Title Review
October 2011

The Lean Startup - Ries
Summary: treat a startup like a series of scientific experiments and make sure you measure the correct variables. Great idea. 100 good pages and then 200 pages of fluff.

The Inferno - Dante
Better than the lean startup. I had a litte trouble getting through hell, but reading outloud helped. Should I continue to purgatory and beyond after climbing down Satan's back to the southern hemisphere?
August 2011

Water for Elephants - Gruen
An excellent book. I liked the combination of a period piece and a medidation on aging and old age.
July 2011

iWoz - Wozniak
I'm pretty sure Wozniak would be classified as barely literate but he's also obviously a genius in other areas. It was enlightening to find out more about the history, culture, and folklore of silicon valley.

Robinson Crusoe - Defoe
I was informed that I'm pronouncing Crusoe wrong. Apparently it's Cru-so, not Cuh-ru-so. But I actually read the book, so I say what I want. You can't make me conform.
June 2011

The War of Art - Pressfield
Read it a second time. Still liked it.
January 2011

Face the Dragon - Sweeney
Our 7th grade teacher read this book aloud to us. I made fun of it at the time, but the story stuck with me, and turned out to be more apropos that I knew at the time.

Twin Spica 1-9 - Yaginuma
Awesome Manga. Restored 68% of my child-like sense of wonder.

Neko Ramen 1 - Sonishi
Pretty good, but I trouble distinguising between just plain weird, and the jokes.

Dead Reckoning: Tales of the Great Explorers 1800-1900 - Whybrow
50% of the stories were amazing. They are all drawn from the writers of the time and it's inspiring to know what people did. I loved the story about biking from Europe along the silk road into China --- in the 1800's!
Spring 2010

The Reluctant Sorcerer - Hawke
I love this book; it's a lot of fun. Brilliant scientist (check) builds what he things is a time machine (double check) but it actually takes him to a parallel fantasy dimension where magic works (awesome) and his super-model fiancee (double awesome) is left wondering where he went. He's mistaken for a sorcerer and proceeds to (somewhat absent-mindedly) recreate the modern technology he needs to get back. There's also this great dynamic as the main evil sorcerer gradually becomes aware of the narrator and actually start trying to trick him into revealing plot points. Totally awesome. First book in a three book series and the second one is even better.

American Born Chinese - Yang
Good graphic novel weaving some classic Chinese mythology with a story of the pain this american born Chinese boy faces trying to live as an American and deny his Chinese heritage and culture.

Scott Pilgrim, Vol. 1,2 - O'Malley
I wanted to like this one so bad (video game infused emo-like slacker romance), but I stopped reading after the second book in the series. It suffers from the fatal "characters-look-alike" syndrome and I had the damnedest time trying to figure out who was talking most of the book. Nevertheless, I'm looking forward to the movie based on this comic with Michael Cera in it coming out this summer.

The Count of Monte Cristo - Dumas
I liked the first part, but the second part of the book seemed a little slow for me. Took me forever to read this 1400 page beast of a book. I would recommend the three musketeers over this.

Honey and Clover, Vol. 1-10 - Umino
Probably my favorite Manga ever. The story of six friends going though art school together and growning up from kids into adults. There's a lot of romance but also a lot of hard realizations about what it means to be responsible and do the right thing. I would recommend it to anyone.
That being said, I just looked up the Wikipedia article on this series, and apparently it belong to the shoujo manga genre, which is targeted at 10-18 YEAR OLD GIRLS. Not sure how to take that. Seems vaguely demeaning, but what the hell, I liked it anyways.
October 2009

Hominids (Neanderthal Parallax) - Sawyer
Read the whole book during one sleepless night. Bad, bad writing. Pretty amusing story though. What if Humans and Neanderthals both developed in parallel dimensions, and then somehow got to meet each other. Fun.
September 2009

The Intelligent Investor: The Definitive Book on Value Investing. A Book of Practical Counsel (Revised Edition) - Graham
This is an excellent book on investing. The principles resonated with me and make sense. Now let's see if they make me money.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Book 7) - Rowling
I was pretty disappointed in the ending. To be honest, as I'm writing this I can't even remember what disappointed me, but I really do remember being annoyed with this book. A real let down.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Book 6) - Rowling
Decent, but the decline of the series starts here. I should also say that I took a break of a few weeks between book 5 and book 6, but I read books 1-5 in a single week. One book a day, MTWTF.
August 2009

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Book 5) - Rowling
Not sure what to say about each individual book, they blur together in my mind.
July 2009

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Book 4) - Rowling
Also, when reading them right next to each other, you notice that the story is very good, the pacing is especially good, but the writing is not that creative. Rowling using the same description over and over to describe the same characters.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Book 3) - Rowling
Maybe the best of the series.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Book 2) - Rowling
Thinking more about this, LoTR is definitely better. But HP is very fun.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Book 1) - Rowling
I'm reading the first book in Chinese now. Say hello to Ha-li Bo-te.
June 2009

Practical Programming for Strength Training - Rippetoe
Good information, but a little tough to put to use. More for coaches than end users.

