October Reads


  • Wild, a memoir by Cheryl Strayed about hiking the Pacific Crest Trail on her own. This book has a strong female voice that is deeply personal and unapologetically honest. As a guy, I found some passages both thought provoking and enlightening.

  • The Orphan Master's Son, a novel by Adam Johnson about life in North Korea. This was more disturbing than I thought, and it made me appreciate all the things we take for granted in the West.


  • After the Flood, a This American Life episode about the aftermath of Katrina. All you need to know about rich / poor and white / black relations in America.

  • The M&M Anomaly, where Planet Money asks why peanut butter M&M packs weigh slightly less than standard M&M packs. There's a whole fascinating and secretive world behind that question.

Cool stuff online:

  • The strange story of Anna Stubblefield and facilitated communication, a controversial technique for interacting with severely disabled people.

  • Patrick McKenzie's blog, where he chronicles his career as an independent software vendor and consultant, making his income this way and living without a day job. He is remarkably open about his thoughts and strategies, and even the financials of his projects. I especially enjoyed his year-in-review posts from 2006 onwards, found at the bottom of this page.