10 book ideas for amazon dot com

I’ve thought about writing a ebook and posting it on amazon.com for a long time.  So the other day I decided to write down ideas.  They would be quick 30 page ebooks. It would be a fun experiment to see if I could do it.  Without further ado here are my ideas:

  1.  United States in 2020 After Four Years of Trump : Lots of google searches on him at the moment. Could be a HUGE seller.
  2.  Leonardo DiCaprio Oscar Movies : discuss other movies he should have won an Oscar. For example: The Beach.
  3. Why Minorities Struggle in Hollywood/Creative Fields. This was also a big topic at the Oscars.
  4. How to Save Kanye West. He’s back in the headlines with crazy tweets. This would discuss his recent meltdown. Maybe relate it to what media does to famous people like in the movie Amy.
  5. Top 20 recipes to make in a crock pot in 5 minutes: I recently bought a crock pot and it’s slowly changing my life. I still need more recipes. This would help me and help others. Win/win.
  6. Top Rug Designs in 2016. I work with rugs so this would be a easy peasy one. A subjective one yes, but that’s the beauty of art. I can discuss trends in modern decor and interior design for young people.
  7. Top Ten Music Festivals to attend in 2016. I attend a music fest once a year for past 5 years so I could write some helpful tips. Best food at a music festival, best city, best line ups, best bang for your Canadian dollar.
  8. Canada Needs to invade Europe. This would be about stealing golden ideas from Europe, such as 8 week paid holiday leave in Italy for all its citizens and zero home work in Finland schools, and amazing 5 course lunches in France for public school kids. Free University Education in Slovenia.  Inspired by the Michael Moore movie – Where to Invade Next.
  9. How to Throw a Successful Reading Party in the Park. I’ve done 3 of these so I have some experience with this.
  10. Top 10 Hikes to do around Calgary for a Beginner. I’ve been hiking lots past year or so. Consider myself a beginner, so I’m authority on this subject.

Okay some of these ideas suck. But who cares.  Writing this list was itself a mind exercise. Let’s see if I actually follow through and turn one of these ideas into an Amazon kindle book.


Reading party in the park! Part three

Yo peeps,

I hosted my third Reading Party In The Park a couple weeks ago! About 20 people showed up. Though almost 30 folks confirmed with me.

Flakes I tell ya.

I did one last year which you can read about by clicking here. I had roughly the same turn out.

There was some healthy snacks like sliced cantaloupe and watermelon.  I also had cans of San Pellegrino for anyone who came cos I’m fancy.

I was personally reading a memoir by Jerry Weintraub called “When I Stop Talking You ll know I’m dead.” He was a famous talent agent that worked with everyone in the entertainment industry – ie. Elvis, Frank Sinatra, Clooney, etc.  Fun, light read.

Two people randomly brought the same book to the party ! It was Daring Greatly by Bene Brown. I should pick that up soon. Great minds think alike I suppose.

Below are some pics from the event:











P.S. I’ll write a post soon on the books I’ve been reading this summer.  Don’t forget to get  yo READ on.





Ten apps that I’d like to use

What’s up?

I’ve been reading a new book called Idea Machine by Claudia Altucher.  The whole point of the book is write to 10 Ideas every day to make your brain sweat. Get your creative juices flowing. Once done consistently, say after 180 days, you become an Idea Machine.


Why do you want to be an idea machine? Because ideas are the currency of 21st century. Not money. Money can run out. Good ideas can buy you experiences, etc….

She does a terrific job selling the idea on why writing down ideas are important! It got me pumped and you may wanna consider this exercise too. It’s only 1 dollar on the Kindle.

BTW this book is more of a worksheet than a proper book. And I like that!  And doesn’t necessarily have to be business ideas. It can be ten  ideas about how to practice gratitude in the day.

I liked Day 2 of the idea worksheet. These were my ideas.

List Ten Apps That You’d Like To Use, doesn’t matter that they already exist or not, think of what would be helpful for you in particular:

  1. App Reminder System for your friends/family to return items.

  2. App that changes your ringtone based on the weather. Ie: Thunderstruck by ACDC when a rainy storm hits.

  3. App that gives you flirty text suggestions you can send to girls via text.

  4. App that gives you Indian or Paleo food cooking instructions every day.

  5. App that tells where free parking is in any city.  A sort of Airbnb for parking.

  6. App that give you new clothing suggestions every month for men. Based on whats trendy and links to stores nearby to you.

