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: Music from Pakistan & Ethiopia, Amsterdam Tips, Chinese Science Fiction & Worldwide Toys
Sometimes you hear something so new and different that it’s difficult to form an opinion.
It then grows on you until you can’t get enough of it.
That’s what happened when I discovered these top 10 Pakistani singers.
My favorites are videos #1, #3, and #4.
Some 5 million tourists visit Amsterdam each year.
The city has a lot to offer, but it isn’t easy to know where to go.
You stroll around for hours, looking for an affordable, tourist-free restaurant.
That’s why I asked my friends from Amsterdam to share their best bars, coffee spots, and restaurants.
The result is this list for both tourists and locals.
Teddy Afro is one of the most significant Ethiopian artists of all time.
He’s known for picking controversial political topics such as government corruption. For this reason, some of his songs have been banned, but it didn’t decrease his popularity.
His songs are a mix of reggae, traditional Ethiopian styles, and pop music.
My favorite song is Demo Be Abay.
Recently, I spoke to an American entrepreneur who had sold his company to Google and taken a 3-year sabbatical.
I asked him if he could recommend a book that greatly influenced him.
His answer was The 3-Body Problem by Cixin Liu.
This trilogy starts during China’s Cultural Revolution with a scientist contacting an alien civilization and continues billions of years into the future.
The scientist assumed that extraterrestrial life would be friendly, only to learn the truth later.
The book is so popular that Netflix and two Chinese TV Channels are making a series about it.
I love movies that are big enough for mainstream cinemas but alternative enough for independent theaters.
You know they’ll be more interesting than most Hollywood blockbusters, yet also entertaining because of their budget.
Both make fun of the super-rich, The Menu as a thriller and Triangle of Sadness as a hilarious comedy.
What we see as death, empty space, or nothingness is only the trough between the crests of this endlessly waving ocean.
It is all part of the illusion that there should seem to be something to be gained in the future and that there is an urgent necessity to go on and on until we get it.
Yet just as there is no time but the present and no one except the all-and-everything, there is never anything to be gained—though the zest of the game is to pretend that there is.
The Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are – Alan Watts