WSIRN Ep 42: Life’s too short to waste on bad books (with Erik Fisher)

WSIRN Ep 42: Life’s too short to waste on bad books (with Erik Fisher)

It's Tuesday, and you know what that means - a new episode of What Should I Read Next!

I'm so happy to welcome friend and fellow podcaster Erik Fisher to the show today! Erik is known as the productivity guru because of his wonderful podcast Beyond the To Do List, which was one of the first podcasts I ever listened to. (It was also the very first podcast I ever appeared on!)

Erik's also a big reader, and in this episode we talk about how he’s made the switch back to paper books, how he hates to waste time on bad books, and of course, what he should read next. 


Make sure to check out Erik's productivity podcast, Beyond The To-Do List! Catch up with his day-to-day on Twitter and Instagram.

If you're reading this by email, click over to the blog to listen to this episode.

Books discussed in this episode:

Some links are affiliate links. More details here.

Being Mortal: Medicine & What Matters in the End, by Atul Gawande
The Enneagram: A Christian Perspective, by Richard Rohr
Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, by Greg McKeown
Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity, by David Allen
Hatching Twitter: A True Story of Money, Power, Friendship, and Betrayal, by Nick Bilton
How To Be Here: A Guide to Creating A Life Worth Living, by Rob Bell
I Wear the Black Hat: Grappling with Villains (Real & Imagined), by Chuck Klosterman
The Complete Jane Austen, by Jane Austen
A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, by Donald Miller
The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery, by Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile
The Complete Sherlock Holmes Vol I, & Vol II, by Arthur Conan Doyle

Also mentioned: 

• Magic Lessons, Elizabeth Gilbert's podcast


  1. Michael Ann says:

    Wow! I didn’t think I would have much in common with Erik, but SEVERAL of today’s books are now on my TBR list! Sherlock Holmes = Batman? YES! Why did I never think of that before? The enneagram books and the villain book sound especially interesting. Thanks, Anne and Erik!

  2. Elizabeth says:

    I greatly miss the book titles list being in order of introduction on the podcast. ‘Boo hiss’ to alphabetical order! But I LOVE the podcast in general, it’s one of my top three that I never miss❤️ Please reconsider title list :))))

    • Lindsey says:

      I agree with Elizabeth! I will hear a book on the podcast then come to here to find it and I can’t remember which book it was. I liked them in the order they were mentioned–much easier to find the books!

  3. Kimberly Bunyard says:

    I also didn’t think I’d connect as much to this podcast as there was so little fiction, but it was another gem.
    I feel like I meet a new friend each Tuesday, and I can’t wait to hear what he thinks of your suggestions!

  4. Laura says:

    Are you keeping a running list of all the favorites guests have mentioned? It might be fun to see all of them in one place sometime on the blog. I’m always excited to check out other people’s “best books.” Thanks for all the work you do to make this podcast great listening!

  5. Jamie says:

    The first book that came to mind was The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. Although, being a productivity specialist I’m guessing Erik’s already familiar with Duhigg’s work. 🙂

  6. Megan Rotondo says:

    Agree with the above! I didn’t think there would be that much I would resonate with on this episode, but as usual, I loved it! Thanks so much! I need to dig into ennegram now!

  7. Girl in Boston says:

    I wonder if he would like some mystery graphic novels like V is for Vendetta or Watchmen. My husband loves Sherlock Holmes and superheroes and he enjoyed those two.

  8. Erik,

    I think you’d really enjoy Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike. I’m a sucker for memoir but this is so interesting and so well written, and you won’t believe all the anecdotes that led to his success.

  9. Kristen says:

    My husband is a comic book reader as well as a business book reader and focuses more on non-fiction than fiction. I’ve worked hard to find him books he loves and thought Erik might like as well (fiction even!). The first is A Once Crowded Sky by Tom King. The next is Soon I Will Be Invincible by Austin Grossman. Press Start to Play by Daniel Wilson is a collection of short stories (although maybe more for video game lovers than super hero lovers although I find there often seems to be a lot of overlap in the two audiences). Then there are a couple of non-fiction. Luke Skywalker and Other Geeky Truths by Ryan Britt is an essay collection. The Caped Crusade: Batman and the Rise of Nerd Culture by Glen is a cultural history by an NPR book critic.

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