💪 Books & Biceps Issue 182

Your 5-Minute Brain and Body Flex

Every Friday I write an email recommending books & workouts including regular exclusive interviews with your favorite authors. Join thousands of readers and get smarter & stronger for free.


The Bomber Mafia: A Dream, A Temptation, and the Longest Night of the Second World War by Malcolm Gladwell

Many of you have been watching Olympic gymnastics and diving this week so you’re familiar with the concept of “degree of difficulty” when trying to execute a move on the high bar or pommel horse or whatever. When it comes to books, some stories have a higher degree of difficulty than others. Gladwell’s new book, The Bomber Mafia, is like an author attempting a quadruple, double twist thing in a pike position that the announcer says is “incredibly hard”.

These are the elements that Gladwell expertly weaves together in his new book: pyromaniac Harvard chemists, a Dutch genius with a computer he built himself, a madman from Great Britain, dudes from Alabama, the Air Force, the Navy, meteorology, and more…all against the backdrop of World War II and a decision to try the unthinkable to prevent the disastrous.

It’s a fast, casual read, written in Gladwell’s great storytelling style, which is perfect because it offsets the incredibly difficult moral dilemma the decision-makers faced and the horrible stakes at hand. An interesting, smart summer read.


I rewatched a good part of Predator the other night and it reminded me that I put this wonderful home workout together inspired by Arnold and Carl and the boys. Unless the CIA’s got you pushing too many pencils, give this a try one morning:


10 Minute Warm-Up Jog

50 Jumping Jacks

50 Bear Crawls (Walk with just hands and toes on the ground –

5 steps forward and then 5 steps back up to 50)

50 Mountain Climbers

50 Thrusters (holding a heavy hardcover book in each hand)

25 Standing High Jumps

25 Paper Towel Hops Sideway (Hop over a roll of paper towels at your side – over and back equals 1)

25 Paper Towel Hops Front-to-Back (Hop over a roll of paper towels in front of you, then back behind you – over and back equals 1)

25 Bicycle Kick Crunches (elbows touch opposite knee)

25 Swimming Kicks (leg lifts alternating knee)

25 Burpees



“I ain’t got time to bleed.” - Sgt. Blain (Jesse Ventura)


Your dog loves sticks. My dog loves sticks. When she REALLY likes a stick she brings it onto the couch outside and places it on a pillow. I grabbed this picture of her sitting there, all proud of herself for finding a high quality stick.

In case you missed it, Reebok is releasing a set of Jurassic Park-themed shoes and they’re cool on their own, but somebody in marketing and design deserves a raise because they created a shoebox to look like Dennis Nedry’s famous Barbasol can. Look at this it’s incredible.

And unless you live under a rock, you know that The Rock has a new Jungle Cruise movie coming out this week. Me and my buddies over on Meathead Twitter tried to figure out how, exactly, Rock could stay all jacked up living on a crappy boat in the middle of the jungle. An enjoyable twitter thread ensued.

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