I’m about to take time out for my summer holidays. I like to fantasize about what I’ll get up to; that is, before reality hits and I end up doing admin, some DIY and vegging around. Here’s what would be on my fantasy list:
- “The Snowball: Warren Buffet and the Business of Life” by Alice Schroeder – the authorized biography of Warren Buffet. I never got round to reading it when it first came out, and I started it recently. I’m up to his teen years. So far I’ve learned Buffet was into numbers from a very young age, obsessed about making money and was bit of misfit (he shop-lifted).
- “Personal History” by Katharine Graham. Another life story,, this time of the owner turned editor of the Washington Post in the 1970s. I’m intrigued by the experience of an outsider in the jungle of journalism.
- “The Sorrows of Young Werther” by Goethe. I’m trying to brush up on my Goethe. I love Faust, but never read Geothe’s earlier bestseller. Apparently, it’s depressing, but I’ll balance it with my favourite movie podcast (see below)
- “Salt” – a recently launched magazine that focuses on business and making a difference to the world. I’m always on the look-out for new magazines – and this one is excellent. Other less well-known ones that I like are “Dumbo Feather”, “Huck” and “vna”. The latter two are great for creativity.
- “The Tim Ferris show” – the author of “The 4-Hour Work Week” and “The 4-Hour Body”. I love this podcast. Great interviews of high-performing individuals, and I always pick-up some great productivity tips
- “How Did This Get Made” – this podcast is for movie buffs and is quite mad. It’s essentially a group of comedians discussing why some of the worst movies ever got made (and why it makes them great). Movies like “The Island of Dr Moreau”, “Demolition Man” and of course “Sharknado 3”. A bit of light relief.
- “Pitch” – a great podcast giving the story behind different music and why it affects us.
My 18-year old nephew, Ahad, recommended a bunch of artists, and the below stand out:
- Caught a Ghost– a LA electro soul band. Plan to listen to their debut album “Human Nature”
- Soley– the latest Icelandic sensation. She’s a pianist and guitarist. Her music is kind of surreal. Will listen to her latest solo album: “Ask the Deep”
- Iron and Wine– His real name is Sam Beam. Often compared to Simon and Garfunkel. His latest album is “Sing Into My Mouth”
- Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation– I have a soft spot for Tom Cruise. The movie will be a mindless action extravaganza, but boy does Cruise do them well.
- Trainwreck– Amy Schumer is the biggest new star in the comedy world. She’s foul-mouthed, and leaves no topic untouched (especially men). Trainwreck is her first big film release. Looks good and will provide a nice offset to the testosterone overdose of Tom Cruise in Mission:Impossible
- Humans– this AMC/Channel 4 TV show on a world with human-like robots has me addicted. Great acting, great story and deep (at what point does consciousness start?!)
- Yin Yoga – a slower and deeper style of yoga, where you hold poses for 5 minutes or more. I feel it’s a good time for me to start practicing yin yoga (lots of upper body tension). I’ll follow the Kidney/Urinary Bladder poses in Sarah Powers “Insight Yoga” book (p.48).
- Mindful listening/observation – I’ve been experimenting with different types of meditation and mindfulness techniques (from using mantras to focusing on the breath). The one that seems to work is when I mindfully listen and observe things around me. If I get engaged in thought I focus on my breathing to bring me back to mindfulness. I’ve been trying this on my tube ride every morning. I’ll try it for longer each day while I’m on holiday.