Books read in 2017 Q2

The second book report of 2017 is overdue… Can’t believe ten days have passed since the beginning of the new quarter! My goal this year is to read 50 books, 20 of which from shelves at home. I finished 13 in Q2 , still a little behind schedule. But I am on track now as I already added two books in July. 🙂

Here are the books I finished in the second quarter:

  1. Too Busy Not to Pray: Slowing Down to Be With God by Bill Hybels
  2. Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier
  3. The Inferno of Dante: A New Verse Translation by Robert Pinsky
  4. Pacific: Silicon Chips and Surfboards, Coral Reefs and Atom Bombs, Brutal Dictators, Fading Empires, and the Coming Collision of the World’s Superpowers by Simon Winchester
  5. Red Rising by Pierce Brown
  6. Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy by Cathy O’Neil
  7. Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brené Brown
  8. The Divine Commodity: Discovering a Faith Beyond Consumer Christianity by Skye Jethani
  9. Messy: The Power of Disorder to Transform Our Lives by Tim Harford
  10. The Martian by Andy Weir
  11. What Einstein Told His Barber: More Scientific Answers to Everyday Questions by Robert Wolke
  12. A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
  13. Cat Among the Pigeons by Agatha Christie

Four of these are from shelves at home (behind the goal again). As usual, the books on this list are quite eclectic. My top two are #8 and #10. I picked up #7 and #9 after watching the authors’ TED talks – both met my expectations. #6 has some very insightful and interesting discussions. All the books on this list are informative and enjoyable, except #12, which I probably would hate if I had read the book, but the audio book I listened to was quite entertaining.

Keep reading… till the next report. 🙂

Books 2017Q2

Books read in 2017 Q1

It is time to post the first book report of 2017, now that three months are already behind us. My goal this year is to read 50 books, 20 of which from shelves at home. I only finished 11 in Q1 , a little behind schedule. I am quite optimistic about reaching the goal though, considering how many ‘currently-reading’ ones I have at the moment.

Here are the books I finished in the first quarter:

  1. Passenger to Frankfurt by Agatha Christie
  2. Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future by Peter Thiel & Blake Masters
  3. The Glass Universe: How the Ladies of the Harvard Observatory Took the Measure of the Stars by Dava Sobel
  4. The Heavenly Man: The Remarkable True Story of Chinese Christian Brother Yun by Paul Hattaway & Brother Yun
  5. Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman by Haruki Murakami
  6. Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt
  7. The Leopard by Jo Nesbø
  8. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie
  9. Good Leaders Ask Great Questions: Your Foundation for Successful Leadership by John Maxwell
  10. Fool Me Once by Harlan Coben
  11. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

Four of these books are from shelves at home (behind the goal of 20 as well). As usual, the books on this list are quite diverse in terms of genre, time frame, and author’s nationality. My two favorites are #6 and #8 – truly outstanding and highly recommend. I don’t like #1 and #10, while all the others are good in one way or another.

Keep reading… till the next report. 🙂

Books 2017Q1

Books read in 2016 Q4

On this last day of 2016, I am ready to post the Q4 book report. I did manage to finish 11 books this quarter, therefore reached my goal of 50 for the year. Plan to keep the same goal for 2017, although the genre and format of the books are likely to change. 🙂

Here are the books I finished in the past three months:

  1. The Redeemer by Jo Nesbø
  2. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
  3. Shine: Using Brain Science to Get the Best from Your People by Edward Hallowell
  4. Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl
  5. The Return of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
  6. Day of the Jackal by Frederick Forsyth
  7. Fool’s Gold: How the Bold Dream of a Small Tribe at J.P. Morgan Was Corrupted by Wall Street Greed and Unleashed a Catastrophe by Gillian Tett
  8. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
  9. The Man from Beijing by Henning Mankell
  10. Talking from 9 to 5: How Women’s and Men’s Conversational Styles Affect Who Gets Heard, Who Gets Credit, and What Gets Done at Work by Deborah Tannen
  11. Edison: The Inventor of the Modern World by David Kent

I enjoyed most books on this list, especially #6, #8, and #11. I learned a lot from #7 and #10. The only book that I don’t like is #9.

Currently I am reading a few interesting books which will hopefully end up in the 2017 Q1 report, including a big one that should be counted as 6 books. 🙂 Stay tuned.

books-2016q4

Books read in 2016 Q3

It suddenly occurred to me yesterday that we were already five days into the fourth quarter of the year, and I totally forgot about posting my Q3 book report, as well as a few other things that I do on a quarterly basis. Life had been busy this summer, so I only finished 11 books in Q3, which makes a total of 39 books this year, still ahead of schedule to reach the goal of 50. Looking good.

Here are the books I finished in the past three months:

  1. The Burning Room by Michael Connelly
  2. The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character, and Achievement by David Brooks
  3. Darkest Fear by Harlan Coben
  4. The Running Man by Richard Bachman (Stephen King)
  5. The Clocks by Agatha Christie
  6. I Am Malala: The Story of the Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai
  7. 1Q84 Book 3 by Haruki Murakami
  8. Last Year’s Resolution by Robert Lampros
  9. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  10. Border Music by Robert James Waller
  11. The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell

The books on this list go from extremely boring (#10) to very good (#9), and everywhere in-between. The three nonfiction books on this list (#2, #6, #11) are all interesting and informative.

