Reading List: Get That Kindle Out, I've Got Books For You To Read.
Darlings! Tomorrow I’ll be on a plane at 6 am heading back up to the majestic north, so here’s some #content to get you through the next week or so.
BOOKS! Here are my top 11 favorite reads from the last year, described by me in one(ish) sentence (in no particular order):
Ryan Holiday, Conspiracy: Peter Thiel, Hulk Hogan, Gawker, and the Anatomy of Intrigue - How ten years, bottomless funds, and ruthless focus can topple a media empire. I am still in awe of the amount of access Holiday had to the players in this story.
Alma Katsu, The Hunger - I mentioned this earlier but historical fiction + horror + Donner Party = a book I read in a weekend.
Benjamin Carter Hett, The Death of Democracy: Hitler's Rise to Power and the Downfall of the Weimar Republic - One of the most engaging and concisely presented takes on the interwar period and Weimar Germany, deliberately told with an eye to our currently political shitshow. Know your history: read this book.
John Carreyou, Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup - When a venture-funded “move fast, break things” model meets medical testing and patient services, nobody wins. But when there’s hundreds of millions of dollars, political intrigue, and the duping of some of the most politically powerful individuals in history, great books are written.
Naomi Alderman, The Power - What if all women developed a physical ability to overpower and kill? Alderman’s dystopic novel posits just that.
Mandy Stadtmiller, Unwifeable: A Memoir - Stadtmiller’s a formidable and funny force of prose, and she leaves nothing unturned as she looks back on her life, struggles and triumphs in New York. And as someone who has quit drinking, I appreciated her unvarnished introspection on alcohol and sobriety.
David Talbot, Season of the Witch: Enchantment, Terror and Deliverance in the City of Love - I devoured this one: the angle on the darker history of San Francisco and how those patterns continue to this day has given me a new lens through which to view the city I love so much.
Michelle McNamara, I'll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman's Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer - if you like true crime, you must read this book.
Vegas Tenold, Everything You Love Will Burn: Inside the Rebirth of White Nationalism in America - I mean, the name speaks for itself. We’re all doomed,. but at least we have this meditative dive into a dangerous community and movement! Right?!?!
Paul Babiak and Robert D. Hare, Snakes in Suits: When Psychopaths Go to Work - Psychological take on how psychopathic personalities destabilize office communities from within, and how to spot the traits and patterns they use.
The McElroy Family, The Adventure Zone: Here There Be Gerblins - A graphic novel by our favorite good, good podcast boys makes me wish I’d played Dungeons and Dragons as a wee one.
ARTICLES from this week
Gary Baum, Woody Allen's Secret Teen Lover Speaks: Sex, Power and a Conflicted Muse Who Inspired 'Manhattan' (The Hollywood Reporter) - If you haven’t heard that Woody Allen is not exactly the sort of human anyone should ever aspire to resemble, you haven’t been reading your Missives. But this Hollywood Reporter piece on a woman who had what she describes as a consensual relationship with him—note: when she was 16 and he was 41—gets into some of the grey area in #MeToo. And in the end, reminds us how important it is to talk about unequal relationships and how power and age imbalances make claims of consent a helluva lot murkier. TL;DR, Woody Allen groomed a young model and fan of his who said "I was a pleaser, agreeable… Knowing he was a director, I didn't argue. I was coming from a place of devotion.
Eliza Dushku, I worked at CBS. I didn’t want to be sexually harassed. I was fired. (Boston Globe) - Last week, it was revealed that CBS paid $9.5 million to actress Eliza Dushku to settle claims of sexual harassment by the lead actor on a television show. In the coverage that followed this revelation, Dushku was not quoted, but the accused actor and the show runner were, stating that she didn’t “get” the sense of humor this actor brought to the workplace. So she told her own story about the hostile work environment created after she reported in an op-ed in the Boston Globe. It’s amazing.
Bonus: WHAT TO BINGEWATCH!
Netflix, The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina - It’s a teen TV show with just enough horror to force me to watch it with closed captions and no volume. SO GOOD.
Netflix, Nailed It! Holiday Edition - I could never get into that one baking show that everyone tells me to watch all the time - I’ve tried! It’s just too wholesome and I am too jaded and need a vein of darkness in everything I consume. But Nicole Byers lovingly harassing contestants as they try (and fail) to master Pinterest-worthy dessert creations is goddamned delightful. My #1 favorite is the New Year’s episode with my loud-voiced comedy crush Jason Mantzoukas.
Get to consuming! And be kind to each other.