A Random San Diego Encounter

    Finished reading πŸ“š: Written With Colors Drawn With Words by Al Nashashibi.

    A few months ago I was in San Diego on vacation with my brother - not my favorite trip as I got sick during it. One of our last nights there, I was tasked with finding a place to eat and came across Fairouz Cafe - an off the path mediterranean cafe that looked tasty that particular evening.

    Upon arriving we were greeted by a quaint, family owned cafe. The food was delicious, but the owner was captivating. A humble man from Jerusalem who was a former lawyer. He was friendly and the conversation was fun and engaging. Adorning the walls of the cafe are paintings created by the owner, and across the counter are books he has written - novels and poetry books. The book I grabbed was his first poetry book he wrote after his wife passed away.

    This captivating man and his stories are what I love most about traveling. A chance encounter at a hole in the wall restaurant turned into a fascinating evening of conversation with a complete stranger. This book of poems is captivating and moving - I’ll be the first to admit though that I am not an avid poetry reader. Some of the poems are heart wrenching, about the loss of his wife. Others are funny and charming. If you are ever in San Diego, it is worth the trip to engage with a fascinating human being.

    Finished reading πŸ“š: The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell

    Finished reading πŸ“š: Babel by R.F. Kuang.
    Took me a while to get into this book, but I’m glad I stuck with it. A challenging novel about colonialism and how language is used as a tool of empire. I quite enjoyed it after the first ~20% or so.

    Great quote. I miss reading. Need to prioritize it this week.

    We must read because it is the only way to truly know what it feels like to be in someone else’s mind.

    Finished reading πŸ“š: The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living by Ryan Holiday.

    A great intro to Stoicism. I recommend reading it daily, as it leaves you with time to reflect and ponder as he intended it to be read.

    Finished reading πŸ“š: Where the Deer and the Antelope Play by Nick Offerman

    This book is not very good. It’s too many differing ideas interspersed amongst each other. I was very disappointed and confused reading from chapter to chapter.

    Finished reading πŸ“š: Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion by Sam Harris

    I disliked the majority of this. But, by the end, some of Sam’s points come into focus. This is a challenging book to read, and one I do not recommend unless you have a great interest in the mind and science.

    Finished readingπŸ“š: Golden Son (Red Rising Series Book 2) by Pierce Brown.

    Golden Son is another riveting triumph in the Red Rising series. Just as captivating as the first book - full of twists and turns and engrossing you in this lush world that Pierce Brown has crafted.

    Finished reading πŸ“š: The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph by Ryan Holiday

    An inspiring and approachable call to action. This book found me at the right time in my life, and hope that it spurs the change I am seeking.

    Finished reading πŸ“š: Sword of Power by Oliver PΓΆtzsch.

    Not as fun as the first book for me. Still interesting and full of surprises and twists. Oliver’s books are all roughly the same formula, but if you like that, then you will have a good time.

    Finished reading: Run by Blake Crouch πŸ“š

    A dystopian-esque thriller about survival and a family on the brink of ruin. Some fun sci-fi elements, and a compelling love story.

    Finished reading: Light Years from Home by Mike Chen πŸ“š

    An interesting story of family drama and problems with a intergalactic alien war side plot. While I love my alien stories, I got more out of this book from the family problems side. Reminded me to reach out to those we love and remember you never really know what they’re going through, even if they’re your family.

    Finished reading πŸ“š: Book of the Night by Oliver PΓΆtzsch.

    A fun, rambunctious adventure with magic and all the cliches of the Three Musketeers.

    Finished reading πŸ“š: Upgrade by Blake Crouch

    I’m a big fan of Blake Crouch’s Dark Matter. It remains one of my favorite books and fastest book I have ever read. It engulfed me entirely and I adored its every word.

    Upgrade is worthy of similar praise. Blake Crouch’s ability to deliver the scientific breakdown of concepts rivals Andy Weir’s. What separates these two author’s is that Blake Crouch’s storytelling is masterful. Upgrade is a wonderful sci-fi thriller that will keep you guessing. It is inherently human in its themes, and totally relevant to the 21st century’s problems. I was hooked from the start and heartbroken by the end for Logan Ramsey.

    Finished reading πŸ“š: His Majesty’s Airship by S.C. Gwynne

    A book that puts me in awe of the folly of man amidst insurmountable odds and scientific facts that were ignored in favor of political gain. Gwynne is a masterful storyteller in this story about aviation, airships, and man’s stupidity.

    Finished reading πŸ“š: Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson

    This is an epic filled with everything I want in a fiction book - character development, high stakes, twists and turns, and a deeper meaning. It’s giving me Dune vibes, in that I’m not sure the sequels can add more to the story.

    Currently reading (listening to the audiobook) πŸ“š: The Creative Act by Rick Rubin.

    This quote floored me. I’m so humbled and encoruaged by this. This book is warming up to me, and Rubin does a great job narrating.

    Look for what you notice, but no one else sees.

    Finished reading πŸ“š: Pronto by Elmore Leonard.

    This is the first book that the series Justified is based on. Not what I was expecting, but I still enjoyed it. I think I’ll like the subsequent ones in the series more though.

    Finished reading πŸ“š: Red Rising (Red Rising Series Book 1) by Pierce Brown.

    The world Pierce Brown crafts is robust, full of details, and political intrigue. It is a cross between Dune and A Song of Ice and Fire in many ways. Highly recommend.

    Finished reading πŸ“š: How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us about Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence by Michael Pollan

    I’ve always been fascinated by this topic. Pollan approaches it in a scientific yet understandable way.

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