Only need to finish 11 more books in Q4 to reach my goal. Rather than starting new books, maybe I should work on those that I started but have not been actively reading. Will see how it goes. Keep reading…

books-2016q3

 

Books read in 2016 Q2

I can’t believe it is already time to post the second book report of the year. I finished 15 books in Q2, which makes a total of 28 books this year, ahead of schedule to reach the goal of 50. Well done so far. 🙂

Here are the books I finished in the past three months:

  1. The Snowman by Jo Nesbo
  2. Seabiscuit: An American Legend by Laura Hillenbrand
  3. The Reversal by Michael Connelly
  4. Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
  5. The Nightmare by Lars Kepler
  6. The Mysterious Mr. Quin: A Harley Quin Collection by Agatha Christie
  7. James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
  8. Gathering Prey by John Sandford
  9. The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty
  10. The Man Who Loved China: The Fantastic Story of the Eccentric Scientist Who Unlocked the Mysteries of the Middle Kingdom by Simon Winchester
  11. A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson
  12. Leading Change by John Kotter
  13. North Korea Undercover: Inside the World’s Most Secret State by John Sweeney
  14. Van Gogh by Ingo Walther
  15. Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior by Leonard Mlodinow

There seemed to be a shift from fictions to non-fictions during this time period. Most of the books on this list were enjoyable – the only books that I didn’t like much were #5 and #13. I am about to start a trip with Amsterdam as the first stop, and Van Gogh museum would be a must-see now that I read #14!

No telling what books will end up in my list for the next report, just keep reading!

Books 2016Q2

Books read in 2016 Q1

Now that the first quarter of 2016 is already behind us, it is time to post another book report. My goal this year is to read 50 books. I finished 13 in Q1, a little ahead of schedule. I shouldn’t be too smug though, since 2 of these 13 books were mostly done last year.

Here are the books I finished in the past three months:

  1. Cockroaches by Jo Nesbo
  2. 1Q84 Book 1 by Haruki Murakami
  3. The Chinese Dream: The Rise of the World’s Largest Middle Class and What It Means to You by Helen Wang
  4. Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life by C.S. Lewis
  5. 1Q84 Book 2 by Haruki Murakami
  6. Insomnia by Stephen King
  7. The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera
  8. Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
  9. Classic Christianity: Life’s Too Short to Miss the Real Thing by Bob George
  10. Finders Keepers by Stephen King
  11. A Higher Call: An Incredible True Story of Combat and Chivalry in the War-Torn Skies of World War II by Adam Makos & Larry Alexander
  12. China’s Megatrends: The 8 Pillars of a New Society by John Naisbitt & Doris Naisbitt
  13. To Have and Have Not by  Ernest Hemingway

It is quite a hodgepodge as usual. The books by Haruki Murakami and Stephen King are as good as can be expected; Kite Runner is a powerful book albeit sad; The Unbearable Lightness of Being has been on my to-read list for decades; A Higher Call tells an inspiring story; The two books on China have some good insights but are not among my favorites.

Keep reading… till the next report.Books 2016Q1

A Good 2015, A Better 2016

Goodreads 2015 books

My year 2015 has been quite busy and productive, although I didn’t accomplish all the goals I set out in this post at the beginning of the year:

  • Read 45 books, at least 12 of them have to be from my book shelves at home. Done. I finished 50 books and 17 of them are from shelves. Check out my book reports for details.
  • Visit at least 3 new countries and 2 new National Parks. Done. I visited Denmark, Sweden, and Norway; Everglades, Biscayne, and Dry Tortugas National Parks.
  • Join a gym and swim twice a week, try to add in one class as well. Partially done. I did join a gym on Feb 8th, but fell short of swimming twice a week (I went 45 times, average once a week). Didn’t do classes but walked 7,000 steps a day on average.
  • Publish at least 50 posts on this blog. Not done – only posted 28 posts.
  • Do at least 5 paintings. Small exercise pieces don’t count. Not done – only did one painting.
  • Learn to cook at least 3 new dishes that I feel comfortable sharing with others. Not done – might have cooked new dishes but nothing to share. 🙂

Even so, I still feel great about this past year. Lots of new and exciting experiences. Here is a brief travelogue:

  • January. Southern Florida; Secaucus, NJ (work)
  • March. St. Michaels, MD; Cheasapeake, VA
  • May. Scandinavia (Denmark, Sweden, Norway)
  • July. New England, Quebec City, Montreal
  • August. New York City, NY (work)
  • October. Paris; London (work)
  • November. Beijing
  • December. New Orleans, LA; Lancaster, PA

Now here are my goals for 2016, more realistic than the 2015 goals, I think:

  • Read 50 books
  • Visit 5 new countries
  • Swim 80 times (average 1.5 times a week)
  • Publish 50 blog posts (on Saturdays)
  • Lose 5 pounds

I am looking forward to a better year ahead – work, read, write, travel, exercise, learn, enjoy.

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