My Reading History
This page is an archive for my "quake books" that have had the most profound impact on me.
Author: James Traub
Thoughts: I’ve had the chance to read a lot of biographies over the last few years of founding fathers, but none have I found so much perspective on myself as I did with John Quincy Adams. There are many things that he was (or wasn’t) that don’t apply to me; genius, terrible dad, etc. But his attitudes about life felt very close to home.
Author: Peter Kaufman (Editor)
Thoughts: Living life intentionally is not an easy or common thing. I used to believe I was fairly thoughtful about the way I live my life, but Charlie Munger is an aggregator of some of the finest ideas other people have come up with. This is a distillation of that goodness.
Author: Ian F. McNeely and Lisa Wolverton
Thoughts: I came away captivated by The Republic of Letters. “The Republic of Letters can be defined as an international community of learning stitched together by handwritten letters in the mail.” What does that look like in a world powered by the internet and the creator economy? Are DMs the new letters? Are the ideas shared by intellectuals as much about culture as they are technology?
The Good Earth
Author: Pearl S. Buck
Thoughts: I think I read this book for the first time in my sophomore year of high school. But I read it again in front of a fire in New Zealand in 2013 and was struck. As much as I love characters who I empathize with, I am often more impacted by characters who I hate. And Wang Lung is a character I increasingly hate.
Leap of Faith
Author: Bob Bennett
Thoughts: Too often, people don’t think enough about why they believe what they believe. I’ve always loved this Charlie Munger quote: “I feel that I'm not entitled to have an opinion unless I can state the arguments against my position better than the people who are in opposition.” This book is one of the best resources I’ve used to understand the opposition to one of my core beliefs.
Author: Leo Tolstoy
Thoughts: After being exposed to Russian novels in high school, I took a Russian novels class in college and I was assigned to read Anna Karenina. In particular, I remember sitting on the couch of the common room of my dorm reading “The Mowing Scene” and having a legitimate spiritual experience.
I know this section is my “bookshelf,” but it really represents the best collection of content that I’ve consumed. As a result, I didn’t just want to focus on books, but to expand and opine on a lot of the pieces of media that have left me quaking.
Creator: Jason Sudeikis, Bill Lawrence, Brendan Hunt, Joe Kelly
Bo Burnham: Inside
Creator: Bo Burnham
Creator: Dallas Jenkins
Creator: Rian Johnson
Creator: Christopher Nolan
Big Hero 6
Creator: Don Hall & Chris Williams