July 2019 Book Recap

Top two standouts were Ron Chernow’s Grant and Caroline Criado Perez’s Invisible Women. I was absolutely blown away by the Grant biography, I’d even rank it as the best biography I’ve ever read—can’t recommend it enough.

PSA: Every woman needs to read Invisible Women: Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men. Did you know that more women die of heart attacks than men? The classic symptoms of chest and arm pain are more common in men. Women can present different symptoms, which are often misread. Just one thing I learned from this eye opening book.

Quote for Pondering:

“It's not always easy to convince someone a need exists, if they don't have that need themselves.”

— Caroline Criado Perez, Invisible Women


Grant by Ron Chernow (NF) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️[Biography; military history: “A self-effacing military man, a hero in spite of himself."] // GoodReads Review

Invisible Women by Caroline Criado Perez (NF) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️[Feminism; science: *The consequences of living in a world built around male data can be deadly.*] // GoodReads Review


The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt by Edmund Morris (NF) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️[Biography; politics: 1980 Pulitzer Prize winner, not as heartfelt as Chernow’s Grant.] // GoodReads Review

Daring Greatly by Brené Brown (NF) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️[Personal development; psychology: Title comes from a quote by Theodore Roosevelt, one of my all time favorites.] // GoodReads Review

The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon by David Grann (NF) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️[Travel; adventure: “Loneliness is not intolerable when enthusiasm for a quest fills the mind.” (Haven’t seen the movie)] // GoodReads Review

The One by John Marrs (F) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️[Science fiction; “thriller”: What if there was a DNA test that could match you to your perfect genetic match?] // GoodReads Review

On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong (F) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️[Poetic LGBT fiction: Mixed feelings, I liked Night Sky with Exit Wounds better. Achingly beautiful at points.] // GoodReads Review


The Mother of All Questions by Rebecca Solnit (NF) ⭐️⭐️⭐️[Feminism; essays: Technically a follow up to Men Explain Things to Me. Powerful, at points.] // GoodReads Review

Pirate Hunters by Robert Kurson (NF) ⭐️⭐️⭐️[History; adventure: Lots of treading water, not much pirates. Shadow Divers and Rocket Men were better.]

Upheaval: Turning Points for Nations in Crisis by Jared Diamond (NF) ⭐️⭐️⭐️[History; politics: Underwhelming, especially compared to Guns, Germs, and Steel and Collapse.] // GoodReads Review

Wolfpack: How to Come Together, Unleash Our Power, and Change the Game by Abby Wambach (NF) ⭐️⭐️⭐️[Feminism; leadership: Basically a commencement speech in “book” form.] // GoodReads Review

Hyperion by Dan Simmons (F) ⭐️⭐️⭐️[Sci-fi; space opera: Individual vignettes Canterbury Tales style. Major cliffhanger.]

Lock Every Door by Riley Sager (F) ⭐️⭐️⭐️[Mystery; “thriller”: Felt like a Lifetime Movie remix of Harriet the Spy.] // GoodReads Review

july 2019 books

June 2019 Book Recap

Do you value your privacy? Then you absolutely need to read The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power. Extensive, terrifying, and absolutely essential as a step towards *digital self-defense* — this book reads like a real-life Black Mirror/Matrix crossover.

At the very least, Zuboff’s book will make you a more conscientious digital consumer.

Quote for Pondering:

"The work of naming a strange form of power unprecedented in the human experience must begin anew for the sake of effective resistance and the creative power to insist on a future of our own making."

— Shoshana Zuboff, The Age of Surveillance Capitalism


The Age of Surveillance Capitalism by Shoshana Zuboff (NF) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️[Politics, technology: “Das Kapital of the digital age."] // GoodReads Review

Under the Dome by Stephen King (F) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️[Sci-Fi, thriller: Better than The Stand, IMO.] // GoodReads Review

Recursion by Black Crouch (F) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️[Sci-Fi, time travel: Not quite as good as Dark Matter, but still binge-worthy.] // GoodReads Review


Leonardo da Vinci by Walter Isaacson (NF) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️[Biography, art history: An engaging journey through notebooks and paintings.] // GoodReads Review

Working: Researching, Interviewing, Writing by Robert Caro (NF) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️[Autobiography, memoir: My first (but not my last) Caro.] // GoodReads Review

Ego is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday (NF) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️[Philosophy, psychology: My 6th Holiday book, officially a fan.]