  7. App for food delivery to your door – one click – sent to your apartment door.

  8. Tinder like app for doing actual fun activities. Matches you with people who play soccer, tennis, run stairs up in Crescent Heights, right here in Calgary. LOL. Why not? Coffee dates are boring.

  9. App that gives you the Top 10 Rok’n’Rol  tracks of the week suggested from Bands you already love. Ie Noel Gallagher writes them out on a daily basis on his blog!

  10.  App that gives you guitar chords after you Shazam the songs to find who it was.  Godsend. What about Ukulele chords?

recent books i’ve been reading

nishant costa rica december 2014 use in blog on reading

I’ve been reading a lot lately. I especially did during the holiday break in Costa Rica back in December. Did I only listen to rok’n’rol surf tunes the entire time?? NO. Not me.  I took advantage of the dead time sitting on the plane and laying by the beach by READING!!

I did a lot of  fun activities too, but I wanted to make sure I finally caught up with ze books.

Reading is a great way to turn dead time to alive time. Alive time is where your learning and acting on your intended future. In my case it was taking down notes and working through the following:

The Fish That Ate the Whale by Rich Cohen.

Holy shit this book is excellent. The best business book I read in 2014.  I’m holding the book in the above pic.

This is the insane untold tale of Samuel Zemurray, the self-made banana mogul from Russia who went from penniless roadside banana peddler to kingmaker and capitalist revolutionary.  It reads like a James Bond tale. It’s insider’s look at the American Dream filled with great insights on business strategy, leadership and even geopolitics.

The story hit me even harder, when I realized my hostel in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica sat right next to a banana plantation.  Costa Rica is the birthplace of United Fruit (The Google of the 50’s).

You will also have a desire to visit New Orleans after reading this.

Going to have to read the authors other books.

Obstacle is the Way By Ryan Holiday.

This book is a modern take on stoicism. It’s written by Ryan Holiday, who also runs an book email list that I’m proud to be part of. Actually many of the books I read are directly because of his recommendations, (including all the ones in this blog post except Agassi) .

This is one I will definitely go back whenever I feel I need to re-frame problems. I’ve read Seneca and Meditations, but I enjoyed his for the modern examples he used to explain out ideas.

“The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.”


Before this book, I didn’t know much about Andre Agassi, except that he was half Persian, was very good at tennis and married Brook Shields back in the 90’s.

This book caught me by surprise early on as he mentions he hated tennis growing up.  Super entertaining sports biography. Tennis is an intensely psychologically tough sport.  I love watching it, but reading about the emotional swings from a world class pro is another thing.

How he courted Steffi Graf was also super entertaining! what a playaaaah 😉

Napoleon by Paul Johnson.

I’ve read his other ones – Socrates, and Churchill. I love these quick 200 page biographies by Paul Johnson. You can tell he knows the history very well. He gives you solid primer on what makes up these epic characters of history in concise manner.  He has strong opinions, but I tend to believe him since he alludes to so many previous biographies of Napolean (He’s one of the most written about world leader in history).

By the way, Napoleon was no hero. He’s mentioned as an early predecessor to the 20th century monsters of Hitler and Stalin.

The Boys in the Boat

Before this book, I knew nothing about rowing nor did I really care for it. This beautiful book, however, made the sport seem amazingly interesting.

It’s one of those books that will get your adrenaline pumping and YOU will want to finish in 3-4 days. There is a lot of sadness in the early stages of the book. It’s about how this working class kid was abandoned by his own father at age 10.  His mother died at an early age, his step mother was quite cold to him.This part of the book might make you CRY.

Yet through all the obstacles and emotional issues, not to mention tough economic times of the 1930’s, he made  it to the University of Washington Rowing Team.

Eventually his rowing team won every championship in the United States and was chosen to be the national team to compete in the Olympics in 1936 in Berlin hosted by Hitler. Enjoyed the side Nazi storyline as well.

It’s quite motivating read. I’ve started warming up in the gym with 2000 m row since reading. go figure.


I was a little obsessed with 1% vs. 99% movement back in 2011. So I’ve naturally been a bit curious about the global super rich since then.

No idea how the author had privy to so many people from the 1%.

