4 recommended reads from my 2021 reading list

The ever-growing collection: if you can’t see the title I haven’t read it yet. With only one left, I’m gonna need some more books soon.

If you happened to read my last post (shame on you if you have not), you’ll remember me referencing reading quite a bit. This cannibalizes my writing time, but to hone your craft of combining words, reading is the tried and true practice. Read all sorts of different books. Read all sorts of writing styles. Fiction. Non-fiction. First person. Third person. You get the idea. 

I like to think I might have some books on the shelf that those who read this blog might enjoy. Some recommendations from friends. Some I found on my own. All sorts of literature crammed together spine to spine. I decided to tee up a couple books you might want to consider opening: 



For my rap fans and biography junkies. This tells the tale of Lamont “U God” Hawkins, a kid growing up in Staten Island that would help create one of the most famous rap groups in history: the Wu Tang Clan. It’s just one of those books once you pick it up it is hard to put down. Also, you might feel a little extra fortunate about your upbringing-not having to deal with some of the same struggles Lamont dealt with.

(ALSO READ: LENNY KRAVITZ LET LOVE RULE– A similar tale of a star’s rise to success.)



I picked this book up after hearing Ross talk on a podcast during one of my workdays. Here’s the skinny- the guy swam around Great Britain. You can only imagine the amount of problems one can run into while swimming 1780 miles at sea. A great story about never giving up and doing the unthinkable.

(ALSO READ: DAVID GOGGINS CAN’T HURT ME– Another strong minded individual [and much more known than Edgley].)



Everyone’s head inflates a little at some point in their life. Ryan explains the many benefits of putting hard-headedness to the side and embracing the underdog role. There’s a big difference between ego and confidence-and this book helps draw the line. 

(ALSO READ: RYAN HOLIDAY THE OBSTACLE IS THE WAY– Kinda the sequel to ego is the enemy, it again hones in on perspective and the best way to embrace challenges.)



One of my favorite books on my bookshelf. A quick, easy read that you can tailor to whatever situation in life you may find yourself. Read it quickly-read it often.

(ALSO READ: DEEPAK CHOPRA 7 SPIRITUAL LAWS AGAIN- It’s one of those books worth revisiting after a little time has gone by.)


I’ve been sitting on this post for almost a month now. For some reason I haven’t hit publish. And the reason is unknown to me.

Even with all the free time I’ve had on my hands, I still find myself having to choose what to do. You’d surely think I’d have time to do everything I wanted to with this new quarantine lifestyle. But maybe I’ve bitten off more than I can chew? See here’s the thing: they say splitting your focus into too many different lanes is counterproductive. But I would disagree. I think things that are new and fresh are going to require more focus until you hone them to the level of expertise similar to other activities. So since trying new things, I’ve devoted more time to these activities I am far less familiar with. As usual, every morning consists of a surf. Just to get it out of the way. Not that it is a chore, but getting up early and striking before winds and crowds has definitely been my wavelength as of late. Even though it might be one of the things I am most an expert in (don’t take that the wrong way), I still love to give it the time and attention it deserves. Sure, I’ve woken up at 6 for the past xxx mornings, but I’ve fully gotten used to it and even when I don’t surf I still rise fairly early. If it’s a work day, I am preoccupied until around 5 or 6. Those days are a little more boring. I can pick 1 of the things I like to do after work. I have that 2 hour window to do whatever. Then it’s eat around 8 and watch a TV show with my roommates. In bed at 10. The TV show might be looked at as wasted time, but it’s time all of us sit on the couch and shoot the shit. Sometimes we pass on it but most of the time it’s our bonding (aside from our daily sunset bike cruise). So maybe I’ll fish. Or maybe I’ll read.  Maybe I’ll cook up a beat. Maybe I’ll go on a run. Maybe I’ll work out. Maybe I’ll surf. Maybe I’ll write. Do you see where I am going with this?

It seems like I keep writing these posts saying the same thing: writing has taken the backseat. But no longer! I had mentioned in an earlier piece about a side project I have quietly been working on, and I think it’s about time to let it rip. They say you have to fail a ton of times to succeed. And this might be a shot in the dark that amounts to nothing. But the cool aspect of it is that things are cemented on the internet, and I’ll always be able to look back on it and smile. And maybe learn from the mistakes. If you don’t put yourself out there, you’ll never know what the outcome could be. So here’s a quick synopsis on my new site.

Yes, it’s another website. Why? Because why not! I love this site, and it seems like (very few) others do too! Love is a strong word, but just work with me. It’s a snapshot of my professional career and me flexing my writing chops (if I even have any to flex). If you know me, you know I really don’t like things to be about me. If it doesn’t pertain to any but me, I usually don’t talk about it. I try not to gloat or boast. I (typically) am humble and quiet. As it should be. So it only made sense to make something that wasn’t all about me. Enter: Welcome Progress. I grew up glued to some surf media outlets. What Youth, Stab, SURFING (RIP), etc. Things have surely changed as far as paper magazines and how these sites are ran, but I loved reading interviews and pieces penned about things in the surf world I was enamored by. I still read articles off sites like GQ, Pitchfork, Stab, Inherent Bummer, etc. The shift from pure surf media started happening as I grew older and also more found of writing and styles. I am definitely a surf turkey by nature, but at this point in life I like to think I am a lot more. I think just being labeled a surfer got so stale. So let’s spin from that into what Welcome Progress will be about. It’s going to have some elements of surf. That’d go under the realm of “Activity”. There is also Mindset and Everyday. It’ll just be cheeky little pieces that fit into each one of those bins (or the trash bin if it sucks). Opinionated or fabricated pieces, made easily digestible. 