Starting Strength (2nd edition) - Rippetoe
Good information on the form of these exercises. After reading this book, I've come disagree with the premise and to think that dumbbells are almost univerally better than barbells except for exercises where grip strength becomes the limiting factor, like squat and deadlift.
April 2009

Cold Mountain - Frazier
Amazing description of place. The story really takes a back seat in this book to just feeling like you're really there, at that time. And it didn't make reading any less enjoyable. (Maybe it made reading a little slower though)
March 2009

The Art of Travel - de Botton
I would call this writing style Abstract/Random. Not sure what is point is, and the author seems slightly depressed. But it was an interesting read.

Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel - Potts
Not just an art, but this book is a very practical guide to taking a world trip for a very very long time. I don't think I'm quite ready for it yet, but still fun to read.
February 2009

What I Talk About When I Talk About Running - Murakami
This book didn't really get good reviews but I enjoyed reading it. It's just a non-fiction book of essays about runs Murakami has taken, or just his general thoughts. He has a certain way of writing that seems like the words are coming directly from his mind without much introspection or filter. But, over the course of this simple train of thought, deep insights are revealed, not with a great show, but in the same way everyday thoughts are. Again, just a book about his thoughts on running, but I liked it. Also, it's short.

Watchmen - Moore
Both good and bad. I don't like the ending. I don't like the subplot about the pirate ship; it seemed heavy handed and clumsy. I didn't like Dr. Manhattan. I didn't like Ozymandias. I really liked Rorschach, and that made this comic book (they want me to call it a graphic novel, but let's be honest, it's a comic book, and I like comics) fun to read.

The World Is Flat 3.0: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century - Friedman
Ok. Friedman seems so enamored with his own idea that the world is flat that he stops objectively considering when this idea is applicable and when it's not.
January 2009

Hyperion - Simmons
Another good and bad book. I liked reading it, but then when I was done, I didn't want to finish the series. No more explanation than that.
December 2008

Hughes: Poems (Everyman's Library Pocket Poets)
Langston Hughes may be my favorite poet. This is the poem that got me started on him.

The instructor said,

  Go home and write
  a page tonight.
  And let that page come out of you---
  Then, it will be true.

I wonder if it's that simple?
I am twenty-two, colored, born in Winston-Salem.
I went to school there, then Durham, then here
to this college on the hill above Harlem.
I am the only colored student in my class.
The steps from the hill lead down into Harlem
through a park, then I cross St. Nicholas,
Eighth Avenue, Seventh, and I come to the Y,
the Harlem Branch Y, where I take the elevator
up to my room, sit down, and write this page:

It's not easy to know what is true for you or me
at twenty-two, my age. But I guess I'm what
I feel and see and hear, Harlem, I hear you:
hear you, hear me---we two---you, me, talk on this page.
(I hear New York too.) Me---who?
Well, I like to eat, sleep, drink, and be in love.
I like to work, read, learn, and understand life.
I like a pipe for a Christmas present,
or records---Bessie, bop, or Bach.
I guess being colored doesn't make me NOT like
the same things other folks like who are other races.
So will my page be colored that I write?
Being me, it will not be white.
But it will be
a part of you, instructor.
You are white---
yet a part of me, as I am a part of you.
That's American.
Sometimes perhaps you don't want to be a part of me.
Nor do I often want to be a part of you.
But we are, that's true!
As I learn from you,
I guess you learn from me---
although you're older---and white---
and somewhat more free.

This is my page for English B.


Drama and Desire: Japanese Painting from the Floating World, 1690-1850 - Morse
Saw this exhibit at the asian art museum in SF, and I liked it.

A Passage to India - Forster
Good writing, but I think I must be a total Philistine; I didn't like it. What I got in the end was that Forster though Indians and Brits could never understand each other. Maybe it was true at the time, but like William James, I think ideas sometimes have a 'cash value' and there's no value in believing understanding is impossible.
September 2008

South of the Border, West of the Sun: A Novel - Murakami
I read these few Murakami books on my honeymoon. This is one of my favorite books of all time.

