Books I’ve read lately
history, economics, philosophy
- 香港企業併購經典 (r2015)
It’s a book about some successful merger and acquisition cases in Hongkong during 1960-1980s. You see how big corporations success and fail by making decisions under different circumstances. Food for thought.
- 夢遊者 1914 - 歐洲如何邁向戰爭之路 (r2015)
It’s a great book I’d recommend anyone who’s interested in world politics. It walks you through the cause of WWI from the perspective of each different countries. We can see that everyone is certain that they have to take part in the big game to achieve some goals, and then the war were spinning out of control.
It’s amazing how human repeat their mistakes and go into wars again and again and cannot learn from the past, no matter where you are from.
- 野心時代 (r2015)
Know most of the stuff in there already..
- 債券天王葛羅斯 (r2016)
Turns out this guy graduates from Duke and is much more than just a 21 gambler..
- Unbroken: A world war II story of survival, resilience, and redemption - by Laura Hillenbrand
The books is story about an Olympic runner who joined world war II, went through a plane crash and spend so many days adrift in the sea, ended up in a Japanese prisoner of war camp.
The Olympic runner is called Louis Zamperini, he is among the fastest runners in 1936 Berlin Olympic track event. He is running so fast that he even received the attention from Hilter. And he is a medal hopeful for 1940 Olympics. However, the 1940 game is called off due to the outbreak of wars and Louie is commissions into the US Air Force as a Lieutenant.
Later on a search rescue mission his plane went down in the pacific. 3 people survived the crash but eventually only 2 people made it through the sea. They spend 47 days on the sea without food and water. Their survival is contingent on the occasional rain showers and the fly-by birds that rests on their rafts. 46 days later they ended up in Japanese-controller Marshall Islands and they are immediately captured by the Japanese and taken into a POW camp.
He spend a few years in a POW camp in Japan being tormented physically and psychologically by the Japanese officers. He was beaten and starved especially hard partly because he’s an prominent Olympian runner. Beating him means something for the Japanese soldiers. He had severe health conditions and is constantly under fever and famine and survived only because his colleagues would provide him occasional rice or sugar they steal from somewhere. In his reminder he say if he knew what he had to go through in the follow years he would kill himself.
When the war ends he returned to the US to meet with his families. Soon after that he married a girl and is seeking to get over the past and regain control of his life. However, the days in capture haunted him badly.
He tried to run again, but years of torment have degenerated his body conditions to a level that he can never run again. He often woke up and screaming at night, one time he even strangles his wife shouting the names of his tormentors while they’re asleep. He was so despondent that he developed a drinking problem. And, as a result, they went through a tough marriage.
Later he turned to god for help. He realized what he went though is, instead of misfortune, indeed miracle. Great story telling about how one person can change through the years.
- Wallenberg: The Incredible True Story of the Man Who Saved the Jews of Budapest - by Kati Marton (r2015)
Raoul Wallenberg is a Swedish diplomat who saves tens of thousand of Jews’ lives during the Holocaust from the Nazis in the later stages of WWII. He issued protective passports for whoever that are under persecution by the Nazis and provided shelters for them. Sometimes he even went to negotiate to the high level Nazi officers and handpick the Jews away from the death march.
After WWII he is even hopeful about further helping the Hungarians to rebuild their community from ground up. But as the end of WWII immediately brings about the cold war the Russian are also trying to interfere with the post-war politics in Hungary. Thus Wallenberg has become a nuisance for the Russians to get rid of. He is later escorted into custody by the Russians and disappears from the world.
The book also described a lot of things happening after his disappearance, like how the Swedes or the US react to international pledge to rescue him back to civilization, or how the Russians react to those things in response. It gives you a sense of vulnerability at times to see bad things happen to good people but also it tells you how one person can change so many people’s life and have a long-lasting effects to the mankind.
- Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage - by Alfred Lansing
It’s a book about a group of people stuck on the ice around the Antarctica for a few years and strive to find their way back to civilization. They rely on occasional food sources on the ice and sometimes spend a few days rowing in the sea, nonstop, in order to find themselves bigger and more secure floes to stay. I don’t really like this book. It’s basically telling the same thing after chapter 2..
- What if (r2015)
The author ask a series of (weird) questions and try to come up a solution using physics, which is reall cool.
Management & Startups
- Google模式 (r2015)
Know most of the stuff in there already..
- 支付戰爭 (r2016)
Learned so much from the book and shockingly this book tell me exactly what I did wrong on the current startup project.
- Zero to one (r2016)
Great. similar to the book above it gives you so many new thinkings.
- 成長駭客：未來十年最被需要的新型人才, by 范冰 (r2015)
It gives me some ideas about how to grow users very quickly. Worth reading for anyone who’s main job functionality is to get users.
- Confessions of an economic hitman, by John Perkins (r2015)
Wonder if those things are true. Recommended.
- 挪威的森林 (r2015)
Literature classic. Must read. The words in this book are simple but powerful.
- 別相信任何人 (r2015)
Worthless piece of shit. The plot is far-fetched and inconsistent I feel like wasting many hours of my life reading it.
- 三體 (r2015)
Strongly recommended. It gives you new thinkings about the universe.
- 暗夜行路 (r2016)
- 资本之王-全球私募之王黑石集团成长史 (r2016)
- 吃一場有趣的宋朝飯局 (r2015)
A really interesting book.
25 Nov 2015