25 of My Favorite Books, Articles, Gadgets, Tech, and More (So Far in 2023)

25 of My Favorite Books, Articles, Gadgets, Tech, and More (So Far in 2023)
Tim Ferriss sitting outdoors on some stone steps and smiling.

What does my audience care about most?

Put another way: if nearly two million subscribers to my newsletter voted with their clicks, what most caught their attention thus far in 2023?

The 25 items below are the most-clicked links from my weekly 5-Bullet Friday newsletter so far this year, which I then further curated for this blog post.

5-Bullet Friday is a short email of five bullet points sent out each Friday, and it has become somewhat famous for crashing websites and selling things out (a.k.a. “the hug of death,” as some readers have put it). Each newsletter describes the five coolest things I’ve found or explored that week, often including books, gadgets, tech workarounds, tricks from experts, strange experiments, and weird stuff from all over the world. My subscribers have seen many things before they’ve gone mainstream.

If you haven’t subscribed, it’s free, and you can click here to sign up in a few seconds. It’s easy to unsubscribe anytime.

Meanwhile, I hope you enjoy the below list as much as I did!

The items were shuffled in no particular order, as more clicks doesn’t automatically mean more valuable, and I didn’t want to bias people towards a few links at the top.

Here we go…

#1: Coffee gadgets I’m using daily

Jura ENA 4 (Cost: $999). This was gifted to me by my friend Brad L. He is a die-hard coffee nerd and swore it was the best cup of coffee you could have without a professional barista. Just feed it whole beans, and it handles the rest. This attractive machine also imbues the coffee with a creamy texture that is hard to describe.

AeroPress Original (Cost: <$40). This is an incredible, and affordable, little gem. As I wrote in The 4-Hour Chef: “This is now, bar none, my favorite brewing method. Remember the Aerobie, the amazing UFO-like disc that you could throw farther than a football field, 20 times farther than a standard Frisbee? Alan Adler, a mechanical engineer and Stanford University lecturer, created it. After conquering the 1980s toy market, he began to obsess over coffee. The result was the AeroPress, which debuted in 2006. Quickly adopted by the specialty coffee community, it offers a simple way to prepare a small amount of excellent coffee, and it’s great for travel. Armed with an AeroPress and a tiny manual hand grinder like the Hario MSS-1B Mini Mill [or the more recently recommended Comandante], you can even make world-class coffee on an airplane meal tray! No mess and no fuss.” If you want to use a beefier and automated burr grinder at home, I now use the Baratza Encore.

[Published in the May 12th newsletter]

#2: List of questions I’m perusing

Questionsby Alexey Guzey. The English is a little rough in places, but I found some of these questions to be excellent reminders and many others to be outstanding brain food.

[Published in the August 4th newsletter]

#3: New blog post I’m excited to share

Revisiting Warren Buffett’s Advice to Me in 2008 (Plus: 7 Lessons for Young Investors).” An old video recently resurfaced on social media. It’s yours truly asking Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger a question at the 2008 Berkshire Hathaway Shareholders Meeting. I was intensely nervous, and the audio makes that clear. This clip went viral, and a number of media outlets (Wall Street Journal, Business Insider, etc.) reached out to me for comment, asking me questions like “What advice would you give a 30-year-old now who’d just amassed their first million?” I decided to take a few of my longer answers that didn’t make it into the pieces and write a blog post with more context.

[Published in the March 3rd newsletter]

#4: Fast and easy game that I’m loving

Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza. You can learn how to play in less than a minute. The game is fast, fun, addictive, hilarious, and suitable for all ages. It scrambles brains to the delight of all. Hat tip to game Jedi Elan Lee (@elanlee) for introducing me to this gem!

[Published in the March 26th newsletter]

#5: What I’m excited to share with you

A 5-Bullet Friday exclusive! A short motivational video from Arnold Schwarzenegger, just for you. For more motivation and tactical advice from Arnold, click here to sign up for his daily newsletter called The Pump Daily. On the linked-to page, you’ll also get a free ebook describing how Arnold sets and achieves goals, a simple home-based workout, and his hardcore 1970s chest and back workout for anyone who wants to risk a trip to the hospital.

