Welcome to the home of Noah Brier. I'm the co-founder of Variance and general internet tinkerer. Most of my writing these days is happening over at Why is this interesting?, a daily email full of interesting stuff. This site has been around since 2004. Feel free to get in touch. Good places to get started are my Framework of the Day posts or my favorite books and podcasts. Get in touch.

You can subscribe to this site via RSS (the humanity!) or .

Favorite Books

I like to read books.

My Six All-Time Favorites (as of December, 2019):

All six of these books fundamentally changed the way I think about things. They’re ordered alphabetically because I can’t really choose one over the other.

My 2019 Favorites

Of the books I read in 2019, these were my favorites (in order of when I read them):

  1. My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite: Not sure what to say about this other than I read it in 24 hours.
  2. Educated by Tara Westover: I wrote about why I loved this book for Why is this interesting?
  3. Technopoly: The Surrender of Culture to Technology by Neil Postman: A good reminder that technology doesn’t have all the answers.
  4. Hunting Eichmann: How a Band of Survivors and a Young Spy Agency Chased Down the World’s Most Notorious Nazi by Neal Bascomb: I only knew the most surface details about this story and this book manages to go incredibly deep while still moving quickly.
  5. Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson: As a rule, I try not to read books published in the year because there are too many good books in the world to waste time on unproven ones. But this New York Times review made me give it a shot and it didn’t disappoint.
  6. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot: An aside in this 2018 story about tasmanian devils dying of contagious cancer made me Google Lacks and HeLa cells add the book to my list. It’s an amazing dive into both the history of an important tool in medicine and also the family it came from.

December 10, 2019