Thursday, January 31, 2008

Book 22: Black Eyeliner (黑眼線)

Title: 黑眼線 (Black Eyeliner)

Who wrote it: 李碧華 (Bi Hua Li)

Whom I borrowed it from: Queens Library (Forest Hills)

What is it about:
A Collection of essays she writes for a news column,
mostly her personal social/economical observations & reflections.

What went through my mind:
- Li's writing style is very easygoing.
It almost feels like she's making casual talks
with the readers.
- It was an easy read. I breezed through the book --
although, i much prefer Li's other books,
esp. the fiction / short stories.
- Reading this book right after Lin Xi's,
makes an interesting contrast.
Her style is not as distinct as Lin's,
but the way her words flow is also smoother,
less edgy and fewer crticisms towards everything.

Favorite Quote:
- 世上所有創作行業都是孤寂的......
本來可以蒙混過關,你不肯,偏要作對...... (Pg. 96)
[All careers that are Creativity-related,
are inevitably lonesome...
Being creative is to battle against yourself.
Originally, you could have let it go easy,
but you can't let yourself do that...]

- 父母永遠原諒不值得原諒的孩子。(Pg. 101)
[Parents will always forgive their kids,
even if they don't deserve to be forgiven.]

What came out of this:
* Bear in mind the quotes above.

Why Should you read it, too?
If you have free time : ) Why not?

Book 21: On Rice

Title: On Rice --
60 fast and easy toppings that make the meal

Who wrote it: Rick Rodgers (Author),
Frankie Frankeny (Photographer)

Whom I borrowed it from: Queens Library (Forest Hills)

What is it about:
An extensive introduction of the MANY MANY
kinds of grains available in the market,
a collection of recipes
(stews, stir-fries, meat, veggies, desserts...)
that can be cooked under 30 minutes to go with rice,
as well as some neat pics that illustrate the recipes.

What went through my mind:
- It's interesting to see the fusion-ness in this book,
since Rice usually gives off the impression: 'Asian related',
the author mixes things up, and offered American /
French ideas here and there : )

- I borrowed this book with the original intent of
getting ideas for my Rice-Pot Wonders experiments
(See this:
however, i didn't get too many from it : /
Mostly because he's creating On Rice dishes,
not OVER, nor WITH.

- I did, however, liked the desserts section.
For I've never made any desserts with rice before,
& i'd like to try : D

What came out of this:
* Goal: Create new Rich dishes! : D
(Andrew, wanna come over for dinner?)

Why Should you read it, too?
If you cook and don't mind a quick meal with rice : )

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Book 20: The Hong Kong that I Love (我所愛的香港)

我所愛的香港 (The Hong Kong that I Love)

Who wrote it: 林夕 (Lin Xi)

Whom I borrowed it from: Ruby

What is it about:
A collection of essays this famous HK lyricist
wrote for a column in the newspaper,
featuring political / socio-economic /
personal / reflective topics.

What went through my mind:
- No wonder he's always been my favorite lyricist...
(Actually, back in high-school, my ideal job
was to become a lyricist -- inspired by Lin Xi!)
His eloquent yet sharp linguistic skills,
clear-minded, logical ideas,
to-the-point presentations...
made reading through these essays quite enjoyable --
given the fact that normally i won't even be
interested in reading anything politics relevant.

- My favorite chapter was: 「自求多福」
His main point was, nobody else can make you learn.
You have to make up your mind that you'd go ahead
and make that sacrifice (time, effort, memory, leisure...),
so you can become more equipped for something worthwhile.
I 200% agree!!!
Well, and that's partially why i'm doing this 365 Project.
I'm not crazy. Not even trying to be over-ambitious.
I just wanna learn.

Favorite Quote:
It's obvious / easy to see where your time is spent.
(i can't figure out the most fitting translation for this. Sorry : / )

What came out of this:
* Smart Idea:
Don't buy souvenirs for anyone,
just because you are supposed to.
Nobody likes those -_-"
& you're wasting your $$/time, while risking to be called cheap.
* Reminder:
Instead of trying to catch up with the fashion trend,
why don't we donate the $$ to charity instead?
The needy can use more clothes (or other luxuries) than we do.

