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  • Hey, what's up, guys?

  • A couple of notes before we get started today.

  • Number one, thank you so much for 100,000 subscribers.

  • We hit that milestone on Tuesday of this week,

  • and it's just absolutely insane.

  • I can't really think of words to say right now.

  • However, there will be a proper

  • 100,000 subscriber bonus video coming.

  • This is not it.

  • The other thing I want to say

  • is that I'm veering a little bit off course

  • from my original planned schedule,

  • because in last week's video on public speaking

  • I said the next video will be on presentations.

  • Because I'll be flying out to Vermont next Wednesday

  • to give a presentation of my own,

  • I haven't had enough time to really put

  • the quality and preparation into that video that I want

  • and that I think you guys deserve.

  • So I'm going to put that one off a little bit.

  • I'm going to get through that presentation.

  • Today I still wanted to release something,

  • so I thought it would be fun to go through

  • 10 of my favorite fiction books.

  • This is ostensibly a top 10 list.

  • I know the top three at least are my top three,

  • and the rest of them are sort of

  • maybe in dubious order.

  • But these are things that I really enjoyed reading

  • and I hope maybe you can find something

  • that you'll enjoy as well on this list.

  • Now, a couple of ground rules before we get started.

  • Number one, I have not included graphic novels,

  • because I could probably fill an entire list

  • with graphic novels on another day.

  • And number two, no two books from the same series.

  • I'm not saying the same author is off limits,

  • but the same series is.

  • Now, that being said, let's get started with number 10,

  • which is Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson.

  • Just to let you know, I am very agnostic

  • when it comes to the format of books I read.

  • I like Kindle books.

  • I like physical books.

  • And I like audio books.

  • So if I don't own the physical edition,

  • I'm just going to pop a picture up right here like this.

  • Snow Crash is on the list because

  • I absolutely love Stephenson's writing

  • and I love cyberpunk fiction.

  • This is the book that actually coined the term "avatar"

  • in cyberspace terms.

  • I really enjoyed it.

  • There's one other Stephenson book that I've read so far

  • that I like more, which is coming up in the list,

  • but I highly recommend this book

  • if you like cyberpunk fiction at all.

  • Number nine on my list is Ready Player One

  • by Ernest Cline.

  • Now this is a book that didn't really change my life

  • or teach me any big lessons or anything,

  • but I just absolutely enjoyed listening to it.

  • It's a book about basically virtual reality,

  • a kid who goes into a huge virtual reality world,

  • and there's all these '80s video game

  • and movie and music references.

  • Even though I wasn't born in the '80s,

  • a lot of it was stuff I watched growing up as a kid.

  • It was just super cool to basically nerd out

  • while listening to this book.

  • I did listen to it.

  • I will recommend the audiobook version of this book.

  • While I usually like to create the character voices

  • in my head and narrate my own way,

  • I really liked Will Wheaton's narration of this book.

  • Will Wheaton's amazing in general,

  • and his narration of this book is great.

  • Definitely check it out.

  • Read it either way, but I love the audiobook version.

  • Book number eight is The Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut.

  • You're probably getting a little bit of a sci fi vibe here,

  • and yes, the majority of my favorite fiction

  • is sci fi and fantasy.

  • But I absolutely loved this book.

  • It has a lot of themes about free will

  • and actually made me think a lot.

  • My friend Martin, who was actually my roommate,

  • recommended this book to me,

  • and I believe it is his favorite book.

  • Didn't really top the favorite list for me,

  • but I did enjoy it a lot, so it makes this list.

  • Book number seven is Ender's Shadow,

  • yes Shadow, not Game.

  • I absolutely love Ender's Game.

  • It's also one of my favorite books.

  • However, I thought Shadow was a little bit

  • more compelling because it tells the story

  • from Bean's perspective instead of Ender's.

  • There's a little bit more grittiness to it.

  • There's a little bit more of the tactical,

  • nitty gritty details of how they win the battles,

  • and I really liked seeing his perspective,

  • and also that secondary perspective opened up

  • a lot of new perspective on Ender's thoughts.

  • So definitely check it out if you haven't read it.

  • But I would recommend reading Ender's Game first.

  • Book number six is the Desert Spear by Peter Brett.

  • Now this book is part of a series

  • called The Demon Cycle,

  • and there are currently four books out right now.

  • I've read all four and I'm eagerly awaiting the fifth one,

  • which I believe should be the conclusion of the series.

  • Basically it's a story about these demons

  • who come up at night, and they're basically invincible

  • and unkillable to all the humans, until ...

  • Well, you'll just have to read what happens.

  • But it's pretty darn cool.

  • This is the one book on my list that I like

  • better than the original start of the series.

  • I absolutely love the first one,

  • which is called The Warded Man,

  • or The Painted Man, depending on where you live.

