πŸ’­ Some Thoughts, 2023-05-06

  1. Every city should have a food market like Philly’s Reading Terminal. #urbanism
  2. I’ve started adding Cholula to the vinaigrette I make for salads. *Chef’s kiss.* #home and garden
  3. If you’re feeling down, go to the gym and work out. Instant mood booster. #unsolicited advice
  4. Kevin Kelly believes YouTube is an underrated educational resource, and I completely agree. You can get a sort of pseudo apprenticeship on any subject by watching master craftsmen do their work. #unsolicited advice #web and tech
  5. I really enjoyed the movie Bullet Train. It’s action-packed and completely ridiculous. A great way to pass a plane flight. #books and media

πŸ’­ Some Thoughts, 2023-04-28

  1. I spent a little over a year in Europe. The first thing that stuck out on my return to the States was the excess of billboards lining the freeways. Capitalism run amok. #urbanism
  2. My biggest hurdle to posting regularly online is the idea that what I’m writing isn’t worth sharing. The default needs to be to post now, edit (or delete) later. #unsolicited advice
  3. A goal for any future yard I have is to get it registered as a monarch waystation. #home and garden
  4. Be selective of the content you consume. Rage bait is everywhere. #unsolicited advice
  5. Exercising and reading are both good for me and things I enjoy doing. I should better prioritize those activities. #unsolicited advice

πŸ”” A Philadelphia Itinerary

For the next few weeks, I’ll be in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Here are a few activities on my to-do list:

  1. Visit Reading Terminal, eat a pretzel.
  2. Visit the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
  3. History stuff: Independence Hall, Ben Franklin Museum, Portrait Gallery in the Second Bank. Skip the Liberty Bell.
  4. Go to a Phillies game.
  5. Spend a day in Fairmount Park.
  6. Make a weekend trip to NYC.
  7. Make a weekend trip to DC.
  8. Eat a roast pork sandwich, either from John’s Roast Pork or Tommy DiNic’s.
  9. Eat a cheesesteak, but not from Pat’s or Geno’s.
  10. Watch: Rocky.
  11. Read: The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin.

πŸ”— Link Dump #3

  1. A database of AI incidents. [πŸ”— incidentdatabase.ai]
  2. A template for creating quick reviews of movies to share online with others. [πŸ”— quickreviews.app]
  3. A timeline of CIA atrocities. [πŸ”— huppi.com]
  4. Infinite suggestions of high-quality videos, organized by topic. [πŸ”— wikivisually.com]
  5. An experimental, open-source application that uses GPT-4 to autonomously accomplish whatever task you set before it. [πŸ”— github.com]
  6. A daily guessing game where you have to figure out the location in which various pictures were taken in the United States. [πŸ”— pudding.cool]

πŸ”— Link Dump #1

  1. An archive of 500 of the most interesting Wikipedia articles. [πŸ”— endwalker.com]
  2. Recommendations for a happy life. [πŸ”— jimwestergren.com]
  3. For those who have seen Banshees of Inisherin, you can now play this Pacman-like game. Warning: spoilers. [πŸ”— bansheesthegame.com]
  4. A master list of recipe websites, organized by cuisine. [πŸ”— github.com]
  5. Tyler Cowen is a well-cultured economics professor, as well as a podcast host and blogger. Tyler has written a series of posts over at Marginal Revolution detailing his favorite things related to several locations. Here is a compilation of those lists. [πŸ”— erikgahner.dk]

πŸ“š Books I Read 2023

πŸ“š Books I Read 2023

Below is a list of the books I have read in 2023, so far. They are organized in reverse chronological order. When I finish a book, it gets added to the top of the list. Five stars is the highest rating, one is the lowest.

