TLDR: Caro is king. Read all of his books.

This year I decided to keep track of my books in overall best to worst order. As I finished a book, I tried to slot it in to this post relative to the books that came before it. It’s not exact and there is some recency bias. I’ve also added headings to roughly denote where the post moves between various levels of recommendation.

Strongly Recommend

The story of the Kennedy presidency, the Johnson vice presidency, the assassination and the start of the Johnson Presidency. Remarkable book. Finished (2020–05–10)

This series gets better by the volume. For book 3, Caro gives us a…


A list of one hundred prominent incarcerated serial killers have signed an open letter endorsing Vice President Biden in the 2020 election. They join a growing list of high profile, if unexpected, supporters of the Biden candidacy.

The open letter will likely send ripples through the rest of the serial killer voting demographic and might tip the scales in some tough battle ground states where the number of per capita serial killers is high.

It also might not matter much this late in the campaign cycle because multiple independent polls show that most serial killers have made up their minds…


I’ve highlighted a few books in list form at the top of this post that represent the absolute best of the year from my list. Let me know what you think!

Best Fiction: Best Served Cold

Best Non-fiction: Educated: A Memoir

9 Books I read in 2019 that I Highly Recommend

In the order that I read them

9. Bad Blood

8. The Blade Itself *

7. Before they are Hanged *

6. The Last Argument of Kings *

5. How to Talk so Kids will Listen and Listen so Kids will Talk

4. Bullshit Jobs

3. A Little Hatred

2. Super Pumped

  1. Anti-Social

A Colony in a Nation

A look at how one’s race dictates one’s experience with the criminal justice system in America…


I listened to 40 audiobooks this year. That’s almost a 30% increase from last year and a 90% increase from 2016’s book count total.

Before I share the full list, I want to highlight my favorite book of the year as well as 10 books from my reading list that I highly recommend without reservation. That’s not to say I would not recommend any of the other books on this list, it’s just these are the safest bets.

Best Book

How to Change your Mind, Michael Pollan

Highly Recommended List

  • Born A Crime, Trevor Noah
  • Command and Control, Eric Scholosser
  • Enlightenment Now, Steven Pinker


This spring, three students from the Turing School of Software & Design visited the Ibotta office in downtown Denver to get a better understanding of what it takes to build world class software. These students are three quarters of the way through the seven month code school program, which uses Ruby on Rails to teach web development fundamentals. Ibotta’s commitment to finding engineering talent from diverse backgrounds prompted the company to participate in the Turing Shadow Day program. …


This year at RailsConf I learned about being a good software developer, but not in the way you might think. The conference, held on a snowy April weekend in Pittsburgh, PA, offered a plethora of technical workshops, talks, and the opportunity to network with talented software developers from across the world. While I did leave with a few new tools, techniques and a larger professional network, that’s not what I mean when I say that RailsConf taught me about being a good software developer. …


My friends tell me that they have never seen someone so bad at anything as I am at the game of darts. It’s true that small children and the legally blind can out score me, but that’s not to say that I have not accidentally hit a bullseye upon occasion. The same is true with President Trump’s statement on December 6, 2017 moving the US embassy to Jerusalem. Do not be fooled, this is the work of a flailing incompetent and any good that comes from it will be by sheer dumb luck.

There is no evidence that the President…


What we read is in many ways what we think, which is why I am excited to share a list of the books I read in 2017. While my reading spanned what I characterize as fourteen different genres, the vast majority of what I read was written by white men, published over the last two years. I split roughly 60:40 Nonfiction to Fiction, which ideally would have gone heavier in the nonfiction direction.

Before I list my 2017 books in the order that I read them, I want to highlight a few for special note.

Best Book: When Breath Becomes…


The Story of Implementing a Campaign Inspection Service

‘A good idea can come from anywhere’ is one of the Ibotta core values and one of the reasons working as an engineer at one of the most vibrant startups in Denver, Colorado is so rewarding. This month, my team was able to turn a good idea into a campaign inspection service that will save our company money and improve the experience of our clients.

In October, I ran a check on the data integrity of our system’s campaign_billing model, which stores information on how we bill our clients for running cash back offers in the Ibotta app. …


A Rebuke to Congresswoman Betty McCollum and Alan Dershowitz

Two wrongs do not make a right. Alan Dershowitz recently wrote Ten congressional Democrats want lenient treatment for young terrorists who murder Israelis, criticizing Congresswoman McCollum’s “Promoting Human Rights by Ending Israeli Military Detention of Palestinian Children Act.” Dershowitz’s piece is problematic in a number of regards, but so is McCollum’s legislation.

Alan Dershowitz

The first issue is the title of the article, which may not be Dershowitz’s fault — editors, not writers, are often responsible for titling pieces. An honest reading of the bill could not be interpreted as support for “lenient treatment for young terrorists who murder Israelis” as Dershowitz’s…

Jesse Spevack

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