Bella Vida by Letty

books

10 INSPIRING TRAVEL COFFEE TABLE BOOKS

10-inspiring-travel-coffee-table-books

I have a great love of books and cozy spaces. I take great comfort in lounging on the couch near my bookshelves and indulging in some hard earned me time. When I’m not traveling of love perusing images and books for inspiration. Once my imagination gets going my creativity really begins to flow.

These books are truly beautiful to look at.

travel coffee table books

Follow Me To

The Follow Me project was created in 2012 based on the concept of showing the beauty and uniqueness of different locations around the world. It is a story told through the eyes of two ordinary travelers who attempt to portray local lifestyles and narratives by means of photography. 

travel coffee table books

The Travel Book: A Journey Through Every Country in the World 

From Lonely Planet The world’s leading travel guide publisher.  Take a journey through every country in the world.

travel coffee table books

Drives of a Lifetime: 500 of the World’s Most Spectacular Trips

Pack your suitcase, load up the car, and head for the open road! In the tradition of National Geographic Traveler magazine’s award-winning annual feature showcasing the world’s best auto trips, National Geographic presents Drives of a Lifetime: Where to Go, Why to Go, When to Go. This lavishly illustrated, hardcover travel planner and gift book gives you every bit of information you’ll need to navigate 400 amazing driving routes in some of the world’s most fascinating locales.

travel coffee table books

Beaches 

Gray Malin is the artist of the moment for the Hollywood and fashion elite. His awe-inspiring aerial photographs of beaches around the world are shot from doorless helicopters, creating playful and stunning celebrations of light, shape, and perspective, as well as summer bliss. Combining the spirit of travel, adventure, luxury, and artistry, Malin built his eponymous lifestyle brand from a deep passion for photography and interior design.

travel coffee table books

Wine Trails: 52 Perfect Weekends in Wine Country 

From Lonely Planet, the world’s leading travel guide publisher, Wine Trails, the first book in Lonely Planet’s “Perfect Weekends” series, introduces the secret gems in well-known regions such as Napa and Sonoma, Tuscany, Burgundy and Rioja, and also explores off-the-beaten-path regions in Georgia, Greece and beyond.

travel coffee table bookstravel coffee table books

Paris in Color 

Take a journey through the world’s most romantic city, traveling from color to magnificent color with this beguiling book. An orange café chair, bright blue bicycles against a fence, a weathered white door—Nichole Robertson’s sumptuous photographs of the distinctive details of Paris, all arranged by color, evoke a sense of serendipitous discovery and celebrate the city as never before. At once a work of art and a window into the heart of the city, Paris in Color will surprise and delight those who love art, design, color, and, of course, Paris!

travel coffee table books

The Seasons of New York

New York is one of the most ever-changing and photogenic places in the world. Featuring full-color photographs of well-known landmarks from all five boroughs—from the Brooklyn Botanic Garden to South Street Seaport, as well as secret treasures throughout the city—this visual celebration of New York in all of its seasonal splendor is a perfect take-home souvenir for a tourist or a treasured gift for a resident New Yorker. 

travel coffee table books

See San Francisco: Through the Lens of SFGirlbyBay

From internationally popular design blogger SF Girl By Bay comes the ultimate love letter to San Francisco. This gorgeously photographed lifestyle guide gives readers an insider’s tour of the City by the Bay through Victoria Smith’s unique lens. Organized by neighborhood, each chapter features enchanting photos of hidden corners, local color, landmarks, and hot spots, revealing why so many people, Victoria included, fall head over heels for this amazing city. Brimming with original, dreamy photography and packaged as a gorgeous jacketed hardcover, this lovely book makes a perfect gift for photography fans, San Francisco dwellers, visitors to the city, or those who have left their hearts in San Francisco.

travel coffee table books

The New York Times: 36 Hours

To travel in North America is to face a delicious quandary: over these vast spaces with so many riches, from glittering cities to eccentric small towns and heart-stoppingly beautiful mountains and plains, how to experience as much as possible in limited time? The New York Times has the answer, and has been offering up dream weekends with practical itineraries in its popular weekly “36 Hours” column for over a decade. 

travel coffee table books

Great Escapes Italy 

To travel through Italy is as close as one gets to being in paradise. For centuries, writers, artists, architects and merchants have been drawn here, inspired by the beauty of Venice, Florence, Naples and Rome. Countless books, paintings, poems and sculptures are evidence of its undying appeal, and over the past 60 years, the country has become one of the world’s top travel and holiday destinations. The loveliness of Italy—its architecture, landscapes, culture and food (some of the world’s finest!) — if not eternal, is certainly enduring, and the easy-going and relaxed Italian lifestyle, il dolce far niente, is still unrivaled.

