All posts tagged: Non-fiction

Best Quotes by Julian Barnes

Julian Patrick Barnes (born 19 January 1946) is an English writer. Barnes won the Man Booker Prize for his book The Sense of an Ending (2011), and three of his earlier books had been shortlisted for the Booker Prize: Flaubert’s Parrot (1984), England, England (1998), and Arthur & George (2005). He has also written crime fiction under the pseudonym Dan Kavanagh. In addition to novels, Barnes has published collections of essays and short stories. Here are a few great quotes from Julian Barnes’s publications. When you read a great book, you don’t escape from life, you plunge deeper into it. There may be a superficial escape – into different countries, mores, speech patterns – but what you are essentially doing is furthering your understanding of life’s subtleties, paradoxes, joys, pains and truths. Reading and life are not separate but symbiotic. JULIAN BARNES, A Life with Books Reading is a majority skill but a minority art. Yet nothing can replace the exact, complicated, subtle communion between absent author and entranced, present reader. JULIAN BARNES, A Life with …

2017 Summer Reading List

I admire those authors, editors and journalists who manage to do their work while reading a phenomenal number of books, about and beyond their latest project. I secretly hope that I can trick myself to read at half that speed. This year I aim to step outside of my comfort zone with these six picks. Here is a list of fiction and nonfiction books that I am planning to read this summer: Levels of Life by Julian Barnes Catch-22 by Joseph Heller Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov The Man Without a Shadow: A Novel by Joyce Carol Oates American Gods by Neil Gaiman Just Kids by Patti Smith   The book that I’m currently reading is Man Booker Prize winner Julian Barnes’s new book “Levels of Life,” published in 2013. It is a small collection of essay, fiction and heartbreaking memoir. The first section, “The Sin of Height,” is a historical essay that revolves around the “aerostatic photographs” of Paris taken in 1858 by the French balloonist Nadar. I’m reading stories about 19th-century ballooning enthusiasts for the …

10 of the best books set in New York

Inspired by “The Best New York City Novels by Neighborhood,” a great article from The New York Public Library Official website, I came up with a list of recommended books for readers who would like to read stories set in New York. Here are some of my favorite books set in New York. “Washington Square” by Henry James (1880) “The Age of Innocence” by Edith Wharton (1920) “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald (1925) “The Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger (1951) “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” by Truman Capote (1958) “Jazz” Toni Morrison (1992) “Broke Heart Blues” by Joyce Carol Oates (1999) “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” by Jonathan Safran Foer (2005) “Brooklyn” by Colm Tóibín (2009) “Just Kids” by Patti Smith (2010)

Reading Notes: “Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be” by Frank Bruni

Frank Bruni’s  “Where you go is not who you’ll be” presses readers to rethink about US college admissions By Jasmine Huang Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be: An Antidote to the College Admissions Mania Frank Bruni. Grand Central Publishing. $25. (P218) Frank Bruni’s book was found on a  bookshelf in a small used bookstore nearby National Taiwan Normal University, one of Taiwan’s most prestigious universities best known for its education/teacher training programs. It makes perfect sense to me since many of their university students and faculties think about how to create better learning environment a lot. I picked up the second hand book and thought about my ghostwriting law professors’ recommendation letters projects. I decided to purchase the used book with the intention to get an update on state of US higher education and college admissions. I thought if the book author had been a columnist for the New York Times, he must have something important to say. After reading most parts of the book, I jotted down a couple things that I thought was …

Reading Notes: ‘Option B’ by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant

 Sheryl Sandberg’s second book ‘Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy’ – beautiful and heartbreaking By Jasmine Huang Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant. Knopf, $25.95 (240p) Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy written by Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg and Wharton professor Adam Grant quietly came out this April in part because the Traditional Chinese translation was not ready yet. Wondering around in an Eslite bookstore nearby the main entrance of National Taiwan University(NTU), I picked up the quiet white paperback book and read the first two pages where Sheryl Sandberg recalled on her husband’s sudden death. Sandberg‘s memoir writing was so honest and beautiful, I broke into tears. The last book that made me weep was Maya Angelou’s 1969 autobiography I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. I enjoyed the memoir writing parts of the book and was glad to see Sheryl Sandberg worked together with one of my favorite authors Professor Adam Grant in co-authoring it. I was very curious to read about the …

Reading Notes: ‘The View from the Cheap Seats’ by Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman’s first nonfiction collection ‘The View from the Cheap Seats’ – interesting thoughts on reading, writing, and history of science fiction and fantasy books By Jasmine Huang The View from the Cheap Seats: Selected Nonfiction Neil Gaiman. Morrow, $26.99 (544P) Although my preference goes to works by writers such as Jeffrey Eugenides, Jonathan Franzen, David Foster Wallance, Colm Tóibín, and Ian McEwan, and everything written by Fitzgerald, Hemingway, and Nabokov, I was still very curious about writers like Neil Gaiman, George R.R. Martin, Stephen King, and Lee Child. So when Gaiman’s first nonfiction collection came out in 2016, I went to check it out in the bookstore. I read the first 20 pages of the book in front of the bookshelves and thought he sounded like an interesting, distant uncle who happened to be a famous fantasy British writer living in the States. While Gaiman’s most famous and influential novel, American Gods, and his fantasy paperback books are still on the selves in local bookstores, I purchased Gaiman’s nonfiction book to be my first Gaiman …

Book Review: ‘So Good They Can’t Ignore You’ by Cal Newport

Cal Newport’s ‘So Good They Can’t Ignore You’ – the book that changed the way I think about career By Jasmine Huang So Good They Can’t Ignore You Cal Newport. Grand Central, $28 (304P) I first heard about Cal Newport’s book ‘So Good They Can’t Ignore You’ because of an episode of Tim Ferriss’ podcast. In the episode, former executive editor at Wired and author of the new book ‘The Inevitable’ Kevin Kelly talked about several books he recommends the most and Cal Newport’s book was one of them. I looked it up immediately and thought I needed to read it. I went to the closest bookstore in the area to read the book, which at the time happened to be the biggest bookstore in Taiwan— Eslite Bookstore Xinyi Branch in the Xinyi District. I grabbed the book from the selves and started reading while standing there. The book changed what I think about career. I used to believe what Steve Jobs had said in the famous Stanford commencement speech. He said, “You’ve got to find what …