reading books 2021

My Reading List (aka Booket List 😉 ) for 2021

Exploring, Tech & Design

Hello New Year – hello old me! But this is not another NY resolutions post. These are the books I decided I wanted to read and so I made a reading challenge for 2021. This will also serve me as a way to keep track of the books I I’m reading. Wanna join me?

I will come back and update the status of my books for 2021 regularly. Maybe you’ll find a title that will stir up your curiosity too! If you click on it, it will take you to the Goodreads page so you can see an excerpt and check the reviews.

21 books for 2021

Tell me your favourites in the comments so I know what to read next.

1– “Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make the Competition Irrelevant” by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne

2– “Ogilvy on Advertising” by David Ogilvy

3–”Building A Story Brand” by Donald Miller

4 – “The Execution Factor: The One Skill That Drives Success ” by Kim Perrel

5 – “ The Art of Digital Marketing: The Definitive Guide to Creating Strategic, Targeted, and Measurable Online Campaigns ” by Ian Dodson

6 – “Effective Seo and Content Marketing: The Ultimate Guide for Maximizing Free Web Traffic” by Nicolaos Papagiannis

7 – “How to stop worrying and start living” ~ Dale Carnegie

100% COMPLETED ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ // 05/02/2021

A book to keep at reach. It gives advice and a lot of personal experiences by different people so there must be someone who has a method to worry less that will resonate with you.

#mindset #lifestyle

8 – “The courage to be disliked” ~ Ichiro Kashimi and Fumitake Koga

100% COMPLETED ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ // 22/03/2021

Eye-opening and mind-blowing. It’s a Plato-Socrates like dialog, a philosophical/psychological conversation that takes you along the lessons of Adlerian psychology. It’s a number #1 must read. If I ever make a list of mindset / lifestyle / philosophy books this one would go on top. I must say at one point I had a bit of trouble sticking to it but it should ony take a chapter or two to feel immersed on the narrative again.

This is part of the excerpt in Goodreads “The Courage to be Disliked shows you how to unlock the power within yourself to become your best and truest self, change your future and find lasting happiness. Using the theories of Alfred Adler, one of the three giants of 19th century psychology alongside Freud and Jung, the authors explain how we are all free to determine our own future free of the shackles of past experiences, doubts and the expectations of others. It’s a philosophy that’s profoundly liberating, allowing us to develop the courage to change, and to ignore the limitations that we and those around us can place on ourselves.”

But it’s much better than other actual popular books that make similar promises. I’d say if you wanna start spending some time reading to improve your life, start here. I must warn you though, it will be a wild ride.

#mindset #lifestyle

9 – “The Truths We Hold :An American Journey” ~ Kamala Harris

10 – “SELL LIKE CRAZY: How to Get As Many Clients, Customers and Sales As You Can Possibly Handle ” ~ Sabry Suby

11 – “Thinking, Fast and Slow ” ~ Daniel Kahneman

12 – “The Future Is Faster Than You Think: How Converging Technologies Are Transforming Business, Industries, and Our Lives ” by Peter H. Diamandis,  Steven Culture

13 – “How Not to Die : Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease” ~ Michael Greger M.D. with Gene Stone

6% COMPLETED

14 – “The tipping point: How little things can make a big difference ” ~Malcolm Gladwell

15 – “How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy ” ~ Jenny Odell

16 – “Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones ” ~ James Clear

17 – “The Laws of Human Nature ” ~ Robert Greene

18 – “Untamed” ~ Glennon Doyle

60% COMPLETED

19 – “Imagine it forward: Courage, Creativity and the Power of Change” ~ by Beth Comstock

100% COMPLETED // 24/01/21 ⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️

Although it took me a long time to read and I thought I wouldn’t make it to the end it happened to be worth it (but a couple of lockdowns happened in the meantime -is that a good excuse?)

What I value the most is its relevance, the innovation mindset and the insights about Beth’s work at GE and the resilience she shows in pursuing change and how she shares it and teaches.

#innovation #tech #mkt

Books To study / continuos reading in 2021

20 – “The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations for Clarity, Effectiveness, and Serenity ” by Ryan Holiday

25% COMPLETED

21– “Mastering Fashion Buying and Merchandising Management” by David Shaw

Further additions

22– “Steve Jobs” by Walter Isaacson

14% COMPLETED

23 – “Norma Kamali: I Am Invincible ” by Norma Kamali

24 – “The Lean Startup” by Eric Ries

Unfinished Books / Pending / Older Want to Read (or even yet to start)

-1 – “The End of Fashion: How Marketing Changed the Clothing Business Forever ” by Tery Agins

100% COMPLETED // 07/02/21 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I should re-read it and I’ve just finished it. Nice dip into the fashion world and the history of the luxury / biggest name brands of today. It has a special way of interlinking the history of every fashion house, so smoothly that sometimes I forgot who we were talking about. But it’s a must I should recommend to my future self XD