You can purchase any of these wonderful books via the link or by clicking on the image.

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Books that Will Make You Want to Travel

My daily reading habits include news and social media but in addition I try to always have some fiction and non-fiction to read. I particularly love books that inspire me to imagine and create.   Just like reading travel expands our minds, our horizons and limits. Reading fills us with knowledge, mental stimulation and of course entertainment. The wonderful thing about books is you can take them anywhere. You can stash a whole library on your phone.

Here a few books that will inspire you to travel:

the alchemist

 

The Alchemist

Paulo Coelho’s masterpiece tells the mystical story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who yearns to travel in search of a worldly treasure. His quest will lead him to riches far different—and far more satisfying—than he ever imagined. Santiago’s journey teaches us about the essential wisdom of listening to our hearts, of recognizing opportunity and learning to read the omens strewn along life’s path, and, most importantly, to follow our dreams.

“It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.” 

— Paulo Coelho 

“Remember that wherever your heart is, there you will find your treasure.” 

— Paulo Coelho 

“We are travelers on a cosmic journey,stardust,swirling and dancing in the eddies and whirlpools of infinity. Life is eternal. We have stopped for a moment to encounter each other, to meet, to love, to share.This is a precious moment. It is a little parenthesis in eternity.” 
— Paulo Coelho 

 

on the road jack kerouac

On the Road

On the Road chronicles Jack Kerouac’s years traveling the North American continent with his friend Neal Cassady, “a sideburned hero of the snowy West.” As “Sal Paradise” and “Dean Moriarty,” the two roam the country in a quest for self-knowledge and experience. Kerouac’s love of America, his compassion for humanity, and his sense of language as jazz combine to make On the Road an inspirational work of lasting importance.

Kerouac’s classic novel of freedom and longing defined what it meant to be “Beat” and has inspired every generation since its initial publication.

“There was nowhere to go but everywhere, so just keep on rolling under the stars.” 

— Jack Kerouac 

“I was surprised, as always, by how easy the act of leaving was, and how good it felt. The world was suddenly rich with possibility.” 

― Jack Kerouac

 

My Brilliant Friend Neapolitan Novels

My Brilliant Friend: Neapolitan Novels

The story begins in the 1950s, in a poor but vibrant neighborhood on the outskirts of Naples. Growing up on these tough streets the two girls learn to rely on each other ahead of anyone or anything else. As they grow, as their paths repeatedly diverge and converge, Elena and Lila remain best friends whose respective destinies are reflected and refracted in the other. They are likewise the embodiments of a nation undergoing momentous change. Through the lives of these two women, Ferrante tells the story of a neighborhood, a city, and a country as it is transformed in ways that, in turn, also transform the relationship between her protagonists, the unforgettable Elena and Lila.

“Everything in the world was in precarious balance, pure risk, and those who didn’t agree to take the risk wasted away in a corner, without getting to know life.” Elena Ferrante

“Nowhere is it written that you can’t do it.”  Elena Ferrante

Life of Pi

Life of Pi

The son of a zookeeper, Pi Patel has an encyclopedic knowledge of animal behavior and a fervent love of stories. When Pi is sixteen, his family emigrates from India to North America aboard a Japanese cargo ship, along with their zoo animals bound for new homes.
The ship sinks. Pi finds himself alone in a lifeboat, his only companions a hyena, an orangutan, a wounded zebra, and Richard Parker, a 450-pound Bengal tiger. Soon the tiger has dispatched all but Pi, whose fear, knowledge, and cunning allow him to coexist with Richard Parker for 227 days while lost at sea. When they finally reach the coast of Mexico, Richard Parker flees to the jungle, never to be seen again. The Japanese authorities who interrogate Pi refuse to believe his story and press him to tell them “the truth.” After hours of coercion, Pi tells a second story, a story much less fantastical, much more conventional–but is it more true?