TitleAuthorFormatGenreSubgenreRatingNotes
The WagerDavid Grannebooknonfictionadventure⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
The HollowAgatha Christieebookfictionmystery⭐⭐⭐⭐
Murder in the Mews and Other StoriesAgatha Christieebookfictionmystery⭐⭐⭐
Five Little PigsAgatha Christieebookfictionmystery⭐⭐The same recounting gets repeated over and over and over again. The ending is satisfying, but it's a slog to get to that point.
The Murder at the VicarageAgatha Christieebookfictionmystery⭐⭐⭐⭐I like Poirot as a character more than Marple, but the Marple mysteries tend to be more consistent than the Poirots. Poirot has higher highs, but lower lows.
Light BringerPierce Brownebookfictionfantasy⭐⭐⭐See my notes here.
The Moving FingerAgatha Christieebookfictionmystery⭐⭐⭐⭐Quite the collection of characters. I was wrong about the killer.
Crook ManifestoColson Whiteheadebookfictioncrime drama⭐⭐⭐⭐The sequel to Harlem Shuffle. Whitehead is a two-time Pulitzer winner. Well worth a read.
The Girl with the Dragon TattooStieg Larssonpaperbackfictioncrime thriller⭐⭐⭐See my notes here.
Moonflower MurdersAnthony Horowitzebookfictionmystery⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐I guessed the Pünd mystery, but not the Ryeland. Fantastic sequel. I want more books than just a trilogy. There are nine Pünd "novels." There should be nine Ryeland novels as well.
Magpie MurdersAnthony Horowitzebookfictionmystery⭐⭐⭐⭐Consists of a story within a story, so you get two mysteries for the price of one. See my notes here.
The RithmatistBrandon Sandersonebookfictionsci-fi/fantasy⭐⭐⭐A fun YA book. It's only the first in a forthcoming series, so it feels a bit incomplete.
4:50 from PaddingtonAgatha Christieebookfictionmystery⭐⭐⭐A Miss Marple.
Whose Body?Dorothy Sayersebookfictionmystery⭐⭐⭐Somewhat straightforward. At least Wimsey isn't boring.
Cards on the TableAgatha Christieebookfictionmystery⭐⭐⭐One of the few Poirots that is unsolvable to the reader.
Evil Under the SunAgatha Christieebookfictionmystery⭐⭐⭐
Gaudy NightDorothy Sayersebookfictionmystery⭐⭐⭐⭐If Vane is indeed based on the author's self, then boy did Sayers have an ego.
Dead Man's FollyAgatha Christieebookfictionmystery⭐⭐⭐
By the Pricking of My ThumbsAgatha Christieebookfictioncrime thriller⭐⭐⭐A Tommy and Tuppence. Weaker than the first two.
Murder in MesopotamiaAgatha Christieaudiobookfictionmystery⭐⭐⭐
The Autobiography of Benjamin FranklinBenjamin Franklinaudiobooknonfictionbiography⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐So many lessons to take away.
N or M?Agatha Christieebookfictioncrime thriller⭐⭐⭐⭐Another Tommy and Tuppence novel.
Poirot InvestigatesAgatha Christieebookfictionmystery⭐⭐⭐⭐Excellent short stories.
Pastoral SongJames Rebanksaudiobooknonfiction⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐Modern farming has gone too far, and we are starting to pay the price for it.
Hallowe'en PartyAgatha Christieaudiobookfictionmystery⭐⭐⭐
The Secret AdversaryAgatha Christieebookfictioncrime thriller⭐⭐⭐⭐A Tommy and Tuppence novel.
The Mysterious Affair at StylesAgatha Christieebookfictionmystery⭐⭐⭐The very first Poirot novel.
The Sun Also RisesErnest Hemingwayebookfictionliterary⭐⭐⭐⭐
Hercule Poirot's ChristmasAgatha Christieebookfictionmystery⭐⭐⭐Very little to do with Christmas.
Death on the NileAgatha Christieebookfictionmystery⭐⭐⭐⭐
The Murder on the LinksAgatha Christieebookfictionmystery⭐⭐Hastings at his most annoying.
The Illustrated ManRay Bradburyebookfictionsci-fi/fantasy⭐⭐⭐⭐Scary and accurate dystopian stories.
EnduranceAlfred Lansingebooknonfictionadventure⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Peril at End HouseAgatha Christieebookficitonmystery⭐⭐⭐⭐Underrated and clever.
The Library BookSusan Orleanebookficitonmystery⭐⭐⭐⭐
The Big FourAgatha Christieebookficitoncrime thriller⭐⭐A major departure from the usual Poirot novel. More crime thriller than mystery.
Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and TomorrowGabrielle Zevinebookficitonliterary⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐A moving story with many lessons about life, loss, friendship, and creative collaboration.
After the FuneralAgatha Christieebookficitonmystery⭐⭐⭐Clever but immediately solvable.
The Body in the LibraryAgatha Christieebookficitonmystery⭐⭐⭐My first Miss Marple.
The River of DoubtCandace Millardebooknonfictionadventure⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐So good. It's more about the expedition and the Amazon than Teddy Roosevelt.
The Mystery of the Blue TrainAgatha Christieebookfictionmystery⭐⭐⭐Based on a short story, so the outcome was spoiled for me.