2019 Syllabus & Goals (Now-June)

Syllabus (more to be added) 


  1. On the Genealogy of Morals by Friedrich Nietzsche
  2. The Denial of Death by Ernst Becker
  3. The Origins of Totalitarianism by Hannah Arendt
  4. Marriage, A History by Stephanie Coontz
  5. Gender Trouble by Judith Butler
  6. The Swerve: How the World Became Modern by Stephen Greenblatt
  7. Collaborative Circles: Friendship Dynamics and Creative Work by Michael P. Farrell
  8. Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl
  9. Figuring by Maria Popova (Released 2/5/2019)


  1. Oceanic by Aimee Nezhukumatathil
  2. Feel Free: Essays by Zadie Smith
  3. When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities by Chen Chen
  4. Don’t Let Me Be Lonely: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine
  5. The Incendiaries by R.O. Kwon


  1. Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Awakening by Joseph Goldstein
  2. Interconnected by Karmapa
  3. Lovingkindness by Sharon Salzburg

Bolded books are ones I am currently starting off with. I finished Oceanic the other day, but as with all poetry books, it deserves a re-reading with a pen/highlighter. I will definitely update this with more texts as the months go on, but these 17 books seem to be enough ground to cover for now.

2019 Goals

  1. Start budgeting and saving deliberately (either with an app or spreadsheet)
  2. Work out 4x a week
  3. Eat a home-cooked meal at least 1x every day (lunch or dinner), ideally twice
  4. Meditate daily
  5. Give thanks at least once a day
  6. Write every day, even if it’s just in my “one line a day” memory book
  7. Only check Instagram and Twitter twice a day — during moments when I would normally use them, listen to a podcast, read an article, meditate/be present, or write instead. Best to go on there only when I have something to say/share.
  8. Ask “Well, why not?” after saying or thinking “I wish I could…”

The most impactful books I read in 2018

Around this time last year, I realized that I had read an abysmal number of books in 2017 — no more than 3, including books I was obligated to read for my English classes. Of course I hadn’t read 90% of what I’d been assigned for class, but who does?

Anyway, a year ago I made a commitment to read at least 20 books in 2018. 20 seemed like a good number; about one book every two weeks. If I counted poetry books in this (alongside novels and nonfiction books), I could easily read over one book each week.

Over the course of this year I discovered many problems with counting for the sake of counting. Namely that this whole “tracking” thing was supposed to measure my reading “output,” but it turns out I do a majority of my reading online — PDF articles linked on Canvas, journalistic articles, tweeted screenshots of poems. I continued counting despite this, and finished 23 books this year.

To me, there still seems to be something uniquely whole and cohesive about books. Here are seven that stayed with me long after I read them, in no particular order. They are a mix of nonfiction, fiction, and poetry.

Continue reading “The most impactful books I read in 2018”