find a good follow-up book, but that’s not the point.  I’d prefer not to have to find anything.  Dr. Bostrom, Nick…Bill Gates literally recommends your book, and if he can find time to make a recommendation, so can you!
  2. Alex Honnold is climber who I really look up to (Yes of course there is a climbing pun in there) for several reasons.  He is one of the best climbers in the world, he uses his platform to try and make the world a better place, and he is an avid learner and reader.  On his website honnoldfoundation.org among all the ways we can learn to help raise awareness and money in order to assist communities in need you’ll find a page dedicated to Honnold’s book recommendations.  When it comes to road trips, I almost always look here first for a good road trip read.  So, if you are looking for a good book I highly recommend checking out Alex’s book list.  On that note, his most recent recommendation is The Future of Humanity by Michio Kaku, which is now on its way to my house as the follow up to Superintelligence.  See Nick Bostrom, that isn’t so hard.
  3. I want to stress that this suggestion isn’t just for philosophers and scientists, it is for authors in every field.  If I’m being totally honest, they don’t even have to stick to books.  How cool would it be to have your favorite cookbook author recommend their favorite restaurant?  Your favorite climber could recommend their favorite crag.  Your favorite musician could recommend their favorite song, album, or artist.  But, mostly books, let’s not get too carried away with that other stuff.
  4. Five authors I’d want to hear from include Augusten Burroughs, Martha Nussbaum, Daniel Dennett, Barack Obama, and of course Nick Bostrom.  It would great to hear what he recommends as a good follow-up to Superintelligence. (This list is subject to change on an hourly basis)
  5. It wouldn’t be fair of me to demand that others make 5 book recommendations without following suit and making 5 book recommendations myself.  I’m going to avoid recommending 5 philosophy books or 5 adventure books and try to give a well-rounded list. Love’s Executioner by Irving Yalom, The Republic by Plato, Missoula by Jon Krakauer, The Endurance: Shackleton’s Legendary Antarctic Expedition by Caroline Alexander, and of course Superintelligence by Nick Bostrom. (This list is subject to change on an hourly basis)

There is only so much you can do with 5 recommendations, but imagine going to Krakauer’s website or Cormac McCarthy’s website or Nick Bostrom’s website and seeing 5 books that they would personally recommend. They may not always be perfect, but it’s a great way to connect with reader’s, and it would be very helpful in directing them toward further reading after finishing a book like Superintelligence.

V5 (5 things, 1 topic!)


20 Replies to “V5 (5 Things 1 Topic)”

    1. I rely so heavily on Amazon recommendations for topic specific philosophy books like the Philosophy of (fill in the blank). Only one time did they make a recommendation so bad that I had to google map the publishing company because I swore it was the authors parents and the publishing address was just their house. But it was an actual business, so I had to conclude that the author had a massive amount of dirt on the president of the publishing company. It was such a bad book! Other than that, Amazon has been very reliable!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Me too — two of the best books I’ve read in the last couple of years I wouldn’t have known about without Amazon’s recommendations.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. This came up as a recommendation under your book…also, speaking of your books, it would seem that you meet the requirements for an author to have to post 5 recommendations. If you have a post or write a post with these recommendations, please let us know, or if you want us to put up a post with your recommendations that would be cool too!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. In the words of Humberto Eco, I’m a writer not a reader.” But this is a cool challenge. I’ll give it a shot. Which of my books yielded this recommendation?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’ll have to check that out and see what legit literature has been appended to Shit, Fear, and Beauty. Shit, Fear, and Beauty is poetry. The title came from a night bike ride in China in 1984. Back then trucks were the only vehicles on the roads and at night they weren’t allowed to run with their headlights on because it could blind the innumerable bike riders. So, we innumerable bike riders (ringing our bells constantly) also rode in fear. I was riding by a flooded vegetable field which was filled, also, with human excrement the preferred fertilizer. The flooded canals reflected the full moon so as I rode by it was moon, dark, moon, dark, moon, dark. Fantastically beautiful with the eucalyptus trees and the velvet sky. So shit, fear, beauty. 🙂 I think it summarizes life pretty well…

        Liked by 1 person

      3. That is such a great title…and the perfect summary for life. Having an Amazon algorithm tell users what to read based on the interest in your books is such a badge of distinction. I need to figure out how to write a book and get it on amazon!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I can help you. I’ve designed books for people other than myself. Amazon is very easy after you’ve done it once. They don’t make it easy the first time because they sell services to do it for you. The first book I “published” was on LULU and it was a collection of blog posts from my old blog and I just did it to learn how. I have since discovered I really love putting a book together which is probably why I have so many — most of which are not even for sale.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. I may have to take advantage of that offer. Especially if I can just grab a collection of posts from the history of the blog. Thanks for the offer Martha!

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I read Goodreads feedback mostly. And readers’ favourite quotes from the books too. That whets the appetite. Some books appear out of nowhere and seem to have their own purpose in winging their way in your direction. All the best.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Goodreads is great…I should make an account, because that would be pretty fun to play around with for sure! Thank you for the recommendation!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I have an account, but haven’t contributed yet. Just went against what you spoke about in your write up here and ordered another book from an author I have just read. Katherine May ‘Enchantment’ was a great read. This time I did want more of the same. Cheers.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s a great idea. I am currently reading a ton of mermaid books and plan to recommend them on my blog. Bookbub is where authors say to recommend books, but who goes to Bookbub? On my top five would be “Dune” by Frank Herbert and “Cosmic Memory” by Rudolf Steiner. Thanks for the recommendations.

    Liked by 1 person

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