But it’ll be more than just my writing. I will reach out to others and post their shit. I want to talk to some of my friends and get their opinion, because I like to think I have a pretty diverse group of friends. With varying degrees of notoriety, hustle, and intellect. Some I talk to way more than others. Some tell me a lot more than others. But that’s not the point. I only know so much. Other people know a lot more. It would be strange to let other people in on a website that was named after me, so peer work will live here. Just a whole bunch of random shit! I also tried decently hard to make it look good. I think the layout is cool and a more complete site in comparison to my current site. The homepage is a mood board, linked to @welcomeprogress. It will be embedded with art, design, surf, and anything I think is cool or fits the brand. It’s still me at the helm, so you could probably guess the vibe (if you know me). Well, that’s it. Let’s see what happens!! If you are keen to give it a look, click HERE. If you want in on it, text me or reach out on the contact page. Come one come all! There’s not much currently, but if you want give the Instagram a follow and check out the little pieces I wrote under each category. 


Beating (The) Writers Block

It’s the Monday after a long weekend and I am definitely tired. It was a fun weekend, capped off with surf in good conditions and some delicious Indian food before I laid my mind to slumber at 10 o’clock. I would have a rude awakening to my 6:20AM alarm, and continued to snooze it to 6:40AM. Not a big deal, but I do like when I get up at 6:20AM and am alert and ready. Today at 6:40AM I was neither alert nor ready for the impending Monday. I robotically walked to the kettle, put on the hot water, went to the bathroom, and began to make breakfast. Literally every morning I walk to the electronic kettle and turn it on before anything, ensuring the coffee will be ready in a timely fashion.

By the time I was out of the house, I was awake. I never try to surf before work on Mondays, as I know how tired I tend to be and like to start the week off with energy. Unless the waves are pumping, I sleep in. Good morning surfs will energize me more than any amount of sleep or coffee. Fast forward to the end of the day and I am staring at my computer trying to muster up an idea to write about. I have all the ingredients: newfound energy in the form of a late afternoon coffee, good music in the background, and the time on my hands to carve out a nice little piece of work. I just can’t find anything good to write about. I have a couple ideas, but this is the not the week they would fit into. I quickly would dawn on the easy solution: The Writers Block. I pop it open randomly 3 times, hate all 3 prompts, and then scour the pages for the one I would want to write about.


Indulgence. Something that usually goes down on the weekends when minimal responsibility is present. When you think about it, is it a positive or negative word? Do you immediately go to good or bad indulgences? For me, indulgence often has a negative connotation. For some reason, I always think of vices involved with “indulging” in something. One can indulge in many things in many ways, which makes an already gray term even grayer. One way to indulge in something could be doing it daily. Pretty much in the form of a habit, but doing it every day without skipping a beat. Another way one can indulge in something is for maybe only one day but for multiple hours of the day. Again, we don’t know if indulgence is positive, negative or neutral. It definitely depends on what the indulgence is, but it ultimately comes back to everything needing moderation for a healthy and happy life.

Indulgence can be binge-watching TV for 6 hours. Indulgence can be having a couple beers every night of the week. Indulgence can be drinking one night a week but balls to the walls. Indulgence can be indulging in legal or illegal substances. Cookies or crack. Indulgence, in my eyes, is necessary. If you don’t indulge in anything, what are you going to enjoy in life? You must indulge. Hopefully you pick positive indulges. I indulge in surfing and working out and eating delicious foods. I sometimes indulge in things that may cause a negative reaction. But always in moderation. If it were not for indulgence, we would all be a lot less happy. Good indulgences can turn bad, and bad indulgences can turn good. You just never know. Only one way to really find out.

Recommended Reads


Summer may be over, but September and October offer some of the best weather both in my hometown of Lavallette and also out here in my new home of Southern California. Affectionately referred to as “indian summer” and “local summer”, these two months deliver beautiful weather with a fraction of the amount of people and clutter that come with it in the summer. Sometimes when the beach is quiet and the waves are flat, nothing is better than burying yourself in a good book. Here are 5 different types of literature perfect for a sunny September day.

Scar Tissue – Anthony Kiedis, Larry Sloman (Buy Here)

Probably one of the best autobiographies I’ve have read front to back, Scar Tissue takes you through the tumultuous life of lead Red Hot Chilli Peppers singer Anthony Kiedis. From the ups and downs, to the uppers and the downers, this book is a very real and raw look into one of the longest and craziest battles of substance abuse all while being on top of the world music wise. It also give insight into meanings of some of your favorite RHCP songs, which reminds you to play them a little more. This book had me reading multiple chapters and not taking more than a day in between reading it. One of the fastest times I’ve finished a book is from this great read.

