Books read in 2019 Q2

I was two books behind schedule at the end of last quarter. And I am two books behind schedule now. Guess that means my reading was on track this past quarter. This is no small accomplishment given all the travels and other things I did in these three months.

Here are the books I finished in Q2:

  1. Origin by Dan Brown
  2. Les Misérables by Victor Hugo
  3. The Associate by John Grisham
  4. Body Double by Tess Gerritsen
  5. Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist’s Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations by Thomas L. Friedman
  6. If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look on My Face?: My Adventures in the Art and Science of Relating and Communicating by Alan Alda
  7. The Bat by Jo Nesbø
  8. Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
  9. Future Babble: Why Expert Predictions Are Next to Worthless, and You Can Do Better by Dan Gardner
  10. Deep Freeze by John Sandford
  11. When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing by Daniel H. Pink
  12. Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver

A good list of books, some of them are quite big page-wise, like #2, #5, and #8. The only two books that I didn’t enjoy as much are #7 and #11. Maybe because I have read quite a few books from the authors and these two books just didn’t meet my high expectations.

Looking forward to reading more. I have high hopes that I will catch up to my schedule by the end of next quarter. Stay tuned. 🙂

Books 2019 Q2


Books read in 2019 Q1

My book-reading started slow this year largely due to my mother’s recent visit. At one point I was five books behind schedule in reaching this year’s 50-book goal. I am not complaining though – the quality time we spent together was priceless! I have been catching up this week and managed to finish 10 books in the first quarter. Not bad at all with only two books behind now.

Here are the books I finished so far:

  1. Rising Strong by Brené Brown
  2. Police by Jo Nesbø
  3. Grand Pursuit: A History of Economic Genius by Sylvia Nasar
  4. The Power of I Am: Two Words That Will Change Your Life Today by Joel Osteen
  5. Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age by Sherry Turkle
  6. Churchill and Orwell: The Fight for Freedom by Thomas E. Ricks
  7. Lab Girl by Hope Jahren
  8. The Best of Me by Nicholas Sparks
  9. The Present: The Secret to Enjoying Your Work and Life, Now! by Spencer Johnson
  10. The Hundred Secret Senses by Amy Tan

A good list of books – I was captured by the characters and stories in the fictions, and learned quite a lot from the non-fictions. Seven out of the ten books were written by authors that I was familiar with and they all met my expectations. And I was glad that I picked up the three books (#5, #6, #7) by new authors.

Looking forward to reading more!

Books 2019 Q1


Books read in 2018 Q4

In my last book report I mentioned that I would need to finish 16 books in the fourth quarter to accomplish my 50-book annual goal. Well, I ended up reading 14, therefore I am two books short of meeting my reading goal for 2018. 😦 Given that Stephen King’s ‘The Stand’ has 1400+ pages, which is more than enough for three average-length books, I can persuade myself that I did a decent job. 🙂

Here are the books I finished this past quarter:

  1. The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine by Michael Lewis
  2. The Stand by Stephen King
  3. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondō
  4. Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness by Richard H. Thaler and Cass R. Sunstein
  5. 纵有万般心碎,也要笑得甜美 by 谢姣姣
  6. Olive’s Ocean by Kevin Henkes
  7. The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future by Kevin Kelly
  8. The Girl in the Spider’s Web by David Lagercrantz
  9. The Sea Wolf by Jack London
  10. When We Were Orphans by Kazuo Ishiguro
  11. Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami
  12. The Outsider by Stephen King
  13. Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson
  14. Don’t Get Too Comfortable by David Rakoff

I enjoyed most books on this list, except #4 and #14. Here is a mini book review I wrote on #4; and I didn’t include the meaningless long subtitle of #14 in the list.

I learned a lot from #7, highly recommend. #8 exceeded my expectations. Books from Stephen King, Erik Larson, Haruki Murakami, and Michael Lewis were as good as ever. Looking back, I indeed accomplished a lot in Q4 in terms of reading! 🙂

Just set a goal of 50 again for 2019. Keep reading…

Books 2018 Q4


Books read in 2018 Q3

The third quarter of 2018 passed just too quickly. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I was too busy with other activities to read much. Therefore I only finished 8 books in the past three months, a big gap from the 14 books in the previous book report. It seems I would need to finish 16 books in the fourth quarter to accomplish my 50-book annual goal. Definitely a challenge!

Here are the books I finished this past quarter:

  1. The Last Painting of Sara de Vos by Dominic Smith
  2. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
  3. Leonardo da Vinci by Walter Isaacson
  4. Goodbye, Things: The New Japanese Minimalism by Fumio Sasaki
  5. Golden Prey by John Sandford
  6. Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus: A Devout Muslim Encounters Christianity by Nabeel Qureshi
  7. The Silent Sea by Clive Cussler and Jack Du Brul
  8. The Moving Finger by Agatha Christie

I liked all eight books okay – none of them stands out as a “highly recommend”, nor is any one considered a waste of time. They are good enough.

