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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Life After Life

Metaphorically speaking, it has taken me a couple of “life after life” to read this book. I started reading it in the Spring of 2018, went through multiple iterations of “pause, resume”. I hit obstacles (elsewhere), fell over and picked myself up, occasionally with bruises. Being clumsy or graceful, either has its beauty. Who cares […]

Meditations

I started the new year, 2019, with a long hike in the Santa Cruz mountain range. The air in the mountains was very fresh, compared with the uniquely peculiar “scent” of central London, which I merrily inhaled throughout the holiday season. Crudely stated, it was probably because of the exhaust from diesel cars and buses, […]

Ordinary Love and Good Will

Ordinary Love and Good Will, by Jane Smiley, is not a typical book for me. It nevertheless found its way to me at a fortunate timing. It was a recommendation from a credible source shortly before a trip. I enjoyed reading it very much when I was in the air traveling across the country in […]

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 […]

Letter to My Daughter

    There have been a number of (positive) challenges in my professional world. I devoted most of my time and energy to quantum computing lately. While science, engineering and technology have been the main source of fascination for me professionally, from time to time I feel overwhelmingly empty without experiencing the world from other […]

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 […]