A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a blog post explaining that you are what you read. The written word has tremendous influence on our personalities and our behaviors, but your predispositions and interests also lead you to pick up certain books, magazines, and online articles. In this way, you can get a pretty good sense of what kind of person someone is by simply checking out his bookcase or the magazines on his coffee table.

Shortly after I published that post, Derek Semmler described his reading list. He’s got a pretty eclectic collection there, ranging from comedy to online marketing. After taking a look at his reading list, I figured that it would only be fitting if I told my readers what I’ve been reading.

Local Newspapers: Even though it’s probably more efficient to get my world news through the Internet, there’s something to be said about flipping your way through the “dead tree edition” of the newspaper. I enjoy perusing some of the top stories as I sip on my morning coffee or munch on my lunch. My newspapers of choice are Metro and 24 Hours, both of which are free and local.

Technology and Video Game Blogs: I’ve been a video game geek my entire life, but there are still moments that make me go whoa. At the same time, I continually keep up with the world of technology (particularly gadgets, cell phones, and that kind of thing) as part of my duties with my freelance writing clients. I no longer buy video game magazines. Some of my favorite tech and video game blogs include Kotaku, Gizmodo, and The Boy Genius Report.

Dumbocracy (By Marty Beckerman): As you may recall, I posted an interview with the author a little while ago. If you enjoy the political humour of guys like Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, then Dumbocracy is definitely worth your time. Marty rips into right-wing extremists and left-wing radicals with equal force.

Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking (By Malcom Gladwell): If you check my Twitter profile, it says that I think I think too much. It’s really easy to over-analyze a situation and still come to the wrong conclusion. Blink takes a look at a more intuitive and automatic way to approach the world. Think without thinking and go with your gut.

Two Jobs, No Life: Learning to Balance Work and Home (By Dr. Peter Marshall): Even though this book addresses several issues that don’t concern me (like the possible issues associated with getting proper childcare), the core lessons surround the issue of work-life balance. If you’ve been reading Beyond the Rhetoric for a little while, you’ll know that this topic is of particular interest to me. Do you have Two Jobs, No Life?

I’m still not completely convinced that freelance writers can read for pleasure. Even though the books may start out as pleasure reading, I inevitably start looking for blog post inspiration. Does that make it work-related? I’m not sure.