Opinion

Letter from the editor: What to read, watch and listen to over the holidays

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With the holiday season fast approaching, I reached out to The Logic’s subscribers for some last-minute recommendations for books, programs and podcasts to enjoy over the break. The only criteria: all must have been published or broadcast this year. Some of these are directly related to tech and innovation, others aren’t.

The most popular choices are outlined below, with reviews written by Caroline Mercer—our in-house book expert at The Logic who has already read, watched or listened to most of these excellent picks—and me, who spent too much time fundraising and not enough time reading this past year!

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Best Novel

Fleishman is in Trouble

By Taffy Brodesser-Akner

Brodesser-Akner’s first novel follows Tobi Fleishman, a newly separated hepatologist in his 40s, as he takes his first foray into online dating in the brave new world of apps. Brodesser-Akner writes Fleishman’s story through the eyes of his close female friend, who, not unlike the author, is a former men’s magazine writer. – Caroline

Must-Read

Invisible Women

By Caroline Criado Perez

In the FT/McKinsey book of the year, Criado Perez highlights how bad data can lead to bad resource allocation. In doing so, she makes the case that seemingly objective data is skewed toward men, and that as a result, policy decisions in health, education and the workplace are missing half the population. – David

On Tech

Super Pumped: The Battle For Uber

By Mike Isaac

What does it take to succeed as an entrepreneur? That’s the underlying question posed in this meticulously reported book about the rise of Uber, and its co-founder and former CEO Travis Kalinick’s aggressive push to scale. It’s a book that may one day serve as a history lesson for the hard-charging days of Silicon Valley. – David

On Leadership

The MVP Machine: How Baseball’s New Nonconformists Are Using Data to Build Better Players 

By Ben Lindbergh & Travis Sawchik

At first glance, a book about baseball management in the post-Moneyball era would seem like a strange choice for showcasing leadership. But the authors show how real front-office leadership comes not just from analyzing data, but from using it to nurture and develop talent. It’s a lesson that can be applied well beyond the baseball diamond. – David

TV Binge-Watch

“Succession,” Season Two

HBO/Crave

2019 will be remembered as the year that streaming services and media consolidation kicked into high gear. It’s easy to forget that behind every Disney, Viacom, and Fox is a CEO in the rough-and-tumble world of media. “Succession,” based loosely on the Murdoch family (but could also apply to the Asper or Rogers families) is a gripping tale of what goes on behind the headlines. It’s a delicious tale of intrigue that I couldn’t stop watching. – David

Podcast Binge-Listen

“The Dream,” Jane Marie

Stitcher

The first season of “The Dream” traced pyramid schemes and multilevel marketing from their deep roots in America to their current influence in women’s circles. The podcast’s second season started earlier this month, and it’s about selling snake oil in the trillion-dollar wellness industry. – Caroline

“The Dropout,” ABC News

Stitcher

The story of Theranos and Elizabeth Holmes told in a riveting podcast with interviews from whistleblowers, investors and patients. (Also, we recommended this last year, but John Carreyrou’s Bad Blood is a great read, too).  – Caroline

Honourable Mention

Trick Mirror

By Jia Tolentino

The essays in Trick Mirror span Tolentino’s earliest exposure to the internet, her stint on reality TV as a teenager, Billy McFarland’s Fyre Festival (of course) and the history of barre. What brings the essays together is the way they explore self-delusion in a “very online” age. I’d also highly recommend Tolentino’s New Yorker piece about Outdoor Voices, one of my favourite retail stories of the year. – Caroline

While these would all make great last-minute holiday gifts for a loved one, may I also suggest a gift subscription to The Logic? It’s currently 25% off using the code FRIEND19 at checkout.