Cultural Reads 73: Letter to Younger Self, Puma Years & Jazz

Good morning,

And welcome to the Cultural Reads Newsletter with worldwide book, music, and movie recommendations.

In today’s newsletter: Jazz Albums, Books like Sapiens, Maya Way, Letter to Younger Self, 12th Fail & Puma Years.

๐ŸŽ™๏ธ Best Jazz Albums (Worldwide)

Twenty years ago, my high school teacher had something to show us. He opened YouTube and typed, “Miles Davis Kind of Blue.”

It completely blew me away, and I became a huge jazz fan. So now it’s my turn to pass the baton.

Here are 10 of the best jazz albums ever made, including music from Ethiopia, Brazil, Tunisia, Japan, and more.

๐Ÿ“• 8 Books Like Sapiens

Did you like Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari?

It’s one of the most popular books of the 21st century, with over 20 million copies sold, and it changed my worldview entirely.

I started looking for similar books, which resulted in this post with 8 books like Sapiens. If you liked Sapiens, you will surely enjoy these, too!

๐Ÿ“ฝ๏ธ Letter to My Younger Self

What’s going on in the minds of top athletes and famous sports players?

A Letter to my Younger Self is one of my favorite ways to find out.

This website features letters from sports legends to their younger selves, giving you a unique insight into their world and wisdom.

Some of my favorites are Pelรฉ, Ronaldinho, Buffon, Derek Jeter, Ray Allen, David Robinson, and Kobe Bryant.

โ˜€๏ธ The Maya Way (Mexico)

Did you know that the Maya are still alive?

They have a population of 9 million in Mexico and preserved ancient wisdom that can change your worldview.

In Mexico, I made an American friend whom a Maya family adopted. He spends much time with them and started sharing his lessons in his newsletter, The Maya Way.

I highly recommend checking it out if you want some unique insights!

๐Ÿฟ 12th Fail (India)

Get ready for the latest Bollywood blockbuster with a whopping 9/10 on IMDB!

12th Fail tells the real-life story of Manoj Kumar Sharma, who’s trying to become a high-ranking police officer in India.

He’s competing with 200,000 Indians for 20-30 spots, and being from a poor rural area, he’ll have to teach himself while working around the clock. Will he make it?

The movie reminded me of meeting Indian Forbes 30 Under 30, Raju Kendre, and his organization Eklavya, which helps Indians from poor rural areas access higher education.

๐Ÿ“™ The Puma Years (Bolivia/UK)

In 2007, the British Laura Coleman embarked on an adventure in the Bolivian jungle, volunteering for an animal shelter.

Little did she know that this trip would turn her life upside down after she fell in love with a majestic puma named Wayra.

She takes you on a rollercoaster of emotions in this beautiful and brutally honest memoir. One moment, you’re enjoying the idyllic Amazon forest, and the next, you’re getting attacked by a big cat.

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