The Notepod #12: Reading List April 2021

Going through some recently finished and in-progress books.

Just writing out a list of different books I’ve been reading with some thoughts.

Recently finished

  • Bitcoin Billionaires by Ben Mezrich — I got more interested in crypto/blockchain through NBA Top Shot and the NFT boom. I had some Bitcoin already, but NFT popularity made me realize how little I know about how it all works. This ended up only having high level explanations of Bitcoin. But the whole story of the Winklevoss twins’ second act was fascinating.
  • Almanack of Naval Ravikant by Eric Jorgenson — Great read the week leading up to getting married. There’s plenty about getting wealthy, but the happiness chapters were more timely. The audiobook was my companion on a couple long walks in the city. If you want to mainline some of Naval’s thinking, then this is the way to go.


  • Musashi by Eiji Yoshikawa — Still working on this. I started it in December and just crossed the halfway mark. About 450 pages to go. Somewhat slow going but getting very interesting now. Good reminder to lean into things I might not enjoy but that I’ll learn a lot from.
  • The Infinite Machine by Camila Russo — Continuing to learn mode about crypto/blockchain technology. This book is about the history of Ethereum, which is the main coin involved in the recent NFT a boom. The only history I know of Ethereum is that I wish I had bought some earlier. Just started this but one takeaway is that Vitalik Buterin started by writing for Bitcoin Magazine before building Ethereum.
  • Working Backwards by Colin Bryar and Bill Carr — Mostly here to learn about Amazon’s use of narrative writing instead of PowerPoints. (After seeing @TrungTPhan mention it in this thread.)
  • The Energy Paradox by Steven R. Gundry — I want to get my energy back. Basically: I can rarely stay awake through a full movie after a workday. And when I’m up I just don’t have any, as the book puts it, get-up-and-go (GUAG). I’ve felt better in the past and would love to get back to that.
  • Fast Forward: Hollywood, the Japanese, and the Onslaught of the VCR by James Lardner — Combining some learnings from last year’s books (1) I enjoy reading older books about some recent technology (like Michael Lewis’s Next) because it’s fun to re-live that time without it being filtered through a modern lens and (2) I enjoy reading about Hollywood/filmmaking (one of my favorites from last year was Robert Rodiguez’s Rebel Without a Crew).

Next up (maybe… there’s a ton I want to read)

  • Daemon by Daniel Suarez — Continuing the pattern of learning about crypto, I saw this book recommended somewhere. I really should’ve written down where I saw the recommendation because I’ve completely forgot now. Anyway, this is pretty much combining three thoughts: (1) I want to learn more about crypto/blockchain technology and (2) Musashi reminds me that I should read more fiction and (3) I admire Tiago Forte’s thinking and he wrote about the value of reading science fiction.

    Tiago: “I started reading sci-fi to pass the time. I had good memories of reading Jurassic Park as a kid. I continued because I noticed that it gave me something: a stronger imagination, a disrespect for the merely possible.”

  • Two Meals a Day by Mark Sisson — Trying to get my health back in order (I wrote a long post here). I have more information than I need for my goals but reading books does help keep motivation up. And I can try to share good bits and pieces to better frame my own learning and writing.
  • Soundtracks by Jon Acuff — I enjoyed all his previous books. I’m guessing I’ll like this one as well. I tend to overthink so this seemed like something that might help me either (1) stop overthinking or (2) start overthinking in a more useful way.