Hakone, Japan, 2008

These are some books I recently read that I find interesting. I am not interested in faceless flamethrowing, which sometimes happen when one posts in Amazon or Goodreads comments. Nonetheless, when the occasion arises, I am perfectly happy to engage in friendly discussions over coffee or drinks.


Amy Chua, World on Fire, 2004

Its premise could be controversial just like her other book’s (Tiger Mom). But it does make sense. One cannot impose a free market/democratic system we ourselves evolved over two centuries (probably more) on other countries with no such tradition and hope to expect results overnight. Worst, it could have terrifically disastrous results where there is a economically dominant minority and ethnic tension is high. In later part of the book, the author extends this argument to the US position in the world.

Neil deGrasse Tyson, Astrophysics for People in a Hurry, 2017

Immensely readable book about our universe that starts with the same story that Weinberg's The First Three Minutes tries to tell, then covers a lot of materials that follows from that. Finally, it concludes with a cosmic perspective of our position in the universe - a real-world counterpart of the Liu's Death's End (final volume of the Three-Body Problem).

Rana Mitter, Forgotten Ally: China's World War II 1937-1945, 2013

While many will consider this book a long overdue treatment on China's contribution to the war, which it is, I see it as an early instance of the lack of commitment and follow-through from western powers, after they imposed themselves on other people's affairs, to nascent democracies or at least nations trying to free themselves. A good read.