Reading for the Week of 2/20/2022

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Here is what I read this week. Some of the articles/posts may require a subscription to read them. I also share my recommended reads on Pocket for anyone who wants to follow along there.


Earlier this week, I wrote about the reasons I sometimes reread books. It was on my mind because I have been rereading Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan books. A better description might be binge rereading. As you see, I completed 3 of the books this week. That’s about 1,750 pages of reading in 7 days — or 77 hours of audiobook listening time (45 hours at my usual listening speed of 1.7x). That’s a lot, even for me. Indeed, I have been so focused on reading these books this week that even my writing for the blog is way down from normal. Fortunately, by attempting to write 2 posts a day, I’d built up a healthy backlog, but still, I ate into that backlog quite a bit this week.

You’ll note a pair of numbers after each title I’ve finished below in the following format: (10/1138). The first number is the book’s place in the number of books I’ve finished this year so far. Patriot Games, for instance, was the 10th book I finished reading in 2022. The second number is where the book falls in the list of books I’ve read since 1996. This re-read of Patriot Games was the 1,138th book I’ve finished reading since January 1, 1996.

Finished Reading

  • Patriot Games by Tom Clancy (10/1138). Like The Hunt for Red October, this book was far better than I remembered it originally. It was also much more clear to me how the movie deviated from the book (for worse, as usual, but not terribly bad).
  • The Cardinal of the Kremlin by Tom Clancy (11/1139). This book had a greater scope than the first two Jack Ryan books, and in that expanded scope, something was lost in the overall storytelling. It was still a fun read, but I didn’t think this book was as good as the first two.
  • Clear and Present Danger by Tom Clancy (12/1140). Clancy tightened up the scope once again and this book had more of the feel of Patriot Games than Cardinal. Perhaps what was most interesting to me about this book was the development of John Clark. I’ve never read Clancy’s novels about Clark, but I am now looking forward to reading Without Remorse after I finish up The Sum of All Fears. Another surprise was how far the movie deviates from the book–more than The Hunt for Red October and Patriot Games. Whole plot segments are eliminated and others dramatically changes from what happens in the book.

In Progress


Because of all of that binge reading, I spent a lot less time reading articles and posts this week. Just another example of how time is a limited pool, and we have to pick and choose what is important to us each moment.

  • My Favorite Speech in Shakespeare (What Mark’s Reading, 2/18/22). For me, it is the St. Crispin’s day speech in Henry V.
  • Solving Problems I Don’t Have by Melanie Novak (blog, 2/20/22). I’ve lost how many times I’ve been there, done that.
  • Journalism Needs to Engage With Its Critics by James Fallows (Breaking the News, 2/19/22). Fallows has really been hammering on journalism–in a good way. We need better reporting and journalism. We should be constantly trying to improve the craft and avoid complacancy. #reporting
  • Ignoring a Text Message or Email Isn’t Always Rude. Sometimes It’s Necessary by Erica Dhawan (NY Times, 2/21/22). I’m a big believer that email and messags, like phone calls, or for my conveience and don’t need to be answered or checked instantly. I’ve been trying (with limited success) to drill this idea into my kids. #productivity
  • The Lockout and My Deepest Fear by Joe Posnanski (JoeBlogs, 2/22/22). I’m becoming really frustrated with with the owners and players in this lockout. I just want baseball, and as I mentioned in a post earlier this week, I can always get it because baseball is a game played in history. #sports/baseball
  • My Notebook System – ratfactor by Dave Gauer (Rat Factor, 2/2/22). This was one of the best posts I’ve ever read on notebooks and notebook systems. I’ve written many post on the subject, but I wish I’d written this one. Dave’s post is comprehensive, clear, and just so good. If you are interested in notebooks and note systems, I urge you to take the time to read this one in its entirity. #theme/theory-of-notes
  • They Fled for Greener Pastures, and There Were Weeds by Julie Lasky (NY Times, 2/25/22). This one hit home because I’ve lived in relatively urban or suburban areas close to urban centers for most of my life, and it’s been a growing daydream of mine to move out to a rural area, which I frequently think of as greener pastures. Kelly, who grew up in a rural area has seen the other side of those green pastures and this piece captured a lot of that. #theme/lifestyle
  • QR IQ by Mike Dariano (The Waiters Pad, 2/24/22). Once again, Mike has a novel way to apply to technology to small business–this time restaurants and restaurant menus–riding on the heels of how restaurants have had to switch to QR-code menus during the pandemic.
  • Brandon Sanderson’s Advice for Doing Hard Things – Study Hacks – Cal Newport by Cal Newport (Study Hacks, 2/25/22). I really enjoy Brandon Sanderson’s Stormlight Archive. I am also an admirer of Sanderson’s work ethic. I have a fascinating with hard-workers and this piece by Cal Newport, summarizes some of Sanderson’s tips in a more generalized way so that they can be applied to more than just writers. #theme/theory-of-work #productivity
  • Walker: Player Ranger – JoeBlogs by Joe Posnanski (JoeBlogs, 2/25/22). Despite my frustration with both players and owners, I think Joe makes a good argument that baseball player salaries are front-and-center because that is what the owners want; that is how they frame their arguments and what they want fans to see. #sports/baseball
  • 🌠 Documentation efforts, Mobile Live Preview, & Improved Startup Time by Eleanor Konik (Obsidian Roundup, 2/26/2022). I’m interested in checking out the new and improved Better Word Count plug-in, as well as the Hotkey Chords Plug-in.
  • It’s Hard to Care About Baseball Right Now by Molly Knight (The Long Game, 2/25/22). In W.P. Kinsella’s Shoeless Joe, J.D. Salinger gives a speech toward the end of the book (the speech’s essence is captured by James Earl Jones in Field of Dreams, which is based on the book). He describes how the baseball diamond in the cornfield will attract people. “‘Of course, we don’t mind if you look around,’ you’ll say. ‘It’s only twenty dollars person.’ And they’ll pass over the money without even looking at it — for it is money they have, and peace they lack.” With all that’s going on in baseball and the world right now, I thought of this speech as I read Molly Knight’s post. She seemed to read my mind when she wrote, “if you love baseball but you’re finding it really hard to care about it right now, that’s ok.” “It’s money they have and peace they lack.” Maybe it’s money that they (the players and owners) have and peace that we (the fans) lack. For me, baseball helps to provide that peace and I realize there is a cost to that. The question becomes simple in that light: is the cost worth the peace? #sports/baseball

Any recommendations for books, articles or posts I should read? Let me know in the comments?

Written on February 26, 2022.

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