Weekend Reading List, and Other Smart-Seeming Forms of Distraction

Hi there y’all! This one’s a few days old, but for your daily rage scream, read up (and watch the video) on how a bunch of d-bags allegedly knocked over the “Duckbill” rock formation in Oregon on purpose, and filmed it because humans are monsters. As I sit and sip my Friday coffee, I can hear Miles Traer scream in agony from across the bay. And FYI, if there’s a Batman-like geologic avenger who enters the scene soon, you know it’s him. AND NO ONE WILL CONVICT HIM. Thank you Colin for sharing this awfulness.

Also, is the San Francisco Chronicle trolling us? Did someone get a flaming bag of stock options on their doorstep? Because that's the only way this landing page got constructed (thanks Aaron for the citizen journalism.)

It’s book sharing time! A couple of days ago, friend Shannon sent an email out to a bunch of folks requesting books recommendations, while including some of her own. Here are the recs I sent around off the top of my head last night, and now share with you. Though I've mentioned nearly all of them here. Ah well.


Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith - I’ve always been fascinated with orthodox religions and how normal humans can suppress and hate and do violence unto others in the name of their "God.” And Jon Krakauer is one of the best at weaving individual stories in and our of larger historical timelines and narratives.

Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood and the Prison of Belief - see above, but add in celebrity, aliens and international tax fraud.

Neighbors: The Destruction of the Jewish Community in Jedwabne, Poland - I studied regional anti-semitism and Holocaust denial with Jan Gross in college. This is a horrifying read on what happens when a community turns on itself, and the book got Gross in a lot of trouble in his home country of Poland.

The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil by Philip Zimbardo. Get ready to take a deep look at yourself and wonder whether you’d help your fellow human in times of distress or torture if the social structures around you enable it. Looks at his work with the Stanford Prison Experiment, as well as his work condemning the system in the Abu Gharib torture cases.

The Wilderness: Deep Inside the Republican Party's Combative, Contentious, Chaotic Quest to Take Back the White House. You guys know this: McKay Coppins at BuzzFeed is one of the best political reporters covering the Republican Party today. Read his book, and be transported back to a time when Donald Trump was a joke candidate

Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women by Susan Faludi, because it’s never too late to brush up on how systemic cultural constructs twist and taint female self-determination. Also dudes, you wanna get woke, right?

And the Band Played On: Politics, People, and the AIDS Epidemic, if you need a reminder of the role of regulation and government in (failing to) contain diseases, and how leadership can emerge in times of chaos.

Your Brain at Work: Strategies for Overcoming Distraction, Regaining Focus, and Working Smarter All Day Long because it’s good to know that your stress hormones are sabotaging your career, and how breathing exercises can actually help you kick ass at your job.

And my three fiction recommendations:

Tim Kaine is your Nice Dad: A Work of Dad Fiction by Sara Benincasa. Just spend three bucks and buy this tiny bundle of political humor and joy.

The Plot Against America by Philip Roth, because it is basically happening right now in our presidential race

World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War because hey, we might have to live through it soon!

Anything you think I should send to my Kindle? Shoot me an email!

Have a great weekend, beautiful people. I adore you!