-2 – “Nomad Capitalist: How to Reclaim Your Freedom with Offshore Bank Accounts, Dual Citizenship, Foreign Companies, and Overseas Investments ” by Andrew Henderson

-3 – “The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America’s Wealthy ” by Thomas J. Stanley,  William D. Danko

Recommendations

These are the books I found good enough to share around the blog in previous times. You’ll find them on:

IMAGINATION, THE FORGOTTEN TOOL FOR CREATIVITY

CREATIVE BOOKS FOR THE ARTIST IN YOU (1) & CREATIVE BOOKS FOR THE ARTIST IN YOU (2)

– Firstly 5 BOOKS I WANT TO READ BEFORE CHRISTMAS, FOR GIRLBOSSES and secondly BOOKS FOR THE GIRL BOSS – UPDATE

7 THINGS TO UNCOVER THIS JULY (MONTHLY LINKS TO CHECKOUT)

– Many good ones here : THINGS WORTH SHARING #AUGUST2019

5 THINGS WORTH SHARING – THE “APRISOLATION” EDITION (EXPANDED)

READ, LISTEN, WATCH ~ SEPTEMBER 20

Old time “favourites” (or those that most influenced my past self)

– “1984” by George Orwell

– ” The last lecture” by Randy Pausch

Don’t cry for Summer, cry for waves

Exploring

Summer doesn’t want you to be sad.
She is not going that far, and she’s coming back in 9 months. She’s just going on a trip, and you could even join her.
But the sea… ahhh the sea. She is not so kind. She’s that kind of girl who likes to play with your feelings. You never know when she’ll be ready to move forward or when she is leaving. She won’t give you waves when you are ready and will bring the best swell when you’re on duty. We forever chase her, like trying to catch the moon on the mirroring waters of a peaceful black lake. And she always slips away from our fingers and wetsuits.
She likes our salty tears as much as we like her salty foam. But she doesn’t want you to be sad, not specifically. You can cry with excitement and fun too. She’d be satisfied too, but who really knows with Sea?
However, we should cry with excitement indeed. We are lucky to be able to play where Summer and Sea hang out. Don’t you think? Will you join us?

 

coastal view
crystal clear water wave

There’s a special feeling when you get to the sea for a quick swim, with nearly no one on the beach, when the water’s still warm and the sun is strong on the skin.

water rainbows legs
wavy surface underneath

Who else loves to swim close to the bottom sand? It looks like there’s another sea behind, with its sand dunes (or waves) and all the reflections playing around…

waves under waves
blue landscapes

And what about the light rainbows? And the light shining on all the white shells looking like diamonds underneath your bare feet?

rainbow underwater sand waves

I have so much fun in the water, even when it’s for a short amount of time, even if it’s occasional and not a daily thing. It’s dreamy as well, and a very precious time I’ll recall for a long time.

underwater the face of happiness Not picture perfect, but surely filled with joy[/caption]

Get some inspiration for the New Year: MiniAdventures

Exploring, Travel & Wanderlust

The Holiday mood is already everywhere. This week we decorated for Christmas. We have half of the presents bought. I’ve heard carols in the radio and the streets are decorated with its coloured lights. We are ready for this season!
I like this time of the year. Specially when we are still getting some days that aren’t that cold. Even then, that’s the prefect excuse to warm up with a cosy blanket on the sofa, something to drink, a panettone to eat and a movie or book to entertain ourselves.
I also find it’s a very good moment for creativity and imagination. You know, it’s the magic time of the year. But it’s also near the end of it and the start of the new. How will it be? How was this year?
Imagining the future feels good. We can start planning next year adventures, travels and activities.What can be more fun than that?
Make a couple of new boards on Pinterest and start planning the year! I’ll be doing it!

In the meanwhile, I want to share with you some pictures of my little adventures of the last months. A good way to remember the best and get some inspiration for the next MiniAdventures.
Have you heard about this term? Checking it I see they are called MicroAdventures instead. I like mini though. It’s basically about getting outside, do something different without having to travel far away or for a long time. You can find more about it here and here. It’s something I really like, because MiniAdventures are short but good, in new places but not at days of travel, challenging but affordable. Any trip, every cycling day or hike could be one. I like to see any activity as an adventure. Life is an adventure. Every day can be an adventure.

For today’s, I want to show you about my last surf trip to the north, in France. One week of chances, challenges, nice weather and some calm.

Are you coming?

Pack your board and bikini, some clothes and get in the car. We are going! Road trip mode on

on the road

Be there, do that. Ready for da surf? Let’s go!

Look for that beach with perfect waves, park the car in the woods, surrounded by magical forms and get ready. Walk over the dunes of sand and paddle hard for the waves of fun.

beautiful trees

Feel the salt in the skin, the sun in the eyes, the freedom of the sport.

