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FinishedTitleAuthorRecommended byVerdict
*favorites are highlighted
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Jun 2020Why Buddhism Is TrueRobert WrightUNC Libraries
clearly meant for a broad audience, very skim-able, but some moderately helpful takeaways
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Jun 2020
various papers/articles/chapters about environmental valuation
variousENEC 309
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May 2020Wilderness and the American Mind (most of it)NashENEC 309
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May 2020How to Be an AntiracistIbram X Kendi
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Apr 2020Seven Brief Lessons on PhysicsCarlo Rovelli
wonderful. space-time is curved! space IS the gravitational field!! quarks exist as interactions but not as objects!! the multiverse is mind-boggling immense!!! we are all stardust!!!!
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Apr 2020Everybody WritesAn HandleyBrendan
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Mar 2020The Public Policy Theory PrimerSmith & LarimerPLCY 710
also read a bunch of papers/chapters about policy analysis
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Mar 2020Lost in TranslationSanders
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Feb 2020Heart Rate TrainingBenson & Connelly
Obnoxiously male-centric. Also directed towards beginners so felt less relevant to me than Friel's. Also included less of the science behind it all than Friel did. Still helpful to have a different POV, though.
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Jan 2020Waking Up WhiteDebbie IrvingDane?
vey compelling, well-written, strong relatable voice
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Jan 2020Total Heart Rate TrainingJoe Friel
informative, but I want more specific workout suggestions. or how to translate a normal workout plan into HR-based training.
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Jan 2020A Grief ObservedC.S. LouisJasen Blakney
beautifully written, inspired me as a writer
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Dec 2019Whose Story Is This? Old Conflicts, New ChaptersRebecca Solnit
not a fan - she writes off (and kind of mocks) everyone who doesn't share her worldview.
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Dec 2019VarinaCharles Frazier Vicki Stocking
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Dec 2019Triathlete's Training BibleJoe FrielKelly Anderson
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Nov 2019White FragilityRobin DiAngeloDane
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Oct. 2019 (I got distracted by my roommate's Netflix account for the first couple weeks of October - Grey's Anatomy lol)
1984Orwellpanicked Americans
very good, thought-provoking, somehow less depressing to me than Brave New World - a comparison I find really interesting.
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Sept. 2019Mating in CaptivityEsther Perel
interesting but after listening so much to Where Should We Begin, and after reading State of Affairs, I felt there weren't very many new ideas for me to discover here.
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Sept. 2019The State of Affairs: Rethinking InfidelityEsther Perelher podcast
fascinating! Convinced me that total sexual exclusivity for life is a potentially toxic expectation even in the most compatible of couples. Opened my eyes to the broad spectrum of ways you can negotiate monogamy and the meaning of “commitment" within your relationship. Hammered home the point that being in a relationship does not mean you are entitled to your partner’s sexuality or any other part of their identity; and that it takes a lot of careful, intentional and open communication to work out a system of expectations/commitment that works best within each unique relationship.
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Sept. 2019Triathlon ScienceJoe Friel and Jim VanceDavis Library
super interesting; I was more interested in some parts than others (of course) but loved learning about what training approaches are actually evidence-based, and what the evidence is for each technique. For example, one of the easiest ways to increase your biking velocity is by using an aerodynamic bike/position. Also, there is exactly zero evidence that strength training on dry land can make you a faster swimmer. And warmups are pretty important, but there's no scientific evidence that cooldowns have any positive benefit. I am full of triathlon training facts now!
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Sept. 2019What Do We Need Men For? A Modest ProposalE. Jean CarrollBrooke E
laugh-out-loud funny and also upsetting. Would recommend to anyone.
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August 2019The Truths We HoldKamala Harris
I felt disappointed that it was so policy-oriented with so little personal detail. But I came away with a deepened respect for her! I especially liked her leadership lessons described in the last chapter.
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July 2019What I Talk about when I Talk about Running (re-read)Hakuri Murakami
just as good the second time! I read it to inspire myself to sign up for that OBX marathon in November.
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July 2019A Fighting ChanceElizabeth Warren
made me love her. I wrote a couple of paragraphs about it on my website!
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Jul 2019
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking
Susan CainBob Stocking
good but too long/detailed. Also too binary for my tastes, even though she tries to acknowledge that.
