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


Yearbook by Seth Rogen. This is the funniest book I’ve ever listened to. If you like Rogen’s films, a hilarious experience awaits you in this memoir (and if you don’t like his films, don’t get this book). I listened to the audio version of the book (narrated by Rogen himself) during a long drive. I was laughing so hard that actual tears were rolling down my face, which made driving difficult. The audiobook experience is spectacular. (Much of the dialogue is performed by the actual people involved in the dialogue.) Highly recommended.

Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel. Riveting novel by the author of Station Eleven (which I started at one point but never finished). The book brings together characters from different timelines who experience a disruption of sorts. The stories weave together over time into a short and beautiful narrative.


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.

Sound of My Voice. (Amazon Prime | Apple TV) Terrific indie thriller starring Brit Marling (who was the subject of the article I wrote last week). The film was shot on a meager $135,000 budget. It’s an impressive example of what can happen when a group of passionate and creative people choose to make art themselves (rather than waiting for big studios to choose them).

Infernal Affairs. (Apple TV) Entertaining Hong Kong crime thriller. Martin Scorsese’s The Departed was inspired by this film.


Hacks Season 2. (HBO Max) This comedy series has a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes—and for good reason. It’s filled with wit from start to end. Its second season was just as good as the first.

Only Murders in the Building Season 2. (Hulu) Another comedy series with a 100% Rotten Tomatoes rating. Really fun. Steve Martin, Martin Short, and Selena Gomez are a great trio.

A poem that I loved
(Beautifully narrated by IN-Q at this link).

When you notice something beautiful…
Do you let the beauty hit you before you rush to take a picture?
When you attempt to capture something, do you alter its very nature?
Can you sit with the uncertainty like God’s other creatures?
Do you have to freeze a memory to immortalize its features?
Do you need to prove that you were there in order to exist?
Do you crave the recognition in a way you can’t admit?
Do you wrestle with impermanence, with poison on your lips?
Do you resist the emptiness by trying to imprison bliss?

The Contrarian Handbook
The Status Quo.

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