After Dark - Murakami
A newer Murakami book. Short. I liked it. It's weird, it's sometimes hard to tell if Murakami is a Japanese or American writer.

Norwegian Wood - Murakami
First Murakami book I ever read - rereading it here. More plain than his others, but beautifully honest. I wonder if the main character in this book really is Murakami.

Sons of the Oak (Runelords) - Farland
Good, but I stopped reading this series after this book. All the main characters died.
August 2008

The Lair of Bones (Runelords) - Farland
Fine fine.

The Monk and the Riddle: The Art of Creating a Life While Making a Living - Komisar
Read this one while living in Mike and Jon's living room. It was pretty good.
July 2008

Wizardborn (The Runelords, Book 3) - Farland
Good, fine.
June 2008

Soon I Will be Invincible - Grossman
Not 'high fiction' but a great read on an airplane. I enjoyed it a lot. Its target audience is nerds.
July 2008

Brotherhood of the Wolf (The Runelords, Book Two) - Farland
Good, see next comments.

The Sum of All Men (The Runelords, Book One) - Farland
I really liked this series because it had a new idea for fantasy books. No one really had magic, but by permanently giving up some power (sight, heading, metabolism, strength, etc...) you could transfer it to someone else. A lord would accept some of these powers (creating a superman) from his subjects so he could protect them, but in turn, they would be cared for for life, and so would their family. Just a really fun idea and world to read about.

Bound Feet & Western Dress: A Memoir - Chang
Can't remember much other than feet binding sounds crazy painful.

The Quiet American - Green
Good. Also liked the movie a lot.
February 2008

Kafka on the Shore - Murakami
One of Murakami's better works. I liked that two characters were: "Johnnie Walker: A cat killer who plans to make a flute out of cats' souls. " and "Colonel Sanders: A "concept" who takes the form of a pimp or hustler." Really bizarre in the best of ways.
January 2008

How Small Business Trades Worldwide - Spiers
Interesting take on importing goods. I was interested in doing some small scale imports, so we'll see what happens.
December 2007

Poems to Read: A New Favorite Poem Project Anthology - Pinsky
I don't read much poetry, so I decided to try it out with this book. To be honest, I didn't like most of it, but I liked Langston Hughes and William Blake.
November 2007

I Am Legend - Matheson
Much better than the movie. *Spoiler* The movie missed the whole point of the book. In the book he was the last human alive, spending his days killing vampire-zombies. To the vampire-zombies, which weren't mindless at all, he was a freak, a monster, a legend. The last scene of the book is this man awaiting execution by the vampire-zombie government screaming, "I am legend!" Way better ending.
October 2007

The Modern Library Writer's Workshop: A Guide to the Craft of Fiction - Koch
A lot of really cool information about writing from many different sources. This author compiled a lot of what has been writing about writing by authors, and it was great to read.
September 2007

Trailside Guide: Hiking and Backpacking, New Edition - Berger
Good practical advice for hiking and backpacking.
August 2007

I, Robot - Asimov
Can't remember much about this one, but the story and idea were good, and I think the writing was so-so.

Death in Venice (Dover Thrift Editions) - Mann
Pretty good. Again, memory a little sketchy here.
June 2007

The Complete Engravings, Etchings and Drypoints of Albrecht Durer - Strauss
I like the prints of Durer, and thus liked this book.

Father Joe: The Man Who Saved My Soul - Hendra
A good read about redemption. I know there was a lot of controvery about the author, but it's clear in this book he had problems, and I hope he found redemption.

The Wealth and Poverty of Nations: Why Some Are So Rich and Some So Poor - Landes
Thesis: nations are not rich and poor because of their geography or resources, but because of their culture and how they deal with change.

Erewhon (Dover Thrift Editions) - Butler
Good read. Distopian novel.
May 2007

Thousand Cranes - Kawabata
Wow, I can't remember anything about this book.

The Crying of Lot 49 - Pynchon
Great. Reminds me of Murakami a bit, though this predates him and was probably an influence. I think I worked at Yoyodyne....
March 2007

When We Were Orphans: A Novel - Ishiguro
A great book. I really like the writing of Ishiguro. Set in Shanghai during WWII.
February 2007

Chaotic Elections! A Mathematician Looks at Voting - Saari
I don't usually put research books on this list, but this one was good and aimed at a more general audience. If you want to see a slice of the work I do and why voting is something you can research, take a look at this book.

