2019 Q1 reads


  • Bad Blood, a book about the Theranos debacle. The most interesting (and unsettling) part was about the aggressive lawyers / private investigators that they used to intimidate and coerce whistle-blowers. If you don't have money to legally defend yourself, you are screwed.

  • To Shake the Sleeping Self, a book about a guy who turns 30, decides to bike from Oregon to Patagonia, and spends the next 16 months doing just that. So inspiring =)

  • Deep Creek, a book about finding home in the mountains of Colorado. I wanted to read this ever since it was mentioned on Cheryl Strayed's podcast. My favorite quote:

    The language of the wilderness is the most beautiful language we have and it is our job to sing it, until and even after it is gone, no matter how much it hurts. If we don't, we are left with only a hollow chuckle, and our big brains who made this mess, our big brains that stopped believing a long time ago in beauty, in everything, in anything.

  • In Patagonia, in which I found a gem! In chapter 72, the author has this quote from Charley Milward's unpublished sea-stories (see "some sources" at the end of the book):

    ... waking one night in a norther off Valparaíso, the ship on her beam ends and his friend saying: 'Go to sleep, Ugly, you little fool, and you won’t feel the drowning', and then thirty-six hours on the pumps and the cheers of the men as the pumps sucked dry.

    I of course immediately connected this to The Island by the Decemberists, which has the following lines:

    Go to sleep now, little ugly
    Go to sleep now, you little fool
    Forty winking in the belfry
    You'll not feel the drowning
    You'll not feel the drowning

    The best part is: most online attempts to explain this song focus on the references to Shakespeare's The Tempest, while completely missing the In Patagonia reference, even though the word "Patagon" also appears in the song. (Some get it right.) I love discovering hidden connections like this!

Cool stuff online:

  • Why recycling may not be as effective as we'd like to believe.

  • An inspirational article from a couple who travels by bike:

    My Greater Fear is that I will rot beneath a matrix of fluorescent lights staring at the carpeted walls of a cubicle, or that I will wake knowing exactly what I will be doing every minute of every day for the rest of my waking life, or that I will wait until I am old and enfeebled to give myself permission to live.

  • Another inspirational article from a world traveler's blog. We don't respect the shortness of life enough. 50 more blueberry seasons? Let's waste this one spinning the corporate hamster wheel, wishing we were richer and more attractive, while our dreams just sit there collecting dust.