Friday, December 19, 2014

2014 In Review: What I Read

This is the first of a few posts reviewing my experiences in the past year:

  1. What I Read
  2. What I Listened To
  3. What I Watched
  4. What I Did
Since quitting my corporate career one year ago I've had more free time, pretty much all of which was spent reading stuff, listening to stuff, watching stuff and doing stuff. I've had the luxury of time to examine my life closely and make sure that the stuff I'm reading, listening to, watching and doing align with my personal values of living fully and treading lightly.

My primary goal right now is to establish a location-independent income stream. By that I mean that I want a way to make money consistently while out camping, backpacking, skiing, or living in places around the world like Colombia or France or Thailand. I want an income stream that doesn't require me to show up at a certain place at a certain time. That's what I'm pursuing by owning a Supercuts hair salon franchise in Denver. It doesn't have to be a huge income as I've done a decent job of retirement saving over the years. But a few grand a month would kick ass.

What I Read in 2014

As part of simplifying my lifestyle I bought a Kindle and gave away all my books. Because of this I've found myself reading a lot more than I used to because my entire library can now fit in my pocket. The ease of carrying a bunch of books means that I often bring my Kindle with me and am finding significantly more time to read.

Here are some faves in no particular order...
  • San Miguel de Allende: A Place in the Heart by John Scherber - Stories of expats living in this charming Mexican city
  • The Emerald Mile by Kevin Fedarko - Thrilling story about a record speed attempt floating the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon
  • The Last Season by Eric Blehm - Nice read about what it's like to be a National Park Ranger and the story of one who went missing
  • Tao de Ching by Lao Tzu - Ancient Chinese classic
  • Buddha's Brain by Rick Hanson - Scientific neurological look at meditation, happiness & wisdom
  • Simplify by Joshua Becker - On the benefits of simplicity and one man's journey to unclutter his world
  • Nonviolent Communication by Marshall Rosenberg and Arun Gandhi - An enlightening look at how peaceful communication can create compassionate connections with family, friends, and other acquaintances
  • Superhuman by Habit by Tynan - How to develop new habits
  • Practicing Radical Honesty by Dr. Brad Blanton - Not as radical as the title suggests, which I greatly appreciated. Book is actually built around mindfulness.
  • The Snow Leopard by Peter Matthiessen - Beautiful classic that's about everything in life except the snow leopard.
  • The New American Road Trip Mixtape by Brendan Leonard - Modern day On The Road
  • Leap of Faith: Quit Your Job and Live on a Boat by Ed Robinson - Fun stories from this lifestyle that many of us have dreamed about

Most of the blogs I really enjoy are currently listed over on the right hand side of this page under the heading Blogs I Read. Here's a brief summary of each...

  • Adventure Journal - Lots of cool outdoorsy & adventurey stories
  • Al's A-Basin Blog - Regular updates on snow conditions and what's happening at Arapahoe Basin ski area where I have my season pass this year
  • Becoming Minimalist - Simplifying one's life
  • Bumfuzzle - Family of four travels the world pretty much full time in a variety of fascinating vehicles
  • Full-On - Fun outdoor adventure stories from a Mpls gentleman and his kids
  • Going Places Quietly - Bozeman friend samh shares his tales of human-powered outdoor adventures
  • McSweeney's - Brilliant contemporary humor in written form
  • Mr. Money Mustache - Sage and confrontational wisdom from a guy who's figured out how to not allow American consumerism and sloth to upset his family's financial situation
  • Raptitude - A guy who's getting better at being human
  • Russo's Rants - Minnesota Wild hockey blog
  • Small House Bliss - Gorgeous small houses that I want to own
  • Strong Towns - Strengthening America's cities, towns & neighborhoods. Act local.


samh said...

Started reading "Full On" sometime this year as well. Spectacular everyday adventures!

Kirk Ahlberg said...

Yeah, samn, it's cool to see what he does right in the Twin Cities. And with kids in tow, too.