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The best of what I’m reading, watching, and exploring (March 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

Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives by David Eagleman. One of the most original books I’ve ever read. The book presents 40 different versions of what the afterlife might look like. Witty and hilarious.

Will by Will Smith. This one lives up to the hype. Raw and inspiring, with great storytelling. From the book: “What you have come to understand as ‘Will Smith,’ the alien-annihilating MC, the bigger-than-life movie star, is largely a construction—a carefully crafted and honed character designed to protect myself. To hide myself from the world. To hide the coward.”

If you decide to read it, I’d HIGHLY recommend the audio version. You can hear Smith rap, play the piano, do impersonations, and be, well, Will Smith.

A Year With Swollen Appendices by Brian Eno. This is an unusual book, with an even more unusual title—the meaning of which becomes clear by the time you finish it. It consists of Brian Eno’s diary from the year 1995, with a set of appendices at the end containing essays, letters, and other ramblings.

If you don’t know Eno, you should: He’s a brilliant musician and thinker—and a frequent collaborator with U2, Talking Heads, David Bowie, among others. Parts of his diary get a little intolerable—I’m really not that interested in what he had for dinner on a random Tuesday—but the captivating parts that involve everything from spending time with Bono in Ireland to recording with Bowie in New York more than make up for the tedious bits. A terrific behind-the-scenes look at the creative process.

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.

Belfast. (Amazon Prime) A beautiful black-and-white film. It follows a young boy’s childhood in Belfast at the start of the violent political conflict that began in the late 1960s. As the film puts it, it’s the story of the people who left, the people who stayed, and the ones who were lost. I also loved the soundtrack—composed mostly of songs from the Northern Irish rock icon Van Morrison.

The Two Popes. (Netflix) I didn’t expect a film about two popes in the Vatican to be this intriguing. Anthony Hopkins and Jonathan Pryce are brilliant.

French Exit. (Hulu | Amazon Prime) Darkly funny, charming film with incredibly witty dialogue. Michelle Pfeiffer is sensational.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife. (Apple TV | Amazon Prime) I love the original Ghostbusters films, and I had very low expectations for this sequel. It was surprisingly good. If you were a fan of the original movies, and you’re in the mood for nostalgic fun, give it a try.

Misc

Good Earth Herbal Tea, Sweet & Spicy, Caffeine Free. My mornings are fueled by coffee, and my afternoons by this tea. It’s so, so good.

Ember Heated Coffee Mug. I’ve used Ember mugs for a few years now. They’re perfect for keeping your coffee hot.

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