A Christmas Carol and Other Stories (Modern Library Classics) - Dickens
I had the goal of reading this every Christmas, but I haven't kept up. I also want to read more Dickens, but haven't got around to it yet.
December 2006

Ender's Game - Card
Put this one in the classics of Sci-fi as well. The story is one of the best, but rereading it, I did feel the writing left a little to be desired. Nevertheless, great great great.

Fahrenheit 451 - Bradbury
Reread this one. Always a classic and a must read.

"It was a pleasure to burn.
It was a special pleasure to see things eaten, to see things blackened and changed."

Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World: A Novel - Murakami
I enjoyed this Murakami book, but not my favorite. Still, very good.
November 2006

The Vintage Guide to Classical Music - Swafford
Great overview of great composers, great ideas in music, and different styles. I really enjoyed learning about all of this.
September 2006

Mr. China: A Memoir - Clissold
Pretty entertaining, not deep. Takeaway: China's a tricky place to do business for non-natives.

Red-Color News Soldier - Li
Good mix of photos of the cultural revolution along with the author's account of living through it. These photos were smuggled out of China so they could be published. China's a complex place, but there are dissenting opinions internally. Just don't make the same mistake as most western media in thinking that this is a majority opinion.

The Kite Runner - Hosseini
Good, disturbing, but it just was lacking something for me. I wouldn't try to talk anyone out of reading it though.
August 2006

In the Beginning...was the Command Line - Stephenson
Great comparison of modes of human computer interaction. I know Stephenson doesn't totally agree with this slightly dated writing, but I love it.

In Cold Blood - Capote
Well realized vision of Capote's idea of non-fiction as story telling on a level equal to the best fiction. That being said, I found the story disturbing, not redeeming, and will not read again.
July 2006

Flashman and the Mountain of Light
Exciting historial fiction about a rogue and a man's man, Flashman, in India during the British occupation. I enjoyed it and would like to read more in this series. Strange for a fiction book, it has a ton of historical footnotes.

In the Realm of a Dying Emperor: Japan at Century's End - Field
Very interesting. In general, it's safe to say that Japan is very conservative, especially with regards to holding onto traditions including how the emperor is respected. Hirohito, the emperor during WWII, is named in Japanese the Showa (peace emperor). It is common for Japanese to associate him with his quiet love for marine biology, not his key role as support for agression in WWII. This book is about the resistance in Japan, by some Japanese, to the whitewashed image of Hirohito.

