Obliquity: Why Our Goals Are Best Achieved Indirectly

  The skill of problem solving frequently lies in the interpretation and reinterpretation of high-level objectives. In this book John Kay argues that “the best way to achieve any complex or broadly defined goal, from happiness to preventing forest fires, is the indirect way. We can learn how to achieve our objectives only through a […]

The Art of Learning

Marc Tessier-Lavigne recommended this book in his recent talk given at Stanford University. The Art of Learning details the author Josh Waitzkin’s journey of reaching the top of his first field, chess, followed by his transition into Chinese martial art, Tai Ji Quan, and winning multiple championships. Had the book just stopped there, when you […]

A New Journey

About two decades ago, as a 2nd year middle school student, physics and mathematics were my favourite subjects. Like many children growing up in that part of the world in that era (perhaps universally?), we were asked who we would like to be when we grow up. I wanted to be another Marie Curie, inspired […]

A Whole New Mind

If you only have one minute, take the 20-10 test (originally by Jim Collins). It is included in Daniel Pink’s book: A Whole New Mind, paraphrased here: Ask: Would I still do what I am doing now if I had $20 million in the bank and knew I had no more than ten years to […]

Still Me

  The first book I read of Jojo Moyes’ novels is her Me Before You, around the Spring of 2013. Perhaps I read it in my conservatory at the time of jasmine blossom. Later on the beautiful scent of jasmine comes to my mind when I recall Me Before You. I read a couple more […]

Educated: A Memoir

    Traveling between China and California, I read Tara Westover’s Educated: A Memoir during my two long haul flights. In this book, Tara tells the story of her life, born to survivalist parents in the mountains of Idaho, grown up in a household that distrust public education and medical establishment. She was an invaluable […]

Who am I?

Who am I? Where am I going? To a certain approximation, I know the answers. But then, do I really know? It seems that I have been traveling on and off for the past two months, domestic and international. One trip followed by another. There is a different self, depending on where I am. Now […]

Der Ring des Nibelungen

      San Francisco Opera offered a new production of Richard Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen this summer. I went to the full cycle constituting four operas: Das Rheingold, Die Walküre, Siegfried,  and Götterdämmerung. As my first cycle, the whole experience was very intense and overwhelming. Compared with clips from other productions I saw […]

Seven Brief Lessons on Physics

  This book was written by Carlo Rovelli for people who know little of modern science, as noted by the author. But I found it to be a great read. Throughout this book, much of its content reminds us how little we know of physics and the universe in general, and in some sense even […]

A Moveable Feast

  A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway was first published posthumously in 1964. It covers Hemingway’s time spent in Paris from 1921 to 1926 as a struggling journalist and his gradual transition from a journalist to a writer. I first read this book on my way from Silicon Valley to Sandia National Laboratories some years […]