Cultural Reads 39: Free Book Notes, Madagascan Music, Worldwide Strangers

Happy Tuesday All,

And welcome to the Cultural Reads Newsletter, with a bi-weekly book, music, and movie recommendations from all around the world.

In this week’s newsletter: Best Books 2022, New Year’s Resolutions, Madagascar, Ecuador & Free Book Notes

📚 Best International Books Of 2022

As we entered 2023, it’s time for a final revision.

What did I most enjoy reading?

Today, I’ll share my top 9 international books of 2022.

🎇 Why Your Resolutions Will Probably Fail

80% of New Year’s Resolutions fail.

Gym visits are highest in January and decrease afterward.

It’s likely that you will also fail to stick to what you promised yourself.

You’ll look back at 2023 and realize you didn’t achieve what you set out to do.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

You can achieve all of your goals over time.

Moreover, the method is easy and fun.

You can find out how in this post.

🎻 Rajery (Madagascar)

Rajery is a Valiha player from Madagascar.

The Valiha (or tube zither) is a bamboo instrument with strings that is as important to Madagascans as the Kora is to West Africans.

As a kid, Rajery lost his fingers on one hand. Kids at school used to make fun of him for wanting to play the Valiha because it typically requires two hands.

He still pursued playing the instrument and created a unique style.

Two of his best songs are Sola and Sinanon Saran.

📖 Free Book Notes

I always love reading other people’s book notes for new ideas and to see if books are worth the read.

Three fantastic resources I’d highly recommend are the notes from Derek Sivers, Nat Eliason, and Tiago Forte.

📕 The Queen of Water (Ecuador)

Anyone who’s been to Ecuador probably visited the artisanal Otavalo market.

Otavalo is home to many indigenous Ecuadorians working as traders, business people, and artisans.

Maria is one of these entrepreneurs, but her life started very differently.

At seven years old, her parents gave her to a wealthy family to work for free. It was a form of modern-day slavery.

Maria eventually found a way to educate herself, fled the household, and built her own future.

The Queen of Water is an incredibly inspiring story that shockingly reveals the very recent abuse underprivileged face.

📽️ Sense 8 (Worldwide)

Eight strangers find out they’re connected through some psychic link, which allows them to use each other’s knowledge, language, and skills.

They must master the skills quickly when they realize they’re in danger.

These eight people are from Chicago, London, Nairobi, Seoul, Mexico City, Mumbai, Berlin, and San Francisco.

Sense 8 is an exciting superhero series and a great way to get an insight into people’s daily lives in different countries.

You can find Sense 8 on Netflix.


💡 Short Book Takeaway 

Amateurs seek immediate gratification.

As soon as the (social media) buzz wears off, they are fearful again.

Pros focus on the long-term and their internal drive. 

Turning Pro – Steven Pressfield


➡️ Coming Up…

Get ready for the next newsletter with:

  • The Top 10 Best Pakistani Singers
  • How To Enjoy Amsterdam. Best Local Bars & Restaurants



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Cultural Reads