Why Should you read it, too?
The Chinese language is beautiful, eloquent and rich.
Lin Xi's writing is a fabulous demonstration of such truth.

Caution about this book:
Buddhism lingos/ideas permeate throughout this book.
Just thought you should know before picking it up.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Library Run

I went to the library again yesterday,
and guess what i got? : D

Yippeeeee! : D
You'll be reading about them soon enough!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Book 19: Julie & Julia

Title: Julie & Julia
-- 365 days, 524 recipes, 1 tiny apartment kitchen
Who wrote it: Julie Powell

Whom I borrowed it from:
Bought @ Barnes & Noble

What is it about:
A turning-30, ever-temping at
government agency lady decided to
take a bold step in challenging herself
before reaching the big 3-0:
Cook through every single recipe of
the famous Julia Child's
Mastering the Art of French Cooking in 1 year.

What went through my mind:
- French cooking is such a pain!!!!!!!!!
and EXPENSIVE...... 0_o"""
I get that impression from reading this book.
- Oh but i wanna try to make crepes.
Julie made it sound so... appetizing & semi-easy : )
- This book was umm... a little long,
& overwhelmingly flooded with curse words.
- Her (mostly) supportive husband reminds me
of my Goh goh ; ) He washes all the dishes, too,
when i did my cooking experiments! : D
Love is really the best fuel for this kind
of long, crazy journeys!
- i was touched by the ending of this book.
May my 365 Project ends well like hers!

Favorite Quote:
"My husband had done nothing else
for nearly six months but wash dishes." (Pg. 195)
-- Now that, is TRUE love, in my humble opinion.

What came out of this:
* Smart Idea: She set up a donation button on her blog,
so interested readers can support her financially --
she call it the 'lamb discretionary fund.'
Now, can someone help me set that up
over at, too?
Or would anyone grant me $$ to buy books to read? : D

* (Day)Dream: Will i be able to quit my job and
write a book also, after i finish this 365 books Project? 0_o

Why Should you read it, too?
* If you loved cooking/eating,
or just wanna be motivated to challenge yourself
to tackle an epic-scale project.
& even if you can't, you'd gain something trying!]

Books 17,18: Matriarchal Family (女系家族)

Title: 女系家族 [上、下] (Matriarchal Family)

Who wrote it: 山崎豐子 (Toyoko Yamazaki)

Whom I borrowed it from: Queens Library (Jamaica)

What is it about:
A matriarchal family in Japan,
with the Mom died 6 years ago,
and the Dad just passed away,
the three daughters are left to their own device
to divvy up the huge amount of inheritance;
Dad's young mistress is pronounced pregnant;
while the family 3-generation bookkeeper
attempted to cheat and grab as much $$
as possible.

A nasty showcase of power struggles
+ A demonstration why greed/lust never satisfy.

What went through my mind:
- This is one depressing story!
The reason why it's so upsetting ~ is that
it depicts the very roots of evil in human hearts,
that we're never satisfied --
we always want more, we think we DESERVE more.
Why should we get a penny less than our sister,
brother, friend, neighbor, enemy?!

Let's be honest... isn't that TRUE? : /
No wonder Apostle says,
"Godliness + Contentment = Great Gain"

- I did wish though, that there'd be at least
1 character who isn't bogged down by these traits,
someone that could be free of these struggles.
I mean, yeah it's realistic that there's no one like that,
but Come On, it's just fiction.
i'm okay with some fairy tale materials in it 0_o"

Why Should you read it, too?
The author of these books are considered
one of the pillars of the contemporary
Japanese literature realm.

It's worth reading if not only
for the extended researches devoted into the plot,
the excellent dialogues and the flow of the story.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Book 16: Food Network Favorites

Dear friends,
Some of you have asked --
if i would read some "Picture books" / Illustrated books --
& counting them towards the 365 Books Goal --

The answer is: WHY NOT?