Lord of the Flies – William Golding (Buy Here)

While this book does not have a spot on my bookshelf, I vividly remember reading it my freshman year of high school and genuinely really liking it. Something that was rare for an assigned reading, I kept coming back to read another chapter. I remember this was a summer reading project, and would come with me to the beach when the waves were absent. An interesting tale with many underlying lessons from an unlikely group of friends, if you have not read this classic, get to it ASAP. To be honest, I think I might need to grab a copy and crack it open just to enjoy it all over again.

Stoned Beyond Belief / F*ck, That’s Delicious – Action Bronson (Buy Here)

These two books come from one of my favorite and most imaginative rappers, Young Prosciutto AKA Bambambaklava AKA Bronsolino AKA Action Bronson. As whacky as his rhymes, these two books explore Bronson’s two loves in this world: cooking and kush. While the F*ck That’s Delicious to my understanding is more purely recipes, the Stoned Beyond Belief book delivers funny stories and meals made up around Action smoking like a chimney. It is a nicely made book with fine imagery and on top of all this mine is signed on the inside. Talk

Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World (Buy Here)

I just picked this one up based off a recommendation from someone on some podcast (super vague, but I remember the person talking about it and more of Cal’s work and I was enticed enough to investigate). While only a few chapters in, this subject matter definitely hits home for me and I would bet most of you, as it seems as though screen time is only on the rise and walking away seems almost impossible. Cal breaks down and elaborates on how to declutter your digital life, and also pulls real life examples from people who have used his technique and learnings from the book to stray away from the screen. While I don’t know if I will be enacting his practices anytime soon or taking a social media break, it will be cool to look back on if I ever plan to.

A Good Magazine (Buy Here)

Every time I find myself in an airport, I will buy a magazine. Even if I have a new book or a magazine from the departing from CA flight, I use the extra time between boarding as an excuse to justify the 7-10 dollar purchase. I find I really like magazines purely for the fact of what you can do with one. You can skim it for the pictures, cherry-pick your articles, or just read it front to back. You also can immerse yourself in one of your passions by picking the right magazine. My go-to magazines are any of the few surf related publications left, GQ, Mens Health, and wildcards like Maxim, Forbes, or Wired.

Don’t Judge a Book by its Cover: How the Dr. Can Help People

(This is an old piece from my minor in writing and rhetoric at Chapman University. Since most of my writing is pretty loose on here, I figured it would be cool to post something that had more structure. I wish I could find the prompt, alas I cannot. If you were wondering, I got a B on this guy.)

Horton Hears a Who. Fox in Socks. Hop on Pop. The Lorax. At least one of these books has to ring a bell. All of these books have a common author, and this man is one of the most well known authors for young readers. His name is Theodore Seuss Geisel, more commonly referred to as, Dr. Seuss. Ah, now you know who I am talking about. Arguably one of the most well- known authors overall and definitely in the category of young readers, Dr. Seuss burned a legacy into literature by writing some of the most quirky and colorful books at the time. With crazy creatures like the Sneetches and Yertle the turtle, all his books had uniqueness about them. They all were extremely different and contained different stories and lessons.  

Dr. Seuss taught us a valuable lesson in his books (specifically Sneetches and Horton Hears a Who) we learn that being different is not a bad thing. The Sneetches all have different belly marks, and Horton, a giant elephant, befriends a little human to being a good friend. All his books make the most unlikely of people friends and makes sure difference is embraced. It is good to see this in a book designed for young readers, mainly because it teaches the lesson of never judging a book by its cover (pun intended).

Theodore Seuss Geisel was born on March 2nd, 1904 (today, he would be one hundred and thirteen years old). He grew up in Springfield, Massachusetts, with his father’s occupation being a successful brewer. He would attend college at Dartmouth at age eighteen. He would pick up an editor position at the college for one of its magazines. Later in his college life he would violate the alcohol rules and be kicked off his position of editor. He decided to continue to contribute under the name Seuss. Upon his graduation from Dartmouth, he would move onto Oxford and meet his future wife. They would eventually marry in 1927.

As for the Doctor’s career as a writer, he would publish his first book in 1957. We all know this wonderful book as The Cat in the Hat. Inspired by Theodore’s response to an article about children’s reading levels, this would flourish into probably his most well known work. Today, it has sold more than 10.5 million copies. After this it was off to the races. Other notable books by Seuss include Green Eggs and Ham and How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

Dr. Seuss appeals to all audiences, not just young readers. Movies have been made about his books and in the audience you see all sorts of people. Young or old, male or female, everyone loves a good story from the doctor. Back to the idea of judgment told by Seuss, his books make everyone smile based on the relationships between characters and how kooky they tend to look. As a kid, someone who looks different can be a reason to be made fun of or judged. After reading some Seuss books, and seeing that the most strange- looking characters tend to be the heroes or the “cool guys,” I think America and most adults should sit back and read a book by Seuss and rethink some of the things they say or do. After all, it’s recommended by the doctor.