The best books for thinking differently about relationships

Who am I?

I find a lot of satisfaction and beauty in the interconnections between people and things and concepts, as these relationships are numberless and varied, and the web they make—that entangling mesh—essentially defines everything and everything we’ll ever know or be capable of knowing. Relationships between people are just as diverse and structural to the shape of humanity and our globe-straddling society as anything else we might build or accomplish.

I wrote...

Some Thoughts about Relationships

By Colin Wright,

Book cover of Some Thoughts about Relationships

What is my book about?

A book for people who aspire to relationships tailor-made for their unique beliefs, goals, desires, and lifestyles. A book for people who aren’t afraid to ask, “How might we do this better?”

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of The New Breed: What Our History with Animals Reveals about Our Future with Robots

Why did I love this book?

Our relationships with living beings like plants and animals may influence the way we treat other sorts of life—or “life”—we encounter in the future, including the artificial life we create. It’s probably prudent to consider what those relationships should look like, now, before we begin engaging with AI or aliens lacking a clear sense of how to behave toward them.

By Kate Darling,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The New Breed as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

For readers of The Second Machine Age or The Soul of an Octopus, a bold, exciting exploration of how building diverse kinds of relationships with robots―inspired by how we interact with animals―could be the key to making our future with robot technology work

There has been a lot of ink devoted to discussions of how robots will replace us and take our jobs. But MIT Media Lab researcher and technology policy expert Kate Darling argues just the opposite, suggesting that treating robots with a bit of humanity, more like the way we treat animals, will actually serve us better. From…

Book cover of Seek You: A Journey Through American Loneliness

Why did I love this book?

Much ink has been spilled about the “loneliness epidemic” spreading widely in the modern world, and this book does a good job of illuminating several facets of that epidemic, addressing the distinction between our private and public selves, and questioning the means through which we attempt, with mixed results, to close our social gaps.

By Kristen Radtke,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Seek You as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the acclaimed author of Imagine Wanting Only This—a timely and moving meditation on isolation and longing, both as individuals and as a society

There is a silent epidemic in America: loneliness. Shameful to talk about and often misunderstood, loneliness is everywhere, from the most major of metropolises to the smallest of towns.
In Seek You, Kristen Radtke's wide-ranging exploration of our inner lives and public selves, Radtke digs into the ways in which we attempt to feel closer to one another, and the distance that remains. Through the lenses of gender and violence, technology and art, Radtke ushers us…

Love People, Use Things: Because the Opposite Never Works

By Joshua Fields Millburn, Ryan Nicodemus,

Book cover of Love People, Use Things: Because the Opposite Never Works

Why did I love this book?

Josh and Ryan of The Minimalists have been doing a good job, for years, writing about the correlation between consumeristic compulsions and the spaces in our lives these acquisitions are meant to fill. This book focuses especially on several types of relationships that tend to shape our sense of satisfaction and fulfillment with life, alongside discussions of their own (at times troubled) relationships with people and possessions.

By Joshua Fields Millburn, Ryan Nicodemus,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Love People, Use Things as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


"The Minimalists show you how to disconnect from our conditioned material state and reconnect to our true essence: love people and use things. This is not a book about how to live with less, but about how to live more deeply and more fully."
―Jay Shetty, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Think Like a Monk


How might your life be better with less?

Imagine a life with less: less stuff, less clutter, less stress and debt and discontent―a life with fewer…

This Is How You Lose the Time War

By Amal El-Mohtar, Max Gladstone,

Book cover of This Is How You Lose the Time War

Why did I love this book?

This is an immensely poetic, beautiful work of science fiction that orients around the non-standard relationship between time-traveling operatives from rival, potential futures. That relationship evolves in interesting ways, and their behaviors toward each other as they go about their opposing tasks are both fascinating and smile-inducing. Just a joy to read, and a lovely example of interpersonal dynamics stealing the spotlight from an also quite compelling universe and plot.

By Amal El-Mohtar, Max Gladstone,

Why should I read it?

12 authors picked This Is How You Lose the Time War as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

WINNER OF The Hugo and Nebula Awards for Best Novella, the Reddit Stabby Award for Best Novella AND The British Science Fiction Association Award for Best Novella

2020 Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award
The Ray Bradbury Prize
Kitschies Red Tentacle Award
Kitschies Inky Tentacle
Brave New Words Award

'A fireworks display from two very talented storytellers' Madeline Miller, author of Circe

Co-written by two award-winning writers, This Is How You Lose the Time War is an epic love story spanning time and space.

Among the ashes of a dying world, an agent of the Commandant finds a letter. It…

Book cover of Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds & Shape Our Futures

Why did I love this book?

We’re only now beginning to understand how completely interwoven fungi are with pretty much every other living creature, and I find that interesting and humbling unto itself, but also find it to be a useful metaphor for the mega-ecosystems of which we’re a part: even relationships we can’t perceive or quantify can play vital roles to the survival and well-being of seemingly disparate elements and entities.

By Merlin Sheldrake,

Why should I read it?

17 authors picked Entangled Life as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A “brilliant [and] entrancing” (The Guardian) journey into the hidden lives of fungi—the great connectors of the living world—and their astonishing and intimate roles in human life, with the power to heal our bodies, expand our minds, and help us address our most urgent environmental problems.

“Grand and dizzying in how thoroughly it recalibrates our understanding of the natural world.”—Ed Yong, author of I Contain Multitudes

ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR—Time, BBC Science Focus, The Daily Mail, Geographical, The Times, The Telegraph, New Statesman, London Evening Standard, Science Friday

When we think…

5 book lists we think you will like!

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