Art is not a mirror held up to reality, but a hammer with which to shape it.
- Bertolt Brecht.


Personal websites seem so old-fashioned these days, in the post-Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram era. It's almost like putting a message in a bottle and tossing it into the Pacific—a bit about me, a few dusty photographs, things I wrote a couple decades ago. But I'm reviving my personal oasis, as a way for people to find out a bit about me, and a place for me to store what I hope will be an increasing trove of writing.

What I'm up to...

The past 15 months have been uneventful, which is a good thing considering what most events were. I spent a ton of time scribbling essays (Hugo House went on Zoom) and 70,000 words or so for a memoir (NaNoWriMo winner) and reading or listening to audiobooks -- mostly philosophy, astrophysics, and psychology. Including several folks I disagree with, but you don't learn as much from the ones on your team.

I've also become obsessed with hiking and camping this summer and spent what I spent on my Sedona / Grand Canyon trip on a pile of gear. My summer goal is to get dusty, wet, and sunburned for three months straight. I'm spending evenings doing inexplicable things like watching 30-minute YouTube videos on how to tie fancy knots. You know, for my new hammock that I'll tie between two old-growth trees somewhere 200 miles outside of Seattle and 3,000 feet above sea level. I got my microspikes and trekking poles in the mail in June. Wilderness, brace yourself. Bape is coming. 

Click for list of current, recent, and upcoming books.

Books I'm Reading

Friedrich Nietzsche - Beyond Good and Evil
Richard Dawkins - The Blind Watchmaker
Stephen Fry - The Fry Chronicles
Stephen Greenblatt - The Swerve
Fyodor Dostoeveky - Crime & Punishment

Books I've Finished Lately

Max Tegmark - Our Mathematical Universe
Viktor Frankl - Yes In Spite of Everything, Man's Search for Meaning
Sam Harris - Making Sense, Waking Up, The Moral Landscape
Jonathan Haidt - The Righteous Mind, The Happiness Hypothesis, The Coddling of the American Mind
Steven Pinker - Enlightenment Now
Yuval Noah Harari - Sapiens, 21 Lessons for the 21st Century
Roger Scruton - Conservatism: An Invitation to the Great Tradition
Oliver Sachs - On the Move, Musicophilia
Tara Westover - Educated
Stephen Greenblatt - Will in the World
Jordan Peterson - 12 Rules of Life, Maps of Meaning
Brian Greene - The Elegant Universe, Until the End of Time
Stephen Fry - The Ode Less Traveled
Richard Dawkins - The God Delusion
Gretchen Rubin - The Happiness Project
Karen Armstrong - The History of God
Lawerence Kraus - A Universe from Nothing
Neil DeGrasse Tyson - The Sky Is Not the Limit

Ben Shapiro - The Right Side of History

Books On Deck

Steven Pinker - Better Angels of Our Nature, Blank Slate, The Language Instinct
Sam Harris - Free Will, The End of Faith, Lying, Letter to a Christian Nation
Richard Dawkins - The God Delusion
Neil DeGrasse Tyson - Death By Black Hole
Charles Taylor - A Secular Age
Paul Strathern - Thomas Aquinas in 90 Minutes
Bertrand Russell - A History of Western Philosophy, Why I Am Not a Christian
Alain De Botton - Religion for Atheists, book on Happiness
Brian Greene - The Fabric of the Cosmos
Yuval Noah Harari - Homo Deus
Emile Durkheim - The Elementary Forms of Religious Life
Immanuel Kant - A Critique of Pure Reason
Schopenhauer - The World as Will and Representation
Carlo Rovelli - The Order of Time
Seb Falk - The Light Ages (medieval science)
Russell Kirk - The Conservative Mind, From Burke to Santayana
Gilles Deleuze, Hugh Tomlinson - Nietzsche and Philosophy (Columbia Classics in Philosophy)
Stanley Rosen - The Mask of Enlightenment (Nietzsche)
John Mark Alexander Green - Atheopaganism: An Earth-honoring path rooted in science
Richard Polt - Heidegger: An Introduction

Thanks to working from home, I've also developed a three-hour morning routine that includes 45 minutes of writing (morning pages, for those familiar), 30 minutes of meditation, and 45 minutes of exercise. Then I put on KEXP. I love it.

A few older writing pieces...

Puccini's Piano Speaks

An essay

I took a class on writing experimental essays this summer at Hugo House, which hosts writing events, classes, and writers in residence in Capitol Hill, Seattle. This one played with point of view, and is from the perspective of an inanimate object—legendary opera composer Giaccomo Puccini's piano. I'm looking forward to seeing La Bohème this season.

Hell on Wheels

LA Weekly

Found an old article on the joy of having my lemon of a car stolen.

Neutral Milk Hotel

No Ripcord

Old piece on my favorite short-lived and much-mythologized band.

Seattle Arts Subscriptions
Some girls love shoes.
I save my pennies for the arts.

These were my subs for the 2019-2020 season (top six), and a few others I attended regularly before the Global Plague. Ninety percent were cancelled, but hopefully things will reopen in 2022.

Pacific Northwest Ballet
Seattle Shakespeare Company
Paramount Theatre (through STG)
Book It! Repertory
ACT Theatre
Seattle Opera

Town Hall Seattle
Seattle Art Museum
Hugo House
SIFF Cinema
Annex Theatre
Theatre off Jackson
Seattle Rep
5th Ave Theatre
Seattle Symphony
The Showbox


Now that I'm working out and don't need the volume up (love this Metabolic 360 modularized workout), I listen to a ton of podcasts in the morning -- mostly on physics, AI, philosophy, consciousness, brain science, and the arts. A few favorites: Sam Harris's Making Sense, Lex Fridman, Eric Weinstein's The Portal, On Being with Krista Tippet, Absolutely Mental with Sam Harris and Ricky Gervais, Poetry Unbound (from On Being, with Pádraig Ó Tuama), Hidden Brain, TED Talks Daily, The Dr. and the DJ (KEXP DJ John Richards and his wife Amy), Jordan Peterson, The Science of Happiness, Sean Carroll's Mindscape, Neil deGrasse Tyson's Star Talk Radio, The Experiment (from The Atlantic), Live on KEXP and KEXP Song of the Day

What I'm Reading Online

I've subscribed to and, which are my reads on the bus. Medium is a platform from the creator of Blogger and Twitter, where anyone can publish their work, from fiction and poetry to journalism and essays. Brain Pickings is the dozen-year-old child of Bulgarian-born Maria Popova, who single-handedly pens and packages the articles and art each week around a theme. Her knowledge of art, philosophy, literature, science, culture, history, religion, music, psychology, and anything else you can imagine is astounding.

All materials copyright 2021 by Kristin Fiore.