The Killer Collective by Barry Eisler (F) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️[Fast-paced thriller: Livia Lone Book 3; obsessed.] // GoodReads Review

You by Caroline Kepnes (F) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️[Stalker, thriller: Loved the screen adaptation too.]


21 Lessons for the 21st Century by Yuval Noah Harari (NF) ⭐️⭐️⭐️[Generalized opinions, futurecasting: Sapiens and Homo Deus were much better.] // GoodReads Review

Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs: The Astounding Interconnectedness of the Universe by Lisa Randall (NF) ⭐️⭐️⭐️[Science, physics: Dry and a little … dark.] // GoodReads Review


The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchison (F) ⭐️⭐️[“Thriller” / Extended rape fantasy? / A pervy good time? 🙄] // (My) GoodReads Review ***Hilarious 1 Star GR Review***


Bonus Quote!

“Surveillance capitalism’s ability to keep democracy at bay produced these stark facts. Two men at Google who do not enjoy the legitimacy of the vote, democratic oversight, or the demands of shareholder governance exercise control over the organization and presentation of the world’s information. One man at Facebook who does not enjoy the legitimacy of the vote, democratic oversight, or the demands of shareholder governance exercises control over an increasingly universal means of social connection along with the information concealed in its networks.”

— Shoshana Zuboff, The Age of Surveillance Capitalism

21 Lessons for the 21st Century ...

Book Review: 21 Lessons for the 21st Century

Initial Thoughts: Overly generalized and vague, you'll be hard pressed to find many concrete "lessons"— although there's a fair amount of astute insights and quotable aphorisms.

“In a world deluged by irrelevant information, clarity is power.”

Based on all the rave reviews, I thought at first maybe I had missed something until Bill Gates' 3 star review confirmed my initial opinion.

The first portion of the book was my favorite, and although I've already hit my personal limit on digital futurecasting (see: The Inevitable and Machine, Platform, Crowd) Harari provided a plethora of interesting perspectives (... albeit with a paucity of data).

In fact, the whole book is fascinating—but seems to be built more upon Harari's own opinions, mass generalizations, and factual cherry picking than any hard science or research. Technically, you might argue that all nonfiction books have these same qualities, however, next to books such as The Age of Surveillance Capitalism which is utterly stacked with backed up facts ... this one pales in comparison.

Instead of "lessons," Harari could easily have swapped in "questions," each of which are addressed/confronted in the 21 chapters.

By the end of the book, Harari has fallen into repetitive religion bashing and his main "answer" / overall summary as a solution ... meditation. Okay ... Now I'm not a fan of organized religion by a long shot, but this last portion gave me strong editorial rant vibes, and, I'm all for meditation—but as a cure all? I guess I just had higher hopes for this book.

"Silence isn't neutrality; it is supporting the status-quo."

It's almost like Harari used up all his academic prowess in Sapiens, with each book moving farther afield from sound research to personal tirades and guesstimations.

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind 5 ⭐️s: Solid material, loved it.

Homo Deus: A History of Tomorrow 4 ⭐️s: Moving towards heavy futurecasting, still compelling.

21 Lessons for the 21st Century 3 ⭐️s: Abstract and loose, borderline sci-fi.

Sweeping and almost all encompassing, this is still an entertaining read.

"Questions you cannot answer are usually far better for you than answers you cannot question."

Things to Consider:

"For as the pace of change increases, not just the economy but the very meaning of 'being human' is likely to mutate. Already in 1848 the Communist Manifesto declared that 'all that is solid melts into air.' Marx and Engels, however, were thinking mainly about social and economic structures. By 2048, physical and cognitive structures will also melt into air, or into a cloud of data bits."

