Best of 2019
It’s that time of the year again. And this time, you will notice minimalism – I did not become more fastidious in ranking, I simply listened, watched, and followed less stuff. Which is probably why for the first time ever, I completed my Goodreads Reading Challenge.
- Antifragile by Nassim Nicolas Taleb – This was the year of discovery and falling in love with NNT. I devoured both The Black Swan and Antifragile, but found the latter to have a better delivery of, more or less, the same philosophical ideas. Next up, Skin in the Game, which, even though I have not finished it during my latest attempt, influenced my worldview a lot.
- The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin – This book describes Franklin’s years up until the American Revolutionary War, which is to say, it missed the most interesting years of his life. Or did it? Benjamin Franklin is the definition of “polymath” – writer, diplomat, philosopher, scientist, inventor… I was so enthused by his life that I even tried to copy his way of living – by having a glass of milk and a piece of bread for breakfast and following Thirteen Virtues. Alas, both didn’t last long.
- Everything is F*cked by Mark Manson – I marked this book with a tag “worth re-reading”… because it is. Mark Manson in a talented, non-repetitive way presented ideas some people could have previously read in Kaneman, Taleb, stoic philosophers etc. I enjoyed reading all books by Manson, but I think this is his best book yet.
- Mr. Robot – Open letter to Sam Esmail: “Thank you, you genius SOAB. Thank you.” This is my favorite show of all time. Sorry, Seinfeld, The Office, and BoJack.
- Parasite by Bong Joon-ho – You know that the movie is good, when you want to follow up with all of the movies by the same director.
O’Brien Needs a Friend – The only podcast, that was consistently
pleasant to listen to. The world’s best late night show host’s coming
into podcasting was an eventuality – long-awaited and well-received.
Favorite episodes: Bill Burr, Lisa Kudrow, David Letterman.
Perhaps, I listened to criminally small number of podcasts this year. As a podcast creator, I should listen to more, but audiobooks stole the bandwidth.
Blogs / websites
- Wait, but why – This year Tim Urban has outdone himself coming up with a new, amazing series: The Story of Us.
- Open Culture – A hodgepodge of articles and links on books, music, movies, websites etc. Truly, a rabbit hole for a curious (or, in my case, procrastinative) mind.
- Hacker News (and the self-titled newsletter) replaced the Reddit as my go-to place for all things interesting. Most of the posts are programmers-oriented. But from time to time, there are cool posts with questions, book suggestions, apps/services recommendations. Do I recommend the website? Maybe. Do I recommend the newsletter? Yes.
Best things I did
- Deleted Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and WhatsApp
- Did a stand up
- Applied and got admitted to the Technical University of Munich.
Happy new year!