Site Logo
How Children Fail – John Holt
Non-fiction / 24th November 2022

Introduction How Children Fail is the author’s partial record of his not very successful attempt to find out why children fail. This revised edition was published 20 years after the first edition when the author thought he knew much more about why. I would like to learn the reasons children fail and try to avoid them so that I would not fail my child. Authors John Holt was an American author and educator. He wrote a total of 11 books on the subject of schooling, as well as starting the newsletter Growing Without Schooling (GWS). Contents How Children Fail contains a foreword, and 5 chapters. The chapters are Strategy, Fear and Failure, Real Learning, How Schools Fail, and To Summarize. Review How Children Fail first shares some shocking statistics. Close to 40% of high-schoolers drop out while one third of college students fail to finish their courses. The reasons of failure are fear, boredom, and confusion. Above all else, children are afraid of failing, of disappointing or displeasing many anxious adults around them. The sharp line between success and failure appears when pleasing adults become important. The author gives an honest assessment about school. It is a place where they make you…

Beautiful World, Where Are You – Sally Rooney
Fiction / 6th November 2022

Introduction Beautiful World, Where Are You is a romance novel set in Ireland. I saw this book being recommended as the Best Fiction 2021 on Goodreads. Since I enjoyed reading Normal People by the same author, I decided to give it a try. Author To know more about Sally Rooney, you can refer here. This book is her third novel. Contents Beautiful World, Where Are You has 30 chapters in total. Review Beautiful World, Where Are You has 4 protagonists, 2 ladies and 2 guys. They are Alice Kelleher, Felix Brady, Eileen Lydon, and Simon Costigan. It is a story about the turning-out process, where the characters are finding their own places in the world. The story is interspersed with email exchanges between Alice and Eileen. These exchanges are depressing at the beginning and change to a brighter mood towards the end. There is an interesting theory about the collapse of civilisation, which may or may not be correct. The author briefly discusses about nostalgia impulse in the book. For me, nostalgia impulse is not necessarily correct as the past may not be better. It is just that people tend to look back to the past in a positive light….

Richer, Wiser, Happier: How the World’s Greatest Investors Win in Markers and Life – William Green
Non-fiction / 18th October 2022

Introduction Richer, Wiser, Happier discusses the principles, process, insights, habits, and personality traits that enable a tiny minority to beat the market in the long run. The author would like to reverse engineer these investors’ winning ways. This book is recommended by a columnist on Forbes website. I would like to learn the winning ways of these great investors. Author William Green is an author and editor. He has written for many leading publications in the US and Europe. Besides that, he has interviewed a number of most successful investors. Contents Richer, Wiser, Happier is made up of an introduction (Inside the Minds of the Greatest Investors), 8 chapters and an epilogue (Beyond Rich). The 8 chapters are 1) The Man Who Cloned Warren Buffett, 2) The Willingness to Be Lonely, 3) Everything Changes, 4) The Resilient Investor, 5) Simplicity is the Ultimate Sophistication, 6) Nick & Zak’s Excellent Adventure, 7) High-Performance Habits, and 8) Don’t Be a Fool. Review Richer, Wiser, Happier features a number of investors. The author thinks that by studying these investors, we could learn not only how to become rich, but also to improve our decision making skill. Investing is about calculating the odds, thus…

Think Like An Entrepreneur, Act Like A CEO: 50 Indispensable Tips to Help You Stay Afloat, Bounce Back, and Get Ahead at Work – Beverly E. Jones
Non-fiction / 8th September 2022