Snow Country - Kawabata
I remember this book as being very sparse, but still beautiful. I'm not sure I would call it gripping though.
June 2006
The DaVinci Code - Brown Ok, once 40 million people have bought a book, I feel I should probably read it just to see what the fuss is about. My conclusion: decent book, but why is it this popular?
Psychology of Intelligence Analysis - Heuer I read this one for work. An excellent discussion of the work of intelligence analysis and cognitive limitations that prevent people from doing a better job drawing conclusions from data.
The Story of Philosophy I've never taken a philosophy class, but this book was excellent. It covers both the lives and the philosophy of many major philosophers. A good introduction. However, it does not cover Christian philosophy (i.e. it jumps from Aristotle directly to Spinoza, as if nothing was done in between) and it also covers only Western philosophy.
May 2006
I am Charlotte Simmons - Wolfe Some reviews have said that this doesn't accurately portray college life, but I think it does a pretty good job. It was an enjoyable read, but in some parts it felt a little weak but maybe that was just because for most of the book I wanted to shake some sense into Charlotte Simmons.
Walden; Or, Life in the Woods - Thoreau It took me a while to finish this book, but it was worth it. While a large portion of this book is about nature, an equally large portion is about Thoreau's philosophy. Most importantly, I think, are his views on following yourself, and not the dictates of society. I would recommend this book to anyone.
April 2006
Days of Obligation - Rodriguez Very dense, but interesting. His writing style is a little too fragmented and informal for me. I was interested, but it was also difficult to discern what he was actually saying. The jury is still out on this one.
Shadowmarch - Williams Since this is only the first book in a series, I have to reserve most of my judgment. It was an enjoyable read with characters I found interesting, even if occasionally they acted in ways that I don't think matched their personalities. The plot is fairly expansive, and even in this first volume I can guess at many connections but there is still a lot that is left to be explained. On the downside, I don't feel the world is too original and, surprisingly, there were a number of typos. Hopefully they corrected this in the paperback edition, but since I only have the hardcover one, I don't know. Overall, pretty good though.
New Rules of Lifting - Schuler, Cosgrove I enjoyed reading it, but I'll have to let you know if it works or not. In a year or so.
March 2006
A Random Walk Down Wall Street - Malkiel Basically don't even think about trying to beat the market. People with more money, time, and intelligence have beaten you to the punch, and the price you can buy it for reflects that. However, you can keep up with the market with a diversified portfolio or an index fund. This is a very academic view, but it also sound very reasonable to me.
February 2006
Bird by Bird - Lamott A guide to writing, and life. It was good, but her humor wore on me after a while. It felt like everytime I read on of her jokes there was an implicit cymbal crash right after it. A little heavy handed I though. (Still a good book though)
The Miracle of Mindfulness - Thich Nhat Hanh A guide to meditation, and living your life fully alert, experiencing everything.
January 2006
Civil Disobedience and Other Essays - Thoreau This was very good. I plan on reading it again. The essay on John Brown really resonated with me.
Sun Tsu was a Sissy - Bing I think this book was supposed to be funny, but it's take on the business world just depressed me instead. Also, it wasn't funny.
The System of the World - Stephenson I feel proud that I finished this trilogy, but this feeling is not enough to recommend these books to anyone. Ever.
Ultimate Fitness - Kolata Half a personal story of the author's exercise experiences, and half a debunking of excercise myths. It was decent, but not too much stuck with me after I was done with it.
December 2005
Meditations - Aurelius, trans. Hays Stoic philosophy in the form of Marcus Aurelius' notes/exercises for his own spiritual development. I liked it.
The Magic Mountain - Mann This book is more like a time period of my life than a novel. I carried it to Japan on my second trip there, but didn't really start reading it in ernest until the summer of 2005. I can't say it is an exciting book nor is it easy to read, but there is something about it that felt very dreamy. And for reasons I can not explain, I think I want to read it again. (p.s. the Amazon reviews are really funny. It sounds like no one understood it, but they're not willing to admit that, so they just parrot the blub from the back cover of the book. I admit it though, I didn't understand this book.)
Getting What You Came For - R.L. Peters Talking about graduate school, and getting your PhD. I wish I read this before I appplied to grad schools.
November 2005
The War of Art - Pressfield Thesis: Art is an uphill battle, but worth it. You have to discipline your mind.
October 2005
Freakonomics - Levitt, Dubner An interesting look at some far-flung economics research, like on the connection of abortion and the recent drop in crime. It was a very interesting read, but arguments like this need to be backed up with all the statistical details, which this book lacks. It's probably just me though -- most people will enjoy it.
September 2005
In Praise of Slowness - Honore The concept is simple. We're living life too quickly and need to slow down and enjoy things. This book takes this idea I fully support and backs it up with large amount of fluff and poor writing. I'd say skip it.
The Wisdom of Crowds - Surowiecki This book talks about how group decisions can be better than the best single expert. It's an interesting concept, but presented in a little bit of a disorganized format. There are also more specific examples than real general concepts.
July 2005
Good Omens - Gaiman, Pratchett This book is about the end of the world when the anti-christ was accidentally given to the wrong family at birth. It's a quick read any funny, but somehow the writing felt a little rushed and superfical to me.
Murder on the Orient Express - Cristie I don't usually read mystery books, but this one was good.
April 2005
A Canticle for Leibowitz This is a rather old SF book, but it's well written with ideas that still apply to our situation now. It follows the rebuilding of society after a nuclear war wipes almost everything out, and is really facinating.