“It is true that those we meet can change us, sometimes so profoundly that we are not the same afterwards, even unto our names.”  Yann Martel 

1000 Places to see before you die

1,000 Places to See Before You Die

It’s the journey of a lifetime, every month—and the perfect gift for the traveler and anyone who dreams of traveling. Written by Patricia Schultz, author of the #1 New York Times bestselling book 1,000 Places to See Before You Die, and illustrated with full-color photographs, each month is a to-die-for itinerary. Discover exotic and culturally rich Uzbekistan. Cruise America’s “favorite drive” in autumn, the winding Blue Ridge Parkway. And experience the light that captivated so many Impressionist painters in Normandy. Each month features a large photograph, smaller images throughout the grid, a map, must-see attractions, and local history.

“If you’re waiting for a special occasion to make your next trip happen, then consider this: The day you get off the couch and head for the airport, that’s the special occasion.” 

— Patricia Schultz 

“As Herman Melville wrote in Moby Dick, I had “an everlasting itch for things remote.” 

— Patricia Schultz

 

What are some of your favorite books that inspire you to travel?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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How to Start a Travel Inspiration Journal

How to Create a Travel Inspiration Journal

How to Start a Travel Inspiration Journal

An inspiration journal is central place where you can jot down ideas and other things that will inspire you to achieve your goals. It can help you get started, unstuck, or maybe lead you into a completely different direction but mainly motivates you into action.

You can create an entire journal of strictly inspiration or like me have a combination of places I’ve enjoyed and would love to revisit along with bucket lists of things I’d like to do and places I’d like to see.

When we travel the experience is usually over far too quickly. By journaling we get to explore how we felt about the places we went to and the activities we participated in. We get to know ourselves better by clarifying our thoughts.

Journals also serve as records. We can record our progress or expound on the places we’ve been. Sometimes it’s helpful to look back so we can realize all that we’ve accomplished.

 

These books will get your creativity started.
An Illustrated Journey: Inspiration From the Private Art Journals of Traveling Artists, Illustrators and Designers

travel journal

When we travel, we don’t want to follow the same itinerary as everyone who’s come before us. We want to feel like explorers, adventurers in undiscovered territory. And that’s exactly what sketching can bring to the travel experience.

The Art of Urban Sketching: Drawing On Location Around The World

travel sketching

The book, Art of Urban Sketching by Gariel Campanario, takes you around the world by showing you the stylings of urban sketchers spanning every continent and into 30 countries. Filled with more than 500 full colored illustrations drawn on location by artists within their own cities, you will hear their stories while learning expert tips and ideas for tools to use for sketching, as well as how to participate through social networking and online activity.

An Illustrated Life: Drawing Inspiration from the Private Sketchbooks of Artists, Illustrators and Designers

travel journal

An artist’s journal is packed with sketches and captions; some rough, some polished. The margins sometimes spill over with hurriedly scrawled shopping lists and phone numbers. The cover may be travel-worn and the pages warped from watercolors. Open the book, and raw creativity seeps from each color and line. The intimacy and freedom on its pages are almost like being inside the artist’s mind: You get a direct window into risks, lessons, mistakes, and dreams.

A World of Artist Journal Pages: 1000+ Artworks – 230 Artists – 30 Countries

travel journal

By nature, art journaling is a private activity. But when Dawn Sokol’s first book, 1000 Artist Journal Pages, broke the fourth wall and shared the work of artists all over North America and parts of Europe, it created a ripple of inspiration throughout the art journaling community. In this much-anticipated follow-up, Sokol features more than 1,000 new, captivating pages, this time—by popular demand—from artists across the globe. Lists of techniques and materials used for each page, plus behind-the-scenes interviews, give readers a glimpse inside the minds of new and established artists, making this a stimulating compilation sure to inspire beginners and seasoned art journalers alike.
Books for  traveling writing inspiration.

Writing Away: A Creative Guide to Awakening the Journal-Writing Traveler (Travelers’ Tales)

travel writing

Two major trends have recently swept the travel world: the first, an overwhelming desire (thanks to Elizabeth Gilbert’s bestseller, Eat, Pray, Love) to write one’s own memoir; the second, an explosion of social media, blogs, twitter and texts, which allow travelers to document and share their experiences instantaneously. Thus, the act of chronicling one’s journey has never been more popular, nor the urge stronger.

Writing Away: A Creative Guide to Awakening the Journal-Writing Traveler, will inspire budding memoirists and jetsetting scribes alike. But Writing Away doesn’t stop there—author Lavinia Spalding spins the romantic tradition of keeping a travelogue into a modern, witty adventure in awareness, introducing the traditional handwritten journal as a profoundly valuable tool for self-discovery, artistic expression, and spiritual growth.

