Novels and Stories

  • The Three-Body Problem (Cixin Liu, Translated by Ken Liu): “The kind of civilization you yearn for once existed on Trisolaris too. They had free, democratic societies, and they left behind rich cultural legacies. You know barely anything about them. Most details have sealed away and forbidden from view. But in all the cycles of Trisolarian civilization, this type of civilization was the weakest and most short-lived. A modes Chaotic Era disaster was enough to extinguish them. Look again at the Earth civilization that you wish to save. A society born and bred in the eternal spring of a beautiful hothouse would not be able to survive even a million Trisolarian hours if it were transplanted here.”
  • Swell. A Sailing’s Surfer’s Voyage of Awakening (Liz Clark): “I’ve fallen countless times, only to rise again, cloaked in new strength, and determined to find my way to a mental horizon of unlimted potential again. I have wrinkles around my eyes and sunspots splotch my skin, but I feel beautiful. I still have little money in the bank. I only own three pairs of shoes, all of my clothing can fit in one duffel bag, and I still flush my toilet with a hand pump – but I feel rich. I have spent the most energetic years of my life testing my physical, mental, and emotional capacities in pursuit of a dream. I have do it on a blank canvas, in a variety of backdrops, and with more time than most. We all deserve this kind of chance to spread our wings and learn to fly.  I have proven to myself , that with plenty of hard work, choosing love will never lead to lack. It takes courage, but once the decision is made, doors open that seemed forever shut. Walking through them feels hopeful, exhilarating, and full or purpose. I am not the best sailor or the best surfer, or the most credentialed at anything, but chasing my dream has taught me that fulfillment and self-love don’t come from being “the best”. They come from pursuing our passions and connecting to our own spirits, communities, and world. Being the best, or richest, or strongest, or sexiest – without feeling connected – doesn’t sound heavenly at all. The times I’ve stepped on people to reach the top, the view was chilling and lonely. Connection brings me the most joy. It is communion in a wink from a resting tern a thousand miles from land, and comfort in a shared laughter that transcends language barriers. It is the gratitude felt for a tree that offers shade, and high-five with a stranger in the lineup. It’s noticing the signs and going with my gut, feeling Swell in perfet trim or making it out of a deep tube. A momentary meeting of eyes that needs no words. The first bite of a hard-earned meal. A transcendent moment of meditation. It is feeling sorry for the barnacle that must be scraped off the rudder, long-distance video calls with my sister, and earning Amelia’s trust. It’s picking up a kid who’s fallen down with the gentleness of his own mother, and the dignity that follows small victories in self-improvement. These are moments that make me feel close to the Great Spirit that unites us all. Bugs and beauty queens, immigrants and indigenous, rich and poor, furry and scaled; we are all struggling, striving, loving, and breathing on this green-and-blue ship flying through space- each with a purpose that combines to form the incomprehensibly beautiful mandala of our collective meaning. Feeling closer to every being that struggles in the coarser, chillier, riper, naked more startling layers of existence has made the whole planet feel like home. I stop occasionally to pick up scattered chip bags, plastic forks, and empty bottles along the shore, as the sun touches down on the horizon. It doesn’t matter that it isn’t my trash; it’s my Earth. And that’s the beauty of Oneness: Love has no borders.”
  • The Enchantress of Florence (Salman Rushdie): “It was important not to offend against the laws of magic. If a woman left you it was because someone else cast a stronger enchantment than yours, or else because your marriage was cursed in such a way that it cut ties of love between husband and wife. Why did So- and so rather than such and such enjoy success in his business? Because he visited the right enchanter. There was a thing in the emperor that rebelled against all this flummery, for was it not that kind of infantilization of the self to give up one’s power of agency and believe that such power resided outside oneself rather than within? This was also his objection to God, that his existence deprived human beings of the right to form ethical structures by themselves.  But magic was all around and would not be denied, and it would be a rash ruler who pooh-poohed it. Religion could be rethought, re-examined, remade, perhaps even discarded; magic was impervious to such assaults. This, finally, was why the story of Qara Koz had so easily possessed the imaginatino of the people of Sikri (and Florence). She had taken her magic, “their magic”, into other worlds, worlds with their own occultism, and her sorcery had proved more potent than theirs. Her sorcery. Which not even he, the emperor, could resist.”
  • Midnight’s Children (Salman Rushdie)
  • The Zanzibar Chest (Aidan Hartley): “When the pictures were shown in Addis Ababa, it helped the tide of the revolution that toppled the medieval dictatorship of Emperor Haile Selassie. Back on the plains of Bati Dad sat down by himself. “The camps lie broken down on hill and plain, /skulls, bones and horns remain”, he wrote. “No shouts, no songs of fighting, or of love, /But from the bare thorn tree above, /So sadly calls the mourning dove”, “… Was this your ravaged land, /The work of God, or was it Man’s own hand? For me this just about sums up what happened all over Africa in the twentieth century”. An amazing book of a reporter traveling, living and telling the story of Africa in the 80s, 90s, and 2000s. Live traveling and reporting through the region.
  • Mexico Negro (Francisco Martin Moreno
  • Barbarian Days. A Surfing Life (William Finegan)
  • Indignation (Philip Roth)
  • The Plot Against America (Philip Roth)
  • Foundation (Isaac Asimov)
  • Forward the Foundation (Isaac Asimov)
  • La Caverna (Jose Saramago)
  • Collected Fictions (Jorge Luis Borges)

