Between non-fiction and fiction

In between all the other books I read and write, I love reading great fiction.

I’ve recently really been enjoying all the books that have been coming out influenced by the tech world. The first of these that I was turned on to was William Hertling’s Avogadro Corp: The Singularity Is Closer Than It Appears (Singularity Series Book 1). Then I stumbled across Eliot Peper’s Uncommon Stock: Version 1.0 as I was working on finding the right publisher for my book and am now a huge fan of the series and can’t wait to see what happens to Maria next.

Recently I was also approached to read a complimentary copy of Lynda Chevril’s Project Odyssey and was surprised at how much good fiction can be influenced by the tech world. Most of the authors have real jobs in the tech world and write out of passion and it really shines through. Lynda’s book had me rooting for Gabrielle who she introduced in the first book she wrote (which I haven’t read). A few comments I left in my Goodreads review about Project Odyssey… “I enjoyed the book and read it quickly, but I was turned off by the references to Elon Musk, Richard Branson, and so on. They were way over the top, so much so it almost felt like an ode to Elon with all the references.”

I can’t say that I continued reading William’s books, the second in the series really turned me off. I am looking forward to reading Eliot’s second book in the Uncommon Stock series and if Lynda puts out another book, I’ll give it a try based on my enjoyment of Project Odyssey. Another author who isn’t all tech but who I enjoyed as much ore more than the three I mentioned here is the series by Ramez Naam that starts with Nexus. I can’t wait for the third in the series, Apex which will be out next year.

I spend a lot of time writing down all the insights I get from business books like this one about Wal-Mart or this one about the Holiday Inn and the hotel industry, but I definitely think it is important to read fictional stories like the ones I’ve mentioned because it provides a deeper insight into how other people’s imaginations are inspired by the things in our world and having that insight is something that you can build on to understand the world better.

Comments (4)

  1. Eliot Peper

    Josh, I’m honored to be mentioned alongside authors like Ramez and William. I’m a huge fan of their books.

    As a career startup guy, I’m thrilled that more stories are starting to emerge from the world of tech. There’s always been mountains of great (and terrible) nonfiction, but reading a CEO’s lessons-learned is different from experiencing their soaring successes and crushing failures alongside them. That’s where the magic of fiction comes into play. The reason I love reading and writing fiction is that it gives you a little window into someone else’s head, someone else’s life. It should probably be illegal :).

    Anyone involved in startups knows the truth of the human drama behind any new company. Elation, betrayal, dedication, depression, etc. It’s a great canvas for any storyteller. That makes my life interesting as a writer and, as a reader, it thrills me that more folks are getting involved. You could throw Robin Sloan’s Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore, Dave Egger’s The Circle, and David Schaffer’s Whiskey Tango Foxtrot into the mix as well.

    The funny part is that I often learn lessons from fiction that are as or more important than those I learn from nonfiction. I learned more about resourcefulness from Andy Weir’s The Martian than any business book and more about imagination from Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist than any self-help book.

    It makes my day to hear you’re enjoying the Uncommon Stock journey and I can’t wait to get your take on the next chapter in the trilogy which comes out next week!

  2. Josh Maher

    Love it, thanks for the additional recommendations as well – I haven’t read any of them!

  3. Eliot Peper

    Great books all, you’ll enjoy them for sure!

  4. Pingback: Episode 32: How to Create Wealth Through Startups | Josh Maher

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