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Finance advice/Find the best product/Sounds True

If you're enjoying Recomendo, check out the Book Freak newsletter, which shares short pieces of advic


June 16 · Issue #152 · View online
A weekly newsletter that gives you 6 brief personal recommendations of cool stuff. Check out our new book Recomendo: The Expanded Edition @

If you’re enjoying Recomendo, check out the Book Freak newsletter, which shares short pieces of advice from books once a week.

Personal finance advice
This interview of Ramit Sethi by Tim Ferris gives an alternative view of personal finances, which I thought was refreshing and worth listening to. Sethi advocates selective thrift in order to permit passion spending in one area, the value of access over ownership, and other heresies. He also discusses pre-nups, which he rightly claims, is discussed nowhere else.  — KK
Finding the best products online
Google’s algorithm is not working as well as it once did for product recommendations. It could be that spammy websites have gotten better at gaming the algorithm, pushing their search results to the top. My friend Rob Beschizza shared a wonderful tip. He tweeted, “a search for ‘best cordless hedge trimmer’ gets 400 identical top lists of amazon referral links with smarmy PR copy. But “‘best cordless hedge trimmer reddit’ gets the best cordless hedge trimmer.” Try it, it works for any product! — MF
Transformational talks
Most of my audible credits tend to be spent on audio from the Sounds True library. I’ve listened to all the Brené Brown training talks they offer (like condensed versions of her books) and working my way through the Clarissa Pinkola Estés collection of healing stories and myths. But right now what I’m really enjoying is the very trippy 14-hour-long Out of Your Mind: Essential Listening from the Alan Watts Audio Archives. It makes my commute mind-expanding. — CD
Small reusable coffee cup
I got a Breville Barista Express six months ago and now coffee shop cappuccinos will never be as good as homemade. I wanted to be able to take my cappuccino to go on mornings I drive to work, but my travel mug is too big and mixes my drink when I pour it in. This 8oz reusable coffee cup by KeepCup ($15) fits under the portafilter spouts and fits in my car cup holder. It serves only one purpose, but it does it perfectly. — CD 
Best paper cutter
For fast, clean, straight paper cuts, I pull out my Fiskars SureCut Deluxe Craft Paper Trimmer ($21). It’s foolproof and kids can use it without supervision because there’s no exposed blade. — MF
Great near-future science fiction
I just finished reading Fall; or, Dodge in Hell, Neal Stephenson’s new sci-fi novel. The first half of this 850-page book is set in the near future and is among Stephenson’s best work. It’s got cryonics, uploading the dead into Bitworld, grand media hoaxes and anti-hoaxes and counter-anti-hoaxes. The second half is a different story-within-the-story where he re-images the Biblical creation story of Adam and Eve, and Greek demigods; although a great performance, it was less satisfying. I recommend the first half of Fall, which is still 400 pages of a plausible future. — KK
— Kevin Kelly, Mark Frauenfelder, Claudia Dawson
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