Everything I read while I was on holiday

Last week, I flew off to Antigua for a week. I struggle a bit with those kind of holidays because I tend to go a bit stir crazy after a few days, but I just about managed to power on through this one :) Basically, it was a week of eating, drinking and reading. A lot of reading.


O Brother by Jon Niven My own brother bought me this as a present last year, but I put off reading it for a while just because I couldn’t quite stomach another tragic memoir after I finished Jonathan Rosen’s Best Minds. But this isn’t a slog at all, it’s actually very funny in parts and it’s so damn readable I polished it off in one day.

Red Notice: A True Story of Corruption, Murder and how I became Putin’s no. 1 enemy by Bill Browder. This was described to me as a ‘non-fiction thriller’ and that’s exactly what this is. Bowder is first and foremost a finance guy but he’s great when he’s describing the insanity and corruption that occurred in Russia when Yeltsin decided to privatise the country, and his story is equally fascinating and sad.

The Hard Way - Lee Child. Hey, what can I say? I was on holiday! The best bit about this was the revelation that Reacher can tell you what the exact time is without looking at a clock. Genius.

Esoteric Buddhism in the Creative Process of Arthur Russell by Matt Marble. I heard Marble interviewed about this on the aquarium drunkard podcast and put his book on my Christmas list. To be honest I still have about 100 pages to go, but I’m enjoying it so far. There’s quite a lot of Buddhist theory to get through first, but once you get to the sections about Russell’s composition and performance techniques then it’s a blast.


I’lll just whip through these because there’s quite a few of them (I tend to save longish reads on Reader for times when I can have a bit of an ‘article binge’).

No, Aliens Haven’t Visited the Earth Why are so many smart people insisting otherwise? NY Mag

Of top-notch algorithms and zoned-out humans FT (archive.ph link)

Sure, It Won an Oscar. But Is It Criterion? NY Times

Behind F1’s Velvet Curtain This is the best thing I read all week. This is the web archive link because the original piece was taken down from the Road and Track website. Even if you have no interest in F1, you should read this.

The Brilliant Inventor Who Made Two of History’s Biggest Mistakes NY Times (archive.ph link)

The Shortcut is Probably Too Long David Cain’s Raptitude blog

Jeremy Strong Isn’t Sure He Knows Who He Is NY Times

Moral Ecosystems: My Big Idea Toby Shorin’s Subpixel blog

How to Win Friends and Hustle People NY Times

The Everyday Supercommunicators Who Get Groups in Sync Behavioral Scientist

Cheers to the Soho drinking lair - FT