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

A Good 2016, A Better 2017

books-2016

My year 2016 has been quite busy and productive, although I didn’t accomplish all the goals I set out at the beginning of the year:

  • Read 50 books. Done. I finished 50 books and here are the book reports: Q1; Q2; Q3; Q4. Interestingly, the average length of this year (2016)’s books is 343 pages, almost the same as last year (2015)’s 342. In both years the longest book I read was by Stephen King.
  • Visit 5 new countries. Done. I actually visited 8 new countries: Netherlands, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, St. Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, Serbia, Montenegro, Croatia.
  • Swim 80 times (average 1.5 times a week). Partially done. I swam 50 times, average once a week. But I started doing Hot Yoga this year and attended classes in a studio 7 times. On average I walked 5,080 steps a day, falling short of last year’s 7,000.
  • Publish 50 blog posts (on Saturdays). Not done – only posted 18 posts, even fewer than last year’s 28.
  • Lose 5 pounds. Not done – my weight at the end of the year was the same as the beginning of the year. At least I didn’t gain pounds.

Seems only the travel and reading goals were accomplished, same as last year. It is a clear indication of where my passion is. 🙂 Here is this year’s travelogue:

  • January. New York City, NY (work); Cruise on Windsurf, Caribbean
  • April. Charlottesville, VA
  • May. San Antonio, TX; Carlsbad, NM
  • July. Amsterdam; Belgrade; Montenegro; Dubrovnik; Frankfurt. Trip Brief
  • October. New York City, NY (work)
  • November. Mystic, CT; New England

Now here are my goals for 2017, not much different from 2016:

  • Read 50 books, 20 of which from shelves at home
  • Visit 3 new countries
  • Swim 80 times (average 1.5 times a week); yoga at home everyday
  • Publish 40 blog posts
  • Lose 5 pounds

I am looking forward to a better year ahead – closer to God, healthier, happier, wiser…

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

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