All posts tagged: Reading notes

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 …

Reading Notes: ‘Michelle Obama: A Life’ by Peter Slevin

A few thoughts after reading parts of Peter Slevin’s Michelle Obama: A Life. By Jasmine Huang Michelle Obama: A Life Peter Slevin. Knopf, $27.95 (432p)   A strange thing happened to me in September 2016. An interesting education consulting firm had contacted me to see if I can write English recommendation letters for their young Chinese clients. Many of them were wealthy Chinese college graduates who were trying to realize the Chinese Dream by pursuing J.D. degrees in the States. I had never written recommendation letters as a ghostwriter before and thought it was one of the most interesting writer jobs I had ever had. I was thrilled to produce recommendations that sounded like serious law professors! Once I passed their writing test, I immediately started reading and writing a bunch of law education related books. Peter Slevin’s Michelle Obama book was one of the books I read in order to write better,  highly unethical law school recommendation letters. I wanted to ghost-write good recommendations so badly that I had spent most of my spare …