Although, my idea of Picture Book is more like this:

Title: Food Network Favorites --
Recipes from Our All-Star Chefs

Who wrote it: Food Network (Author),
Jennifer Darling (Editor)

Whom I borrowed it from:
Queens Library (Forest Hills)

What is it about:
A collection of recipes from the
Food Network stars / chefs,
(ranging from Giada, Paula Deen,
Tyler Florence, Alton Brown,
to Rachael Ray, Bobby Flay,
Food Network Test Kitchen... etc.)
some Q&A/trivia facts with/of each chef,
with beautiful, enlarged pictures : )

What went through my mind:
- I gotta try this, this, this, this... recipe!
Yup, I ended up with over 30 on the list : )
- Glad i found the book in the library.
It's a great book to look (drool?) at,
but not something i'd buy.

What came out of this:
* Goal: Try all those recipes!
Who wanna be my taste tester? : )

Why Should you read it, too?
If you love watching Food Network /
if you'd like to look at some beautiful pics
of food while drooling...

Book 15: Crime Scene (臨場)

Title: 臨場 (Crime Scene)

Who wrote it: Hideo Yokoyama (橫山秀夫)

Whom I borrowed it from: Fafa

What is it about:
Yet another series of short stories,
this time more focused on crime scene investigations.
The main character throughout is an eccentric investigator,
who refused to be promoted to other officer positions,
and was nicknamed "The Ultimate CSI" by others.
His motto was:
CSI must pick up every single clue left
at the crime scene, or the victim/dead
would be sorrowful in his/her unjust death!

What went through my mind:
- I liked this book better than 'Face.'
The pace of the storytelling is faster,
and the main character more interesting.
- Who knew that plants, dust,
the way you open the door,
how long it takes for blood to dry,
towards which direction & how the body fell......
could all play a part in telling the truth,
as well as what kind of people they are?

Why Should you read it, too?
If you liked watching CSI (Miami/NY),
or just wanna gain some trivial knowledge.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Book 14: Job Hopper

Title: Job Hopper --
the checkered career of a down-market dilettante

Who wrote it: Ayun Halliday

Whom I borrowed it from: Queens Library (Forest Hills)

What is it about:
Ayun graduated with a theater major from college,
and went on a journey through various job experiences,
including: Museum guard, waitress,
being a Bert mascot in the mall,
shot girl at a bar, waitress again,
salesgirl, substitute teacher,
nude model, temp in offices,
costume designer, telemarketer, gallery assistant,
customer service personnel for a newspaper,
last but not least, massage therapist.

What went through my mind:
- I didn't know that being a mascot pays
so well -- $75 per hour!
Then again, i don't know how stuffy it is in there either.
- Temping sounds really BORING & awful...
& why are they forced to wear tights again?
- What makes tedious jobs bearable is always

What came out of this:
* Caution: Do not order any desserts
with glazed strawberry in any restaurants!
She said the waitresses are in charge of scraping
the molds off and keep serving them! 0_o"""

Why Should you read it, too?
If you needed a reminder of how blessed
you're with your current job,
or you just need to know that someone else
has been in your shoes with your crappy job(s).

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Book 13: Face (顏)

Title: 顏 (Face)

Who wrote it: Hideo Yokoyama (橫山秀夫)

Whom I borrowed it from: Fafa

What is it about:
This book is composed of a series of short stories,
in which a young policewoman is the main character.
Aside from the various crime cases
that she participated in investigating,
power struggles among the reporters/
policemen & -women/
criminals & the public...
were also carefully portrayed.
On top of a suspense/detective kind of fiction,
this also reads like a social case study.

What went through my mind:
- Everybody has some God-given abilities : )
The main character specializes in drawing
portraits of the criminals,
according to the victims' verbal descriptions.
She has a co-worker that's really talented in
gun-shooting, so much so that she was chosen
to take part in trainings for the Olympics.
-> What are my special gifts,
and how am i developing/utilizing them?
- One of the book's focuses was on
gender inequality, esp. in the police force.
I can't help but wonder,
if God designed us men & women to be different,
yet the same (as humans),
then how are we to attain that careful balance?

