Language kick

Most of my books are packed away now, but I left a few sitting around to read between now and the upcoming move. One of those books was Steven Pinker‘s latest, The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Windows into Human Nature. I’ve read Pinker before and this sounded fascinating. I started reading it yesterday and I was right, it was fascinating. Too fascinating. Pinker describes the book as the “third” book in two trilogies. It is the third book in his trilogy on language, the first two books being The Language Instinct: How the Mind Creates Language, and Words and Rules: The Ingredients of Language. It is also the third book in his human mind trilogy, the first two books being How the Mind Works, and The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature.

So yesterday, I dashed over to the bookstore across the street and picked up copies of The Language Instinct and Words and Rules. (I already own How the Mind Works and The Blank Slate.) I started reading The Language Instinct yesterday and indeed, it’s proving to be just as fascinating as The Stuff of Thought with the added benefit of providing me with additional context for when I finally get to that book. So it looks as though I’ve got my next five books to read, roughly in the following order:

  1. The Language Instinct
  2. Words and Rules
  3. How the Mind Works
  4. The Blank Slate
  5. The Stuff of Thought

I should mention that there is now a sixth book on this “pending” list: Death Rat, which strausmouse has been trying to get me to read for half a year now.

About Jamie Todd Rubin

Jamie Todd Rubin writes fiction and nonfiction for a variety of publications including Analog, Clarkesworld, The Daily Beast, 99U, Daily Science Fiction, Lightspeed, InterGalactic Medicine Show, and several anthologies. He was featured in Lifehacker’s How I Work series. He has been blogging since 2005. By day, he manages software projects and occasionally writes code. He lives in Arlington, Virginia with his wife and three children. Find him on Twitter at @jamietr.