What's Strat reading?

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Games: Agency as Art by C. Thi Nguyen

Games are a unique art form. They do not just tell stories, nor are they simply conceptual art. They are the art form that works in the medium of agency. C. Thi Nguyen’s Games: Agency as Art dives deep into these ideas and expands on them.

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Monster of the Week by Micheal Sands

Monster of the Week is a standalone action-horror RPG for 3-5 people. Hunt high school beasties a la Buffy the Vampire Slayer, travel the country to bring down unnatural creatures like the Winchester brothers of Supernatural, or head up the government investigation like Mulder and Scully. It seems OK, nothing extraordinary or unique other than the conceit.

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Heart: The City Beneath by Grant Howitt and Christopher Taylor

Heart: The City Beneath is a tabletop roleplaying game about delving into a nightmare undercity that will give you everything you’ve ever dreamed of – or kill you in the process. It is a dungeon-crawling, story-forward tabletop RPG that focuses on what characters have to lose in pursuit of their dreams in the chaotic darkness beneath the world. Weird but in a good way.

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The Mindbody Prescription by John E. Sarno, M.D.

As someone who’s been suffering with chronic pain issues for years now, I’m always on the lookout for anything I can do to help myself feel less pain. Underneath all the quackery contained in this book there seems to be a grain of truth (for me, at least). It helped helped me reduce my chronic pain symptoms considerably in just a short amount of time. If you (or someone you know) suffers from chronic pain, I would highly recommend this book.

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Think by Simon Blackburn

Think is a book about the big questions in life: knowledge, consciousness, fate, God, truth, goodness, justice. It is for anyone who believes there are big questions out there, but does not know how to approach them. Think sets out to explain what they are and why they are important. If you’re like me, and you knew barely anything about philosophy before reading this, you’re in for a wild ride.

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Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman

Amusing Ourselves to Death is a book about the corrosive effects of television on our politics and public discourse. Now, with television joined by more sophisticated electronic media—from the Internet to cell phones to DVDs— it’s more relavent than ever.

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The Pig that Wants to be Eaten by Julian Baggini

The Pig That Wants to Be Eaten offers one hundred philosophical thought-experiments. To get the most out of it, you might want to pull it out and discuss a thought-experiment with some friends because the book doesn’t do much more than present the thought-experiments one after the other.

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Media Literacy by W. James Potter

Media Literacy teaches you how to navigate through the overwhelming flood of information found in today’s media-saturated world. Drawing from thousands of media research studies, author W. James Potter explores key components to understanding the fascinating world of mass media. Potter presents examples and facts to help you understand how the media operate, how they attract attention, and how they influence you and the public.

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The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat by Oliver Sacks

The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat tells the stories of individuals afflicted with perceptual and intellectual disorders: patients who have lost their memories and with them the greater part of their pasts; who are no longer able to recognize people and common objects; whose limbs seem alien to them; who lack some skills yet are gifted with uncanny artistic or mathematical talents.

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Nine Lives by William Dalrymple

British guy goes to India and meets with nine different people, each one on a different religious path and with an interesting story to share. William Dalrymple acknowledges his white colonialist britishness and seems to mostly stay out of the way and let the people he meets tell their stories.

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Night by Elie Wiesel

Elie Wiesel’s Night is a retelling of what happened to him during World War 2. In a Nazi death camp, he witnesses the death of his family, the death of his innocence and the death of his God. Night shows you evil at its peak and convinces you that this horror must never be allowed to happen again.

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Meditations: A New Translation by Marcus Aurelius (translated by Gregory Hays)

Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (a.d. 121–180) succeeded his adoptive father as emperor of Rome in a.d. 161—and in his Meditations he provides insights, wisdom, and practical guidance on everything from living in the world to coping with adversity to interacting with others. It’s surprising how much of his advice has aged well but given his position of supreme power and the changing times (eg. slavery is bad), some of his meditations have not aged so well.

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The Anthropocene Reviewed by John Green

The Anthropocene Reviewed is a book where author/youtuber John Green reviews a random assortment of things and concepts that you wouldn’t expect to see reviewed. This conceit gives him a lot of room to write about anything he feels like. John Green is an expert at what he does, but I don’t find what he does to be very compelling.

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Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology is a retelling of a few stories from Norse mythology (which we don’t know very much about). I’m a fan of Neil Gaiman’s work generally but I found this to be quite boring.

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The Greek Myths by Robert Graves

Robert Graves’s The Greek Myths is more of an encyclopedia about everything related to the Greek myths rather than a pure retelling of the myths themselves. It’s not meant to entertain, it’s meant to inform. Although, if learning everything there is to know about Greek myths sounds entertaining to you then this is the book for you.

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On Writing by Stephen King

Stephen King tells you about his life and his advice on how you can become better at writing. This amounts to him basically saying “Just write a lot bro” but despite this, this was quite a fun read. And… He’s not wrong.

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Infrastructure by Brian Hayes

Infrastructure is a guide to all the major “ecosystems” of our modern industrial world. In exploring railroad tracks, antenna towers, highway overpasses, power lines, coal mines, nuclear power plants, grain elevators, oil refineries, steel mills, and more, Brian Hayes reveals how our familiar and often-overlooked industrial environment can be as dazzling as nature.

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Understanding Power by Noam Chomsky

Understanding Power is the book that convinced me that I needed to start reading again. It’s just a bunch of transcripts taken from Noam Chomsky Q/A sessions, but man, I’m glad that I was convinced to sit down and read through it. Noam Chomsky has eidetic memory (more commonly known as photographic memory) and so you can ask him about anything and he’ll be able to perfectly recall everything he’s read and written about the subject.

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Sandcastles by Frederik Peeters and Pierre Oscar Levy

Sandcastles is the french comic book that the recent M. Night Shyamalan’s movie Old was based on. A bunch of different people arrive for a relaxing day at the beach and find themselves aging extremely rapidly, babies become teens and older folk die. Hijinks ensue. I don’t get it.

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The Drifting Classroom by Kazuo Umezz

The Drifting Classroom is a Japanese horror manga series published from 1972 to 1974 that follows a school (and its students) that is mysteriously transported through time to a post-apocalyptic future.