Why Should you read it, too?
If you're interested in the topics mentioned above,
or just wanna pick up an easy read : )

Monday, January 21, 2008

Book 12: Holding Serve (掌握人生發球權)

Title: 掌握人生發球權 (Holding Serve)
[Winner of the French Open at the Age of Seventeen,
Persevering On and off Court]

Who wrote it: Michael Chang (Author),
Mike Yorkey (Contributor)

Whom I borrowed it from: Bought @ CCHC Bookstore

What is it about:
The lifestory of the world-famous,
Chinese professional tennis player, Michael Chang,
detailing his struggles on & off court,
as well as the life lessons he's learned in & about God.

Key lessons:
What matters the most in life, afterall,
as Chang testifies -- is certainly INTEGRITY.
The most memorable thing about this book is not
the many exciting battles/moments Chang described about,
nor how he won/lost the endless matches.

But the love of his parents for him,
the warmth between him & his brother,
the vulnerability & openness of Chang,
that he was willing to subject himself to...

He willingly admitted that he was jealous,
afraid, anxious, depressed... at various points of life;
But he was also able to get back up and keep striving,
to fulfill the meaning of his life;
to be a man with courage & humility --
by coming before God without reservations.

I've come away deeply touched by this autobio,
wanting to know his God more,
to become someone like him.

What came out of this:
* Caution: It's okay to lose battles on various grounds,
but certainly not Integrity & Reliance upon God.

Why Should you read it, too?
If you've ever aspired to greatness...
here's a wonderful account of how to rise to the occasion,
without losing what really matters : )

P.S. There's both Chinese & English versions of the book : )
You can get the English version @

Friday, January 18, 2008


Not entirely sure if i should call this period of time a 'Bottleneck,'
but today i have no book reviews to post.

One truth about reading is that,
unless you keep choosing mindless junks / skinny books (or both),
you're bound to come across books that
require you to put them down here and there,
just to reflect on what the authors are really saying,
what you've actually learned,
& perhaps even to question & doubt the main ideas presented.

So in a way, I'm kinda at a bottleneck stage now,
for i've been reading 5 books at a time,
without being close to finishing any one of them.

In case you'd like to take a sneak peek,
to see what book reviews are coming soon:

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Book 11: Tokyo Tower (東京鉄塔)

Title: Tokyo Tower -- Me & My Mom, & sometimes My Dad
(東京鉄塔 - 我和老媽,有時還有老爸)

Who wrote it: Lily Franky (中川雅也)

Whom I borrowed it from: Bought in Hong Kong : )

What is it about:
A beautiful portrait of a mother/son relationship
between "I" (the main character) & "Mom",
the various trials they've endured & overcome:
a semi-broken marriage between mom/dad,
"I" leaving home/mom for Tokyo,
seeking self-identities,
fighting cancers,
recognizing the importance of family......
& how this symbol of dream for a lot of Japanese people:
Tokyo Tower, ties everything together.

What went through my mind:
- This is a very moving book for me,
in a way kinda similar to "The Kite Runner".
- It pierced my heart as i read about
"I" disappointing his mom,
not knowing what he's doing in life,
wasting his time & life away...
I certainly caught parts of me aching with "I,"
regretting about my past mistakes,
feeling sorry for hurting people i loved,
missing out on the precious moments
that i should have cherished...
- This book also invokes fear,
as life eventually gives way to death,
how will i face the day when it's my parents' turn?
Will i have tons of regrets, just like the author?

What came out of this:
* Goal: Love my parents more,
while they're still around...

Why Should you read it, too?
I cried my heart out, both when reading the book
& watching the TV drama.
Well, that sums it all up.
Just GO READ it!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Book 10: Meeting a Girl that Eats Cookies (遇上吃曲奇的女孩)

Title: 遇上吃曲奇的女孩 (Meeting a Girl that Eats Cookies)

Who wrote it: 周淑屏

Whom I borrowed it from: Queens Library (Jamaica)

What is it about:
Internet sharing photo blog
+ romantic relationships
+ cookies with various flavors
= teen-like drama?