I don’t usually take a camera into the water… so let’s pretend the picture below belongs to the same trip… 😉

lena singla surfing

Surfing base camp – Boards, wet wetsuits and shiny noons.

wetsuits drying

surfboards

Transport yourself into a week of nice sunsets with bright colours and beautiful skylines.

hossegor river side

sunset in the camping

sunset in hossegor

When the summer is gone, it feels even better : Beach on the morning, beach on the afternoon.

golden sunset wave

gold beach

Have a laugh; this is my stylish way to the top of the bunker.

bunker

views over the bunkers

Go cruising!

lena singla skateboarding

lena singla cruising

One day the adventure is over and we have to come back. But there’s still a promise of more.

on the way back home

What MiniAdventures did you do recently? Something snowy planned for this Christmas?

 

The dreamy artsy lifestyle

Creating, Exploring, Fashion & Lifestyle

artsy lifestyle

“ I wake up full of energy and motivation.

Long days pass on through my studio’s windows, while my hands move quickly over paper and keyboards.
I wander on paths of woods in the warm afternoons and the streets of imaginary cities on my mind indistinctly.
I am a free soul.
My fingers dance over four strings while I relax at the sound of my ukulele, inspiring dreams of a surf trip to Hawaii.
Time is nothing but a shadow in the wall. The air is filled with the fragrance of a thousand flowers.
Sunsets spill waves of gold over the mountains and the sea is transformed into countless pieces of mirrors that show us another sky.
Drops of paint run quickly over the canvas, water deforming the shapes, the brush redrawing them and the voice of Lana del Rey bringing melodies of old dreams.

20160901_195819-copy

I am a free soul.
The only rules I know are those I build, the only schedule the routines I create.
All I know is the world I live in, the fresh air from up north, the breaking waves of my surfing spot, the chirping of birds when I wake up and the silence of the night.
Plenty of people populate my world; more than I’ll ever meet, some more than those who know my name, strangers who one day may become friends.
The smell of old books fill cosy afternoons by the fire while others are spent on unknown places that resemble galleries and airports.
Routine is always broken by adventures: long walks and climbs, surf trips to catch the next best wave, road trips that take us to beautiful landscapes and open our minds to new realities… nights under the stars and travels over the waters.

20161018_113310-copy

My work is all I’ve been doing naturally since I started doing things for myself. It brings pleasure to me while giving pleasure to others.
It was hard to realise that life would be whatever I decided to do with it. But then everything started falling into place.
There’s never perfection but fate comes always with perfect moments. Patience has always been my worst enemy thought in the end always becomes the best friend of the artist.
A creative soul lies within. Glimpses of it can be seen through gentle eyes. Everyone has a piece of it, all of us can watch our magic.
But no magic is greater than life has in itself. And to experience it may be our only mission.”

lena singla lifestyle

How should an artist’s lifestyle look like to you?

How do you imagine the perfect lifestyle of a creative life? What is your ideal routine? What is the life you dream of?

Need more? Let me send you a recap of all links at the end of every month:

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Creative books for the artist in you (2)

Creating, Tech & Design

great creative books

Even if your art is your passion, it doesn’t come easy to devote yourself to it. There are those endless projects, too many ideas or the lack of them. Sometimes, working in our art feels like a battle, like a war.

We started the topic with these books over here. This is the follow-up post, with a few more recommendations.

 

3- The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks & Win Your Inner Creative Battles

That’s what the book by Steven Pressfield, The War of Art it is about. It is a guide that tries to explain, rationalise and inspire creatives to express themselves, overcoming what he calls “resistance”. Resistance is all thhose things that stop a creative from completing her work of art. Call it procrastination, lack of inspiration, etc. Read his work and let it help you, I’m sure you’ll find the support you need to go on with your creative projects.
Some of my favourite quotes:

– “Here’s another test. Of any activity you do, ask yourself: If I were the last person on earth, would I still do it?”

– “Creative work is not a selfish act or a bid for attention on the part of the actor. It’s a gift to the world and every being in it. Don’t cheat us of your contribution. Give us what you’ve got.”

– Rule of thumb: The more important a call or action is to our soul’s evolution, the more Resistance we will feel toward pursuing it.”

– “The conventional interpretation is that the amateur pursues his calling out of love, while the pro does it for money. Not the way I see it. In my view, the amateur does not love the game enough. If he did, he would not pursue it as a sideline, distinct from his “real” vocation. The professional loves it so much he dedicates his life to it. He commits full-time.”

 

4- The Art of Asking; or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help

The next book I want to recommend you is The Art of Asking, by Amanda Palmer. She is a singer and part of the Dresden Dolls, but I didn’t know anything about her until I read her book. As you can guess, this book is a lot about “asking” but it is a lot about her biography too. But that is not a problem. I loved the way the book is written and how everything relates and connects, the stories and the main message of the book. It is a new perspective on how to approach the act of creating and sharing your creations that won’t leave you indifferent.

