Inside the Episode

This newsletter has a new format. I’ll still recommend the best books and articles that I find, but will now also highlight each week’s podcast by going “inside the episode.” Here are samples covering the episodes with Jeremy Grantham and Ben Thompson.

The benefits of joining this weekly list are:

1) A fast distillation of each episode, to pique and gauge your interest in listening to the full audio.

2) An introduction to the best bite sized quotes and ideas from each guest

3) Ongoing discovery of great books and other content.

As a sample of the book portion, here were my 15 favorite books from 2015 and from 2016. For a deeper dive, here are all of the books I’ve recommended in the past (updated once per year).

Join 35,000 others in the “Inside the Episode” Newsletter

Book Reviews

The Best Books of 2016

Each year on this site, I share two of the emails that I send to my “book club,” which now reaches ~8,000 people each month. Here is the year-end email I sent yesterday. To sign up and receive suggestions every month, head here.  This year I read 82 books, down from 103 last year. Having…

The Best “Per-Page” Books

Let’s get right to it. For more every month, sign up for the book club. Non-Fiction   Because the criteria is “per-page,” many of the non-fiction books I’ve chosen are very systematic. They tend to describe/explain how one or more system(s) work. This is so valuable because understanding a system is like having a big lever—it…

Books That Changed Your Life

A fun question to ask yourself: what books have you read that literally changed your life? I read a lot of great books, but when I went through my list of about 1,000, there were only 8 (!!) that rewired me so much that I can say I was changed after reading them. These books…

Full Reading List

In April, 2014, I decided to start emailing my friends book recommendations every month. After two years, hundreds of books, and seven thousand new readers, I’ve finally pulled the full list together. This is the full archive of everything I’ve ever recommended. This list is meant to foster a community of book lovers. Share it!…

Philosophy Books

Here’s a list of my favorites, hope you find something interesting! ************** Freedom From the Known by J. Krishnamurti ( The Essays of Arthur Schopenhauer; ( Michel de Montaigne – The Complete Essays (Penguin Classics) ( The Upanishads (Classic of Indian Spirituality)  by Eknath Easwaran ( The Wisdom of Life by Arthur Schopenhauer ( Essays…

The 15 Best Books of 2015

This year I read 103 books and collected 855,000 words worth of highlights and notes. Here are the fifteen best books I read, with one sentence describing why, and one passage to gauge (and pique) your interest. Consistent with my growing believe that it is more productive to read around one’s field than in one’s…

Metaphors and Mental Models: The Key to Understanding

When I first read the sequence of passages that I quote below, I felt like I had discovered a diamond while exploring a shop of horrors. The passages come from a book by Julian Jaynes, whose controversial (and carefully thought out) theory is that just a few thousand years ago, human beings weren’t conscious like us,…

To Gain an Edge, Run Up Stairs

Where can you find an advantage? This is the question I ask myself more than any other. There are many ways, but this (from Paul Graham) is one of the best: Suppose you are a little, nimble guy being chased by a big, fat, bully. You open a door and find yourself in a staircase….


I began to think of children not as immature adults, but of adults as atrophied children. – Keith Johnstone The topic of this post is an obscure book called “Impro: Improvisation and the Theatre” which was recommended to me twice in a day by 1) a standup & comedy writer (my sister) and 2) a…