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Jun 2019SissyJacob TobiaJoanna
I couldn't help but compare to Educated, since I read them back-to-back and they're both memoirs by people in their 20s. Sissy brings up some important points about gender but I feeel won't be approachable to (cisgender) people who've never thought about gender. Also I just don't like "sassy" or jokey or self-depricating writing styles. But overall, worth a read if only to hear an oft-unheard perspective.
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Jun 2019EducatedTara WestoverUnc admissions book club
loooooooved it - felt so relatable even though her life is totally bizarre! amazing
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Jun 2019Alternate SideAnna QuindlenJune
liked way more than I expected. clever dialogue, likeable main character even if her inner life can sometimes feel flat.
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May 2019FactfulnessHans RoslingPCGUplifting!
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May 2019Best Short Stories 2018Edited by Roxane GayPCG
obviously very good - a little more fantastical / weird than I'd expect but way more sociocultural diversity represented than would be typical - which I love!
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Apr 2019
Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness
Thaler and SunsteinLauren Zitney
really interesting; I wish there were a full updated version (as it came out in 2008)—the afterward felt lacking. A lot of the specific examples in the book weren't interesting to me, but the examples that did interest me were super compelling. Overall I think they make a strong argument for the kinds of policy changes they're recommending!
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Mar 2019The Secret Life of Fat (skimmed)Sylvia Tara
dumb. assumes thin = better and doesn't question the sexism pressuring women to be smaller in general
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Mar 2019The Rosie ProjectGraeme SimsionJulie Gray
interesting to think about what's going on in the head of someone on the spectrum
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Mar 2019The Case against Sugar (skimmed)Gary Taubes
I liked learning about the sugar industry's influence on not only policy but also public perceptions/opinion
36
Mar 2019Lethal WhiteRobert Galbraith
incredible - super complex novel that came together with what felt like a non-predictable ending
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Mar 2019Career of EvilRobert Galbraithexcellent but too gruesome for me
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Jan 2019Sing, Unburied, SingJesmyn Ward
excellent insight into the life of a poor black family in Mississippi. I even liked the ghost that showed up towards the end
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Jan 2019Children of Blood and BoneTomi Adeyemibook club
love that best-selling fiction by a black woman exists. excellent world-building, but the YA elements (dramatic one-sentence paragraphs, predictable coupling-up of characters) was a little tiresome
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Jan 2019The Trainable Cat
John Bradshaw and Sarah Ellis
fascinating... but so far I've been unsuccessful in implementing these techniques
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Jan 2019Do Cats Hear with Their Feet?Jake Pageinteresting
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Jan 2019Cat WatchingDesmond Morrisinteresting
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Jan 2019
Sustainable Agriculture and Resistance: Transforming Food Production in Cuba (parts)
Martin Bourque, Nilda Perez, Luis Garcia, Fernando Funes
more technical than I wanted, but still very interesting
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Dec 2018The SilkwormRobert Galbraithexcellent
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Dec 2018Wilderness Tips (stories)Margaret AtwoodVicki
super memorable characters and scenes. liked a lot more than Handmaid's Tale!
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Dec 2018So Good They Can’t Ignore YouCal NewportPCGfine
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November 2018BecomingMichelle Obama
loved how personal this is! I was especially interested in her thoughts on balancing a career with motherhood. And her comments on the challenges of being married to Barack Obama!
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November 2018A Visit from the Goon SquadJennifer Eganincredible
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November 2018Lean InSheryl Sandberg
I know she's been criticized for failing to acknowledge how much her money enables her to "lean in," but I still was impressed by how she managed to explain the ways women hold ourselves back--without putting blame on women.
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November 2018What Happened Hillary Clinton
so clear-headed, detailed, and eye-opening. For a Hillary fan, I was shocked to realize how little I actually understood the email scandal-- and that was part of her problem.
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October 2018The SpyPaulo Coelho
a really engaging read but also kind of forgettable.
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October 2018Land of Lost BordersKate HarrisMCF
incredible. her writing is poetic, but also perfectly captures the monotony of long miles on the road without being boring
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October 2018The Golden SonShilpi Somaya GowdaMCF
super engaging. love how she tackles issues of race and culture differences
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September 2018Peak: Secrets from the New Science of ExpertiseAnders EricssonPatinteresting
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September 2018Secret DaughterShilpi Somaya GowdaMCF
good but I couldn't really relate to the strong themes of motherhood (or even daughterhood)
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August 2018Calypso (most of it)David Sedaris
funny but I wasn't motivated to finish it
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August 2018Anything Is PossibleElizabeth Stroutexcellent. I love her writing.
