Trying to remember the books I read, to keep track of new books I read and books I want to read.
Last updated on 2 November 2013
Catfish and Mandala: A Two-Wheeled Voyage Through the Landscape and Memory of Vietnam – Andrew X.Pham
Touring solo on a bicycle, I discover, is an act of stupidity or an act of divine belief. It is intense stretches of isolation punctuated with flashes of pure terror and indelible moments of friendship. Mostly, it is dirty work particularly suitable for the stubborn masochist. I was suckered into the adventure, the elegant simplicity of its execution, and, yes, even the glory of its agony.
I want to talk but there is no one. I wander the lakeshores, watching the snow line creeping down the volcano. Silence distills the days into one long continuous moment. I drift onward. I talk to myself, hum favorite tunes in my head for hours on end. Solo touring provides too much time for contemplation, self-doubt.
Life and Death in Shanghai – Nien Cheng
The Red Guards debated whether to reverse the system of traffic lights, as they thought Red should mean Go and not Stop. In the meantime, traffic lights stop operating.
In The Laps of the Gods – Li Miao Lovett
The Hotel on the Roof of the World – Alec Le Sueur
Lost Horizon – James Hilton
Red Sorghum – Mo Yan
The Republic of Wine – Mo Yan
Big Breasts & Wide Hips – Mo Yan
Three Sisters – Bi Feiyue
The Aquariums of Pyongyang – Kang Chol-hwan
Jia – A Novel of North Korea – Hyejin Kim
Escape from Camp 14: One Man’s Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West – Blaine Harden
There is no “human rights issue” in this country, as everyone leads the most dignified and happy life. – [North] Korean Central News Agency, March 6, 2009
Using word of mouth, brokers in Seoul offered “planned escapes.” A low-budget version cost less than two thousand dollars. It involved months or years of travel through China, via Thailand or vietnam, to Seoul, and it could require treacherous river crossings, arduous travel on foot, and weeks of waiting in an unsanitary Thai refugee camp.
A first-class planned escape, complete with a forged Chinese passport and an air ticket from Beijing to Seoul, sold for ten thousand dollars or more. From start to finish, brokers and defectors said, going first class could take as little as three weeks.
Kim Kwan Jin was managing a state run global insurance fraud before he defected to South Korea in 2003.
Korean National Insurance Corporation, the state monopoly that orchestrated the fraud, prepare a special birthday gift for Kim Jong Il’s birthday every year.
From his office in Singapore, Kim Kwan Jin watched in early February 2003 as his colleagues stuff twenty million dollars in cash into two heavy duty bags and send them, via Beijing, to Pyongyang. This was money paid by international insurance companies..
Pyongyang, A Journey in North Korea – Guy Delisle
Nothing to envy : ordinary lives in North Korea – Barbara Demick
The party issued regular edicts saying that men shouldn’t allow the hair on top of their head to grow longer than five centimeters – though an exemption was granted for balding men, who were permitted seven centimeters.
From a North Korean first-grade math book – “Eight boys and nine girls are singing anthems in praise of Kim Il-sung. How many children are singing in total?”
From a North Korean first-grade math book – “Three soldiers from the Korean People’s Army killed thirty American soldiers. How many American soldiers were killed by each of them if they all killed an equal number of enemy soliders?”
A North Korean Poem in a first-grade book titled “Where Are We Going”
Where have we gone?
We have gone to the forest.
Where are we going?
We are going over the hills.
What are we going to do?
We are going to kill the Japanese soldiers.
A North Korean Song taught in music class titled “Shoot the Yankee Bastards”
Our enemies are the American bastards
Who are trying to take over our beautiful fatherland.
With guns that I make with my own hands
I will shoot them. BANG, BANG, BANG.
I used to hold my mother’s hand.
Then I let go to reach for the fruit and cake.
Oh, how I miss holding my mother’s hand.
If a shirt has a collar, it was cut off because collars were a status symbol..
He now knew for sure that he didn’t believe. It was an enormous moment of self-revelation, like deciding one was an atheist.
Escaping North Korea – Defiance and Hope in the World’s Most Repressive Country – Mike Kim
In The Art of War, Sun-Tzu wrote, “Without using local guides, you cannot exploit the lie of the land.”
Lila Watson – “If you have come here to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.”
Little Princess – Conor Grennan
Into Thin Air – Jon Krakauer
Touching My Father’s Soul: A Sherpa’s Journey to the Top of Everest – Jamling Tenzing Norgay
The Diary of Ma Yan – Edited and Introduced by Pierre Haski
Nightmare in Laos: The True Story of a Woman Imprisoned in a Communist Gulag – Kay Danes
Welcome to Hell: One man’s fight for life inside the Bangkok Hilton – Colin Martin
You’ll Never Walk Alone – A True Story About the ‘Bangkok Hilton’ – Debbie Singh
Such a Long Journey – Rohinton Mistry
A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry
Family Matters – Rohinton Mistry
Village by the Sea – Anita Desai
Fasting, Feasting – Anita Desai
The Inheritance of Loss – Kiran Desai
Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard – Kiran Desai
The Romantics – Pankaj Mishra
The God of Small Things – Arundhati Roy
English, August – An Indian Story – Upamanyu Chatterjee
The White Tiger: A Novel – Aravind Adiga
The moment you recognize what is beautiful in this world, you stop being a slave.
Between the Assassinations – Aravind Adiga
Last Man in Tower – Aravind Adiga
India – One Man’s Personal Journey Around the Subcontinent – Sanjeev Bhaskar
Shantaram – Gregory David Roberts
In this life, we do what we can to improve ourselves..
There is no act of faith more beautiful than the generosity of the very poor.
