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The best of what I’m reading, watching, and exploring (January 2022)

Posted in the following categories: Motivation

From time to time, instead of my usual email with one big idea you can read in 3 minutes or less, I share with you the best of what I’m reading, watching, and exploring. Enjoy!

Books

The Power of Regret: How Looking Backward Moves Us Forward by Daniel Pink. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading every book that Pink has written—and this one is no exception. In the book, Pink debunks the “no regrets” cliche and explains how regret can be a powerful force for a richer life.

The book will come out on Tuesday, but if you pre-order it now, you get a free ticket to a one-of-a-kind online gathering THIS Sunday, January 30th featuring guest appearances by Malcolm Gladwell, Anne Lamott, and Al Gore. Here’s the link to pre-order the book.

Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir. If you liked The Martian, you’ll also like this interstellar thriller from the same author. The book has a lot of the same elements that made The Martian a hit—including a can’t-help-but-love-him hero tasked with turning the seemingly impossible into the possible. I have to admit: Even as a former scientist, I found the scientific detail in some parts of the book to be, well, too detailed. If you’re willing to get through some unnecessary scientific info-dumps, this is a terrific read. (Thanks to Chris West for gifting me a copy of the book).

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood by Quentin Tarantino. As a Tarantino fan, I knew he can write screenplays, but I wasn’t sure if he could pull off a novel. Well, he did. This was my first time reading a novel based on a film (rather than the more familiar method of writing the novel first and then making a film based on it). Like Project Hail Mary above, the novel contains infodumps on cinematic history that some will find distracting. But if you liked the film as much as I did, you’ll love the novel.

Films

I say very little about the plot of the films that follow—in large part because I don’t want to ruin the fun. I refuse to watch trailers—or even read film descriptions—because I want to be surprised from minute one.

CODA. (Apple TV+) Heart-warming and original coming-of-age story about the only hearing member of a deaf family. Be sure to have a box of Kleenex within reach. My wife and I disappeared into a puddle of tears while watching this (between well placed bouts of laughter).

C’mon C’mon. (Apple TV | Amazon Prime) Simply beautiful. It serves as a reminder that children often have more to teach adults than the other way around.

King Richard. (HBO Max | Apple TV) Terrific film about Richard Williams, the father of tennis stars Venus and Serena.

House of Gucci. (Amazon Prime – available beginning January 31st.) It’s like a wildly messy Italian soap opera that’s brought to life by an amazing cast (Lady Gaga and Jared Leto were at their best).

TV

Dopesick. (Hulu) One of the best series I’ve seen in recent memory. It’s based on a true story about how one company started one of the worst opioid epidemics in history. Dark and gripping.

Scenes from a Marriage. (HBO Max) Jessica Chastain and Oscar Isaac are brilliant in this mini-series about a marriage that’s falling apart. Filled with depth and nuance. Even when it’s not a fun ride at times, it’s still hard to look away.

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