Writing Away teaches you to embrace mishaps in order to enrich your travel experience, recognize in advance what you want to remember, tap into all your senses, and connect with the physical world in an increasingly technological age. It helps you overcome writer’s block and procrastination; tackle the discipline, routine, structure, and momentum that are crucial to the creative process; and it demonstrates how traveling—while keeping a journal along the way—is the world’s most valuable writing exercise.

Globejotting: How to Write Extraordinary Travel Journals (and still have time to enjoy your trip!)

travel writing

Most travel diaries fizzle. By day six of a big trip, people are struggling to recall what happened on days three, four, and five. They return home with mostly empty journals, or bland writing that fails to capture the full spirit of their journeys. Award-winning travel humorist Dave Fox comes to the rescue in this book that’s both informative and irreverently funny. You’ll learn to: Bring destinations to life with bold details.Splash those details quickly onto your pages so journaling doesn’t gobble up your precious vacation time.Elude your Inner Censor and write with confidence.Weave together your outer and inner journeys, using unfamiliar places as a backdrop for self-discovery.

Dave shares his favorite journaling techniques, shows how to find time to write in the middle of an exciting trip, and infuses it all with a generous dose of his off-the-wall humor. Whether your journeys are weekend road trips or excursions around the world, this book will help transform you into a travel journaling superhero!

 

Once you’ve found some inspiration to get you started choose the type of sketchbook, binder or journal you would like to use.

journals binders

Carolina Pad Studio C Zip-it Notebook with Zipper Pouch Cover 

Pocket Leather Journal with Owl Handmade Blank Craft Paper Brown  with Gift Box 

or binder

Kate’s Paperie Binder with Set of 3 Journals, The Art of Travel 

Genuine Leather Journal Notebook Refillable with Cool Lock 6-ring Loose Leaf Binder

UniKeep Travel Binder – Ocean

I’m inspired by colors, textures, mixed media, positive quotes, photos, places, travel, sewing, fashion,jewelry, music, art, painting, movies, stories . . .

travel journal entry ideas

Ideas to get you going.

Top ten list
Bucket list
Favorite travel quotes
Favorite places
Start with a map
Start with a ticket stub
Start with a postcard
Cut out magazine photos
Start with a photo you took
Favorite thing you ate
Describe the smells
Describe the texture
Describe the taste
Most exciting
Least exciting
I’ll never do that again

 

Do you have a travel inspiration journal?

 

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Things I Loved About 2014 Travel Books Movies

things i loved about 2014

Before moving forward into the adventures 2015 will bring I wanted to look back at the things that brought me joy in 2014. I’m an avid reader and movie watcher making me a diehard lover of stories. So here I’ll share my favorites. If you want to see what I’m reading you can connect with me on Goodreads. It’s what I use to keep track of all the books I read.

One thing that has helped me read more is the Overdrive app which allows you to borrow books, audio and movies from your library. My favorite feature is that is syncs up with all of my devices so I can listen while I’m driving or read while I’m waiting anywhere. I actually try to arrive early so I can have some extra reading time. It’s a wonderful boredom reliever while traveling.

Screen Shot 2015-01-01 at 1.49.26 PM

Books

All the Birds, Singing by Evie Wyld                        Mystery

Interesting setting and character.

 

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn     Suspense

Great storytelling.

 

The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone by Adele Griffin    Mystery

Not your regular fiction it’s written as a journalists report. Great story.

 

Bully by Penelope Douglas  Romance

Perfect story pacing.

 

Instructions by Neil Gaiman                        Horror

I enjoy Gaiman’s story telling. As one of my favorite writers it’s a treat to read the specific words he choses to bring his tales to life.

 

Handbook for an Unpredictable Life: How I Survived Sister Renata and My Crazy Mother, and Still Came Out Smiling (with Great Hair) by Rosie Pérez  Memoir

An amazing true story.

 

The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results by Gary Keller          Non Fiction

Great self help book. This is great for peeps like me who have trouble focusing.

 

Looptail: How One Company Changed the World by Reinventing Business by Bruce Poon Tip         Non Fiction / Business / Travel

Inspiring read about how this entrepreneur in the travel industry became successful.

 

Writing Irresistible Kidlit: The Ultimate Guide to Crafting Fiction for Young Adult and Middle Grade Readers by Mary Kole                   Non Fiction / Writing

One of the best books on writing I’ve ever read. I highly recommend this if you’re serious about becoming a great writer.

