The Reading List - April 2017

Welcome to the this month's Reading List, a collection of what I've read, skimmed and watched over the past month... so you don't have to.

Everything mentioned below is something you can feel confident about clicking on. I've read the book, skimmed the article or watched the video/movie/documentary and they are only on here because I recommend it

Hope you enjoy this month's reading list. - Dan

Read

Endurance: Shackleton's Amazing Journey - 100 years ago, explorers were trying to map the world, exploring every nook and cranny (pretty crazy huh?). One of those explorers was Edward Shackleton. He boarded the Endurance in August 1914, with his crew of 27 men, and set sail to Antarctica, where he planned to cross on foot, the first such journey. Less than six months later, the Endurance was trapped in an island of ice, mooring the entire crew for ten months. When the ship was finally crushed between two ice floes, Shackleton had no choice but to make the 850-mile trek to the nearest civilian outpost. Alfred Lansing, the writer, poured over diaries, conducted hours of interviews with surviving crew members to put this incredible story down on paper. In the business world, Shackleton has become something of a legend for his leadership during this journey. However, Lansing's balanced retelling gives a voice to the 27 other men stranded with him. If you're a fan of Into Thin Air, this book is for you.

High Dive - My favorite fiction genre is where the author weaves in real-life events or aspects, making the book grounded in a reality I know. In 1984, the Conservative Party of the United Kingdom held their annual conference in Brighton, England. The Irish Republic Army (IRA), in a longstanding war with the government, planted a bomb at the Brighton Grand Hotel, detonating it at 2:54 a.m. The bomb killed five people, but narrowly missing its target, Margaret Thatcher. This fictionalized account follows three main threads before the bombing: the bomber, the hotel general manager who wants to use the conference as an opportunity for a promotion, and the hotel general manager's daughter, who wants to leave Brighton. More character driven than pure action, this book explores the depth and complexity in people's lives leading up to a single event.

Bullies: A Friendship - An endearing story of a man reconnecting with a childhood bully and forming a friendship. That's as cliche as the story gets because that childhood bully is now the president of a motorcycle gang living in West Oakland. Initially slated as just an article for GQ, the author ends up staying in Oakland for four years, witnessing change, gentrification and the occupy movement while fortifying a stronger relationship with his former bully. What initially will grab you is the kindling of a friendship, but that all takes a backseat when the story turns to Oakland, which is fascinating in this short read.  

Skim

Meet the Woman Raising Japan's Next Generation of Street Fighters  - Remember Ryu, Ken, Chung-li or Blanca? The legendary fighting franchise is huge in Japan and one woman is training the next generation of video game champions.

How New Era Took Buffalo From Rust Belt Town to Sportwear Capital of the World -  From Spike Lee to Chance the Rapper, New Era has found its place in pop culture atop the heads of musicians, artists, and directors, which has ostensibly put Buffalo back on the map as a titan of sportswear. This article dives into what has made the New Era successful since its inception since the 1930s.

The Mystery of Mr. Grass - If you broadcast it, people will watch. That's what happened when one homeowner set up a webcam overlooking his front lawn in 2005. 12 years later, an avid community has grown around watching his grass grow.

The Philosopher Queen: Rebecca Solnit - I have a running list of the top three people, dead or alive, that I would like to sit down and have a drink with. After reading this story on Rebecca Solnit, she officially moved into that echelon. A fascinating read into the mind of one the most thoughtful, introspective people I've only recently been introduced to. 

How the Internet Is Saving Culture, Not Killing It - The days of "free content" seem to be numbered, as more and more people see value in paying for content. Subscription services are on the rise and that's a good thing.

The Like Buttoned Ruined the Internet - The time it takes for you to publish sand receive feedback on the internet is faster than ever thanks to the Like Button, retweets and Instagram hearts. Now what you do with this that type of feedback is where it gets interesting.

Inside Costco: The Magic in the Warehouse - I don't go to Costco often, but when I do, I devour the free samples, marvel at the electronics and end up going home with more toilet paper and paper towels than I know what to do with. How could you not love Costco?

Watch

City of Gold - Jonathan Gold is not your typical haughty, self-important, conceited food critic. He's a Pulitzer Prize-winning culinary explorer who goes beyond the world of Michelin, James Beard fine dining, trendy food. Instead, he explores LA's ethnic underbelly, the mom-and-pop eateries that are not on most people's radars. Boy, does he find some gems. His reviews match his eating style, fair and balanced, which have made these restaurants successful, cultivated a following for himself and created a food movement in Los Angeles. Made me miss my hometown. 

That's it for this month. How you read anything good lately?