What went through my mind:
- I guess i would have enjoyed this book...
10 years ago?
-The best part about this book is not the story;
it's the backstory of Mrs. Fields' life,
how her store came about,
and the recipes she provided *_*

What came out of this:
* Goal: Bake some cookies with the Mrs. Fields recipes.

Why Should you read it, too?
If you're still a teenager below the age of 15;
or if you're Cookie Monster.

Book 9: Sex God

Title: Sex God --
Exploring the endless connections between sexuality and spirituality

Who wrote it: Rob Bell

Whom I borrowed it from: Queens Library (Jamaica)

What is it about:
How sexuality, spirituality, being human,
being a Christian, loving others, dating, marriage,
letting go of your past, relationships...
are all inter-connected.

What went through my mind:
Instead 0f calling this a book,
it's more like a collection of insights / wise sayings.
I liked how the book is not written like
a (boring) lecture / theological discussion,
but simply the thought process of a fellow Christ-follower,
contemplating how to connect the dots in life,
so things would fall into place in God's bigger picture --
Glad that i got to take a peek at his ideas : )

Favorite Quotes:
** SORRY for the long list.
This book is really all about fabulous quotes. **

- "Heaven is the realm where things are
as God intends them to be." (Pg. 21)
- " you treat the creation reflects
how you feel about the Creator." (Pg. 28)
[Following the example of how a father cherishes
his 5-yr-old son's "artwork".]
- "...from an early age we have this awareness
of the state of disconnection we were born into,
and we have a longing to reconnect." (Pg. 40)

- "Living like angels [deny physical needs]
can be as destructive as living like animals
[give into all desires]...
we were created to live in the tension." (Pg. 61)
- "...gratitude is so central to the life God
made us for... until we can center ourselves
on what we do have, on what God has given us,
on the life we do get to live, we'll constantly
be looking for another life." (Pg. 74)
- "Lust is slavery... It isn't just what lust does,
it's where it leads." (Pg. 75)

- "...lust... always lead to despair...
always lead to anger...
Lust promises what it can't deliver." (Pg. 78)
- "What are you channeling your energies into?
[Instead of telling someone 'Don't steal,'
Paul suggests a way of channeling the energy
into working hard and sharing with those in need.
Channeling > Avoidance] (Pg. 82)
- "Love is a giving away of power...
When we love... we expose ourselves...
to be vulnerable. Love is giving up control." (Pg.98)

- "Our first need is not for people to fix our problems.
People who charge in and have all the answers
and try to make things right without first joining us
in our pain generally annoy us, or worse yet,
they push us away. They have nothing to give us.
The God that Jesus points us to is not a god
who stands at a distance, wringing his hands and saying,
"If only you'd listened to me." (Pg. 106)
- "The husband's waiting for the wife to submit
is actually a failure to lead... What if she knew
without a doubt that his love for her was so great
that he would give his life for her...?" (Pg. 117)
- "Love is often seen as a need,
something we get from others.
Agape gives." (Pg. 119)

- "There is a love because,
love in order to,
love for the purpose of,
and then there is love, period." (Pg. 120)
- "For God so agaped the world...
Do you realize that you are worth dying for?" (Pg. 122)
- "The point of marriage isn't marriage...
to add to the "oneness" of the world...
to give the world a glimpse of hope,
a display of what God is like..." (Pg. 153)
- "What would it be like to be with someone
who loves you exactly as you are?
Unconditional, absolute acceptance..." (Pg. 155)

What came out of this:
* Goal: Try reading other Rob Bell's books.
* Reminder: It's all about getting connected with others.

Why Should you read it, too?
Just to gain some fresh ideas about life & God & people.
& No, this book doesn't talk exclusively about SEX.
"This is really (not) about THAT."

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Book 8: The Self-Sacrifice of Suspect X (嫌疑犯X的獻身)

Title: 嫌疑犯X的獻身 (The Self-Sacrifice of Suspect X )

Who wrote it: 東野圭吾 (Keigo Higashino)

Whom I borrowed it from: Fafa

What is it about:
This is a very well-written suspense/detective novel.
Since the beginning, the author showed us the 'whodunit,'
and the Math Teacher who lived next door to the murderer
offered to help discard the dead body,
because he fell in love with her since the day she moved in.