"Terrorists are masters of mind control. They kill very few people but nevertheless manage to terrify billions and rattle huge political structures such as the European Union or the United States. Since September 11, 2001, each year terrorists have killed about 50 people in the European Union, about 10 people in the United States, about 7 people in China, and up to 25,000 people elsewhere in the globe (mostly in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nigeria, and Syria). In contrast, each year traffic accidents kill about 80,000 Europeans, 40,000 Americans, 270,000 Chinese, and 1.25 million people altogether. Diabetes and high sugar levels kill up to 3.5 million people annually, while air pollution kills about 7 million people per year. So why do we fear terrorism more than sugar, and why do governments lose elections because of sporadic terrorist attacks but not because of chronic air pollution?"

"In the twentieth century, industrialized civilization depended on the 'barbarians' for cheap labor, raw materials, and markets, and it often conquered and absorbed them. But in the twenty-first century, a post-industrial civilization relying on AI, bioengineering, and nanotechnology might be far more self-contained and self-sustaining. Not just entire classes but entire countries and continents might become irrelevant. Fortifications guarded by drones and robots might separate the self-proclaimed civilized zone, where cyborgs fight one another with logic bombs, from the barbarian lands where feral humans fight one another with machetes and Kalashnikovs."

For more book reviews, find me on Goodreads.

May 2019 Book Wrap Up

Digital Minimalism inspired me to delete Facebook and Facebook messenger off my phone which has been very liberating—don't miss them at all. Although not quite as good as Deep Work, Cal Newport is very persuasive for living a digitally minimal life.

It was an excellent month in the fiction department with three 5-star reads. Can't wait to check out the AMC NOS4A2 series, and I'm beginning to think I might have to read all of Barry Eisler's books.

Quote for Pondering:

“The tycoons of social media have to stop pretending that they’re friendly nerd gods building a better world and admit they’re just tobacco farmers in T-shirts selling an addictive product to children. Because, let’s face it, checking your 'likes' is the new smoking.”

— Cal Newport, Digital Minimalism


NOS4A2 by Joe Hill (F) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️[Stephen King’s son, thriller/horror, current AMC series] // GoodReads Review

Livia Lone & The Night Trade, both by Barry Eisler (F) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ [Basically if Dexter Morgan and Lisbeth Salander had a baby, it would be Livia Lone.] // GoodReads Review (s)


Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture by Roxane Gay (NF) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️[Feminism, essays] // GoodReads Review

Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World by Cal Newport (NF) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ [Productivity, psychology: Basically one giant justification for getting rid of (or severely limiting) social media.] // GoodReads Review


We’re Going to Need More Wine by Gabrielle Union (NF) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ [Autobiography, memoir] // GoodReads Review

Born Standing Up by Steve Martin (NF) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ [Autobiography: The Jerk IRL] // GoodReads Review

The Feather Thief: Beauty, Obsession, and the Natural History Heist of the Century by Kirk W. Johnson (NF) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ [ Science, history] // GoodReads Review


The Icarus Deception by Seth Godin (NF) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ [Business, inspiration] // GoodReads Review

The Wild Muir by Lee Stetson (NF) ⭐️⭐️⭐️ [Environment, adventure] // GoodReads Review


The Fish That Ate the Whale: The Life and Times of America's Banana King by Rich Cohen (NF) ⭐️⭐️⭐️ [Biography, history: Banana republics] // GoodReads Review

The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl by Issa Rae (NF) ⭐️⭐️⭐️ [Autobiography. Not as good as the HBO show.] // GoodReads Review

Feminasty: The Complicated Woman's Guide to Surviving the Patriarchy Without Drinking Herself to Death by Erin Gibson (NF) ⭐️⭐️⭐️ [“Humor,” essays] // GoodReads Review


The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure by Greg Lukianoff & Jonathan Haidt (NF) ⭐️⭐️⭐️ [Sociology, psychology; Educational whinging] // GoodReads Review

The Broken Girls by Simone St. James (F) ⭐️⭐️ [“Mystery” / Predictable snooze fest] // GoodReads Review

Nogglization May Reads

April 2019 Book Recap

Standouts: The Making of the Atomic Bomb and Accessory to War—these two complemented each other well and were both a little beastly, yet engrossing.

