May: Books I finished and my Ever-notebook of articles + highlights

These are the books I finished in March, April, and May. It was a slower period than January and February.

Before I jump into books, let me share my new experiment: a public Evernote notebook of all the articles I read and highlight. I use Clearly to accomplish this.

It’s a true representation of the text content I consume online – roughly 50% startups/tech, 20% China, 30% other (eg, sports, pop culture, psychology, science).

Here’s the link again.

I’m doing this for a few reasons:

  • I read a lot and have always wanted to share interesting articles, blogs, forums, podcasts, and videos with friends
  • I now have a permanent archive of every article I’ve read
  • I hope through sharing that readers will offer recommendations and feedback

I’d love to hear what you think, after you check it out. I will explore Flipboard’s create-your-own-magazine feature at some point. If you’re interested in doing something similar, I’m happy to help.

Books I’m reading

  • Better: A Surgeon’s Notes on Performance by Atul Gawande [Amazon]
  • Democracy in America by Alexis de Tocqueville [Amazon]
  • Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success by Adam Grant [Amazon]
  • What Does China Think? by Mark Leonard [Amazon]

Books I finished

postcards-from-tomorrow-squarePostcards from Tomorrow Square by James Fallows [Amazon]. Great essays from a great writer on a variety of China topics: the environment; politics; manufacturing; pop culture and more. I first came across Fallows while reading his college admissions pieces in high school, and since then, I’ve enjoyed his clean, elegant prose, and his ability to combine a clear point-of-view with level-headed, thorough research. He’s also open about what he doesn’t know. You’ll enjoy this book if you want a buffet-style approach to understanding China’s myriad opportunities, peoples, and problems.

delivering-happinessDelivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh [Amazon]. Several friends independently recommended this book, plus they said it was a fast read, plus I’ve heard good things. It is indeed a fast read, with some great stories – Tony’s success speaks for itself. The first half – which covers Tony’s first startup LinkExchange and his early struggles with Zappos – is better than the second half. Not the best “startup textbook” if that’s what you’re looking for, because Tony is so unique that his secret sauce isn’t easily explained, but he gives it the old college try and you’ll certainly pick up a few tips (for me: a great culture takes care of everything else; be willing to go big on things you believe in; never stop having fun).

ready-player-oneReady Player One by Ernest Cline [Amazon]. Alan Tien recommended this book, and when I read fiction I tend towards sci-fi (recently enjoyed Name of the Wind). It’s well-written, packed with 80’s pop culture references, a classic David-v-Goliath, hometown-boy-does-good story.

I enjoy futuristic sci-fi – it’s one of my few guilty pleasures and I’m fascinated by smarter, more thoughtful peoples’ visions of the future (Ray Kurzweil is the man). Ernest doesn’t disappoint. If you enjoy the premise of Tron, you’ll like this book.

See here for a full list of books I’ve read since I’ve begun tracking.

What have you read and loved? Please share! Thanks as always for your time.

Hi! I write about habits and spirituality and random whatevers. Click here to see the daily habits that I track. Find me on Twitter @kgao.

2 thoughts on “May: Books I finished and my Ever-notebook of articles + highlights”

  1. Hey Kevin –

    I don’t read as much as I used to (as always, I blame the kids) but I do like to keep lists and bounce my experiences off of others, and for that I use Goodreads, which if you don’t know it is just social media for books. I have several friends on it too, and that makes it fun. That, and their iphone app has a barcode scanner so you can just scan in books you’re read or want to read. Just FYI.

    1. Thanks!

      Yeah I’m familiar with Goodreads and have a profile, it’s a great service and seems to be growing in popularity too.

      By nature I’m averse to incorporating more tools/apps. I find ways to use what I already have, and it’s not ideal, but unlike some people, my brain isn’t able to handle (for example) 8 screens of apps & folders on my iPhone. I can barely manage one screen!

Thoughts? Questions?