Introduction Think Like An Entrepreneur, Act Like A CEO is a book about achieving a better working life. The author wants to help the readers to become more nimble in the workplace. At first, I was wondering whether this is for business owner or for employees and I was looking to learn more about running a business. But this is actually a book for workers. Authors Beverly E. Jones is an executive coach, leadership consultant, speaker, author and podcaster. She is also a Visiting Fellow at the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Service at Ohio University.  Contents Think Like An Entrepreneur, Act Like A CEO has an introduction and 50 chapters. These chapters are 1) To Launch Something New, You Need a Good Plan, 2) Think Like an Entrepreneur, Wherever You Are, 3) Listening Is Your Sure Fire, Go-to Career Strategy, 4) Tweak Your Brand to Send Clear Messages, 5) Start Now to Build Leadership into Your Brand, 6) Power up by Tweaking Your Personal Style, 7) Talk Back to the Voice in Your Head, 8) How Do Other People Get Self-Discipline?, 9) How And Why to Keep Smiling, 10) The Real Meaning of “Networking” May Surprise You, 11)…

The Seven-Day Weekend: Changing the Way Work Works – Ricardo Semler
Non-fiction / 10th July 2022

Introduction The Seven-Day Weekend is a combination of political manifesto, a business case history, and an anthropological study. The author says it is also a road map to personal and business success. This book explains the philosophies and practices that make Semco one of the world’s most unusual workplaces. I would like to see if seven-day weekend means we do not need to work at all. Authors Ricardo Semler is the CEO and majority owner of Semco Partners in Brazil. He is also Professor of Leadership at MIT’s Sloan School of Management and Visiting Scholar at Harvard Law School. Contents The Seven-Day Weekend contains 9 chapters. These chapters are 1) Any Day, 2) Sunday, 3) Monday, 4) Tuesday, 5) Wednesday, 6) Thursday, 7) Friday, 8) Saturday, and 9) Every Day. Review The seven-day weekend approach is an alternative that bridges the gap between the airy theories of workplace democracy and the nitty-gritty practice of running a profitable business. However, it is not about abolishing work. The author states clearly in the book that seven-day weekend is equal to seven-day workweek, but with an emphasis on workers’ welfare. He advocates giving up control to cope with changes that are transforming the…

The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down – Haemin Sunim
Non-fiction / 7th June 2022

Introduction The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down is translated from Korean to English by Chi-Young Kim. The author hopes this book can inspire the reader to connect with his/her kinder and wiser side. Since its title looks interesting, I decided to give it a read. I would like to find out what I can see. Authors Haemin is a Seon Buddhist teacher, writer and the founder of the School of Broken Hearts in Seoul. Sunim is the Korean title for a Buddhist monk or Buddhist nun. Contents The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down has a prologue, 8 chapters, and an epilogue (Your Original Face). Every chapter has 2 themes. Chapter 1 is Rest. It has 2 subchapters: Why Am I So Busy?, and When Life Disappoints, Rest a Moment. Chapter 2 is Mindfulness. The 2 themes here are Befriend Your Emotions, and When You Are Feeling Low. Chapter 3 is Passion. Its subchapters are Temper Your Eagerness, and Being Right Isn’t Important; Being Happy Together Is. Chapter 4 is Relationships. Its 2 themes are The Art of Maintaining a Good Relationship, and The Journey of Forgiveness. Chapter 5 is Love. Its subchapters are…

Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content – Ann Handley
Non-fiction / 8th May 2022

Introduction Everybody Writes is about writing and publishing good content. The purpose of this book is to wage a war on content mediocrity. Since I am blogging, I want to know more about writing good content. Authors Ann Handley is the Chief Content Officer of MarketingProfs. She is also  a speaker, author, and member of the LinkedIn Influencer program. IBM named her one of the 7 people shaping modern marketing. She is cited in Forbes as the most influential woman in Social Media and recognised by ForbesWoman as one of the top 20 women bloggers. Contents Everybody Writes has an introduction, 6 parts, and an epilogue. Part I is Writing Rules: How to Write Better (and How to Hate Writing Less). It is made up of 28 chapters. Part II is Writing Rules: Grammar and Usage. It consists of 12 chapters. Part III is Story Rules and has 4 chapters. Part IV is Publishing Rules. It contains 15 chapters. Part V is 13 Things Marketers Write. This part has 15 chapters. Part VI is Content Tools and introduces 9 types of tools. Review Everybody Writes is meant to be part writing guide, part handbook on the rules of good sportsmanship in…