 

Movies

I watch the majority of films on Netflix so I watch many movies that may have been released in previous years but am just now getting around to watch. These are the movies I enjoyed the most this year and I highly recommend you add them to your must watch list if you haven’t seen them yet.

Littlerock 2010          Drama   Interesting story and characters.

 

The Motel Life 2012             Drama    Awesome story.

 

At Middleton 2013               Romantic Comedy   Loved this romantic comedy very much.

 

Aziz Ansari: Dangerously Delicious             Comedy   Cracks me up.

 

The One I Love 2014                        Sci-Fi   Great story!

 

Begin Again 2014                 Romance   Cute!

 

Sex Tape 2014                      Comedy   Lmao

 

6 Souls (Shelter) 2010         Horror   I love being creeped out.

 

Después de Lucía 2012        Mexican Drama   Heavy

 

Twice Born (Venuto al mondo) 2012         Drama / Romance   Emotional

 

Cafe de Flore (Café de Flore) 2011                        French Drama   Emotional

 

In Secret 2013          Horror   Very Edgar Allen Poe like

 

Zero Dark Thirty 2012         War Drama   Great storytelling. Study this screenplay if you want to learn how to write a good story.

 

The Punk Singer 2013         Documentary   Because punk girls rock forever!

 

Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones 2014       Horror  My absolute favorite horror movie of the year. Originally creepy.

 

Disconnect 2012       Drama   Because I love heavy drama.

 

Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest 2011                       Documentary   Because I grew up with Hip Hop that was good.

 

Mud 2012      Coming of Age Thriller   Great story set in the swamps. Loved it.

 

Quotes

travel quotes

10 Quotes to Inspire You to Travel 

“Men are from Earth, women are from Earth. Deal with it.” George Carlin

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.”  Plato

Travel

2015 Chevrolet Tahoe

Massachusetts

One of my favorite things is to explore new places. This summer I had an amazing road trip exploring the state of Massachusetts. I hit up Cape Cod, Plymouth, Boston, Springfield and Salem. I’ve written over a handful of posts detailing my adventures along with my best tips. There is still so much more to share with you. You will see more of the Massachusetts road trip posts in 2015.

Click here to read and see tons of photos  

 

Florida

I’m always roadtripping my home state of Florida. One of my most popular posts is a big round up with hundreds of ideas for your next trip to Florida. 

Here are some recent places and tips full of information on what to do and see.

Lincoln Road Mall South Beach

South Beach

 

Cross Collage

St. Augustine

Bridge of Lions

Cross

Fort Matanzas

Crescent Beach

Rainbow Springs Florida State Park

Central Florida

Yulee Sugar Mill Ruins

Sculptures

Rainbow Springs

John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park

Key Largo Round Up

The Garden District in Uptown New Orleans

One of the blogs most popular posts feature my trip to New Orleans, Louisiana.  You can expect a big fat round up post in 2015.

 

Now that you’ve read my recommendations share some of yours with me.  What where your favorite places to visit, book to read and movies to watch?

 

 

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Life is What Happens While We’re Busy Making Other Plans

Life is What Happens While We're Busy Making Other Plans

I’m very happy to report I’ve uploaded a new chapter of my new adult horror novel, 31 Days of Rougarou, to Wattpad.    Woo to the hoo!!!  Please check it out.  If you haven’t yet you have time to catch up.  The entire story begins here.

I have big plans for this story.  From the first post to Wattpad the plan was  to upload a new chapter every Friday.  Then life happened, healthy people suddenly get sick, insurance dropped for radical reasons, car needed an unplanned repair and a ginormous amount of responsibility fell into my lap.  It felt like every single time I delved into the story and the words began to flow there would be an interruption.  One thing after another delayed my plans.  The one thing that never changed is the passion I have for this project.

I can only do the only thing I know how to do which is to keep going.   When I’m stressed I practice gratitude.  I’m grateful I have the health, the family and friends to get past any setbacks.

What are you reading?  What are you writing?

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“I wanted a perfect ending. Now I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next.
Delicious Ambiguity.” Gilda Radner

I believe that life is a game, that life is a cruel joke, and that life is what happens when you’re alive and that you might as well lie back and enjoy it.” Neil Gaiman

“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.” Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

 

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I’m Uploading My Story to Wattpad

31 Day of Rougarou Cover

Wattpad is a social network where readers and writers can interact. Writers can post stories, chapters, working versions, entire novels or excerpts and share them with readers for free. As of December 2013 Wattpad has over 18 million users who can access stories posted via their phones and mobile devices. Of the many genres on Wattpad the most popular are Young Adult, Romance, Science Fiction and Fantasy.

