and movies that inspired
is a common theme in Gideon’s life that is buried in the subtext
and backstory of his character. It is his belief in Possibility
and his willingness to work his heart out to achieve it that drives
him. Dreams and vision for a good life are vital to having one,
but what is also vital is the will and willingness to gut it out
and do the slop work of getting it done. Gideon has both of these
qualities in spades. These themes are also vibrantly expressed in
some of my favorite pieces of art, largely books. They are stories
of people who think and dream and take chances to achieve that which
they believe in, to achieve in the end, greatness.—Mark
The Endurance Expedition
Vincimus—Through endurance we conquer.
true-to-life tale recreating the mythical voyage of Saint Brendan,
the Irish monk reputed to have reached the New World in a leather
boat hundreds of years before Eric the Red.
the Heart of the Sea
true story behind Moby Dick.
saw this movie as a boy in 1977 and it changed his life. It made
Mark believe—more than any other thing he has ever witnessed—in
possibility. If Mark could thank Sylvester Stallone for making this
film, for touching his life more deeply than any other single piece
of art he has ever seen, he would.
Latitudes, Boldly Going Where Captain Cook Has Gone Before
history of Captain Cook and the description of his genius leads
Mark to believe that Cook is among the smartest, most capable people
ever to have lived. Reading of his adventures is true inspiration.
and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
Robert M. Pirsig
and the Art…” truly connects life and craft as does Gideon.
By Alfred Lord Tennyson
poem speaks to the hero that Mark believe is in us all, to the hero
who burns to live the fullest life possible, to drive ever further,
to love ever more, and ultimately to be great.
learned about Thomas Jefferson as a sophomore at Barnstable
High School in Hyannis, Mass. As the subject of his first research
paper, Mark learned that Jefferson was considered a Renaissance
Man—someone capable of being good at many things, both physical
and intellectual. Another Cape Codder, Jack Kennedy, described Jefferson
at a White House dinner packed with the world’s great minds: “Never
before has the White House seen such great minds around a dinner
table, except perhaps when Jefferson dined alone.” That says it
A traditional/Irish music band from Newfoundland, Canada, Great
Big Sea’s songs tell stories with unstoppable energy and passion.
Gideon was already named in The Carpenter’s Notebook ,
but when Mark stumbled across the song Gideon Brown, it was too
good not to put in the book. Go see these guys.
Stills & Nash
shanty Southern Cross speaks of journeys and inspirations in a lyric
that only a musician can find. It is at once tearfully beautiful
and spirit-raising in its vision of the ocean, wind, and sail as
a vehicle to come into concert with heart of one’s very being.
Simple Art of Greatness: Building, Managing and Motivating a Kick-Ass
James X. Mullen
if you’re not in business, this book is worth a read—or at least
a listen (I experienced it as an audio book.) It was from Mark’s
mother that he learned Occam’s
Razor, but it was in Mullen’s extraordinary book that Mark learned
it had a name.
the People who inspired The Carpenter’s Notebook
the Places that inspired The Carpenter’s Notebook