Guide to Investment Strategy: How To Understand Markets, Risk, Rewards and Behaviour – Peter Stanyer, Stephen Satchell
Non-fiction / 14th February 2022

Introduction Guide to Investment Strategy is an investment book. This book aims to address the concerns of retail investor. I would like to learn about the recommendations of two economists on investing. Author Peter Stanyer is an economist and strategist at a London-based private wealth manager. He was previously chief investment officer of a US-based investment firm, a managing director at Merrill Lynch and investment director of the UK’s Railways Rail Pension Fund. He has also worked as an economist for the Bank of England and the IMF. He won the Adam Smith prize for economics when he was at Cambridge University. Stephen Satchell is Economics Fellow at Trinity College Cambridge, and is a Professor at the University of Sydney. He is The Reader in Financial Econometrics (Emeritus) at Cambridge University, and is an Honorary Member of the Institute of Actuaries. He is an academic advisor to numerous financial institutions. Contents Guide to Investment Strategy has a total of 11 chapters which are divided into 2 parts. It also has an introduction (Back to basics, again) and 2 appendices. Part 1 is The Big Picture. There are 6 chapters here. These chapters are 1) Setting the scene: What is risk…

Flour Water Salt Yeast: The Fundamentals of Artisan Bread and Pizza – Ken Forkish
Non-fiction / 8th December 2021

Introduction Flour Water Salt Yeast is a book about baking. The author wants to address the techniques used in a good artisan bakery and how they could be adopted for home kitchen. This book is supposed to be read by my wife but she did not have to time to read it yet. So I decided to read it for her first and see if it is worth her time. Author Ken Forkish was working in the high-tech industry before becoming a baker. He is the owner of Ken’s Artisan Bakery and Ken’s Artisan Pizza. Contents Flour Water Salt Yeast contains an introduction, 14 chapters which are divided into 4 parts, and a Lagniappe (Oregon Hazelnut Butter Cookies). Part 1 is The Principles of Artisan Bread. The 3 chapters here are The Backstory, Eight Details for Great Bread and Pizza, and Equipment and Ingredients. It ends with an essay: Where Does Our Flour Come From? Part 2 is Basic Bread Recipes and contains 3 chapters. They are Basic Bread Method, Straight Doughs, and Doughs Made with Pre-Ferments. This part also ends with an essay: The Early Morning Bread Baker’s Routine. Part 3 is Levain Bread Recipes. There are 5 chapters…

The Smart Money Method: How To Pick Stocks Like A Hedge Fund Pro – Stephen Clapham
Non-fiction / 19th November 2021

Introduction The Smart Money Method is a book about investment strategy. The author presents his investment process from finding the original idea to buying, monitoring and selling. He would like to improve the readers’ investment performance with this book. I would like to know how hedge fund managers choose the stocks to be included in their portfolios and see if I could implement some methods to improve my returns. Author Stephen Clapham is the founder of Behind the Balance Sheet. He spent some 20 years as an equity analyst at different investment banks, covering various sectors, and was consistently rated in the top 10 in his sector. He moved to the buy-side in 2005 and was a partner and head of research at 2 multi-billion dollar hedge funds; he specialised in using a deep dive research approach to identify special situation opportunities. Contents The Smart Money Method has a preface, an introduction, and 14 chapters. The chapters are 1) What Makes A Good Investment?, 2) Finding Ideas, 3) Testing the Hypothesis, 4) Understanding the Industry, 5) Quality, 6) Analysis of Company Quality, 7) Management, 8) Company Financials, 9) Valuation, 10) Communicating the Idea, 11) Maintaining the Portfolio, 12) Macro-Economic Analysis,…