All That Remains

All That Remains: A Life in Death is written by the renowned forensic anthropologist Sue Black, on death, mortality, and solving crimes. I read most of this book during my transatlantic flight. There was a shortage of tissues. I was acutely aware of that constraint and exercised great self-control particularly while reading her personal accounts […]

A Farewell to Arms

In 1948, Hemingway added an introduction to this book, that had been originally published in 1929. In this introduction, we learn that Hemingway wrote its first draft very quickly and every day to the point of complete exhaustion such that he completed it in only six weeks. He then spent a great deal of effort […]

Inventing the Truth

Matthew Siegel recommended Inventing the Truth to us. More specifically, two chapters, “Introduction” by William Zinsser & “Life With Mother” by Russell Baker were part of last week’s assignment for his course on Writing Creative Nonfiction: Fearless and Authentic Narratives. I ordered a second-hand copy. It arrived in the post on Friday evening. Brown, beautifully […]

Women Leaders: Mastering Organisational Strategy

This weekend, I attended the Women Leaders: Mastering Organisational Strategy workshop given by Dikla Camel Hurwitz at Stanford Graduate School of Business. In short, my summary is: attend it if you have a chance, regardless of your gender. I personally think many discussions and practices we had would be very useful for male professionals as […]

The Seven Levels of Communication

This book, the Seven Levels of Communication by Michael J. Maher, arrived in the post. Very excitedly, I opened the package. After a quick glance at its cover with the subtitle “Go from Relationships to Referrals”. My heart sank to the deep dark valley in King’s Canyon. “Relationships to Referrals” those words immediately projected to […]

Effective Argument and Critical Thinking

I wish I had come across Oxford Guide to Effective Argument and Critical Thinking by Colin Swatridge when I started reading ferociously and writing to a lesser extent in the 1990s. Unfortunately, Swatridge only wrote and published it in 2014. I suppose that having not found and read it for the last five years is […]

Always Right

It has been nearly six years since Margaret Thatcher passed away. I was on my way to board an aeroplane from London to California. By the entrance door to the plane, there were dozens of newspapers on the shelf, with their front pages announcing her death. Looking at the iconic images of her, my heart […]

The Old Men and the Sea

In my early teens, I read the Chinese translation of the Old Man and the Sea. The old man, Santiago, left a fiercely persistent and strong image in my mind. Reading Ernest Hemingway’s original English writing this week, an intense sensation of strength and survival came to me overwhelmingly, together with the beauty of the […]

Compassion

Last Autumn, I attended Building Interpersonal Skills: An Experiential Workshop, organised by Susan Neville, Campbell Frank and a couple of other instructors, at Stanford. After this intensive program, one poem and one word repeatedly come back to me: compassion. To begin the program, the instructors read us Miller Williams’s poem. Sue was very kind to […]

Big Magic

When I picked up Big Magic – Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert, I was concerned that it might miserably disappoint me. A few writers unknowingly did that to me in the past. Usually the first book was fascinating, so I went on to read another one or two of their works. Sometimes they […]