The Reading List - August 2017

Hey everyone,

Welcome to new and (hopefully) improved Reading List. Interest has been growing, so it was time to up my game. Hope you like it!

For the uninitiated, this month’s Reading List is a collection of what I’ve read, skimmed, watched or written over the past month.

Tell me what you liked, didn’t like about this month’s list or just want to say hi over on Twitter.

- Dan



Black Flags: The Rise of ISIS by Joby Warrick

Hearing about ISIS in the news is probably a daily occurrence by now, yet the picture about them, in my view, has never been clear. Who are they? How did they originate? Who supports them? What’s their ultimate goal and how do they fit into the broader Middle East picture? Is the US to blame? Now you could scour the internet for the answers to these questions, but you’re better off reading this book. It won the Pulitzer Prize in 2016 and it’s the most even handed, balanced read on the subject.


Trouble Boys: The True Story of the Replacements by Bob Mehr

The Replacements are considered, by many, to be the pioneers of the alternative scene, though you probably haven’t heard of them. Formed in 1979 as a punk band, the Replacements made a name for themselves in Minneapolis with their wayward live shows, which was either drinking an absurd amount before going on stage or playing random songs depending on how the audience reacted to them. Because of the shows, the band quickly gained a following, while never quite fitting into the punk archetype. After releasing several critically-acclaimed albums, the Replacements were on the cusp of commercial success. Unfortunately, that’s where they would stay.

If you like music biographies, read Scar Tissue, a memoir of another alternative group, the Red Hot Chili Peppers.



This creature has 10 eyes, legs that chew and blood that saved your life

Horseshoe crabs are nature’s consummate survivors, but they may now be in peril. These crabs, which are more like spiders or scorpions, have seen the fall of the dinosaurs and survived four mass extinctions. I had no idea how important these creatures were to mankind until reading this article.


The History of Cold-Brew Coffee is Fascinating

After reading about the (big) business of cold-brew coffee last month, I came across this article about its history. It might seem like cold-brew coffee is just a trend, but it has been around since the 17th Century. It’s more global then you think.


Want to Be Happy? Buy More Takeout and Hire a Maid, Study Suggests

Should you cook at home or order takeout? Do your laundry or drop it off at the laundromat? Studies have shown that spending money on outsourcing tasks, not only frees up time but also makes you happier. So splurge, get someone else to clean up after you. 


Is This the Woman Who Will Save Uber?

Bozoma Saint John, the marketing star who’s worked with Beyoncé, Apple and more, brings humanism, Instagram savvy and Chanel to the beleaguered brand.


The Female Warlord Who Had C.I.A. Connections and Opium Routes

One day, I hope my obituary will be as thrilling a read as this one.


Design Your Personal Growth

I’ve always thought as personal growth as goals that you strive to achieve, but what if you don’t know what you want to achieve, where you see yourself in 5 years. Enter growth frameworks. This one, in particular, gives you action steps and a suggested frequency to update it.


Christopher Nolan's 'Dunkirk' Is a Masterpiece

I’m a huge Christopher Nolan fanboy. I’ll fully admit that and his newest movie, Dunkirk, continues my love affair with his films. This time he takes on an event that took place during World War II. In typical Nolan fashion, he leaves his mark on the genre. One of the best films I’ve seen this year and one of the best World War II movies ever.



The Defiant Ones

A documentary about either of these two musical geniuses, Dr. Dre or Jimmy Iovine, would have been enough to keep you interested. Instead, you get a story that dissects the masterminds behind Beats by Dre, well before they partner up to billion dollar payout. Along the way, you witness their triumphs, failures and the perseverance to keep going. What makes this shared history even more exciting is the filming. The interviews themselves are pure art.