🔖 Good Reads

Some of the books I've read in recent years.

My favourite genres are (crime) novels, history, politics, and science. In terms of book formats, I like e-books. I am quite active on Goodreads, you can find ratings and reviews (of some books) there.


Currently reading:

  1. "What You Are Looking For Is in the Library" (2020) by Michiko Aoyama
  2. "Welcome to the Hyunam-Dong Bookshop" (2022) by Hwang Bo-reum
  3. "The Years" (2008) by Annie Ernaux
  4. "Day of Infamy" (1957) by Walter Lord

Everything will be erased in a second. The dictionary of words amassed between cradle and deathbed, eliminated. All there will be is silence and no words to say it. Nothing will come out of the open mouth, neither I nor me. Language will continue to put the world into words. In conversation around a holiday table, we will be nothing but a first name, increasingly faceless, until we vanish into the vast anonymity of a distant generation.


It's getting insanely hard to finish reading a book during the final year of my PhD. Though sometimes a book is not meant to be finished, I like the feeling of completing something I've started.

  1. "She and her cat" (2013) by Makoto Shinkai and Naruki Nagakawa


My cat got sick and passed away in October.

  1. "How do you live" (1937) by Genzaburo Yoshino
  2. "Strange weather in Tokyo" (2013) by Hiromi Kawakami
  3. "What I talk about when I talk about running" (2007) by Haruki Murakami


I spent most of my time writing conference and journal papers. The year might have been uneventful had I not contracted shingles shortly after mom's birthday. The pain was excruciating but thankfully did not lead to postherpetic neuralgia. My list of half-read books is growing.

  1. "The golden hairpin #3" (2014) by 侧侧轻寒
  2. "The golden hairpin #4" (2015) by 侧侧轻寒
  3. "Speculative everything" (2013) by Anthony Dunne, Fiona Raby
  4. "70-year-old death bill" (2012) by Miu Kakiya
  5. "The gymnasium murder" (2012) by Yuugo Aosaki
  6. "Lesson of the evil #1" (2010) by Yusuke Kishi
  7. "Lesson of the evil #2" (2010) by Yusuke Kishi


It was an unprecedented year. Some people even called it the year of cancelled futures. However, the fact that I was only mildly inconvenienced in a few aspects of life made me realise the unequal impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Undoubtedly, I was both lucky and privileged. I stayed almost the entire year with my parents, and read a dozen of books.

