1. New Dark Age: Technology and the End of the Future by James Bridle

  2. Gorilla and the Bird by Zack McDermott

  3. The Utopia of Rules: On Technology, Stupidity, and the Secret Joys of Bureaucracy by David Graeber

  4. White Fang by Jack London

  5. Calypso by David Sedaris

  6. An Everlasting Meal by Tamar Adler

  7. A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway

  8. Defending Jacob by William Landay

  9. The Library Book by Susan Orlean

  10. Drive Your Plow Over The Bones Of The Dead by Olga Tokarczuk

  11. The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith

  12. The Understory by Pamela Erens

  13. How to Take Smart Notes by Sönke Ahrens

  14. Down and Out in Paris and London by George Orwell

  15. Something Old, Something New by Tamar Adler

  16. Rats Saw God by Rob Thomas

  17. The Fault in Our Stars by John Greene

  18. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

  19. The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

  20. The Professor and the Madman by Simon Winchester


    • pg 29: There is a “veritable academic industry” of people decrying the OED as racist and sexist.
    • pg 45: The “madman”/W.C. Minor’s forebearers founded the state of Connecticut
    • pg 55: Irish immigrants fought in the civil war, but were often used as canon fodder.
    • pg 73: The phrase “Look something up” didn’t appear in English until 1692
    • pg 79: Part of the philological society’s motivation for supporting the creation of the OED was imperialism
    • pg 84: In 1746, 5 London booksellers contracted with Samuel Johnson to write his dictionary which he published in 1755 in an almost entirely singular effort
    • pg 93: Richard Chenevix Trench conceived of the OED in a speech in 1857 stating the it would be “the combined action of many” volunteers.
    • pg 119: The system of collecting quotations for the OED was to put the “catchword” in the upper left of a half-sheet of writing paper. Underneath you write the date, author, title, and page number followed by the full quotation using the catchword.
  21. From Bauhaus to Our House by Tom Wolfe


    • pg 14: Art became a form of clarisy in the 20th century, you had to understand theory to understand art, “There were no manifestos in the world of art prior to the twentieth century”
    • pg 17: International style favored labor; however, it favored machine-made objects vs handmade artisan objects as in the Arts and Crafts movement in England “proved” that only the rich could afford such items.
    • pg 24: Le Corbusier called his houses “machines for living”
    • pg 26: Stalin: “Engineers of his soul”
    • pg 32: The Museum of Modern Art was founded by John D Rockefeller, Jr.
    • pg 44: “The fundamental pedagogical mistake of the academy arose from its preoccupation with the idea of the individual genius” - Walter Gropius
    • pg 72: Frank Lloyd Wright, “catered to the hog-stomping Baroque exuberance of American civilization” (this is a magical phrase)
    • pg 108: Venturi’s definition of architecture, “shelter with decoration on it”
    • pg 109: You can’t take on a new fashion by calling it ugly; you have to acknowledge it and create a still more avant-garde style.
  22. The Death and Life of Great American Cities by Jane Jacobs

  23. The Overstory by Richard Powers

  24. The City We Became by N.K. Jemisin