How did the plutocrats came to be in the first place? Some forces include: globalization, technology and also a lot hard work by these self-made people.  Raises a lot of questions and kinda of left me feeling sick. Sick in the sense that these people psychologically don’t seem to be thinking what they aren’t doing is unethical.

One nugget from Dan Ariely in this book: “when you have financial incentive to see reality in a certain way, you will see it that way, not because your bad, but because your human.”

Reading Party in the Park! part two

Last night I had my 2nd Reading Party in the Park!

I had my first Reading Party in ze Park last August, which you can read about by clicking here.

This one was a long time coming, since the previous two dates it was raining!

Thanks a lot Mother Nature.

Here are some pics:

photo 1 (24) photo 2 (19) photo 3 (17) photo 4 (18)

I was focused to make this one bigger, badder, better than before.

I texted people on the day of the event to remind them. Lots of people were nursing hangovers or actually sick from the annual Calgary Stampede that had just ended on Sunday.

But in reality about 15 people showed up, which is about the same as last year. I blame the constant postponing due to rain! It’s all good.

I provided cheese, fresh fruit – watermelon, nacho’s + salsa, guacamole, grapes, water…Twas a tasty affair if I may so.

I didn’t do this last time!

New friends were made. 15 is actually good number of people for an event like this.

Was great to see circles of friends meeting.

More importantly, I finally got some READING TIME in! I’ve been slacking on this routine this year.

Till next time,



Reading party in a park!

Last night I had a little “reading party” in a nearby park.  Now I’ve held one before, but this time it was more fun because  it was outside and warm!  This doesn’t happen often in Calgary.

Anyways it went swimmingly!  It consisted of hanging out with friends, socializing for an hour, and then reading whatever book each person wanted to read.

Socializing  + Reading + Park = fun event.

Some tricks to get people to the party?

I gave everyone 2 week notice.  In addition to making a facebook event, I personally emailed/phoned most of the people.  A little personal touch goes a long way. It shows you actually want them to come out to this week day event!

Now some still flaked out, but the ones that did attend loved it.

Here are some pics:

photo (44)


photo (43)

photo (46)

People arrived around 7 pm.  Everyone introduced themselves, etc.

At 8 pm we all read for one hour.  I remember some people getting a little restless for it to turn 8 pm so they could finally get there READ on!

I didn’t have to act library cop at all either. Except towards the end  a couple walking by found it utterly hilarious that 10-12 people were ALL reading in a park and began giggling. LOL.  I immediately gave them the evil eye and  shhh’ed them!  They complied and left.

Anyways this is a simple, fun event you can also hold. I give credit to Nev at nevblog.com for spreading the reading party idea. I tweaked it a bit of course and  it went off well!

Note to self: Bring healthy snacks/drinks for everyone. Oops.

hey you, don’t buy this jacket!

I was nerding out one day watching a question and answer video on Tim Ferriss, where he recommended 3 books, one of them being  this business memoir called Let My People Go Surfing.

I read the first few pages and instantly got drawn to this unusual story.  It’s a topsy turvy life story by Yvon Chouinard, who reluctantly started a business based on his love for the outdoors, mainly rock climbing and hiking, etc.

He started to create tools and materials that he felt he needed. He realized others liked and desired these products too, so he created this company as we know today as Patagonia.

I like this guy a lot cos he challenges conventional wisdom on business.  Not to just aim for pure profits, but make society better.

Anyways, I got curious yesterday and thought.. I wonder what Patagonia’s blog like?  So I  found it and  came across this beauty post explaining their latest advertising in the New York Times.

DON”T BUY THIS JACKET is the headline!  On America’s greatest consumer holiday – Black Friday!

I mean you must be thinking oh how clever. Addressing the consumerists. Say don’t buy it, taking the opposite approach to capture attention. That’s what my initial reaction would be to this if I didn’t know the Patagonia back story.

AND yes! That’s what it is  – however this is not just a stunt.  Patagonia throughout it’s history has had this philosophy:  don’t buy more if you don’t need it.

It’s controversial, yes, but the motive is  to cause you to re-examine your purchasing practices. Do you really need it? Maybe you were leaning this way, but this might push you to be even more mindful. Perhaps to check out Patagonia’s website to learn more if it’s a strong interest to you.

This is my kind of advertising.  Some people hate marketing, but don’t realize this is the equilibrium we live in. This is how you fight back.