In Pieces was one of the best autobiographies I've read in awhile, although Michelle Obama's Becoming was also excellent.

The Terror was a pleasant surprise, and I'm actually glad I watched the AMC series first — strong Shackleton vibes.

Quote for Pondering:

“You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems.”

— James Clear, Atomic Habits


The Making of the Atomic Bomb by Richard Rhodes ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ [History, science] // Goodreads Review (Pulitzer Prize Winner)

“Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.”

— Robert Oppenheimer as he witnessed the first detonation of a nuclear weapon on July 16, 1945.

Accessory to War: The Unspoken Alliance Between Astrophysics and the Military by Neil deGrasse Tyson ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ [History, science] // Goodreads Review (Space Force!)

In Pieces by Sally Field ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ [Autobiography, memoir] // Goodreads Review

Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones by James Clear ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ [Psychology, productivity] // Goodreads Review (Better than The Power of Habit)

Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She's "Learned" by Lena Dunham ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ [Autobiography, memoir] // Goodreads Review (Not that bad!)

Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void by Mary Roach ⭐️⭐️⭐️ [Space, science] // Goodreads Review (Minimal Mars)

I Might Regret This: Essays, Drawings, Vulnerabilities, and Other Stuff by Abbi Jacobson ⭐️⭐️ [Autobiography, memoir] (Broad City is SO much better!) // Goodreads Review


The Terror by Dan Simmons ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ [Historical fiction, horror] // Goodreads Review (Ill-fated ice adventure)

My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ [Nigerian Femme Fatale] // Goodreads Review

The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen ⭐️⭐️⭐️ [Mystery, thriller] // Goodreads Review (Lifetime movie-esque)

Folding Beijing by Hao Jinfang ⭐️⭐️⭐️ [Contemporary Dystopian Chinese Sci-Fi] // Goodreads Review


I Might Regret This by Abbi Jacobson of Broad City

Check it out on Amazon: I Might Regret This: Essays, Drawings, Vulnerabilities, and Other Stuff by Abbi Jacobson

GoodReads Review:

I Might Regret This: Essays, Drawings, Vulnerabilities, and Other StuffI Might Regret This: Essays, Drawings, Vulnerabilities, and Other Stuff by Abbi Jacobson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I Might Regret Reading This One ...
You know how they say to never meet your idols because they'll never live up to your idea of them? This book was kind of like that.


This hurts me to write. I wanted to love this book, I eagerly awaited it on hold from the library and was *thrilled* to read it. Obviously, my expectations were too high. Perhaps if you aim low you won't be as disappointed.

HUGE fan of Broad City, LOVE Abbi and Ilana ... together ... I'm actually borderline 2 stars, but I watched the VERY LAST episode of the series tonight and I'm not ready to let go. 😩


Whyyy was this so painful?! A true test of patience, there's not much here aside from stream-of-conscious navel gazing, endless thought cycles, imaginings, what if's, and lists of questions with no answers. The narrative goes nowhere fast, and if Abbi didn't read the audiobook, I would have bailed without finishing.

As far as memoirs go, this barely qualifies. It's more an attempt to heal after a breakup by taking a cross country road trip, during which Abbi waxes un-poetically about random things and tries to come to grips with her life, her lack of significant other, and the (gasp) end of Broad City.


Pretty bummed as the last episode of the entire series was also a bummer.

Abbi and Ilana are KWEENS, but this book felt like chewing someone else's gum.
Intimate, and yet entirely unnecessary.

“Some of the best experiences don’t end with a bang, but rather a dose of reality.”
— Abbi Jacobson


[Might alter stars later. But it is still Abbi, and she does touch on meeting Ilana and starting Broad City—so at least there was that. Maybe they're just better together?]


"I wandered. It was a mess and not perfect and all mine. I got lost, and that's okay."
— Abbi Jacobson

View all my reviews

March 2019 Book Recap

Not a great read, lots of future-casting, but the only hardback boi of the month.