The story went on, to tell of the little progress the Police made
in investigations, while the Math Teacher's old friend came by,
& figured out some clues that the Police has yet to discover.

What went through my mind:
- The 'howdunit' was well hidden under layers upon layers
of twists & turns, but none of those was forced/illogical.
The author's creativity clearly shines through,
& as a reader, I thoroughly enjoyed the novel till the very end.
- One of the main ideas the author tried to illustrate
through this story was "the Purest Love of all" --
Ultimately, his point of view somehow coincides with Christianity's,
that Sacrificial & Unselfish Love is by far the most amazing -
when someone lays down his life for another,
without asking for equal compensation nor even comprehension,
it reaches so deep into the core of our souls,
that we can't help but marvel at the precious gift presented to us,
& want to reciprocate in one way or the other --
just like the Murderer at the end of the story.

What came out of this:
* Reminder: Bear in mind that love is unconditional.
& if I were to offer sacrificial love, I'm not supposed to brag,
expect rewards / recognition, or demand others' appreciations.

Why should you read it, too?
Sometimes it takes a great novel to drive home
a deeper understanding of something bigger & more important.
I think this book's got something to offer,
with enjoyment & clever plots along the way : )

Monday, January 14, 2008

Book 7: Beauty Talks

Hello! I'm back from the Retreat!
It was a wonderful experience, and I learned a lot : )
It inspired me to read something related,
which you'll see me blog about in the near future : )

Title: Beauty Talks (與美麗對話:路嘉怡的第一本美感生活書)

Who wrote it: 路嘉怡 Miranda Lu

Whom I borrowed it from: Ruby

What is it about:
Lu's journal entries on various topics,
that coincides with the beauty products she uses,
& how they tie into her memories of certain events/people.

What went through my mind:
- She mentioned quite a few places in Taiwan,
that reminds me of my experience there in 2005,
& i definitely want to revisit & stay longer... *_*
- She got me curious about Rose related beauty products,
as well as LotuSkin masks...
Hmm... it's time for some researches!
- It was a very easy read.
Her writings are pretty straight-forward,
the doodling she drew are cute,
& the pictures are quite natural : )

What came out of this:
* Reminder: Do put on sunscreen before going out
to enjoy the abundant sunshine......

Why Should you read it, too?
If you have free time & got nothing to do 0_o
It's better than sitting around.

Friday, January 11, 2008


Dear friends,

: ) I'll be away for a retreat!
Yay! Refreshing : D
Be back on Monday with more books.
See ya later ; )

p.s. Feel free to leave a comment
with your recommendations, too!

Book 6: Switch Circle Murder (人格轉移殺人)

Title: 人格轉移殺人 (Switch Circle Murder )

Who wrote it: 西澤保彥 (Yasuhiro Nishizawa)

Whom I borrowed it from: Fafa

What is it about:
The premise of the story is based on a 'Switch Circle.'
If more than 1 person step into this room at the same time,
an invisible wall would immediately appear to separate them,
then in split second their souls would inhabit in others' bodies.
The cycle will go on and on, until there's only 1 person left...

Due to an earthquake, 6 people escaped into the
'Switch Circle' without knowing what it is.
When the government agents discovered
these people in their contorted state,
they brought the group to a secluded mansion,
which is where the consecutive cases of murder took place...

What went through my mind:
-Modern Japanese suspense novels are quite
different from their American counterparts.
I feel that their plots are more sophisticated,
more variables exist in their stories,
& it's less about story-telling, more about
the readers figuring out the classic:
'whodunit,' 'whydunit,' 'howdunit,'
while the author attempt to trick the readers.
- The plot of this novel heavily relies upon the
'Switch Circle' set up, but it's definitely a clever & creative one.
The 'whydunit' turns out to be not that convincing for me,
but the explanations for the who & how are powerful,
& i am quite pleased with this book in general : )

What came out of this:
* Look out for other suspense novel
recommendations by Fafa!