I REALLY need to catch up now till the year-end, even though a big trip in December will make it difficult. I have never finished 16 books in three months in the past and I am nowhere close to finish one at the moment, but I have every intention to do the impossible. Wait and see!!! 🙂

Books 2018 Q3

Books read in 2018 Q2

I just came back from cruising around the Baltic Sea, and the second book report of 2018 is over due. My goal this year is to read 50 books, 25 of which in non-audio format and 5 in Chinese. I finished 14 books in Q2; only two of which I actually read as opposed to listening, and there was one Chinese book. Now I begin to think the non-audio part of the goal is quite challenging.

Here are the books I finished in the second quarter:

  1. The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells
  2. Perturbed Chinese 忐忑的中国人 by 梁晓声
  3. The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
  4. Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed
  5. Obsession by Jonathan Kellerman
  6. Operation Hail Storm by Brett Arquette
  7. Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz
  8. Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence by Max Tegmark
  9. In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson
  10. New York Post Fiendish Sudoku: The Official Utterly Addictive Number-Placing Puzzle by Wayne Gould
  11. Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
  12. Everybody Lies: Big Data, New Data, and What the Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really Are by Seth Stephens-Davidowitz
  13. Prayer by Ole Hallesby
  14. Adultery by Paulo Coelho

As usual, the books on this list are eclectic in many ways and I liked most of them. I read quite a few books from the author of #2 twenty years ago, and this one is as good as expected. I really enjoyed #7 and #9. I finished all 200 puzzles in #10. There are many interesting and though-provoking topics in #8 and #12. I don’t like #14 at all.

Keep reading… till the next report. 🙂Books 2018Q2

Books read in 2018 Q1

It is time to post the first book report of 2018, one day early since I don’t plan to finish another book today. My goal this year is to read 50 books, 25 of which in non-audio format and 5 in Chinese. I finished 12 books in Q1; 3 of which I actually read as opposed to listening, and no Chinese books yet. A little behind schedule but I am still quite optimistic that I could catch up.

Here are the books I finished in the first quarter:

  1. Lincoln: The Man Who Saved America by David J. Kent
  2. Taj Mahal: Passion and Genius at the Heart of the Moghul Empire by Diana Preston & Michael Preston
  3. The Last Child by John Hart
  4. Mr. Muo’s Travelling Couch by Dai Sijie
  5. After Dark by Haruki Murakami
  6. 5 Very Good Reasons to Punch a Dolphin in the Mouth and Other Useful Guides by Matthew Inman, the Oatmeal
  7. A Mathematician’s Apology by G.H. Hardy & C.P. Snow (Foreword)
  8. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  9. Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone by Brené Brown
  10. Option B by Sheryl Sandberg & Adam Grant
  11. The Door to December by Dean Koontz
  12. The Twelfth Imam by Joel C. Rosenberg

As usual, the books on this list are quite diverse in terms of genre, time frame, and author’s gender and nationality. I really enjoyed seven books on this list, especially #1, #3, and #9. I don’t like #4 and #6 and only gave them 2 stars on Goodreads.

Keep reading… till the next report. 🙂

Books 2018Q1

Books read in 2017 Q4

Happy New Year! 2017 is now history and I am glad to report that I did reach my goal of reading 50 books, finishing the last one with 40 minutes to spare :). I didn’t quite make the 20-books-from-home-shelves goal though – I read 16, not bad actually with only 4 books short.

Anyway, here are the 14 books I finished in the fourth quarter:

  1. The 100 Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson
  2. The Ghost Map: The Story of London’s Most Terrifying Epidemic – and How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World by Steven Johnson
  3. Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King
  4. Destination Unknown by Agatha Christie
  5. The Wrong Side of Goodbye by Michael Connelly
  6. People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks
  7. Wilde Lake by Laura Lippman
  8. The Three of Us (我们仨) by Yang Jiang (杨绛)
  9. The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
  10. A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson
  11. Rabbit, Run by John Updike
  12. Wait: The Art and Science of Delay by Frank Partnoy
  13. Phantom by Jo Nesbø
  14. Christian Caregiving: A Way of Life by Kenneth Haugk

Five of these are from shelves at home. I enjoyed most books on this list, especially #1, #6, #10, and #13. The classic #9 is powerful, and I regret that I wasn’t able to see her house while in Amsterdam last year. Maybe next time.

Again I set a goal of finishing 50 books in the coming year. I also decided that at least 5 of them should be in Chinese. In addition, half of them are to be really read using my eyes (i.e., not audio books). These specific goals will help me get a better feel of both languages and become a better writer.

I look forward to another good year of reading!

Books 2017Q4