Cultural Reads 77: Dutch Rock, How We Feel & Impact Investing

Good morning, 

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

In today’s newsletter: Mexican Books, Coming-of-Age Movies, Duttch Rock, How We Feel, The Sympathizer & Impact Investing Books. 

📗 Mexican Books

Mexican literature is often overlooked despite the country having one of the highest cultural densities in the world. 

That’s why I wanted to share the 10 best Mexican books today!

We selected the ones that make it most accessible to learn more about the country and its culture. 

🎞️ Coming of Age Movies

Are you a movie fan?

Then, how about the coming-of-age genre? Today, I’m sharing 11 of the best coming-of-age movies

It includes the most famous Hollywood movies and some unknown international dimes!

🍿 The Sympathizer (Vietnam)

One of the best Vietnamese books of all time is The Sympathizer, about a Vietnamese double agent’s divided loyalties during the Vietnam War.

After winning the  Pulitzer Prize, the book was recently turned into a TV series. You can watch it on HBO Max!

🌍 How We Feel

How do you feel at each time of the day? How does sleep and sports influence this?

Find out with How We Feel. This app helps you express your feelings beyond I’m good, stressed, or tired.

By expressing your emotions more eloquently, you’ll gain better insight into how you feel and what might cause those feelings.

🎵 Herman Brood (Netherlands)

Although most know Dutch music because of DJs like Tiesto, Armin van Buuren, and Afrojack), the Netherlands also produced some excellent rock music, like the Golden Earring and Herman Brood.

The latter was everything you’d expect from a rock star: classic rock songs like Saturday Night, heavy drug use, and, unfortunately, even his tragic death after jumping from the Hilton hotel in Amsterdam. 

Brood remains iconic in Dutch art and music and is celebrated for his paintings, musical innovation, and rebellious spirit.

📙 9 Impact Investing Books

I spent several years in the impact investing sector and read many books on the topic. 

If you want to do anything related to finance and doing good, I suggest you check out the following books. 

1. Banker to the Poor by Mohammad Yunus. Yunus is the founding father of microfinance and the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize winner. This biography tells his story and how the sector started.

2. The End of Poverty. by Jeffrey D Sachs. Columbia professor Sachs shares a strategy to eliminate poverty by 2025. It has some flaws and led to criticism (see #3 and #4).

3. Dead Aid by Dambisa Moyo. Moyo is a Zambian who worked for the World Bank and Goldman in NYC. Her book takes the opposite stance and gives 5 reasons why aid failed.

4. Poor Economics by Esther Duflo and Abhijit Banerjee is one of my favorite books. The authors introduced the use of science to test humanitarian aid instead of discussing it with little proof. They also won the Nobel Prize.

5. 80,000 Hours by Benjamin Todd. Your career consists of 80,000 hours. How will you use it for something good? It gives 3 options: (1) work commercially and donate >10%, (2) work in science, (3) work on something meaningful. The book also shares a scientific approach to donating.

6. Factfulness by Hans Rosling shows that the world is doing much better than we think, but positive and slow progress doesn’t make the news. It made me realize my worldview was outdated based on what I learned in school 15+ years ago. 

7. Open Veins of Latin America by Eduardo Galeano. This book is the key to understanding South America’s history and dynamics if you work with Latin America. 

8. The Culture Map by Erin Meyer offers a framework with 8 categories to help you navigate cultural differences. It shows how your country compares to others regarding things like agreeing, communicating, and leading.

9. Ministry for the Future by Kim Stanley Robinson falls into the science-fiction genre but may actually be a highly realistic story about what the future will look like due to climate change. 

Do you have any favorites? If so, please share them!

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