Why Should you read it, too?
If you enjoy reading suspense novel,
this is one that's worth your time! ; )

Book 5: Brand Name Development - Online Stores (網路商店自創品牌)

Title: 網路商店自創品牌
(Brand Name Development
-- Online Stores)

Who wrote it: 數位人
(A group of Taiwanese editors)

Whom I borrowed it from: Queens Library (Jamaica)

What is it about:
A) How to open & maintain a successful online store?
B) Why is a Brand Name important?
C) What kind of products should you develop?
D) How do you promote your online business?
E) How do you protect your Brand Name once it's developed?
F) Real Life Successful Studies
(including my favorite fast food chain: Chipotle!)

Important idea:
This trend of shopping/selling online
will only get more popular, not less --
it's an ever-increasing business nowadays,
esp. the young people, who are amongst those
shopping online the most right now,
will eventually become the 'more mature' generation
with more capital to spend;
while the younger generation will no doubt
get used to shopping online at an early age!

What went through my mind:
- Running your own business is no easy job.
It's a mix of: hard work + creativity + research + vision!
Having sufficient capital, knowing the right people,
devoting mucho energy towards advertisements,
staying alert about the market & trends are all essential!
Wow, i wonder if i have what it takes...?

What came out of this:
* Goal: Read->Learn more about this topic.

Why Should you read it, too?

Just to challenge the business genius in you : )

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Book 4: Heroes: Saving Charlie

For anyone who has watched HEROES,
the American TV drama series,
one would definitely remember the comic relief character:
Hiro Nakamura.
He was my #1 favorite,
so i couldn't help but dive into the story
once i got my hands on it!

Title: HEROES: A Novel
Saving Charlie: The Untold Story of Hiro and Charlie

Who wrote it: Aury Wallington

Whom I borrowed it from: Queens Library (Forest Hills)

What is it about:
How Hiro Nakamura, who possesses the supernatural ability
to freeze time & travel through space/time,
attempted to go back in time to save the girl, Charlie,
whom he fell in love with and was killed by Sylar.
He learned about the beauty of determination,
the virtue of patience, the essence of being a hero.

What went through my mind:
- This book doesn't necessarily live up to my expectations...
i guess Masi Oka did his acting so well,
that the story isn't deep enough to portray
his well-rounded adorable character.
- The 1 principle this book illustrates very well:
With special abilities, one always have to take it
with both the good and the bad.
Whether it be a perfect memory /
ability to go back to the past / freeze time,
or just being smart / pretty / talented...
we can't just envy what others got,
without realizing the pain they have to go thru also.

What came out of this:
* Goal: Get my hands on Heroes Season 2!

Why Should you read it, too?
If you LOVE Hiro Nakamura /
you've dreamt of turning back time to change the past.

Book 3: Beauty Queen (美容大王)

Since my mother language is Cantonese,
I actually read a lot faster when the book is written in Chinese.

To be true to who i am,
I'll include books written in languages other than English --
which could be a good thing for my Hong Kong friends,
who might be looking for recommended readings as well ; )

However, to make it easier for my U.S. friends,
I will keep this blog mostly in English,
thus translating book titles / content here and there.

Hopefully, you'll keep an open mind,
and keep me company along this journey! : D

Title: 美容大王 (Beauty Queen)

Who wrote it: 大S 徐熙媛 (Barbie Hsu)

Whom I borrowed it from: 路比 Ruby

What is it about:
The extremes that Barbie has gone through,
to transform herself into an ultimate beauty icon in Taiwan.
Basically a list of dos & don'ts + what products to buy
for those that aspire to be pretty.
(If 'pretty'=white, slender, flawless, with straight long hair.)

What went through my mind:
- Cosmetics are EXPENSIVE!
- I'm not going to buy 3 combs
& spend 45 mins combing like she does.
- No wonder she's so white & i'm not.

Memorable lessons:
- Essential Beauty Sleep hours: 11pm-3am
- You don't have to wash your hair everyday,
or the natural oil would get washed away.
(Sounds kinda similar to what people say about dog hair...)

What came out of this:
* Goal: Start using masks & toner.
* Caution: Remember that outward beauty is fleeting & time-consuming.

