The Weekly Rapport #16: Books, Docs and Podcasts… What Else is New?

Hey guys,

Been super busy at work so haven’t had a chance to write. Here is your weekly guide of things I’m enjoying, consuming, using and loving. Enjoy.

Book I Just Finished

Setting the Table – Danny Meyer


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I had no intention of reading this book, but my brother left it at my apartment so I picked it up and read a few pages. Since I’m not a quitter I ended up finishing it and it was well worth it. If you’re not familiar with Danny Meyer he’s essentially one of the most famous restaurantuers in the world, most famous for creating Shake Shack. His notoriety in the restaurant world is second to none. He owns the Union Square Hospitality Group whose restaurants include Union Square Cafe, Gramercy Tavern, 11 Madison, Tabla, and the Modern. The book reads as more of a business and managerial book sprinkled with cool stories about how to run a successful restaurant, and also may make you very hungry.

His main message is about hospitality – the more you give the more you get. Literally, he trains his staff to be the most giving and caring people. If you don’t like your meal, it is free – no questions asked. You may even get a gift certificate to come back and a reservation at a later date. If you’re in the business world, this book highlights that the key to business is to care about people and always be giving.

Book I Just Started

The New Jim Crow – Michelle Alexander

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This was one of those books that I’ve seen on every list of “Must Reads” or “Top Books Recommended by XYZ“. It’s been sitting in my Amazon cart for years and I kept delaying it since I knew it was about a pretty morose topic – race relations and the struggle of African American males due to mass incarceration. But I finally walked in to a book store and saw it staring at me on the shelf, so I bought it. Yes, like actually paid a cashier in cash for a hard book and got it in less that 2 business days… Instantly actually. Pretty remarkable.

It’s important to understand just how damaging the War on Drugs has been to America. Our incarceration rates are RIDICULOUSLY higher than every other country on Earth, including countries with comparable crime rates. The US still manages to put people in prison 6 to 10 times more on average. That’s alarming. The stats are disgusting. I’m only about 40 pages in but I can tell right away that this book is going to absolutely school me on some crazy facts and history.

Inspiring TED Talk

Jia Jiang – What I Learned From 100 Days of Rejection

First off, my man Jia Jiang is adorable. Tall task not to love this guy. So cute.

Jia Jiang became famous for his challenge of purposely trying to get rejected 100 times in 100 days. He came up with some really funny things to try, like getting Krispy Kreme to create a donut that looks like the Olympic 5-ring logo. After getting rejected he took away some incredibly valuable lessons. That your fear of speaking up or asking for something is entirely irrational and you can almost always get the answer you’re looking for if you just remain persistent.

Cool Show You Should Check Out

One Strange Rock – Netflix & Nat Geo

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Look… I get it. There are too many damn shows and too many freaking people recommending things to watch. Any time I’m in a conversation it inevitably moves towards “Oh my god, have you seen <insert any Netflix documentary or murder series here>” Don’t even get me started on the Game of Thrones nerds (JK please don’t picket me).

But this show is really cool. I don’t watch much TV in general (humble brag) so I’m pretty picky about what I watch when I do. I typically stick to one hour stand up comedy specials or interesting documentaries where I’ll learn something and it’s actually worth my time. Sidenote: how people get through an episode of My 600-lb Life is an anomaly to me. Brutal.

But this is a National Geographic 10-part docuseries narrated by Will Smith, so you know it’s good. It takes interviews from 8 astronauts who have been to space and give you their perspective on the earth and what its like to view our planet at such a unique vantage point.

Great Podcast I Recommend

Joe Rogan Experience – Colin O’Brady

This dude is nuts. I won’t say much, but he crossed Antarctica. By foot. By himself. With a 300-lb pack. And he has like a thousand other cool stories that have nothing to do with that small little feat.

Have a good week,

-KB

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