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A Hunter-Gatherer’s Guide to the 21st Century: Evolution and the Challenges of Modern Life – Heather Heying, Bret Weinstein
Non-fiction / 25th February 2023

Introduction A Hunter-Gatherer’s Guide to the 21st Century is about the evolution of our species and its future. The authors seek a single, consistent explanation of the observable universe that has no gaps, takes nothing on faith, and rigorously describes every pattern at every scale. Their aim is to introduce the readers to a robust scientific framework for understanding ourselves. I was attracted by the book title and would like to see its contents. Authors Heather Heying is an American evolutionary biologist, former professor, and author. Bret Weinstein is Heather’s husband. He is an American podcaster, author, and former professor of evolutionary biology. Contents A Hunter-Gatherer’s Guide to the 21st Century contains an introduction, 13 chapters, an epilogue, and an afterword. The chapters are: 1. The Human Niche 2. A Brief History of the Human Lineage 3. Ancient Bodies, Modern World 4. Medicine 5. Food 6. Sleep 7. Sex and Gender 8. Parenthood and Relationship 9. Childhood 10. School 11. Becoming Adults 12. Culture and Consciousness 13. The Fourth Frontier Review A Hunter-Gatherer’s Guide to the 21st Century is like a text book with lots of definition. Perhaps it is because its authors are two former professors. This book talks about…

The Making of a Manager: What to Do When Everyone Looks to You – Julie Zhuo
Non-fiction / 19th January 2023

Introduction The Making of a Manager is about management. The author hopes this books sheds light on the whys of management. Only by buying into the whys can the readers truly be effective in the hows. Although I am not a manager, I hope to learn from this book what a manager wants, or at least what makes a good manager. Authors Julie Zhuo is a Chinese-American businesswoman and computer scientist. She was the vice president of product design at Facebook and now Co-Founder at Inspirit.  Contents There are an introduction (Great Managers Are Made, Not Born) , 10 chapters and an epilogue (The Journey is 1% Finished) in The Making of a Manager. The chapters are 1) What Is Management? 2) Your First Three Months 3) Leading a Small Team 4) The Art of Feedback 5) Managing Yourself 6) Amazing Meetings 7) Hiring Well 8) Making Things Happen 9) Leading a Growing Team 10) Nurturing Culture Review In The Making of a Manager, the author shares her own personal experience in the management world. For her, management feels like a deeply human endeavour to empower others. However, this might not be a road for everyone, so we should only take up…

The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon – David Grann
Non-fiction / 13th December 2022

Introduction The Lost City of Z is a biography about the British explorer, Percy Harrison Fawcett. I was looking for a biography to read. This book is one of several recommended in a biography blog and since I do not know which one to read, I randomly picked this book. Authors David Grann is an American journalist, a staff writer for The New Yorker magazine, and an author.  Contents The Lost City of Z has a preface and 25 chapters. The chapters are 1) We Shall Return, 2) The Vanishing, 3) The Search Begins, 4) Buried Treasure, 5) Blank Spots on the Map, 6) The Disciple, 7) Freeze-Dried Ice Cream and Adrenaline Socks, 8) Into the Amazon, 9) The Secret Papers, 10) The Green Hell, 11) Dead Horse Camp, 12) In the Hands of the Gods, 13) Ransom, 14) The Case for Z, 15) El Dorado, 16) The Locked Box, 17) The Whole World Is Mad, 18) A Scientific Obsession, 19) An Unexpected Clue, 20) Have No Fear, 21) The Last Eyewitness, 22) Dead or Alive, 23) The Colonel’s Bone, 24) The Other World, and 25) Z. Review The Lost City of Z is about the greatest exploration mystery of…

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…