Books read in 2019 Q3

I was two books behind schedule at the end of last quarter. I am happy to report that I managed to finish 15 books in the past three months, and I am finally back on track to reaching the goal for this year.

Here are the books I finished in Q3:

  1. The Man on Mao’s Right: From Harvard Yard to Tiananmen Square, My Life Inside China’s Foreign Ministry by Ji Chaozhu
  2. The Fifth Witness by Michael Connelly
  3. The Power of Moments: Why Certain Experiences Have Extraordinary Impact by Chip Heath and Dan Heath
  4. End of Watch by Stephen King
  5. The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye by David Lagercrantz
  6. Elevation by Stephen King
  7. Bridge of Clay by Markus Zusak
  8. Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami
  9. Uncommon Type by Tom Hanks
  10. When Einstein Walked with Gödel: Excursions to the Edge of Thought by Jim Holt
  11. 显微镜下的大明 (The Great Ming Dynasty Under A Microscope) by 马伯庸
  12. Python for Data Science For Dummies, 2nd Edition by John Paul Mueller and Luca Massaron
  13. The Cider House Rules by John Irving
  14. Bury My Heart at Conference Room B: The Unbeatable Impact of Truly Committed Managers by Stan Slap
  15. Neon Prey by John Sandford

Some very interesting books on this list! My top six are #3, #7, #8, #10, #11, and #13. I considered #9 and #14 a waste of time. #12 has good contents but was poorly written – I wrote a review on Goodreads. All other ones were quite enjoyable.

Looking forward to reading more and finishing the year strong. It could be more challenging than I thought though. Will see. 🙂

Books 2019 Q3

 

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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 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 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

Books read in 2015 Q4

The year 2015 is coming to an end. I finished 11 books in the 4th quarter therefore exceeded my goal of reading 45 books this year with a total count of 50. Actually I was holding back from finishing more books this past week. I don’t want to read more than 50 books in a year so I am pushing them to the next year, which means I will likely finish many books in the first quarter of 2016. 🙂

I am one of the 20,600 or so people (as of now) who completed their 2015 reading challenge on Goodreads. Hopefully more people will read more books in 2016.

Here are the eleven 2015 Q4 books:

  1. The Internet of Things: How Smart TVs, Smart Cars, Smart Homes, and Smart Cities Are Changing the World by Michael Miller
  2. Three Fates by Nora Roberts
  3. The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements by Sam Kean
  4. The First Phone Call from Heaven by Mitch Albom
  5. How to Read a Book: The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading by Mortimer J. Adler & Charles Van Doren
  6. The Wisdom of Oz: Using Personal Accountability to Succeed in Everything You Do by Roger Connors & Tom Smith
  7. Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg
  8. Night by Elie Wiesel
  9. Coma by Robin Cook
  10. How We Got to Now: Six Innovations That Made the Modern World by Steven Johnson
  11. Abraham Lincoln and Nikola Tesla: Connected by Fate by David J. Kent

The books in this list are so eclectic that it is difficult to come up with top suggestions. Almost all of them are good – seems I am getting better at picking books. The only one I don’t like as much is #6 which didn’t teach me anything new.

The 50 books I read in 2015 are from 50 different authors. I will stop following this one-book-per-author rule in 2016. Looking forward to another good reading year ahead! Book reports will be posted quarterly as usual. Please let me know if you would like to connect on Goodreads. Here are the earlier book lists for this year: Q1 Q2 Q3

2015 Q4 books