Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself by David Lipsky (2010) Mostly a transcript of an interview between David Lispky and David Foster Wallace back in 1996 near the end of the tour for Infinite Jest. Recent film The End of the Tour featuring Jason Segal as DFW is based on this transcript.
Elegant Complexity: A Study of David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest (2007) Greg Carlisle
David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest: A Reader’s Guide by Stephen J. Burn (2012)
The David Foster Wallace Reader(2014) This 976 page book contains almost every other aspect of David Foster Wallace’s work, for instance it has the syllabus he designed as a professor for writing/reading courses at Pomona College, and additional excerpts not present in the texts above.
Audible and Downpour have great Audiobooks for Infinite Jest, and all his other works are there as well. I found that the audiobook really kept me going the first time.
Don’t forget your public library! Both academic libraries in universities and public libraries will have most of Wallace’s works. If you prefer the online forum, OverDrive is connected through your library card and you can access most of the works mentioned.
In 2015 another group kept detailed records of their reading in a blog called Infinite Summer
This year I started my reading journey with an attempt to learn more about nature. I ended up picking Tristan Gooley’s bookThe Lost Art of Reading Nature’s Signs, for which I wrote a very passionate review at the beginning of April. I also got a hold of Gooley’s book How to Read Waterwhich has been on my TBR for a while but I got the chance to browse through it. Naturally I requested How to Read Nature as soon as I was notified that it will be published this year on August 22. I came to this book with knowledge of Gooley’s previous works and having watched a few lectures of his on YouTube. Gooley is a natural navigator and teaches classes on navigating through nature. This book read like being in one of his classes and receiving an introduction to the course. His previous works are much more detailed and go in-depth for each topic like navigating the sky, understanding fungi, trees, reading water (which has its own 400 page book) etc. I think this book will become the best place to start with Gooley’s works and an important starting place for readers of nature books.
This book very much resembles a course syllabus and gives readers a glimpse into each topic with exercises attached. Gooley focuses in this book on building a relationship with nature and the ways in which every person can begin to do so in a world that is very much detached from the natural realm. It’s almost as if Gooley is a relationship therapist here to fix the miscommunication between us and nature. He writes:
“a connection with nature allows us to see the roots that sustain and explain everything around us.”
He focuses on Maslow’s pyramid of needs and points to how lacking our society is in its foundation: physical needs. We take better care of everything else on the pyramid and neglect the most important one of all.
I learned a lot from this book about colour and time. Tristan Gooley spends a long time in this book focusing on the senses, colours, and timekeeping. One small example is the way he talks about plants:
“plants react to colours…if we are dressed in blue we can change the way a plant grows, while if we wear red we will influence its timekeeping”
What I particularly enjoyed is that the book is accompanied by images and exercises (which go hand in hand) helping the reader act on each section and practice. At the end of the book Gooley also provides readers with a bibliography of other nature books they can read on the topics he covers in this book. My reading list just grew ten-fold.