Fifth in a series (2016, 2015, 2014, 2013), here’s what I read in 2017. Favorites are bolded.

I read more this year than last, likely because I quit Twitter (so recommended if your job allows it) and remained oblivious to TV and movies.

The Farnsworth Invention, Aaron Sorkin
A short play…


The Citadel, built by Henri-Christophe to defend the nascent Haitian state against Napoleon’s navy; Napoleon, meanwhile, was unhappy his empire’s most profitable colony had decided to declare its independence.

Inspired by Tyler Cowen’s 2010 post, Why is Haiti so Poor?, and my own recent trip to Haiti, here’s another attempt at the question –

1. Strong leader theory: once a country’s on a bad path, it needs a benevolent dictator to “shock” it onto a better one. …


Without fully intending, I’ve ended up reading quite a bit about China. Beside the policy and economic development angles, which I like, China seems to attract some of the best narrative nonfiction writers.

A History of Future Cities by Daniel Brook
Pitched as a conceptual history of Mumbai, St. Petersburg, Shanghai…


I spent some of my undergrad studying and living in the Great Lakes region of Africa. Here’s a few of the best books I’ve read about it, plus a few others to avoid –

The Great Lakes of Africa: Two Thousand Years of History by Jean-Pierre Chrétien
A long academic book…


I worked in early-stage venture capital, at Union Square Ventures, at the beginning of my career, and I still find the industry fascinating and bizarre. A few of my favorite books about it all

Creative Capital by Spencer Ante
The story of Georges Doriot, the first venture capitalist. Doriot wanted…


A college summer spent in Bangkok got me interested in Myanmar, and though I wanted to visit then, the timing wasn’t right. Instead, I read all I could and finally visited during the summer of 2015. Here’s the highlights (and one lowlight.) Books I particularly recommend are bolded.

Voice of…


Fourth in a series (2013, 2014, 2015), here’s the books I read in 2016. I particularly recommend those in bold.

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
I started this book one Saturday evening and didn’t get up until I was done. Decimating because of the book’s set up — a…


Imagine you took LA’s beachy parts, paired them with the best of Tribeca, and then took out the Manhattan traffic. That is central Sydney: walkable, with good, fast buses, and a robust ferry network. You can get quite far in half an hour.

To that end, walk to the Circular…


In the summer, you can eat mushrooms as a starter and main course. Black bread is served at every meal. There is shellfish, sea fish, and lake fish of various kinds, dressed in cream or dill. The tap water is so good that Saudi Arabia imports it.

Tallin is Estonia’s…


Užupis’ constitution

Roughly as many people live in Lithuania as live in Houston, though Lithuania was once Europe’s largest country. Since its Middle Ages peak, Lithuania has been occupied by Poland, Germany, and the Soviet Union.

Lithuania boasts more basketball players, per capita, than anywhere else. The team’s peak was the 1992…

Christina Cacioppo

I don't believe in cold weather or technology stagnation, but I do like books, economics, programming, China, and East Africa. Ex @usv @stanford buckeye.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store