This was our first trip abroad in 12 years. I even traveled with an empty backpack ready to be filled with souvenirs and books. My wife warned me that we had enough luggage already, and to be mindful because we were traveling with the kids.
“I will only buy a couple of them. I promise“, I said to my wife Demi, besides I can always order them on Amazon as I usually do.
Of course, I was lying. I had a list of books I wanted to get during our trip to the UK. This journey held a special significance as it was our first return to the place where we first met, fell in love, and where our first daughter, Phaedra, was born.
I should have probably been more excited about other things about our trip to London, but being an ex-pat living in Greece, I always struggle to find books in English. Besides, who doesn’t want to buy stuff when traveling abroad? Especially when that place is London.
I’ve always been fascinated by bookstores, and I used to spend a lot of time browsing the shelves for books and magazines. I would spend a fortune on magazines alone while I was living in London.
I used to work in a guitar shop on Denmark Street. Denmark Street is located in the West End of London and has a rich history in the music industry. It is a popular destination for musicians and bands to buy instruments and equipment. Back then there was a Borders bookstore on Charing Cross Road which is right at the end of Denmark Street where I will go on my lunch break to check out the latest music production magazine and books on philosophy or anything that I would be into at that time.
Unfortunately, many things have changed since then, and now there is a TK Maxx store where Borders used to be and Denmark Street is unrecognisable because of the massive redevelopment in the area. To be honest, a lot of things have changed in London since I relocated with my family to Greece. I guess Brexit has had a big impact and changes are always expected when you don’t live in a place anymore and go back to visit after more than a decade. However, it was nice to catch up with a few old friends from back in the day, including Andy, an old friend of mine that still works in one of the guitar shops, and Dan, a talented guitar player, and client.
I have known Dan for many years, I used to be his guitar teacher when I first arrived in London.
In all fairness, I have changed quite a lot since then, from my lifestyle, to how I earn a living and my overall philosophy on life. Not to mention a few more white hair, actually, a lot more white hair.
One thing is for sure … traveling broadens the mind and I am looking forward to my next destination abroad!
Here are the books I got while I was in London:
Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell : this book explores the factors that contribute to high levels of success. Gladwell argues that while individual talent and hard work are important, success is often the result of a combination of unique circumstances and opportunities that are outside of an individual’s control. I have read reviews about this book I am looking forward to seeing what the whole hype is about.
The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable by Nassim Nicholas Taleb : this is a book that wasn’t on my list that I have heard a lot about recently on podcasts and different YouTube videos, it was also the only book that was always right in front of me while I was browsing the shelves of Waterstones bookstores in London. I purchased this one at the airport before going back to Greece.
The book focuses on the concept of “black swans,” which are rare and unpredictable events that have a significant impact on the world. Taleb argues that black swans are much more common than people think and that they have a disproportionate impact on our lives. The book has been influential in a range of fields, including finance, business, and philosophy, and has sparked debates about the nature of prediction and uncertainty in the modern world.
The Obstacle is the Way: The Ancient Art of Turning Adversity to Advantage by Ryan Holiday :I am a big fan of The Daily Stoic YouTube channel and I have shared before that my wife got me for Christmas, The Daily Stoic Journal. I am also reading The Daily Stoic book, so I am looking forward to reading this one about how to overcome obstacles and turn them into opportunities for growth.
I also got Courage Is Calling: Fortune Favours the Brave by the same author.
On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King : I have listened to the audiobook version and it’s just one of those books that I had to have in my hands. It comes in handy as I am writing my first book.
The Creative Act: A Way of Being by Rick Rubin : I am a fan of Rick Rubin and his philosophy toward music production, so this book was the first one on my list. It was out of stock in most shops in London, but I managed to find a hardcover before we left. I will probably dedicate a whole post to this book in the future.
Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey : I got this one at the airport before we returned to Greece. Have previously listened to Matthew on different podcast interviews when the book was published so I was curious to read this one. Is a memoir based on his diaries.
LISTEN TO MY LATEST PODCAST EPISODE:
BOOK I AM READING:
The Magic of Thinking Big by David J. Schwartz : I took this book on my trip to London, and it’s about success and how success in life is largely determined by our beliefs and attitudes and that by adopting a positive and optimistic outlook, we can overcome fear, doubt, and negativity.
MUSIC I’VE BEEN LISTENING TO THIS WEEK:
Meme pas un grincement by Ziak. I think he is a French rapper and I have no idea how I found this on Spotify. I enjoy the energy on this track despite the fact that I don’t understand french.
Have a nice weekend!