And by the way… Arnold handwrites his emails. Check out this gem from earlier this week, shared with permission:

[Published in the January 13th newsletter]

#6: Portable cold plunge I’m enjoying

The Cold Pod. For anti-inflammation and mood elevation, cold is the simplest solution I’ve found. I desperately wanted to cold plunge while at an Airbnb, but what to do that doesn’t leave a chest freezer behind? I found this inflatable Cold Pod on Amazon, and it works surprisingly well. Yes, you need to refill with ice, but it’s been a godsend. Pro tip: the less water you use, the less ice you need to lower the temperature.

[Published in the August 4th newsletter]

#7: What I’m rereading

100 Tips for a Better Lifeby Conor Barnes (@Ideopunk). This is a surprisingly good list, despite the generic headline. Thanks to Ryan Holiday (@RyanHoliday) for the recommendation.

[Published in the July 21 newsletter]

#8: Winter jacket that’s saving my ass

Stio’s Environ XT Jacket. I recently replaced my old ski jacket/shell with this, and I’m thrilled that I did. It’s lightweight, durable, and has made even windy negative temperatures easy to handle with a proper base layer and midlayer. The Stio Environ XT is one of SKI Magazine’s “Best Men’s Ski Jackets of 2023,” and I chose Afternoon Azure for color. Here’s the description from the website: “Primed and ready for sidecountry hits, all-day tours, and storm laps in the resort, this jacket is for the minimalist who never uses his powder skirt and the purist who knows exactly what he needs.”

[Note: If the Stio jacket is sold out (it’s popular!), this Men’s Shralpinist Stretch Recycled Jacket from Jones Snowboards is a great alternate. Hat tip to Brad for the recommendation.]

[Published in the February 3rd newsletter]

#9: Article I’m rereading

Taming the Mammoth: Why You Should Stop Caring What Other People Think.” This remains one of the most empowering articles I’ve read in recent years. It’s hilarious and amazing. For double trouble, pair it with my interview with the author, Tim Urban (@waitbutwhy).

[Published in the February 3rd newsletter]

#10: List I’m studying

The 50 Best Places to Travel in 2023.” I am planning my next adventures, both in the U.S. and abroad, and this list had some unexpected gems.

[Published in the July 21st newsletter]

#11: Device I’m still using weekly to save my back and neck

The Body Back Buddy, which was originally recommended to me by Dustin Moskovitz (@moskov), co-founder of Asana and Facebook. Here’s how Dustin answered my “best purchase for <$100?” question in Tribe of Mentors: “The Back Buddy by the Body Back Company is my favorite purchase from the past five years, bar none. Most basically, it allows you to administer self-massage anywhere on your back with the full leverage of two hands, but I’ve also really gotten to know and appreciate all the little knobs and other features over the years. I’ve even learned how to manipulate parts of my skeletal structure (i.e., self-chiropracty) and incorporate it into my yoga practice.”

[Published in the August 18th newsletter]

#12: Science fiction short story I’m reading

The Last Questionby Isaac Asimov. This 10–15-minute read is really spectacular. DO NOT read anything about this story before digging in, as even a small spoiler can ruin it. Special thanks to Adam Robinson (@IAmAdamRobinson) for sending it to me.

[Published in the April 21st newsletter]

#13: Book that I couldn’t put down

Saga: Compendium One. This is a raucous masterpiece! After two close friends recommended it within 48 hours, I bit the bullet. I haven’t read graphic novels in ages, but this NSFW gem blew me away. I tore through it in two days. It’s rare that both the writing and artwork grab me, but this did it. Deep bow and “More please!” to Brian K. Vaughan (@briankvaughan), Fiona Staples (@fionastaples), and FONOGRAFIKS. Don’t let the page count scare you, as it moves quickly with the artwork. Think of it as a 150–175-page book.

[Published in the March 31st newsletter]

#14: YouTube summary I’m sharing with friends

A Massive Upgrade To ChatGPT! (This is Crazy).” This short summary of new ChatGPT features really underscores how explosively the scope of AI tools is expanding. It looks like ChatGPT could quickly become WeChat on steroids for the English-speaking world. Thanks to NP for sharing this.

[Published in the March 24th newsletter]

#15: What I’m reading

Why AI Won’t Cause Unemploymentby Marc Andreessen (@pmarca). Even if you don’t read this, take a second to look at the primary graph.

