My Week in ESTEEM: Quarantine Diaries, Pt. 6 - Good Reads

Author: Risa Takenaka

With classes wrapping up soon, and a majority of us still cooped up inside for a while longer, I’ve been trying to cut down on my daily nap count and spend my free time partaking in somewhat productive or educational activities. If you’re in the same boat and on the search for some quality content, look no further. Below are a few recommendations from my classmates, who are always reading or listening to something interesting. Enjoy! 

Boys Inthe Boat

Books - Nonfiction: 

The Boys in The Boat - Daniel James Brown 

If you’re interested in books about sports history, you might like this New York Times #1 bestseller about the 9 American rowers who led a triumph in Nazi Germany at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. 

Caitlyn Ward calls it an “extremely well written and fascinating story that combines one man’s journey to make the rowing team at UW, the team’s journey to the Olympics pre-WWII, and the history of rowing.”

When Breath Becomes Air - Paul Kalinithi 

A beautifully crafted memoir written by a young neurosurgeon about his life as a physician, and his battle against advanced lung cancer. As he navigates his new reality as a patient and grapples with the concept of death, he writes about his reflections on what makes a life worth living. 

A Grace Edgarton recommendation, and one of my favorites of all time as well.

Everything is F*cked - Mark Manson 

I mean, the title.. Need I say more? I’m not sure if there will ever be a better time to start this book. 

According to Sam Cowdery, who claims he is too cynical to believe in happy go lucky self help books, this is “actually a good read on self reliance and brings a brutally refreshing take on how to be hopeful in spite of....see title.”

Books - Novels: 

The Nest - Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney

I’m not a big reader (working on it), and I’m especially not the biggest reader of fiction but I was given this book by a friend and it had been on my radar for a while. I finished it a few weeks ago and I absolutely loved it, and I even held off on reading the last few pages because I was not ready for it to end. Set in New York City, the storyline circulates around four siblings who share a trust fund, each chapter written from a different perspective. I’ll leave it at that so I don’t spoil anything. 

In a book review, Amy Poehler describes the drama as juicy, and she is absolutely correct. A must read that covers all the important bases -- family drama, love, lust and friendship. 


The Daily

The Daily - By The New York Times 

If you’re a fan of the NYT but can’t quite get yourself to sit down and read their weekday email newsletters, this might be up your alley. 

According to Grace Edgarton, “The Daily is great because every morning they only focus on one news story for about 20 minutes. They also try to get different perspectives and interview a variety of people that are knowledgeable about that topic. It’s a great way to start the day and hear more on a news story that matters.”

The Prof G Show with Scott Galloway - Westwood One Podcast Network

Hosted by an extremely quirky professor and entrepreneur at NYU Stern School of Business, Scott Galloway. On the show, Scott  answers questions from his listeners, and his podcast topics include Big Tech, case studies in business, as well as several recent commentaries about life after Covid. 

His episode, “Long on Humanity” was recommended to me by Conor Lynch, and starts off with a somewhat provocative comment, talking about how Higher Education is a caste system that perpetuates social inequalities. Excited to finish this one all the way through!

This is Product Management - By Alpha 

Title is self explanatory, but this podcast brings in experts in product management in both the B2B and B2C space, and from startups and larger enterprises. 243 episodes cover topics ranging from corporate innovation, leadership, user experience and more. 

The quality content of this podcast has caught the attention of aspiring PMs, including our very own Clint Morris, who says, “I feel like my interviews for PM roles have been stronger because this podcast has given me real strategies to talk about.” 

The Pitch - Gimlet Media

If you liked Startup by Gimlet or NPR’s How I Built This, this one might be a winner. Hosted by Josh Muccio, successful entrepreneur and technical marketer, The Pitch takes you behind the scenes to the moment when entrepreneurs put everything on the line and get in front of investors.

Rian McDonnell says, “The pitch is like Shark Tank but real. You get to hear it, the VCs break everything down, as to why they made the decisions they did, and then how things actually went long term. Crazy how many deals breakdown after a few weeks or months due to the smallest details.” 

Stay tuned to find out what movies and shows the ESTEEM class have been watching!