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The best of what I’m reading, watching, and exploring (November 2021)

Posted in the following categories: Motivation

Some exciting news first: I just launched a new course on LinkedIn Learning called “Crafting Questions to Make Better Decisions.”

Have you ever rushed to find a solution only to find out afterwards that a better answer was lurking in plain sight? Finding the right questions is the key to finding the best solutions. In this short course—which you can watch in about 30 minutes—I reveal how you can use questions intentionally to reimagine what’s possible and spot opportunities you couldn’t see before.

Breakthroughs, contrary to popular wisdom, don’t begin with a smart answer. They begin with a smart question.

Check out the course at this link. You can sign up for a 1-month free trial if you’re not a LinkedIn Learning subscriber.

And here’s the best of what I’ve been reading, watching, and exploring. Enjoy!

Books

I’m writing my next (nonfiction) book, so I’ve been avoiding other nonfiction books to prevent having someone else’s voice inside my head. It’s been all fiction and poetry for me lately! Here are two of my recent favorites.

Dune by Frank Herbert. I read this book in high school, and I recently returned to it before I watched the newly released movie. It’s even better than I remembered. There are so many philosophical elements of the book that were lost on me as a teenager.

Fountainhead by Ayn Rand. This book came to me at the right time. It’s long (700+ pages), but it’s exactly what I needed. It made me pause and reflect numerous times on what drives me as a person and what I want from life. It’s a shame when books like this get political labels attached to them. My advice: Read the book and make up your own mind (instead of relying on secondhand commentary). My second advice: If you read it, don’t get the paperback version, which has really, really small print. Your eyes will thank you for it.

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.

Language Lessons. (Apple TV | Amazon Prime) I loved this movie. Everything—from the innovative format to the on-screen chemistry between Natalie Morales and Mark Duplass—is simply spectacular. Don’t read anything about the movie. Just watch it. (h/t Tim Ferriss for the recommendation).

Free Guy. (Apple TV | Amazon Prime) Spectacularly funny and surprisingly heartfelt. Ryan Reynolds at his best.

No Time to Die. (Apple TV | Amazon Prime) This was the first movie I saw in a theater since COVID. One of the best James Bond movies yet.

Dune. (HBO Max) A great adaptation of a great book. Beautifully scripted and filmed. Streaming on HBO through November 21st.

TV

Nine Perfect Strangers. (Hulu) A gripping drama about a super secretive wellness resort. I felt giddy with excitement each time a new episode dropped. Nicole Kidman and Melissa McCarthy are brilliant.

The Great. (Hulu | Amazon Prime) Full of wit from the opening credits to the end. From the official description: “A genre-bending, anti-historical ride through 18th-century Russia following the wildly comedic rise of Catherine the Nothing to Catherine the Great.”

Only Murders in the Building. (Hulu) A story about three strangers who share a passion for true crime podcasts. Spectacularly fun. Great to see Steve Martin and Martin Short reunite.

Songs

Soul Meets Body by Death Cab for Cutie. (Youtube) Loved seeing them in concert at Wonder Ballroom in Portland a few weeks ago.

Missed Connection by The Head and the Heart. (Youtube)

Don’t Go Yet by Camila Cabello. (Youtube)

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