[Published in the April 21st newsletter]

#16: Magic trick I’m watching

Infinite Chocolate Bar Trick. Special thanks to Simon Coronel, world champion of magic, for making me aware of this.

[Published in the April 28th newsletter]

#17: Article I’m reading

How My Father and I Drew a New Life by Brian Frazer for The New York Times. This is a truly remarkable essay with lessons for all readers. Short and easy. If you’re having trouble accessing the essay at the above link, try this one.

[Published in the June 23rd newsletter]

#18: What I’m watching

The drawing advice that changed my life.” This video has great advice for anyone looking to expand their creativity. It also has pithy and powerful principles (alliteration!) for anyone looking to procrastinate less.

[Published in the May 26th newsletter]

#19: What I’m wearing for skiing and touring

ORTOVOX Merino Thermovent Hoody. From the description: “The HOODY is made of 99% fine merino wool. Thanks to the mesh structure in the torso and arm areas, this super-lightweight base layer wicks moisture away perfectly and provides ventilation. And the air pockets in the special structure make it particularly warm. Merino wool is naturally temperature- and moisture-regulating. A small pack size and ideal weight-to-warmth ratio will delight all tourers who value comfort and low weight.”

[Published in the January 27th newsletter]

#20: What I’m using for better sleep

Nayoya Acupressure Mat. This was originally introduced to me by acrobat phenom Andrii Bondarenko, but I’ve realized that the smaller portion intended for the neck is perfect for helping calm low-back stiffness and muscle spasms. I’ll lie on this for 5–10 minutes as I read before bed then ditch and go to sleep. It seems to substantially reduce tightness and discomfort throughout the night, and the neck-roll portion is much easier to pack for travel.
[Note: If the Nayoya mat is sold out (it’s popular!), you can find similar products online, like this mat from Sivan with 4.3/5 stars and 1900+ ratings.]

[Published in the August 25th newsletter]

#21: What I’m reading

How We Spend Our Days Is How We Spend Our Lives: Annie Dillard on Choosing Presence Over Productivityby Maria Popova (@brainpicker).

[Published in the May 12th newsletter]

#22: Comic book series I’m loving

Tokyo Ghost, written by Rick Remender, drawn by Sean Murphy, and colored by Matt Hollingsworth. Lazarus #1, written by Greg Rucka, drawn by Michael Lark, and colored by Santi Arcas. Reckless, written by Ed Brubaker, illustrated by Sean Phillips, and colored by Jacob Phillips. I posted the covers on Instagram for those who’d like to take a gander.

[Published in the May 12th newsletter]

#23: What I’m watching

Michael Jackson on Fire Diorama.” This is the best thing I’ve seen on the Internet in a looong time. Keep watching. It just gets weirder. Huge thanks to Oli for sending this to me. I have no idea how he tracked this down on a YouTube channel with five videos, but what a gift! First, you see an amazing craftsman, and then…

[Published in the April 7th newsletter]

#24: Short video that’s making me laugh

Letterkenny Problems Ep. 1.” This clip is only 90 seconds long and will offend at least 69% of you. Consider yourselves warned. Description: “Two good old boys from Letterkenny, Ontario, tell you their problems.” Hat tip to Dr. Montucky for this gem, which I needed in the midst of a serious week.

[Published in the March 17th newsletter]

#25: Article I’m reading

The four-hour workdayby Oliver Burkeman. Hat tip to Cal Newport for this one. I love Oliver’s perspective and writing style. From the essay: “Something I’ve long understood about myself is that whenever I get stressed about the number of things on my plate, or anxious about the challenges of a specific project, it’s an excellent idea to do the opposite of what comes naturally to me.” For a perfect pairing, also take a look at Parkinson’s Law, a satirical but practical concept I explored a lot in The 4-Hour Workweek.

[Published in the August 4th newsletter]

Want to see more? Take 10 seconds and sign up for 5-Bullet Friday here. Each Friday, you’ll get a short email of five bullets, sending you off to your weekend with fun and useful things to ponder and try. If you dislike it, it’s easy to unsub. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy.

The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 900 million downloads. It has been selected for “Best of Apple Podcasts” three times, it is often the #1 interview podcast across all of Apple Podcasts, and it’s been ranked #1 out of 400,000+ podcasts on many occasions. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.