Business and Econonomics

  • Thinking Fast and Slow (Daniel Kahneman)
  • Misbehaving (Richard H. Thaler).
  • Small is Beautiful. Economics as if People Mattered (E.F Schumacher)
  • Drive. The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us (Daniel H. Pink)
  • Degrowth. A Vocabulary for a New Era (Giorgos Kallis)
  • Predictibly Irrational (Dan Ariely)
  • Nudge. Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth and Happiness (Richard H. Thaler)
  • Let my people go surfing (Yvon Chouinard)
  • The responsible company (Yvon Chouinard and Vincent Stanley)
  • Platform Revolution (Geoffrey G. Parker)
  • Zero to One (Peter Thiel)
  • Without their Permission. How the 21st Century Will be Made, Not Managed (Alexis Ohanian)
  • How to Win Friends and Influence People (Dale Carnegie)
  • Failing in the Field. What we can learn when field research goes wrong (Dean Karlan)
  • The Lean Startup (Eric Ried)
  • The Ascent of Money (Niall Ferguson)
  • Economics Unmasked (Philip B. Smith & Manfred Max Neef)
  • Marx’s Ecology (John Bellamy Foster)
  • The Bridge at the Edge of the World. Capitalism, the Environment and Crossing from Crisis to Sustainability (James Gustave Speth)

Current Events and History

  • The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind (William Kamkwamba)
  • The Wildness Within. Remembering David Browher
  • Breve Historia de Centroamerica (Hector Perez Brignoli)
  • Sparking a Worldwide Energy Revolution (Kolya Abramsky)
  • Historia de la America Central (Jose Milla)
  • Here I Am. The Story of Tim Hetherington, War Photographer (Alan Huffman)
  • Cadillac Desert. The American West and its Dissapearing Water (Marc Reisner)
  • El Cartel Negro (Ana Lilia Perez)
  • Water Follies. Groundwater Pumping and the Fate of Americas Freshwaters (Robert Glennon)
  • The Conquest of Nature (David Blackbourn)

Data, Science and Technology

  • Factfulness. Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World and Why Things Are Better Than You Think (Hans Rosling): “Could everyone have a fact-based worldview one day? Big change is always difficult to imagine. But it is definitely possible, and I think it will happen, for two simple reasons. First: a fact-based worldview is more useful for navigating life, just like an accurate GPS is more useful for finding your way in the city. Second, and probably more important: a fact-based worldview is more comfortable. It creates less stress and hopelessness than the dramatic worldview, simply because the dramatic one is so negative and terrifying. When we have a fact-based worldview, we can see that the world is not as bad as it seems – and we can see what we have to do to keep making it better”. Factfulness rules of thumb: 1. Gap: Look for the majority, 2. Negativity: Expect bad news, 3. Straight Line: Lines might bed, 4. Fear: Calculate the risks, 5. Size: Get things in proportion, 6. Generalization: Question your categories, 7. Destiny: Slow change is till change, 8. Single: Get a tool box, 9. Blame: Resist pointing your finger, 10. Urgency: Take small steps.
  • Reality Mining. Using Big Data to Engineer a Better World (Nathan Eagle and Kate Greene)

Activism and Spirituality

  • Rules for Radicals (Saul D. Alinsky)
  • The Art of Happiness (Dalai Lama and Howard C. Cutler)
  • Being the Change (Peter Kalmus)
  • Mating in Captivity (Esther Perel): “Love enjoys everything about you; desire needs mystery. Love likes to shrink the distance that exists between me and you, while desire is energized by it. If intimacy grows through repetition and familiarity, eroticism is numbed by repetition. It thrives on the mysterious, the novel, and the unexpected. Love is about having; desire is about wanting. An expression of longing, desire requires ongoing elusiveness. It is less concerned with where it has already been that passionate about where it can still go. But too often couples settle into the comforts of love, they cease to fan the flame of desire. They forget that fire needs air”.
  • Uncivilization (Paul Kingsnorth and Dougald Hine): “This, then, is Uncivilised writing. Human, inhuman, stoic and entirely natural. Humble, questioning, suspicious of the big idea and the easy answer. Walking the boundaries and reopening old conversations. Apart but engaged, its practitioners always willing to get their hands dirty; aware, in fact, that dirt is essential; that keyboards should be tapped by those with soil under their fingernails and wilderness in their heads.”

Random But Good

  • The 4-Hour Workweek (Timothy Ferriss)
  • Meme Wars. The Creative Destruction of Neoclassical Economics (Kalle Lasn Adbusters)