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James Altucher


Books I might write

Last year I wrote three books: "Skip the Line", "The Big Book of Crypto", and "We got Answers" (an audible original I did with Charlamagne tha God). I also wrote three forewords to book: "The Power Bible", Brian Keating's book on Nobel Prize Winners and Carsten Hansen's chess book on the Basman-Williams Attack.

This year so far...nothing. I've averaged a book a year or more since 2003. Time to get cooking!

    1. "Think Like a Writer"

    I'm specifically thinking of two categories of writer: great literary fiction writers, and thriller writers. I've interviewed both categories on the podcast. On the literary side, Tim O'Brien, Chuck Pahlaniak, Cheryl Strayed, Judy Blume(!), and many more. Some of my favorites.

    On the thriller side: Brad Thor, Ken Follett (150,000,000 copies sold of his books), Brad Meltzer, Alex Berensen, and throw in some sci-fi with Andy Weir (the Martian) and many more.

    I should take the interviews, edit them ,write intros and outros, and I'm done. The audiobook is already finished (just staple the interviews together).

    2. "How to Be World Champion".

    I've interviewed a lot of people who were best in the world at some competitive field. Like Kareem Abdul Jabbar, or Danica Patrick or Garry Kasparov, and so on.

    Similar to above, I can make a book out of those. Sort of in the style of "Tools of Titans" by Tim Ferris.

    3. Other podcast related books I could do

    I've done something like 1100 podcasts on my show now. I can probably find a ton of books in there. Like a book about comedians. Or a book about billionaires (oh wait, I did that one in 2019 for Scribd. Maybe I can write a sequel now). Or acting. Whatever.

    4. "The Book"

    I've described this in another list here. I want to take every concept in the BIble and show how it runs through all other religions and philosophies and just call it "the book". I've started doing it here and many here have also contributed. If I finish this book I'm going to include everyone who contributed as a co-author.

    5. My 60 Memorable Losses

    The most famous chess book ever is Bobby Fischer's book, "My 60 Memorable Games". I think all of the games or most of them were games he won.

    When looking at the games of a player like that it's sometimes hard to understand everything.

    For a player who is trying to improve it's not enough to just know what the right move is. You have to know how to improve your thinking.

    It's levels. First there's, "What was the right move". Then there's, "What strategic principle did I not understand?" Then there's, "Why is my personality such that I didn't even consider the correct move/strategic principle?"

    I'm a good player but GREAT GREAT. I have my moments. But I'm trying to reach higher levels than I last played in tournaments 25 years ago. And it's tough. I've had at least 60 memorable losses.

    It would be very chess-specific. But I think the average player would be able to relate. Why did I make such mistakes? What did I learn from them? How did I bounce back from losing. Etc. It would be fun and a good way for me to learn from my games.

    6. The Comeback Kid

    I was telling Robert Greene ("48 Laws of Power") about my experiment. Trying to make a comeback after 25 years of no play and despite being much older now (most good players are very young).

    He insisted I write a book about the experience. At first I thought, nahh, this is going to be a piece of cake. No story here.

    Well, there's a story. And it's brutal. I don't even know if I will be able to do it.

    I'm in a tournament now and it's such a mixed bag of feelings. My first two games I beat two players who are higher ranked than I had ever beated before. Even 25 years ago when I first hit the "master" level I never beat any players this good.

    Well, in this tournament I crushed my first two games with players very high rated. I thought, "this is it!" My comeback!

    Well, then five losses in a row. How come? I don't know. But this happens.

    The book would be:

    - why am I doing this?

    - why is this so important to me? Why chess has been important to me most of my life.

    - my initial spark that got me interested in making a comeback.

    - how I began training for tournaments.

    - my first results.

    - how i started to get better again.

    - and all the weird stuff that has happened along the way. When I last played, nobody knew who I was. Now everyone knows who I am. So it's a weird experience and leads to many weird opportunities.

    - And, of course, hopefully the comeback succeeds. i thought it was going to this tournament. But it's not.

    I think a lot of people in all walks of life would relate to this book. I used to say, "I feel as young as ever." But now I realize I'm not. I can't do everything anymore. And the world has improved in every area of life and people over 30 (yes, 30) don't always improve at the same rate as the world in whatever field you are interested in.

    Other than dealing with real tragedies, this is the hardest thing I've ever done in my life and I'm afraid I won't be able to do it.

    7. Novel: a novelized version of "Choose Yourself".

    Charles Bukowski was famous for this "Dirty realism" style. His books, "Post Office", "Ham on Rye", "Factotum", "Women", and "Hollywood", were labeled novels but they were probably 95% non-fiction. The category of literary non-fiction wasn't a thing then so he embellished a bit and made them novels.

    In fact, the only novel of his that is truly fiction is one of the worst books ever written, "Pulp Fiction" .

    I've written a lot of stories about things in my past. Thinking of creating a novel out of them.

    Interesting trivial, "Post Office", which was Bukowski's first novel and sold over a milion copies, he wrote in two weeks because he needed to get paid.

    8. Other ideas for novels. I've written them in private lists.

    But I don't like to jinx my novel ideas.

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