The Best I Read: January 2022

Ashley Simon
4 min readFeb 4, 2022


To say it’s been month would be to concede that months are no longer than 31 days, and I’m not ready to concede that because January was definitely, absolutely, without question, 150 days. I don’t care what the calendar or your astrologist says. I’ve been Covid-quarantined with my family of four — two of us under 3 years old — for 90.5 clock hours and approx 1,000 real human hours. Which is to say, I’m insane.

Anyway, want my bleary-eyed advice on what to read? Yes! I thought so. Here we go.


The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman

I somehow managed to read a couple of books this month — most higher-brow than this one — but this novel is about a group of kooky British octogenarians solving murders from the comfort of their upscale retirement community, and the rest are not, so clearly it wins. Four mischievous seniors meet in the Jigsaw Room (can’t make it up) to investigate unsolved crimes every week (Thursday, natch), and at some point fairly early in the book this harmless but definitely very weird pastime goes 100 percent off the rails. A dude is bludgeoned to death, there are some other murders, cute old folks fall in love, many MANY cocktails of the old-timey sort are had, and crimes are solved. It’s a rollicking whodunit and charming as hell.


The Talented Dr. Gray by Steve Kroft and Howard L. Rosenberg for Airmail

“This does not fit the profile of your average jewel thief, unless, that is, Gray had been living multiple lives, which now seems at least a possibility. Unbeknownst to the court, this was not the first time the professor has been suspected of theft.”

Let’s transition from fictional crime of the semi-plausible variety to real crime of the bonkers variety. Join Steve Kroft and Howard Rosenberg for a windy but well-reported tale about a patrician professor who was maybe (definitely) stealing jewels and priceless art from his fancy friends. Except the thing is, no one seemed to like him to begin with, which makes it all the more tragic. Imagine feeling obligated to invite a pretentious bore to your dinner party only to find out later that he stole the vibe and the Seurat?

My first impressions of Web 3 by Moxie Marlinspike

“Given the history of why web1 became web2, what seems strange to me about web3 is that technologies like ethereum have been built with many of the same implicit trappings as web1. To make these technologies usable, the space is consolidating around… platforms.”

WEB3 WEB3 WEB3. Friends, until I read this blog post, I didn’t really know what Web3 was/is/wants to be. There are a lot of buzzwords but not a lot of consensus on Web3 — ideological or practical — which makes it challenging to follow the plot. Even though there is a lot of smart nerd language in this post that I don’t totally grok, I got his main points, and they’re important. They’re important because Web3 and it’s buzzy offspring (Crypto, NFTs) are part of the fabric of our culture now, and they are being wielded and weaponized by some of the most powerful among us — so pay attention, and know when to get excited and when to call B.S.

A Love that Reminds You of Nothing by Carvell Wallace on Medium

Sometimes I miss you so deeply that I miss myself.

Every time I read a piece by Carvell Wallace he dislodges something tender in me. I encourage you to soak up everything he’s ever written, but if you only have 4 minutes, this is a good place to start.

What Do Aaron Rodgers and Shailene Woodley ‘Agree to Disagree’ About? by Rachel Handler for The Cut

In 2014, [Woodley] quite famously told Into the Gloss that she “suns” her vagina, something I have since attempted to incorporate into my own lifestyle without going to prison. But it was in Flaunt magazine where she went one Goop step further, sharing, “I make my own medicines; I don’t get those from doctors. It’s an entire lifestyle. It’s appealing to my soul.” She reiterated as much to WebMD, the medical database for people who strive to develop anxiety disorders, stating that she leads “an extremely alternative lifestyle” and follows “a form of thinking based upon the Wise Woman Tradition.” (The Wise Woman Tradition, according to its website, was founded by a woman named Susun Weed who “has no official diplomas of any kind; she left high school in her junior year to pursue studies in mathematics and artificial intelligence at UCLA and she left college in her junior year to pursue life.”)

I laughed at least 10 times reading this article. Also this photo. Just read it.



Ashley Simon

I’m from the Midwest, which means I think the food pyramid is a giant cheese wedge. Director of Product Marketing at Medium.