Favorites of 2023

Here are some of my favorite things of the past year, continuing the tradition from last year.


  • How To Do Great Work—This is an inspiring essay on what it takes to do good work. Topics include choosing what to work on, pressing forward, asking questions, and managing risk.
  • How Rural America Steals Girls’ Futures—This article mirrored much of what I saw growing up. It’s a reminder of how one night can limit a life’s opportunities and society’s indifference to it.
  • The Sad Dads of the National—I enjoyed learning about the band’s background and appreciated their music more after reading.
  • Grieving as Learning—This essay helped me accept the time grieving requires.
  • Down With Efficiency! (When We Get Around to It.)—This article made me think about my life’s joys. I like optimizing, but I also like some “inefficient” things. I don’t want to optimize those away.


I added some new newsletters to my regular rotation. I’ve learned a lot from Noahpinion about economics and the world’s complexity. I read several newsletters from The Economist, including a daily briefing and an inside look at how they design their covers.


My favorite industry book this year was Scaling People: Tactics for Management and Company Building. I also branched out and read more poetry. I especially enjoyed No Land in Sight, Sun in Days, and Ariel.


I listened to around 56,000 minutes of music—over two and a half hours a day—on Spotify and Apple Music, about 13% less than last year. My top artists were The National, Taylor Swift, Gregory Alan Isakov, and boygenius. Indie Folk was my favorite genre for the fourth straight year.


While I wrote last year that Obsidian was my favorite piece of software, I’ve switched back to using Bear. Obsidian was powerful, but I now prefer Bear’s simplicity and polish, especially on mobile.

I’ve used Things for the past few years, but it became my daily driver this year. It’s a great app.


Cooking continued to be one of my favorite hobbies. My top recipes were curry base gravy and naan.


I didn’t include my favorite moment last year, but I had to this year. High-speed internet became available in my childhood home in southeastern Kentucky, a dream come true.