If you know bikes at all, you can tell a lot about a man by how he rides.
Interested in everything, committed to nothing.
Sacred Games – Vikram Chandra
He napped easily in the day, stored sleep like a camel hoarded water.
Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
No More Tomorrows – The Compelling True Story of an Innocent Woman Sentenced to Twenty Years in Hellhole Bali Prison – Schapelle Corby with Kathryn Bonella
A Little Bit One O’clock – William Ingram
Reef – Romesh Gunesekera
Monkfish Moon – Romesh Gunesekera
Dusk – F.Sionil Jose
Don Vincent – F.Sionil Jose
Touch Me Not – Jose Rizal
What is the What – Dave Eggers
Street of the Small Night Market – Sylvia Sherry
Most books by Haruki Murakami
If a pistol appears in a story, eventually it’s got to be fired.
Repetition can improve your technique and refine your style.
I was concentrating so hard on the critical recount that I didn’t even notice. Or more precisely, my eyes had seen the opening doors, but I didn’t fully grasp the significance of the event
You could never trust a person with a poor appetite. It’s like he is leaving space for something.
The Lemon Tree: An Arab, a Jew, and the Heart of the Middle East – Sandy Tolan
Once upon a country : a Palestinian life – Sari Nusseibeh with Anthony David
Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen – Christopher McDougall
Call of the Wild – Jack London
White Fang – Jack London
Walden – Henry David Thoreau
The man who goes alone can start today.
I had three pieces of limestone on my desk, but I was terrified to find that they required to be dusted daily, when the furniture of my mind was all undusted still, and threw them out the window in disgust.
I would rather ride on earth in an ox cart, with a free circulation, than go to heaven in the fancy car of an excursion train and breathe a malaria all the way.
On the Road – Jack Kerouac
To Kill A Mockingbird – Harper Lee
I Know This Much is True – Wally Lamb
She’s Come Undone – Wally Lamb
The Hunger Games Trilogy – Suzanne Collin
Millennium Trilogy: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest – Stieg Larsson
Two Arms and a Head: The Death of a Newly Paraplegic Philosopher – Clayton Atreus
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values – Robert M. Pirsig
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time – Mark Haddon
The Importance of being Earnest – Oscar Wilde
A Child Called “It”: One Child’s Courage to Survive – Dave J. Pelzer
My Sister’s Keeper: A Novel – Jodi Picoult
The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
A Thousand Splendid Suns – Khaled Hosseini
They had been halfhearted tokens of penance, insincere, corrupt gestures meant more for his own appeasement than hers.
Life of Pi – Yann Martel
Zoo is better for animals, would you prefer to stay in Ritz calton with room service or in the wild.
Law of human nature for people who lives by the sea to be suspicious of swimmers and people who live in the mountains to be suspicious of mountain climbers.
To choose doubt as a philosophy of life is akin to choosing immobility as a means of transportation.
1984 – George Orwell
Animal Farm – George Orwell
David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
Z for Zachariah – Robert C. O’Brien
Hector and the Search for Happiness – Francois Lelord
Lesson no. 3: Many people see happiness only in their future.
Lesson no. 6: Happiness is a long walk in beautiful, unfamiliar mountains.
Hector Finds Time – Francois Lelord
Hector and the Secrets of Love – Francois Lelord
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry – Rachel Joyce
The Buddha, Geoff and Me – Edward Canfor-Dumas
No Easy Day – Mark Owen
The Perks of Being a Wallflower – Stephen Chbosky
She said that by introducing me to all these great things, Mary Elizabeth gained a “superior position” that she wouldn’t need if she was confident about herself. She also said that people who try to control situations all the time are afraid that if they don’t, nothing will work out the way they want.
And used to read books from the following authors when I was younger:
George R.R Martin
The Heart of Things – A.C. Grayling
Freedom – OSHO
Courage – OSHO
Awareness – Anthony DeMello
The Introvert Advantage: How to Thrive in an Extrovert World – Marti Olsen Laney
Joy at Work – Dennis W.Bakke
Steve Jobs – Walter Isaacson
Hard Truths to Keep Singapore Going – Lee Kuan Yew
Rich Dad, Poor Dad – Robert Kiyosaki
Freakonomics – Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner
Black Swan – Nassim Nicholas Taleb
The Tipping Point – Malcolm Gladwell
The Richest Man in Babylon – George Clason
How to Win Friends and Influence People – Dale Carnegie
Good to Great – Jim Collins
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – Stephen R. Covey
The Five Secrets You Must Discover Before You Die – John Izzo
Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen – Christopher McDougall
Eat and Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness – Scott Jurek with Steve Friedman
Always do what you are afraid to do – George Bernard Shaw
The Greatest: The Haile Gebrselassie Story – Jim Denison
With Bare Hands – Alain Robert
Band of Brothers: E Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne from Normandy to Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest – Stephen E. Ambrose
Word Freak – Stefan Fatsis
Letter to a Christian Nation – Sam Harris
Free Will – Sam Harris
The God Delusion – Richard Dawkins
The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business – Charles Duhigg
The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari – Robin S.Sharma
There are no mistakes in life, only lessons. There is no such thing as negative experience, only opportunities to grow, learn and advance along the road of self-mastery.
Happy Together – Bill Cloke
Wild Swans – Jung Chang
Snow and other books by Orhan Pamuk
Silent House by Orhan Pamuk
The Buddha in Your Mirror – Woody Hochswender, Greg Martin and Ted Morino
Buddhism Plain and Simple – Steven Hagen
Books by Kazuo Ishiguro
Narcopolis by Jeet Thayil
Between Clay and Dust by Musharraf Ali Farooqi
Wool by Hugh Howey
Influence by Robert B. Cialdini