Favorite “adult” book of the month: *Deep Work* by Cal Newport, as it helped rekindle a commitment to eliminate distraction. Looking forward to reading *Digital Minimalism* next month.

Favorite guilty pleasure: *Pretty Girls* by Karin Slaughter—love a good sister thriller.

Favorite audiobook: Betty White reading If You Ask Me.

Poetry standout: Rudy Francisco’s Helium.


Deep Work by Cal Newport ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ [Productivity, psychology]

AI Superpowers: China, Silicon Valley, and the New World Order by Kai-fu Lee ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ [Science/tech, politics] 

Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud: The Rise and Reign of the Unruly Woman by Anne Helen Petersen ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ [Feminism, pop culture]

Bossypants by Tina Fey ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ [Autobiography, humor] 

If You Ask Me (And of Course You Won’t) by Betty White ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ [Memoir, humor]

The Future of the Mind: The Scientific Quest to Understand, Enhance, and Empower the Mind by Michio Kaku ⭐️⭐️⭐️ [Science, psychology]

Small Fry: A Memoir by Lisa Brennan Jobs ⭐️⭐️⭐️ [Autobiography/Steve Jobs through the eyes of estranged daughter Lisa.]

This Time Together: Laughter and Reflection by Carol Burnett ⭐️⭐️⭐️ [Memoir, humor]

What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions ⭐️⭐️ [Exactly what you think it is.]


Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ [Mystery, thriller]

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ [Mystery, psychological thriller]

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ [Science Fiction, dystopia]

My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh ⭐️⭐️⭐️ [Literary fiction, mental health]

Fox 8 by George Saunders ⭐️⭐️⭐️ [Short story/fable]


Helium by Rudy Francisco ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Your Soul is a River by Nikita Gill ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Black Movie by Danez Smith ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Good Reads Laura Noggle

February 2019 Book Recap

Hands down favorite of the month: *How to Change Your Mind* by Michael Pollan, “mental travelogue” says it all. 


How to Change Your Mind by Michael Pollan 
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ [Science, psychology]

The Periodic Table by Primo Levi 
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ [History, memoir]

Theft By Finding by David Sedaris 
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ [Humor, memoir]

Shadow Divers by Robert Kurson 
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ [History, adventure]

Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman by Lindy West 
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ [Feminism, memoir]

Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? by Seth Godin 
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ [Business, leadership] 

Men Explain Thing to Me by Rebecca Solnit 
⭐️⭐️⭐️ [Feminism, essays]

The Doors of Perception by Aldous Huxley 
⭐️⭐️⭐️ [aka, Huxley rants on mescaline] 

Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Chip Heath 
⭐️⭐️⭐️ [Not that sticky.]


Stalker by Lars Kepler 
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ [Swedish crime thriller]

Pet Sematary by Stephen King 
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ [Sometimes, dead is better.]

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee 
⭐️⭐️⭐️ [Historical fiction, Asia]

Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood 
⭐️⭐️⭐️ [Retelling, The Tempest]

Less by Andrew Sean Greet 
⭐️⭐️⭐️ [Pulitzer Prize winner!?]

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens 
⭐️⭐️⭐️ [Swamp love]

What was your favorite read in February? 

*Bonus: Nonsensical Titular Poem*

Shadow Divers practice Theft by Finding, 
Men Explain Things to Me. 
The Linchpin creates things Made to Stick, 
like Pachinko. 

Where the Crawdads Sing, next to the Pet Sematary
you will find the Hag-Seed Stalker. 
Shrill is the call to The Doors of Perception,
which has Less to do with The Periodic Table than 
How to Change Your Mind.

Goodreads Laura Noggle

Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage | GoodReads

An exciting, epic battle of survival; Stoicism to the nth degree. Truly incredible. 

“The ship had been named the Polaris. After the sale, Shackleton rechristened her Endurance, in keeping with the motto of his family, Fortitudine Vincimus—"By endurance we conquer."

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