It’s the Inaugural “Found Balloons of the Month” Letter!
This is the Lost Balloon cafe, so, what exactly are found balloons? Glad you asked.
Found balloons are fun little cultural snippets we find on our travels and everyday life that impact us. Experiences, material things, you name it–anything that changes us for the better as we go through life are “found balloons.” Whenever I find these balloons, I like to bring them back to the cafe to share with you guys.
So, consider “Found Balloons” our version of a monthly newsletter, highlighting books that I’m reading this month (New Bookstore Adds), music recommendations (cafe vibes), adult drink ideas (the monthly drink menu) a photo of the month (picture above, description at the bottom, because every cafe needs a rotating art gallery) and more. So, without further ado…
Found Balloons, September
New Bookstore Adds (book links are affiliate to Amazon):
Fiction: We, the Drowned by Carsten Jensen
As a fictional traveller, I enjoy adventure travel fiction and let me tell you, I love this book. It’s the story of this small Danish sailing town as it navigates its own way through world history. It has everything. Travel, sea adventures, brave sailing crews serving under fearless captains, pirates, small town charm, love, war, and more. The author follows the town from the 1800s up to World War II and showcases how world events have shaped the culture of the town over time. Brilliant thoughts and insights into what makes and influences a society, the birth and death of a culture, and more. By far the greatest historical fiction I’ve read in a long time, possibly ever.
Non Fiction: David and Goliath by Malcom Gladwell
This book is a study into how underdogs succeed in society, business, geopolitics, and more. It’s incredibly insightful stuff and has tons of lessons that are applicable to anyone. There’s great examples that show how to maximize your strengths while minimizing your weaknesses to achieve great things when the odds are against you. Or, just read it to learn a little more about the counterintuitive effect that laws and social policies have on a population. This is the second Malcom Gladwell book I’ve read and they’ve both taught me a lot about both myself and society as a whole. I’ll definitely be reading more.
Poetry: Cold Mountain Poems translated by J.P. Seaton
Ok, so I’m not a person who typically “gets” poetry, so I was hesitant to pick this book up. But, what made me do it is the legend of Han Shan, the supposed author of these poems. So the story goes, Han Shan was a buddhist monk who wasn’t very good at being buddhist. So, he and his companion, Shih Te, retreated to this place in China called cold mountain and hid themselves in a cave—writing poetry on the rocks and trees all around the mountain for others to read. Kind of like first century teenagers tagging things with spray paint.
The poetry in the book is nothing like what you’d expect from ancient “Zen” writing, though, and that’s why I love it and am recommending it to you guys. The poems are full of jokes and irony as well as deep meaning on ideas like riches, success, life, and nature. It’s the perfect book to keep in the backpack or purse to read a few words of escape in those little pockets of free time you get throughout the day.
Music: Even though it’s September, I’m holding on to summer as long as I can, so I’ve been relaxing to some Jack Johnson for ultimate beach café vibes. However, I came across this fantastic remix of his song “Breakdown” done by the Handsome Boy Modeling School. Even if you don’t like Johnson’s music, you gotta give this mix a listen. It’s a classy, jazzy, twist on a chill summer song. If anyone knows of other songs in this style, let me know so I can add it to the café’s end of summer playlist.
September Drink Menu
When I say the phrase “coconut rum,” university nights and Malibu might come to your mind. So, when a bartender recommended that I try this thing called Rum Haven telling me that it’s the best coconut rum I’ll ever drink, I briefly had nightmarish flashbacks and just about jumped across the bar so I could take the bottle and throw it out the window…
…I’m glad I didn’t do that, though, because Rum Haven is nothing like the coconut rum of my youth (and because I like that bar and would hate to be banned). It’s not your typical fruit flavored rum. Instead, it’s rum distilled with pure coconut water. As a result, it doesn’t taste like any of that cheap, gimmicky, flavored stuff. I’ve been enjoying Rum Haven by itself, but I’ve learned it’s also pretty good mixed with gin and maybe a little cherry or maraschino liqueur. Give it a try and, if you come up with any fun cocktail recipes, let me know and I’ll share them here.
Cafe Art Corner
Photo of the month: My wife was doing her best to imitate all those yoga girls on instagram as we passed through Lake Tahoe, USA a while back. We really do enjoy yoga (it’s great after a long flight), but who actually does it at sunrise on mountaintops with perfect makeup and hair? Not us.