Wisereads Vol. 19 — The Count of Monte Cristo, what Sam Altman wishes he’d been told, and more

Last week, we shared a preview of Ali Abdaal’s debut book, Feel-Good Productivity. This week, we’re sharing a classic epic of self-reinvention in celebration of the new year: The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas.

With the holidays, this week's Wisereads edition is more streamlined than usual. But don't worry: normal programming resumes next week.

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Most highlighted Articles of the week


I’ve never had a goal

Jason Fried · Signal v. Noise

“When you shift from 1st to 2nd, 1st is behind you. Then from 2nd to 3rd, 2nd is behind you. I approach things continuously, not in stops. I just want to keep going — whatever happens along the way is just what happens.”


100 Little Ideas

Morgan Housel · Collab Fund

“Ringelmann Effect: Members of a group become lazier as the size of their group increases. Based on the assumption that 'someone else is probably taking care of that.'”


What I Wish Someone Had Told Me

Sam Altman · blog.samaltman.com

“It is easier for a team to do a hard thing that really matters than to do an easy thing that doesn’t really matter; audacious ideas motivate people.”

Most highlighted YouTube Video of the week


Ali Abdaal: Is Hard Work Overrated?

Tiago Forte

“Everything in our work and life becomes more energizing and enjoyable if we just do a better job of over-communicating the good stuff.”

Most highlighted Twitter Thread of the week


23 questions to reflect on 2023

Dickie Bush 🚢

“What's the single biggest bottleneck to my continued growth?” and “What were the 5 most difficult conversations of the year?”

Most highlighted PDF of the week

The Star

Arthur C. Clarke

“Everything that they wished to preserve, all the fruits of their genius, they brought here to this distant world in the days before the end, hoping that some other race would find it and that they would not be utterly forgotten. Would we have done as well, or would we have been too lost in our own misery to give thought to a future we could never see or share?”

Hand-picked book of the week


The Count of Monte Cristo

Alexandre Dumas

There’s no better way to start the new year than with a thirty-hour reading journey of personal transformation fueled by that most powerful emotional of vengeance.

“There is neither happiness nor misery in the world; there is only the comparison of one state with another, nothing more. He who has felt the deepest grief is best able to experience supreme happiness. We must have felt what it is to die, Morrel, that we may appreciate the enjoyments of living.”

We're excited to offer The Count of Monte Cristo through Standard Ebooks. You can explore their collection of high quality, carefully formatted, and free public domain ebooks here.

Handpicked RSS feed of the week


The Growth Equation

From In Defense of Performance: A Manifesto: “Rigidity works well for short periods of time but ultimately leads to anxiety and burnout. Staying on the path of performance requires the ability to adapt and holding onto multiple ideas at the same time: grit and quit, self-discipline and self-compassion, tragedy and optimism, solitude and community, ruggedness and flexibility.”