Karate-do: My Way of Life - Funakoshi The autobiography of the founder of Shotokan Karate, the style I practice. I admire the way he lived his life with discipline.
The Silk Road: Xi'an to Kashgar - Bonavia The best guide book I found for this area. It is best used as a general history and introduction instead of actually 'guiding' you to places. The maps are poor, and the organization is worse, but it was enjoyable to read.
The Confusion - Stephenson Slightly better than "Quicksilver," but mostly boring. On the other hand, making Newton, Leibniz, pirates, international travel, high finance, and romance ALL boring at the same time is an achievement in it's own class.
March 2005
The Stranger - Camus This is one of my favorite books of all time. I think he does find some meaning in the end, and in fact, his whole argument of meaninglessness is just a wall he erects to protect himself.
February 2005
Quicksilver - Stephenson In all honestly, pretty boring. Of the 4 people I know who started it, I'm the only one who finished. And we're all Neal Stephenson fans.
December 2004
The Tombs of Atuan - Le Guin The second book in the series. I don't remember much more than that about it.
October 2004
A Wizard of Earthsea - Le Guin This book is aimed at a slightly younger audience, but I enjoyed it. I'm not sure if I could pick something that really makes it stand out though.
Underground - Murakami A book about the gas attacks on the Tokyo Subways. It consists of a lot of interviews and is excellent.
September 2004
If You Want to Write - Ueland A book on writing, and the value of it even if you don't publish a word.
July 2004
Tuesdays with Morrie - Albom I didn't want to like this book, but I did. Even though it may be short, and it is not earth shattering in the literary sense, I believe it deserved the popularity it got.
The Gardens of Kyoto - Walbert I really enjoyed this book, but it's not about Kyoto at all. It had a plot that surprised me and characters that interested me.
Idoru - Gibson Ehh, decent. I wouldn't read it again.
Neuromancer - Gibson I felt like I should have liked this book, but I didn't. I never got into it, and the whole book, plot and characters, felt flat.
Writing to Sell - Meredith A guide to do just that written by a well known agent. It is a little dated, but it sounded like good advice to me. Once I've sold something I'll let you know if it was actually good advice.
Who do You Love - Thompson Not by the above Thompson. This is a collection of short stories on love, both the pain and joy of it. It is very well written.
Blankets - Thompson Yes, this is a graphic novel, but it's probably not what you think it is either. It is still very much a novel in it's topics, and realistic treatment of them.
Galatea 2.2 - Powers The book was ok, but a little confusing. Also, his grasp of AI concepts is very shaky and he build the novel on some false preconceptions.
June 2004
The Roads to Sata - Booth The account of an Englishman's walk along the length of Japan. I really wanted to like this book, but it was fragmented and not compelling.
March 2004
A Travellers History of China - Haw Decent, but could have used a good map, and Hanzi for locations and names.
Dances with Sheep - Strecher An academic look at Murakami. It was very interesting, but some techniques of literary criticism seemed very sketchy. They take an idea and run too far with it, beyond the true scope of the idea.
Memoirs of a Geisha - Golden I enjoyed this book, but it was nothing that special. I thought the ending was a bit abrupt.
Summer 2003
Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress - Dai SiJie A enjoyable read. Translated from French!
Nip the Buds, Shoot the Kids - Oe A well known book, but it didn't really do it for me. I wanted to like it more than I did.
Jim Crow's Children - Irons Before I read this, I was firmly against affirmative action. This book made me rethink the whole situation in the historical context. It also made me wonder how much progress we've really made at all.
A Mathematician's Apology - Hardy Why one excellent mathematican did what he did. This is not only an interesting argument for the value of pure mathematics, but a window into Hardy's personality.
Pride and Prejudice - Austin I am embarrassed to admit this was the third time I read this book. Honestly, it's pretty enjoyable.
Dance, Dance, Dance - Murakami This is the sequal to "Wild Sheep Chase," and quite excellent.
The Art of Deception - Mitnick It doesn't take that much computer skill to be a hacker -- it's all about social engineering. Poor saps.
A Wild Sheep Chase - Murakami Murakami is my favorite author. This book is a good introduction if you have never read him before. I feel his world is like our world, just with something small, yet important, off. It really draws you in though.
Learning to Bow - Feiler This book was fun to read, but as I remember he was perhaps a little heavy handed about telling the reader how Japan IS, not just his experiences.
How to Learn a Foreign Language - Pimsleur A short book by the professor whose ideas spawned the program you can find on the internet. Interesting perspective, but I don't know if the quality of his methods has been studied since this book came out.
America's Vietnam War I'm not sure on the author, but this was a history of the period. It seems that we first supported, then betrayed leaders in the area. The "Right" side is not clear, but it was definitely a big mess.
A Personal Matter - Oe Oe wrote this at the same time he was writing the non-fiction work, "Hiroshima Notes." They are both a record of his mental state at the time. Oe really did have a disabled son at this time, and his dealings with Hiroshima survivors changed his thinking on the matter. This is a fictionalized account of what really happened to him.
The Catcher in the Rye - Salinger I read it, and I remember it being enjoyable, but I wasn't especially struck by it.
A Travellers History of Japan I read this book while I was studying abroad in Japan. It gave me a lot of information, but the history was a little dense, and I didn't really feel it sank it. Now if that's my fault or the book's is another question.
Prentice Alvin: Book 3 - Card I really enjoyed this series, though to date I haven't finished it. It really feels like I'm listening to a story intead of just reading a book.

Last updated October 30, 2011