When Breath Becomes Air

Goodreads page My rating: 5 out of 5 My review: Severe illness is not life-altering, it’s life-shattering. Less of an epiphany and more like someone had just firebombed the path forward. There is no hiding from death. This book certainly doesn’t shy away from the message. I feel this will not really be a spoiler, as you’ll learn in the preface, the author is no longer alive. Speaking of the preface - there is a phrase that repeatedly came to my mind as I read this book - a prose poem. …

Posted on

So Good They Can't Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love

My rating: 5 out of 5 Do not follow your passion. That’s the gist of this book, but oh would that be an oversimplified and ultimately useless advice it would be. And this could have been one of those “happy go lucky” type of books, full of personal anecdotes and fluffy marketing. The book is full of various personal anecdotes, but they are mostly there to show how messy good careers can be. …

Posted on

Thinking, Fast and Slow

My rating: 4 out of 5 Shortly after I started reading this book I read an article on taking smart notes and so I naturally applied it for recording interesting quotes and tidbits from this book. Following is not even close to all of my notes, but more their condensed summary. I no longer remember why exactly I added the book to my reading list. It’s in one of my self-improvement drawer. …

Posted on

11/22/63 by Stephen King

Goodreads page My rating: 4 out of 5 I know life is hard, I think everyone knows that in their hearts, but why dos it have to be cruel, as well? Why does it have to bite? This is very much not a normal Stephen King book, but at the same time it is. It’s both mysterious and familiar. It’s full of little things to make you stop and think about your days and how they impact the future. …

Posted on

The Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch

Goodreads page My rating: 5 out of 5 My review: Nikoros came away from the meeting having learned several new words, as well as some novel hyphenations of familiar ones, and a fascinating twist to the art of negotiation that his education had previously neglected Oh boy, was my review of previous Gentlemen Bastards book Red Seas Under Red Skies an unknown premonition. The mages reappear and what a fun adventure they create for our heroes. …

Posted on

Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch

Goodreads page My rating: 4.5 out of 5 My review: When you can’t cheat the game, you’d best find a means to cheat the players. This has been a fun continuation of style set in the original Gentlemen Bastards (The Lies of Locke Lamora). It repeats much the same recipe - glorious (mis)adventures, schemes that are several layers deep and mixture of luck and misfortune in equal measure. …

Posted on

The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch

Goodreads page My rating: 5 out of 5 My review: I’ve got kids that enjoy stealing. I’ve got kids that don’t think about stealing one way or the other, and I’ve got kids that just tolerate stealing because they know they’ve got nothing else to do. But nobody–and I mean nobody–has ever been hungry for it like this boy. If he had a bloody gash across his throat and a physiker was trying to sew it up, Lamora would steal the needle and thread and die laughing. …

Posted on

Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams by Matthew Walker

Goodreads link My rating: 5 out of 5 My review: The politically incorrect advice I would (of course never) give is this: go to the pub for a drink in the morning. This books is a revelation. It describes in a vivid way what happens when we don’t get enough sleep (it’s worse than I imagined in my wildest dreams). Lack of sleep disrupts learning, memory formation, compromises immune system and contributes to various ailments. …

Posted on

Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch

Goodreads page My rating: 4 out of 5 My review: Keep breathing, I said. It’s a habit you don’t want to break. This has been one fun book. Witty, quite funny and full of magic. There were a few dry spells (Ha! Get it?) here and there, but I still consider this a successful combination of Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere and more traditional CSI/detective books. There’s London, there’s magic, there is science and fake history. …

Posted on

Waste Tide by Chen Qiufan

Goodreads page My rating: 5 out of 5 My review: The world had never ceased to change, but it would also never change for anyone. I got to this book through reading Ken Liu’s translation of Three Body Problem (one of my favourite sci-fi series). He has done similar great work translating this story. The story reminded me of William Gibson writing in many ways (especially Neuromancer storyline), but sprinkled with Chinese culture. …

Posted on