– “Have you ever noticed that this looks like this?”

– “There’s no “correct path” to becoming a real artist. You might think you’ll gain legitimacy by going to art school, getting published, getting signed to a record label. But it’s all bullshit, and it’s all in your head. You’re an artist when you say you are. And you’re a good artist when you make somebody else experience or feel something deep or unexpected.”

– “Given the opportunity, some small consistent portion of the population will happily pay for art ”

– “The spirit of an artist’s gifts can wake our own.”

 

5 – The Art Spirit

My final recommendation of creative books is The Art Spirit. I’ve just been reading this book and I can say it is great and have surprised me immensely. This is not such a book as the others, it’s been written from letters and articles too from the author and it is closely tied to the process of painting with oils. The writer, Robert Henri, was a painter and a teacher, and the book is full of advice for art students and painters – or creatives. Because you’ll find out about technique and composition but also a lot of his philosophy of life and the artist profession.

And following, my highlights:

ON HAPPINESS AND LIFESTYLE

– “Every movement in nature is orderly, one thing the outcome of an-other, a matter of constructive, growing force. We live our lives in tune with nature when we are happy, and all our misery is the result of our effort to dictate against nature. In moments of great happiness we seem to be with the uni- verse; when all is wrong we seem to be alone, disjointed.”

– “No thing is beautiful. But all things await the sensitive and imaginative mind that may be aroused to pleasurable emotion at sight of them. This is beauty.”

– “Find out what you really like if you can. Find out what is really important to you. Then sing your song. You will have something to sing about and your whole heart will be in the singing”

– “A good picture is a fruit of all your great living.”

– “The thing to do is for each individual to wake up, to discover himself as a human being, with needs of his own. To look about, learn from all sources, look within, and find if he can invent for himself a vehicle for his self-expression.”

–“To have ideas one must have imagination. To express ideas one must have science.”

– “Do not let the fact that things are not made for you, that conditions are not as they should be, stop you. Go on anyway. Everything depends on those who go on anyway.”

– “To be an artist is to construct, and to whatever degree one shows the genius for construction in work of any sort, he is that much an artist. The artist life is therefore the desirable life, and it is possible to all.”

– “There is a joy in the pursuit of anything.”
– “Life is finding yourself. It is a spirit development.”

ON ART

– “Try to paint canvases that will show how interesting landscape looks to you—your pleasure in the thing”

– “We must paint only what is important to us, must not respond to outside demands. They do not know what they want, or what we have to give.”

– “One of the great difficulties of an art student is to decide between his own natural impressions and what he thinks should be his impressions.”

– “Don’t stop to paint the material, but push on to give the spirit.”

– “To paint is to know how to put nothing on a canvas, and have it look like something when you stand back.”

– “Hold to this principle that the greatest drawing, the greatest expression, the greatest completion, the sense of all contained, lies in what can be done through the larger masses and the larger gestures”

– “The development of the power of seeing and the power to retain in the memory that which is essential and to make record and thus test out how true the seeing and the memory have been is the way to happiness.”

– “If we knew what we saw, we could paint it.”

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Delicious Idleness or Dolce far Niente

Exploring

delicious idleness

At the beginning of last week I went to a too-fast business travel to Italy. And even I had almost no time to think or see anything I remembered that italian saying that goes “Dolce far niente”, translated as the pleasure of doing nothing, but better expressed as “delicious idleness”. It hit me because a few weeks ago, (or maybe just two ) I watched the movie “Eat, Pray , Love” starring Julia Roberts. In that movie they talked about it when in Italy.

That made me think about it and I realised it is an idea I could embrace easily. Why? Well, it seems that nowadays, in order to live, you must be doing something all the time. And if we have nothing to do right now, we check our phone.

I don’t believe in that lifestyle. Why bother trying to get distracted all the time? I believe that when you are busy all the time it’s because you’re trying to avoid doing something else.

How can Delicious Idleness improve our life?

Mindfulness has being gaining popularity. The practice of being present. For me, it’s Delicious Idleness. I’d just love having some time for resting my mind and body while being somewhere I like. Time of my own. It’s not wasted time, in fact is a precious time gained, because it helps me choose what direction to take in life. Usually, I’d be laying under the sun in the garden, hearing the birds, sheep, breeze and random sounds. Or, while surfing, I’d be waiting for the next set of waves, feeling that peaceful state of relax and awareness. That’s even better, because there are those moments when I have to stop thinking, empty my mind and concentrate to catch a wave. 

To somebody else it could be anything else, like driving or cooking or colouring a page or writing about your day…

What brings you a kind of inner peace?