Why Should you read it, too?
If you want some beauty product recommendations,
are a fellow believer of her standards of 'beauty,'
or just curious about how she became the way she looks.

Book 2: Rescuing Sprite

Title: Rescuing Sprite -
A Dog Lover's Story of Joy and Anguish

Who wrote it:
Mark R. Levin

Whom I borrowed it from:
Queens Library (Jamaica)

What is it about:
1st half -- Plain factual descriptions of all the essential characters:
Dad, Mom, Daughter, Son, Dog 1 - Pepsi, Dog 2 - Sprite;
2nd half -- An emotional account of preparing for Sprite's last days.
What went through my mind:
- The 1st half read more like newspaper / reports than a story.
The writer wrote in a somewhat distant tone like an observer,
which doesn't engage me very well.
- The 2nd half was a lot better, because it became more personal.
Being vulnerable is an essential quality of a writer,
& i think it took Levin a while to get into that mode.
- This book is not about rescuing Sprite.
It's about the owner beating himself up
for not being able to do so.

Key lessons:
Death creates a sense of deep sorrow & emptiness
in everyone who has lost a beloved someone.
When you can't get out of the pit,
be reminded of how much unconditional love
you've been blessed with,
and that you've given a happy life to your beloved one.
- Kiki (my 15-yr-old Basset Hound) : (((
I'll always cherish you...

Favorite Quotes:
1) "... an important lesson dogs teach us...
Career and financial goals are important,
material acquisitions are necessary,
but taking stock in life's little pleasures
is the most satisfying experience of all." (Pg. 60)
2) "For those of us who have older dogs,
it's a continuous mental exercise to block the
inevitable end of the relationship..." (Pg. 109)

What came out of this:
* Dream: Maybe one day we'll read a book all about Kiki.
* Caution: Don't beat myself up too badly
when Kiki's time comes : (

Why Should you read it, too?
If you have a pet, it'll help prepare you for the inevitable.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Book 1: Rich Dad, Poor Dad

Title: Rich Dad Poor Dad --
What the Rich Teach Their Kids about Money -
That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not!

Who wrote it: Robert T. Kiyosaki / Sharon L. Lechter C.P.A.

Whom I borrowed it from: Man Ho

What is it about:
A) Poor Dad: Education -> Specialized Career
-> Work Hard -> Job Security
Rich Dad: Education -> Diversified Career
-> Invest -> Be Your Own Boss

B) Asset = Money working for you;
Whatever you don't have to pay a penny for
Liability = Anything you have to pay for;
including your apt/house, car, luxuries...

C) Watch how you spend!
Spend every penny the minute you earn it = Poor;
Spend half of what you earn & save the rest = Middle Class;
Spend the minimum & invest the rest -> become Rich!

D) Pay yourself first, not your debts
-> Motivate your mind to work harder
on finding new ways to earn $$.

What went through my mind:
Avoid thinking about money is not 'innocent.'
Thinking about money is not 'evil.'
Planning well & investing wisely is biblical,
as Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30) illustrated.
I want to be called good & faithful,
but not wicked & lazy, of which i have been : /

What came out of this:
* Goal: Learn about trading / investments.
* Dream: Open up my own business -- Bakery? : )
* Caution: Curb poor/middle-class spending mentality.

Why Should you read it, too?
To be inspired by a financial genie,
and forsake that blinded veil of "I can't do math" fear.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

The beginning of it all...

As my shoulders slumped and my arms sore,
feeling the 2 heavy bags of reading materials in my hands,
i couldn't have been more ecstatic.
i almost giggled out loud in the deserted subway tunnel,
but decided against it, just to appear normal.

Just the thought of having many more trips like this
- going to and from the Queens library in Jamaica,
holding a ton of books -
excited me enough to forget about its weight,
this pool of bottomless knowledge, inspiring ideas,
witty minds, heartwarming stories... all swimming within my reach!

Such was the lightbulb moment that began it all.
I made a silent vow:

* Let me read 365 books this year -
One Story at a Time.

May I learn as much as I possibly could,
press on when the task appears too daunting,
just so i can come out of 2008 a better person.
Lord willing, this will come true.