Hardcore History by Dan Carlin
Captivating and brilliant. This isn’t just my favorite podcast, but my favorite piece of media (including books, movies, etc…) ever created. If you want to be my best friend, simply bring up this podcast in conversation.
What if there was a show that did top-notch investigative journalism about all the crazy shit that happens on the internet? Meet Reply All, and their hosts are hilarious as well.
Where Should We Begin? with Esther Perel
It’s no surprise that I’m a big Esther Perel fan, and this series that she’s done with audible is top notch. It’s available on audible or the podcast feed. Incredible for anyone interested in better relationships.
Sleep With Me
It’s a podcast designed to put you to sleep, but it’s also incredibly witty and well done. The host (Dearest Scooter) creates a show that’s engaging enough for your mind not to wander, but boring enough to want to fall asleep. Trust me, it’s genius.
Common Sense by Dan Carlin
I never used to care about politics, but this podcast has me totally fascinated. Dan Carlin does an incredible job of picking apart current events in a way that’s both insightful and as objective as one can be.
A podcast about what it’s really like to start a company, told by Alex Blumberg, one of the best storytellers in public radio. Fascinating and educational.
Darken the Page
Conversations about the creative process with writers, songwriters and artists. Hosted by yours truly and as entertaining as it is inspiring.
A story about a man named John B. McLemore who grew up and despised a small town in Alabama named Woodstock. It will expand your mind, toy with your emotions and ultimately leave you feeling like you more fully understand the human experience — at least that’s what it did for me.
If there was one podcast I wish everyone in my life would listen to it’s this one. I consider myself someone who is very educated in the area of sex and relationships and I listen every week and even subscribe to the magnum (premium) edition.
Audiobooks I Loved
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Just Mercy – Bryan Stevenson
Incredible story of a black lawyer in the south who takes on the justice system with determination, heart and guts.
Chasing the Scream – Johann Hari
The very important story of how our war on drugs started, why it’s a terrible idea and what other countries (and our own) are doing to find a new way.
Ishmael – An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit
I am forever different for having read this book. It’s a must read for anyone who is willing to question the beliefs and culture that we now live in. Amazing perspective on how humans in the last 10,000 years (since the beginning of agriculture) have been driving toward a proverbial cliff. Also, the narrator for this is amazing! Anthony Heald, my new favorite voice actor. He does an amazing job. The one downside to this is it’s the abridged version, but after hearing this I’m excited to read the whole book.
The Butterfly Effect — Jon Ronson
This book is actually only available on audio, it’s an exclusive series put on by audible. In it Jon Ronson explores all the effects of free porn, which started in a big way with the rise of sites like pornhub around 2008. He explores everything from the effects on the actors to the new and creative ways porn is adjusting to the market. Fascinating and very well done by Jon Ronson.
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck — Mark Manson
I’m a big fan of Mark’s writing, and this book is a smash hit for a good reason. It’s a message everyone needs to hear. I got a chance to interview Mark before the book came out for my podcast Darken the Page — click to listen to that episode.
Atlas Shrugged – Ayn Rand
64 hours of pure pleasure listening to Scott Brick (one of my favorite narrators) read this classic. It’s long, and it’s worth it. The Fountainhead is also amazing (and half as long).
The Music Lesson – Victor Wooten
This book as an audio is true gold. I’ve been playing music for 25 years and it still shifted the way I think about music. Highly recommended for anyone, especially musicians.
Born a Crime — Trevor Noah
At first I thought this book was going to be primarily funny, because most books comedians write are there for entertainment, but that wasn’t the case at all. Of course it’s witty and well written, but it’s also really deep and insightful. Trevor grew up during Apartheid and this book serves as an incredible first hand account of what it was like.
We’re Going To Need More Wine — Gabrielle Union
As a white guy growing up with a lot of privilege, I’ve been doing a lot of work lately to try and understand what it was like to grow up as black in American society. Gabrielle Union’s story is fascinating in so many ways and I can say it made me a smarter, more aware, and better person.
America’s War for the Greater Middle East – Andrew J. Bacevich
This book chronicles the absurd and all-too-familiar war in the middle east that the United States got into. It’s a no-bullshit look at why we got into it, what we achieved and what the consequences were, written by a retired Army Colonel. It forever changed the way I think about this war.
A Renegade History of the United States — Thaddeus Russell
This book, out of any, has had the biggest shift on the way I think about U.S. history. It’s more than just an untold history of the United States, it’s a massive tear down of so many things we think are “normal” or take for granted. Very good for the outside the box thinker or anyone who wants to challenge their beliefs about how the United States got to where it is today.
Big Magic – Elizabeth Gilbert
Elizabeth Gilbert has such an amazing way of connecting to people through her own humanness and this book is no exception. Well written and well read.
Everything by Seth Godin
Seth Godin is like the Denzel Washington of marketing and business advice. Everything he does is so good, and I love listening to him read all his books.
The Truth – Neil Strauss
Neil Strauss is a master story-teller, and also a fearless adventurer when it comes to relationships. Good news for us. This book had my attention from start to finish.
Emergency – Neil Strauss
Fascinating look into the world of survivalists and how we can all learn by Neil’s quest to be a little more self-reliant. His narration is personal and engaging.
I couldn’t stop raving about this movie after I saw it in theatres (twice). It’s incredibly deep and moving, also provides a very important metaphor for what we’re experiencing right now in the need for humans as a whole to come together and grow up.
There are two things I really loved about this movie. The first is that is provides a stark contrast to modern society (Viggo Mortensen is a Dad who raises his kids in the wilderness), and the second is that is nuanced and not one sided. You get to see the pros and the cons of growing up off the grid.
Professor Marston and the Wonder Women
I’m crazy about this movie! It did a tiny run in the theatres which was terrible because I thought it was one of the best movies of the year. It’s the story of the man who created the Wonder Woman comic and the women who inspired it. Also the first movie to do polyamory and kink well!
If you’ve seen this movie, you understand why I’m recommending it, if you haven’t — you won’t. It’s the best, worst movie ever made. It’s a train wreck. James Franco and Seth Rogen even made another movie about this movie, that’s how ridiculous it is.
I was born in 1982, and this movie perfectly depicts what it’s like growing up a teenager in the late 90s. It’s brilliantly done and the characters are so well written.
The subtle racism, the acting and just the sheer terror of putting yourself in the shoes of the main character (a black man dating a white women and meeting her family who turns out to be killer-psychopaths) is amazing.
Wow. This series was highly recommended by a lot of very awesome people and I was very happy I watched it. It’s created by the Wachowski brothers (now the Wachowski sisters because they are trans-women) and it’s brilliantly progressive and the characters are amazing.
This movie deserved all the acclaim it got. It was brilliantly done and represents a really progressive way to look at our formative years and also provides an interesting look into black culture.
The music in this movie is a good enough reason to see it. Not just a great soundtrack but the way they wove the music into the scenes was brilliant. One of my favorites of 2017.
Christopher Nolan is a genius and I’ll watch anything he writes and directs. The way this movie weaves in huge concepts like time travel and the connection that we have with each other at all times is brilliant.
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