I signed up awhile ago but never took the time to explore and interact on the platform until recently. I’ve been working on a new adult dark horror novel and have decided to post chapters of the work in progress every Friday. If you enjoy being taken into a mag

Why am I posting my story for free on Wattpad?

It’s a way for me to test out all of my crazy ideas. It will allow me to receive feedback from the people who matter, my readers. I have to admit I’m scared out of my mind placing my writing out there for everyone to read. It’s way more terrifying to me than making up these scary stories. But I have to find a way to get past the fear and just do it. Violeta, the main character is demanding to be let out of the box.

You can find me on Wattpad here:  If you have a minute I would truly appreciate your support with a read or follow.  Thanks.

Here’s a description of the story:

The blood tingling adventure of reluctant supersensitive, Violeta, who has managed to keep her supernatural magical abilities secret until she gets bitten by a legendary power hungry Creole shape shifter, a Rougarou. She has 31 days to learn how to use her psychic abilities to break the curse or lose all her powers.

Are you using Wattpad?

Do you have any tips for me?

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“Today is the day to move past your past, move closer to your dreams, rise above your detractors, feel the fear and do it anyway, stoop below your ego, get out of your own way, and allow your life to amaze you.” Elissa Gabrielle

“We should all start to live before we get too old. Fear is stupid. So are regrets.” Marilyn Monroe

“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.” Frank Herber

“He who has overcome his fears will truly be free.” Aristotle

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Pay It Forward

Whatimreading

I just finished reading, “Looptail How One Company Changed the World” by Bruce Poon Tip.  I picked it up because it was on one of those best business books of 2013 lists and more specifically because it was a travel company.  I’ve been wanting to travel more and trying to find creative ways to do so.

The book is a great read for those interested in leadership and testing out different business models especially for company’s going through growth looking for new strategies.

I found the book inspiring because it’s an example of a company who has incredible growth and did so without comprising on their ideals.  If you think success means you’ll have to sell out one day here’s a real example of that not being true.  This company was able to thrive while paying it forward and helping local communities to grow and prosper.  Because of the prejudice he encountered as a child he celebrated the uniqueness of people who collectively could achieve the extraordinary.

Some of my favorite quotes from the book:

“It’s about paying it forward, finding purpose and infusing your work and life with it, you create the conditions for your own success.”

“How you view the world is linked to your influences and the world is a reflection of your consciousness.”

 

What are you reading?  Do you have any recommendations for me?

 

If you want to see what else I’m reading follow me on Goodreads and don’t forget to subscribe to receive updates.

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Benefits of Reading With a Purpose

BooksIreadIn2013

As an avid reader I devour articles, magazines and books on a daily basis.  I guess that’s why I’ve never made any formal reading goals.  It’s something I already do, but seeing others create reading goals for the new year made me want to take my reading to another level which is reading with the purpose to acquire and use information.

Reading to Learn

Writing better will always be a goal of mine.  The first two books I’m reading this year are about writing.  I’m re-reading Syd Field’s, Foundations of Screenwriting.  It helps me to look at the plot of the story I’m working on and strengthen it.

The second book I’m reading is Writing Irresistible Kidlit by Mary Kole.  If you are writing for young adults or middle grade I highly recommend it.  This is one of the best books on writing I’ve read.

Reading to Acquire New Information

There are things I want to learn like how to best handle my finances, business and marketing.  I’ll be reading books on these topics and I’ll share them here and on Goodreads.  Please share your recommendations in the comments.

Reading for fun

I also like to read for pure entertainment especially fiction.  Next on my to read list is one I picked up at the Miami Book Fair.  It’s a book of short stories called: The  Vintage Book of Latin American Stories.  There are some classics stories in there like Jorge Luis Borges, The Aleph but also many other great gems I hope to discover.

