Continuing in my reading trend of all things about inequality, The Great Leveler is
a history book attempting to find causes for how income and wealth inequality have been reduced in
the past. Ideally this would be some noble cause that leads to a policy recommendation for how we
can address the current state of increasing inequality. But alas he finds that the only consistent
causes of reduced inequality of any noticable scale were the result of violence. The more violent
I added this book to my list some months ago after I believe seeing a review in a newspaper. I
bought it in the last batch of books along with Between the World and
Me, not fully aware of the potential for overlapping
themes. But after reading the former, I decided why not continue in the spirit of understanding
bigotry and continue on to reading Down Girl: The Logic of Misogyny. A modern take on
the foundational philosophical foundations of mysogyny. This book is fantastic. I highly recommend
it, although I will have a few caveats below.
A letter from a father to his son, Between the World and Me is something that got
inside my brain. I had a lot of thoughts while reading this, mostly around trying to comprehend the
reality of how different life can be. There is much to say, most of it feels cliche or naive. I've
come to the conclusion that I can have knowledge about certain things but never truly feel them.
Empathy can only extend so far when the fabric of society dictates so much of our unconscious
Another book made it onto my list for a reason I can no longer remember. I decided to pick up
The War of Art and power through it because otherwise I should remove it from my
list. Luckily it was a short read, but beyond that I found it to be quite good. I'm not a big fan of
the self-help genre, but when someone verbalizes certain things that I have felt but couldn't quite
put my finger on I am apt to pay attention.
Part of being married is experiencing new things that you would otherwise have not because of your
partner. I can't say that I always skipped the previews at the theater when I would go to see
movies, but my wife makes seeing the previews part of her theater going experience. During the
previews recently, I saw one for a movie called Annihilation which looked pretty interesting.
Digging into it a bit, it turns out it is a book and part of a trilogy. So I added
Annihilation to my reading list and I'm really happy that I did. It is a short and
quite good read.
On July 13, 2013 I did a tandem skydive. It took me two and a half years to finally get around to
signing up for a first jump course, the first step on the way to getting a skydiving license and
being able to skydive without being strapped to someone else. A long series of events led me to be
staying at my brother's house in Gilbert, AZ during the winter of 2015/2016. I made the decision
that it was now or never to get into skydiving, so I went to the internet and found out that there
was a dropzone in Arizona about an hour from my brother's house in Eloy. The website was not great
and looked like it was mostly for tandems. I had a bit of trouble figuring out exactly what I needed
to do to sign up to learn how to jump solo. At the time, I thought this place didn't really have its
shit together considering they only offer first jump courses once a month and to sign up you have to
call and hope someone is there who can help you out. I managed to schedule myself into the course on
January 14th, 2016. I rode my motorcycle out in the freezing desert morning to arrive at 8am for my
A recommendation from Taya led me to pick up 11/22/63, yet another Stephen King book that
she said I would enjoy. It turns out that I should have started reading King a long time ago because
he has so many books and I have thoroughly enjoyed each one that I have read so far. This book is
part sci-fi, part historical fiction, part thriller. Definitely not in the standard horror genre
that many of his other books fit in to.
Yet another Scot Harvath book from Brad Thor, The First Commandment was just as good
as the rest. These books are a bit of my guilty reading pleasure so there is not much to say about
When one gets married, there is an expectation of a gift or favor given to the attendees by the
bride and groom. Taya and I had both been to many weddings in the past where we were less than
enthused with the party favor. Not that we expected something better as in we wanted a gift, but
rather that we would prefer nothing over a forced cliche. Some people have done better, in
particular, she told me of a wedding where in lieu of individual gifts, the whole wedding had
adopted a rhino. Thinking about our wedding, and are desire to make it true to who we are, we put
some thought into this wedding favor. This long process eventually led us to decide to buy each
wedding guest a book. We decided to get a unique book for each person, one that represented
something about us as well as matched the person we were giving it to. This was a bit of an
undertaking, but 60+ books later and now that the whole process is over, we both think it was a
great idea. One book that we decdied to get was Hillbilly Elegy. Granted most of the
books we gave people we had a connection with, a handful were selected more for the particular
individual along with our own desire for the book. This one neither of us had read before giving it
away, but I finally got around to reading it and I am really happy with our choice.
Nausea was not that good. In some sense I feel bad saying that, especially when the Amazon tagline
is "Sartre's greatest novel — and existentialism's key text." Geez, who am I to say that it was not that good?
Well I am me, I exist, and I didn't like it.