  • But The Desert Spear has a much more interesting

  • setting, in my opinion, and some cooler relationships

  • that are built along its storyline.

  • Definitely recommend the entire series,

  • but the second one is my favorite so far.

  • Book number five I actually own in print,

  • and it is Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson.

  • Now, I'm going to go on a limb here and say

  • that the entire Mistborn series,

  • at least the first three books,

  • are my favorite in the number five category.

  • I just arbitrarily picked the first one,

  • because I think I love all three equally.

  • But the reason I like Mistborn so much

  • is, number one, it's just a great fantasy series.

  • But number two, the magic system

  • is so well thought out,

  • and it's actually got limitations and hard rules.

  • I think that makes for more interesting

  • character interactions and situations

  • than more arbitrary just whiz bang magic systems

  • like more Tolkien-esque fiction will have.

  • That's why I love them.

  • I also note that there is a new series of Mistborn books

  • called The Wax and Wayne Trilogy,

  • which there are two of those out currently,

  • and those ones are usually shorter.

  • I think they're like half -

  • each one's is like half the length

  • of a normal Mistborn book.

  • But they're also really great fun to read.

  • So I'd recommend basically everything in the Mistborn series

  • and pretty much everything Brandon Sanderson

  • has wrote is great.

  • Book number four is The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson,

  • and yes, this is the second recommendation

  • from Neal Stephenson on this list.

  • Over on my bookshelf right there I have

  • pretty much every other book Neal Stephenson

  • has written since then, except for Seven Eves,

  • which is his newest one.

  • I have yet to get through those ones because,

  • well, reading can be tough when you run a business.

  • But I did get through both Snow Crash and Diamond Age.

  • I think I liked The Diamond Age a little bit more,

  • probably because of the character interactions,

  • but also because his mixture of the cyperpunk,

  • ridibulous future nanotech setting,

  • mixed with a resurgence of Victorian fashion and ideals,

  • was just awesome.

  • Everything Neal Stephenson dreams up in that head of his

  • is just super cool to read about.

  • Now, this was another one that I did

  • in audiobook format.

  • I'm not sure if the audiobook version was as compelling

  • as the Will Wheaton narration of Ready Player One,

  • but I really did like it.

  • So if you're into audiobooks, I would recommend

  • the audiobook version of this.

  • Though if you're not, reading it would be cool, too.

  • Book number three on this list?

  • Well, if you've been drawing conclusions

  • about my taste based on the other books on this list,

  • you've probably been wondering

  • if this one's going to come up, and yes,

  • it is The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss.

  • I absolutely love this book.

  • This was recommended to me on a whim

  • from my friend Carly.

  • I read nothing about it going in.

  • Honestly, I think that's the best

  • book-reading experience you can have.

  • I like just taking things on blind recommendation

  • if they are good.

  • I got lucky with this one because

  • it is absolutely amazing.

  • Like Mistborn, it has incredibly well thought out

  • magic system with physical properties and limitations.

  • But also, I just like the characterization

  • a little bit more than the characters in Mistborn,

  • and that's why this book gets a little bit higher

  • spot on the list from me.

  • All right, moving on to the penultimate pick on this list,

  • and this might be where any dislikes

  • for this video comes from, because my pick for number two

  • is Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality,

  • which is a fan fiction, yes.

  • Now, this fan fiction story was written by

  • an artificial intelligence researcher

  • named Eliezer Yudkowsky, who's also written a lot

  • on rationality and critical thinking.

  • This book is basically his attempt

  • at teaching rationality and critical thinking

  • without you really realizing it.

  • This book basically imagines a universe

  • where Harry Potter, instead of just being

  • a normal 11-year-old boy,

  • is essentially a genius who thinks through

  • everything rationally and like a scientist.

  • What I love about this book is

  • all the other characters are adjusted to match Harry.

  • So it's not like he's just going through

  • and having an easy time of everything.

  • All the other characters are much smarter.

  • If you like things like Sherlock or Death Note,

  • or more rational, cerebral pieces of fiction,

  • then I think you'll really enjoy this.

  • I'm not going to say you're going to

  • enjoy it more than cannon.

  • I personally do, but I don't want to say

  • that it's better than cannon,

  • because obviously it builds upon

  • already excellent foundation of story and setting

  • and characters that J.K. Rowling has built.

  • I absolutely love the cannon.

  • But for me, I think I enjoyed MOR

  • a little bit more.

  • Also, it got me into reading about rationality

  • and reading about critical thinking skills,

  • and heuristics, and biases, and things

  • that have made me a better thinker.

  • This is one of those rare pieces of fiction

  • that has made a tangible change in my life,

  • and that's why it gets such a high place on this list.

  • But it's not in the top pick, because that one is

  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, of course.

  • Now, if you've read the About section on my YouTube channel

  • or any of the pages on my website,

  • you've probably noticed the references to this book,