my NFT-related mini fight, and other reality distortion fields
This week I got in my first NFT-related fight, and by FIGHT I mean I said one TINY LITTLE THING on Twitter about my interest as a startup investor in finding NFT-related-innovations for books and it 10000% unleashed the hate of the masses. (Others sent digital ape-based love, of course.) I should have seen this coming, but suffice it to say, one needs a heart of steel to type in those three little letters on the Twitters.
Luckily, if it’s not NFTs it’s COVID, and sue me if that ain’t ever less than 10000% polemic to talk about! In Argentina news, 50% of all COVID tests are coming up positive. For the record, I am typing this from bed as I’ve taken my temperature four times today. For the also record, I have no actual symptoms and it is not above average.
Also, I was playing around with Our World in Data and put in some of my favorite countries to check out their vaccination rates. An exciting game, if there ever was one. Tell your little friends!
Dumpster Fires All Around
For more from Lolita, see a guide to startups in the country of Chile here.
Also, VC Joe Lonsdale’s tweets about ‘woke’ tech diversity spark investor pushback. Cheers to Natasha Mascarenhas for this winning section while relating a truly dismal series of events:
More recently, he called “any man in an important position who takes 6 months of leave for a newborn…a loser.”
Twenty years ago, Joe was in my 80-person freshman dorm at Stanford, which was called “The Manwich” for being 2 floors of women sandwiching a floor of men. The special tank-top-related nickname we had for him then is something I’m 60% prolly keeping in my back pocket for my future tech-bro-adjacent memoir reveal.
As I’ve said before, for more than a decade I’ve set reading goals each year.
For many years that goal was 100, and I’d usually exceed it by a dozen or so. In 2012, I decided to up the goal to 150, and in 2013 I upped it further to 200 (and exceeded it!). In 2014, I had my first kid, so bumped my goal back down to 150. In 2015, I tried for 200, but didn’t quite hit it. In 2016, I had two more kids, and immediately saw the effects on my reading;) For the last few years, I’ve tried for 100 — and been lucky to get there! This year I did NOT get there, but that’s cool, because #life.
One more FYI that I generally don’t finish about 20% of the books I start, which means that my list actually has about 120 books on it this year. For the most part, I didn’t include the early abandons. I used to try and hang on to dear life until the last page, but I’m getting wiser. In the below list I’ve only included ones I didn’t finish if I read a substantial amount. Full list here, top 11 faves included below.
Top 11 Books Read in 2021:
Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know by Adam Grant ***** Another stellar book by Adam Grant, a genius who has never steered me wrong. Thank you for sending, Adam & team!
Rules of the Wild: A Novel of Africa by Francesca Marciano ***** One of my favorite books of all time, and a great re-read this year. I don’t read many novels, and this one is a star.
The Wreckage of My Presence: Essays **** by Casey Wilson One of the funniest books I’ve read in ages, written by a comedian, goddess, Real Housewives historian, actress, and podcast host. Thank you for this gift;)
How to Do the Work: Recognize Your Patterns, Heal from Your Past, and Create Your Self **** by Nicole LePera
The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results **** by Gary Teller I’ve read this one before and highly recommend it to help you close out some of the unused tabs of your life.
Winter Pasture: One Woman’s Journey with China’s Kazakh Herders **** Wow, this one was just amazing, and so unusual.
Anthro-Vision: A New Way to See in Business and Life by Gillian Tett ***** As an investor, the degree I most use is not my MBA, but my master’s in Anthropology. I LOVED this take on how anthropology is critical to understanding the systems that govern our work.
Hotel du Lac ***** by Anita Brookner (I loved this one. Hadn’t read in years and fell in love all over again.)
Estas Muy Callada Hoy by Ana Navajas – (In Spanish, not sure an English translation exists yet but a fantastic novelized memoir about a mother and writer in Buenos Aires.)
Trust Yourself: Stop Overthinking and Channel Your Emotions for Success at Work ***** (Melody Wilding) Love this one, and fondly remember a pre-pandemic coffee when she was just finishing the proposal!)
Blue Clay People: Seasons on Africa’s Fragile Edge by William Powers
“A haunting account of one man’s determination and the struggles of a people living in a deeply troubled country.”-Booklist – When William Powers went to Liberia as a fresh-faced aid worker in 1999, he was given the mandate to “fight poverty and save the rainforest.” It wasn’t long before Powers saw how many obstacles lay in the way, discovering first-hand how Liberia has become a “black hole in the international system”-poor, environmentally looted, scarred by violence, and barely governed. Blue Clay People is an absorbing blend of humor, compassion, and rigorous moral questioning, arguing convincingly that the fate of endangered places such as Liberia must matter to all of us.
A new section? Of good news? It’s worth a whirl.
Love to you and yours and may your health abound,