It’s been a long year, but I’ve grown a lot through autobiographies to personal projects to philosophy papers. In an effort to consolidate some of my favorite things I’ve learned from this year, I put together this short list.


Becoming, Michelle Obama

“For me, becoming isn’t about arriving somewhere or achieving a certain aim. I see it instead as forward motion, a means of evolving, a way to reach continuously toward a better self. The journey doesn’t end.”

Best book I’ve ever read. The audiobook with her narrating her own story adds even more depth.

When Breath Becomes Air, Paul Kalanithi

“You can’t ever reach perfection, but you can believe in an asymptote toward which you are ceaselessly striving.”

Technically read last year, but too good to not include. Kalanathi explores his duality as a surgeon and a patient in his exploration for meaning.

What the Eyes Don’t See, Mona Hanna-Attisha

“This is also a story about the deeper crises we are facing right now in our country: a breakdown in democracy; the disintegration of critical infrastructure dues to inequality and austerity; environmental injustice that disproportionately affects the poor and black; the abandonment of civic responsibility and our deep obligations as human beings to care and provide for one another.”

A personal perspective on the Flint Water Crisis that makes for a powerful narrative.

Educated, Tara Westover
Between the World and Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates

Other Reads

Computing Machinery and Intelligence, Alan Turing

A philosophical examination to answer the question whether machines can think.

Simulation Argument, Nick Bostrom’s blogpost

Hands-down the best blogpost I’ve ever read.


Favorite Video: Last Lecture, Randy Pausch

A meaningful lecture on achieving your childhood dreams (the book is excellent as well).

Favorite Project: HelioHex
Favorite Newsletter: Hacker Newsletter
Favorite Course: Missing Semester