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August 2018Popular (skimmed)Mitch PrinsteinUNC
boring - but turns out he's fascinating in person
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August 2018Born to RunChristopher McDougalinteresting but too long/detailed
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August 2018Socrates in Silicon ValleyTom MorrisMCFfine - had to read for work
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July 2018
Our Towns: A 100,000-mile Journey into the Heart of America
Deborah and James Fallows
UNC Admissions Book Club
fascinating. I thought it would get monotonous or repetitive but it never did!
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July 2018Astrophysics for People in a HurryNeil deGrasse Tyson
I love that I sort of understand some of these things now!
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June 2018This Is the Story of a Happy MarriageAnn Patchett
Excellent - really insightful into the life of a writer
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June 2018Between the World and MeTa-Nehisi Coates Excellent
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June 2018The DinnerHerman Koch
UNC Admissions book club
excellent. dark in a funny way. no redeeming characters.
66
May 2018The First 90 DaysMichael Watkins
good but more for someone in a new leadership position than someone at the bottom of the ladder
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May 2018Harry Potter and the Cursed ChildRowling, Thorne, Tiffanyread like very good fan fiction
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May 2018
Positivity: Top-Notch Research Reveals the Upward Spiral That Will Change Your Life
Barbara FredricksonMCF
I'm trying to get better at buying into this.
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May 2018Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free ProductivityDavid AllenMCF
I think I've been using a lot of these tactics for a long time without realizing.
70
April 2018The RisenRon RashLaneboring
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April 2018Notes from UndergroundFyodor DostoyevskyMichael Maragood
72
April 2018Lovely, Dark, DeepJoyce Carol Oates
honestly: it was lovely, dark, and deep
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April 2018Modern Romance (skimmed)Aziz Ansaridumb
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April 2018Swing TimeZadie Smith
good but I couldn't help but compare to Americanah which I just LOVED
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April 2018Men Without WomenHaruki Murakami
interesting. couldn't figure out if this was feminist or... antifeminist
76
April 2018CommonwealthAnn PatchettParnassus
excellent - could relate to large group of siblings with stepsiblings thrown in the mix
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April 2018The Handmaid's TaleMargaret Atwood
really good; but not as mind-blowing as I'd expected
78
March 2018Americanah
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Yasaminincredible
79
March 2018The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar WaoJunot DiazNicole Kexcellent
80
March 2018
No Free Lunch: Food and Revolution in Cuba Today (1984)
Benjamin, Collins, Scottexcellent
81
March 2018EileenOtessa MoshfeghSierra Strattnerexcellent
82
February 2018The Basque History of the WorldMark KurlanskyRob Bonellaexcellent
83
January 2018Les Miserables (abridged)Victor Hugogood
84
January 2018Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White HouseMichael Wolfffascinating
85
January 2018The 7 Habits of Highly Effective PeopleStephen Coveyboring
86
January 2018Feminist Fight ClubJessica Bennettdumb
87
January 2018Hunchback of Notre Dame (unabridged)Victor Hugoexcellent
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December 2017Love WarriorGlennon Doyle MeltonInezexcellent
89
November 2017ParisLonely Planet
90
November 2017What the Dog SawMalcolm Gladwellinteresting
91
November 2017Barron's GREBarron
92
November 2017It's Okay to Laugh (Crying Is Cool, Too)Nora McInerny PurmortMeredithgood
93
October 2017GRE Math WorkoutKaplan
94
October 2017The Power of OneBryce CourtenayHunterexcellent
95
September 2017Cracking the GREPrinceton ReviewBrian
96
September 2017The Official Guide to the GRE Revised General TestETSSangeetha
97
August 2017My Name Is Lucy BartonElizabeth StroutParnassusexcellent
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August 2017
Doing Good Better: How Effective Altruism Can Help You Help Others, Do Work that Matters, and Make Smarter Choices about Giving Back
William MacAksillPatexcellent
99
August 2017Tuesdays with Morrie (reread)Mitch AlbomEleanor good
100
August 2017One Flew Over the Cuckoo's NestKen Keseyexcellent
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