Nov 8, 2022

It’s hard to be a writer without being a reader. It’s even harder to be a writer without sources of inspiration. For me, that means books. Lots of books. It’s my plan to use this page to keep a running tab on the books I reference in Learned along with a few notes on why I like it.

Links from this page will take you to A Very Learned Bookstore, my account on If you buy books via these links, I’ll get a small commission and you’ll get a worthwhile read. Call it a win-win.

The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows

by John Koenig

English speakers love making up new words. Sometimes to sell a product, sometimes to name a bug, but often, just for the sheer joy of it. Sometimes, someone goes above and beyond and makes a whole book full of made-up words as is the case with this book, which I referenced heavily in Learned Volume 5, Issue 19, Zielschmerz On You. Frankly, the Dictionary is a work of art. Easy to read and well-considered, this is kind of book I hope to write one day.

You Look Like a Thing and I Love You

by Janelle Shane

Chat GPT, Bard, and Bing have come into the public consciousness, first as a novelty, then as a concern in the space of just a few months. It can be difficult to get a handle on just what artificial intelligence and machine learning actually means in the constantly changing news cycle. Fortunately, Janelle Shane, scientist and a.i. researcher has some answers in the form of stories and anecdotes from the frontlines. In this charming, engaging book, Shane tells us just exactly what it’s like trying to train an a.i. and why you don’t need to be too worried about it. Yet.