Some of my favorite books are:

  • The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas
  • Wild Women: Contemporary Short Stories by Women Celebrating Women by Sue Thomas
  • The Dragon Tattoo Series by Stieg Larsson
  • The Norton Anthology of Latino Literature by Ilan Stavans
  • The House on the Lagoon by Rosario Ferre
  • Puerto Rican Obituary by Pedro Pietri
  • The Seamstress by Frances de Pontes Peebles

 Benefits of Reading

10 Benefits of Reading

Mental Stimulation

Improve Memory

Acquire Vocabulary

Boosts Analytical Thinking

Improves Empathy

Improve Writing Skills

Increase Emotional Intelligence

Expands Your World View

Makes You Look Sexy

Entertainment

If you’re on Goodreads you can check out what I read in 2013.

Your turn, tell me what you’re reading?

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“Do not read, as children do, to amuse yourself, or like the ambitious, for the purpose of instruction. No, read in order to live.”  Gustave Flaubert

“We read to know that we are not alone.”  William Nicholson

“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” Benjamin Franklin

“Think before you speak. Read before you think.”  Fran Lebowitz

“In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you.”  Mortimer J. Adler

Update: I found an old Vine video with some books from my shelf.

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Gothic Fiction: Growing Up With Vampires

My entire life has been infused with stories.  Since I was a child there were frequent trips to the library and the book store.  In addition nothing on television was off-limits.  My parents were strict in other ways but censoring stories was not one of them.  I’ve had full access to imaginary realms my entire life including gothic ones.

From a very early age the difference between reality and fantasy was very clear to me.  I was a voracious reader, even before the age of ten I was subscribed to several book clubs.  Some of those books included mentions of Dracula, Frankenstein and many other imaginary creatures though I always preferred vampires.  With little effort, you can find them everywhere; in series such as Goosebumps, cartoons like Scooby Doo and even Sesame Street had the Count.

Vampire Collage movies tv film

Television and movies had an even greater impact on me.  On weekends and late nights I watched hosted horror shows with funky characters like Svengoolie and Elvira.  Remember them?  Most of the movies featured on those shows were old, in black and white or Technicolor, low budget horror or sci-fi films.  I never found them one bit scary.  On the contrary, their cheesiness always made me laugh.  Their efforts at being terrifying were actually hilarious.

As I got older, I discovered heavier, more serious gothic tales and am still enamored of them.  I read Bram Stoker along with many imitations before stumbling across Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles.  A Japanese anime series I enjoyed was the Vampire Hunter D.  It pushes the limits of the genre because it’s a wonderful mash up of western, science fiction, horror, and high fantasy.

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Gothic horror is a style of fiction which combines elements of horror and romance.  It’s an extreme form of romanticism set in gothic locations.  These stories demonstrate the duality of life, expose our vulnerabilities while inciting fear while demonstrating each of us has capability for great good or evil.

Quality’s of Gothic Horror:

  • The atmosphere provides fear and dread.
  • The hero is usually isolated.
  • High emotions.
  • Someone in distress.

Some of my favorite vampire stories are: The Anne Rice Chronicles, True Blood TV Series, Let the Right One In, The Lost Boys, Underworld, Blade, Coppola’s Dracula, Buffy the Vampire Slayer …

 

What is your favorite vampire story?

If you’ve written one please share your links in the comments below.

Vampire Lessons

5 Life Lessons I’ve Learned from Vampires

Resources:

If you enjoy reading, Project Gutenberg has an extensive Gothic Bookshelf of books you can read online for free

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“Evil is always possible. And goodness is eternally difficult.”  Anne Rice 

 “You will lose what you value most, so treasure it while you can.”  Richelle Mead 

 “When other little girls wanted to be ballet dancers, I kind of wanted to be a vampire.”  Angelina Jolie

 “It’s a good day to do great things!”  Randy Lipnitzky 

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I’m Searching For Latino Literature Sources #Latinolit #Books

“Literature is the most agreeable way of ignoring life.” 
Fernando Pessoa (The Book of Disquiet)
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Stuff on my bookshelf.

I am compiling a list of Latino literature sources.  If you have a website or page please list them in the comments and I will add them here for now.

Here are a few resources I know of already:

On twitter you can search the tag: #LatinoLit

I have a long list of books I’ve read on GoodReads.

FaceBook Pages:

Capicu Poetry & Cultural Showcase

Las Comadres
Las Comadres website with book club selection listing.

Libro Traficante

Websites:

Literary Latino
Latino literature and particularly Latino fiction.

Mayra Calvani

Mayra Calvani Latino Books Examiner

The Hispanic Reader

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“There is nothing which can better deserve our patronage than the promotion of science and literature. Knowledge is in every country the surest basis of public happiness.” George Washington


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