November 09, 2010

Read & Reading

Outliers: The Story of Success

The book was really great.  It's about how anomalies occur, whether it's a good outlier or a bad outlier. Major part of the book is dedicated to how some people out-perform most of us.  Gladwell spends most of the pages describing that outliers occur from dedication, timing, cultural background, social values, upbringings - rather than the inherit IQ that the people possess.

It's very interesting that:
(1) He felt the urge to explain how black people and white/asian people are born the same
(2) Also he felt the urge to explain why Asian kids do better at maths in school - that it is because of their cultural background, not because they are smarter.
(3) The book gave me some insights in Korean culture.  I work with our korean office, and I often have difficulties understanding the reasons for their actions.

It also made me realize that the former CEO of my company must have been a real genius - he must have IQ200 or something.

The Giver

Amazon wanted me to read this for the past several years, and I finally picked it up last month.
It was such a great read.
The book is about a future community where people have very regulated simple lives, that their actions and families and everything are decided by the pre-determined community rules.  But nobody thinks it strange, because that's how things were done for generations and generations.  Memories from the past, sense of colors, joy, love, and feeling of attachments are all contained in one selected person, called Receiver (receiver of memories).  When a boy was selected to become the next Receiver, the old receiver became the Giver.

The book reminded me to cherish my experiences and memories, whether they are good or bad, happiness or agony, because the memories make me who I am.  Without them, we are all empty.
It's a simple, short, but wonderful book.

The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine

My ex-boss recommended me this book, it's about the 2008 financial crisis.  Then I realized that the author is the guy who wrote Money Ball.
I just started to read, but it looks great so far.

The Ghost Writer

One of my colleagues recommended and lend me this book.  Heard that the movie was similarly great, so I am very much looking forward to it.  Ewan McGregor and Pierce Brosnan!

It seems one non-fiction and one novel at a time works perfectly for me.

Oh, and I am still reading Life is a Verb.  Wonderful book.


I am still struggling finding someone who would go to the Harry Potter movie with me.  Of course, there is a Meetup group for movie lovers, and I am planning to join in case there is no one else.

But it is hard for me to understand why so few people have read that book around me.  Yes, of course, I am the strange one, always.

I love fairly tales and kids adventure stories, as much as I love histories and reportage.  I am all about believing what I cannot see by my physical eyes.  I believe in ghosts and fairies and dusts (you know what I mean if you have read the Philip Pullman books) and the unknown world underground.  Those things truly fascinates me.

Sometimes people tell me that I have to grow up and face the reality.  That instead I should think about the practical things, like money and pension and housing and marriage and kids (oh, I don't mean to say that I don't care about these things).  When that happens, I mumble in a small voice so that they cannot hear me... "what has become of you?"


Shelly said...

Love it, Meri. I always enjoy reading your posts, reading your perspective on things.

山口周 said...

few of your surroundigs read Harry Pitter...Potter?? ANy how! It may suggest you belong to wrong places...

Ruchir said...

I must say this is a fairly comprehensive selection for someone to follow, I for sure would like to read some of them. :) Have you read any of the Indian authors? On Harry Potter, I have read only one, Goblet of Fire. Does that qualify me to watch the movie? :)

Happy Reading!!!

Meri said...

Thank you guys, for your comments!

Shelly, and I have lots of perspective, yesterday I felt like to write like that :)

Shu-san, I always am, I have never been at the right place, all through school & work, except for at the Squam Camp.

Ruchir, tell me about your favorite Indian authors when you come over. I finished your agenda last night before leaving work.
And of course, anyone qualifies!

Anonymous said...

Oh Meri - I have a great book recommendation for you! I just picked up "Faery Tale" by Signe Pike. It's a memoir about her quest to find and connect with the faeries in the modern world. I've just started it and am totally enchanted.

Wish I lived near you, I'd go see Harry with you - definitely!!

Meri said...

Kelly, I looked it up on Amazon, and the book looks great. Thank you for recommending. You have an exquisite taste.

Retta said...

I love a great fairy/magic book myself! It makes things so much more interesting when you believe in magic. I wish I was there to go see Harry Potter with you!

Meri said...

Retta, thank you! I wish you were living near me then we can watch all the great movies together.

Kelly, you too :)