  1. "If cats disappeared from the world" (2018) by Genki Kawamura
  2. "The ride of a lifetime" (2019) by Robert Iger
  3. "Scale" (2017) by Geoffrey West
  4. "Creativity, Inc." (2014) by Ed Catmull
  5. "The death and life of great American cities" (1961) by Jane Jacobs
  6. "Mendeleyev's dream" (2001) by Paul Strathern
  7. "Steve Jobs" (2011) by Walter Isaacson
  8. "To Pixar and beyond" (2016) by Lawrence Levy
  9. "Malice" (1996) by Keigo Higashino
  10. "Penance" (2009) by Kanae Minato
  11. "Growth" (2019) by Vaclav Smil
  12. "Confessions" (2008) by Kanae Minato
  13. "Einstein" (2007) by Walter Isaacson
  14. "Battle royale" (1999) by Koushun Takami
  15. "Love for imperfect things" (2016) by Haemin Sunim
  16. "Putin: Innenansichten der macht" (2015) by Hubert Seipel
  17. "Antifragile" (2012) by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
  18. "AI superpowers" (2018) by Kai-Fu Lee
  19. "Message to Adolf #1" (1983) by Osamu Tezuka
  20. "Message to Adolf #2" (1983) by Osamu Tezuka
  21. "The Putin interviews" (2017) by Oliver Stone
  22. "Energy: A beginner's guide" (2006) by Vaclav Smil
  23. "Will my cat eat my eyeballs?" (2019) by Caitlin Doughty
  24. "Poison daughter holy mother" (2016) by Kanae Minato
  25. "All for N" (2010) by Kanae Minato
  26. "Bloodlands: Europe between Hitler and Stalin" (2010) by Timothy Snyder
  27. "Letter" (2003) by Keigo Higashino
  28. "Maus: A survivors' tale #1" (1991) by Art Spiegelman
  29. "Maus: A survivors' tale #2" (1991) by Art Spiegelman
  30. "Samsung rising" (2020) by Geoffrey Cain
  31. "The Nuremberg trials" (2010) by Paul Roland
  32. "Japanese death poems" (1985) by Yoel Hoffmann
  33. "Anne Frank" (1947) by Anne Frank
  34. "21 lessons for the 21st century" (2018) by Yuval Noah Harari
  35. "Permanent record" (2019) by Edward Snowden
  36. "Born a crime" (2016) Trevor Noah
  37. "The origins of political order" (2011) by Francis Fukuyama
  38. "A night to remember" (1955) by Walter Lord
  39. "Le petit prince" (1943) by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
  40. "The night trilogy #1" (1956) by Elie Wiesel
  41. "The devotion of suspect X" (2005) by Keigo Higashino
  42. "Invisible women" (2019) by Caroline Criado Pérez
  43. "Tuesdays with Morrie" (1997) by Mitch Albom
  44. "Political order and political decay" (2014) by Francis Fukuyama
  45. "Destined for war" (2017) by Graham Allison
  46. "White fragility" (2018) by Robin DiAngelo
  47. "Lies my teacher told me" (2018) by James W. Loewen
  48. "Astrophysics for people in a hurry" (2017) by Neil deGrasse Tyson
  49. "An encouragement of learning" (1876) by Yukichi Fukuzawa
  50. "I was a kamikaze" (1972) by Ryuji Nagatsuka
  51. "To kill a mockingbird" (1960) by Harper Lee
  52. "Autonomy" (2018) by Lawrence D. Burns
  53. "11-character murder" (1987) by Keigo Higashino
  54. "Salvation of a saint" (2008) by Keigo Higashino
  55. "Range: Why generalists triumph in a specialized world" (2019) by David Epstein
  56. "The name of the game is a kidnapping" (2002) by Keigo Higashino
  57. "Why we sleep" (2017) by Matthew Walker
  58. "Grave of the fireflies" (1967) by Akiyuki Nosaka
  59. "The making of the atomic bomb" (1986) by Richard Rhodes
  60. "Meeting in the dark" (2002) by Otsuichi
  61. "A midsummer's equation" (2011) by Keigo Higashino
  62. "Naoko" (2011) by Keigo Higashino
  63. "Embracing defeat: Japan in the wake of WWII" (1999) by John W. Dower
  64. "The night is short, walk on girl" (2006) by Tomihiko Morimi
  65. "The problem with socialism" (2016) by Thomas J. DiLorenzo
  66. "The case against socialism" (2019) by Rand Paul
  67. "Bức xúc không làm ta vô can" (2015) by Đặng Hoàng Giang
  68. "Death in midsummer" (1953) by Yukio Mishima
  69. "Another" (2009) by Yukito Ayatsuji
  70. "Another episode S/O" (2016) by Yukito Ayatsuji
  71. "Second sister" (2017) by Chan Ho-kei
  72. "The golden hairpin #1" (2014) by 侧侧轻寒
  73. "The golden hairpin #2" (2015) by 侧侧轻寒


The second year of my Master's degree was exhilarating beyond words. I was consumed by all the new experiences and got burned out quite terribly at the end of December. A few times, I wished for a long holiday in a faraway place to chill and spend all day reading.

  1. "Alibaba: The house that Jack Ma built" (2016) by Duncan Clark
  2. "Bad blood" (2018) by John Carreyrou
  3. "Aiming high - A biography of Masayoshi Son" (2013) by Atsuo Inoue
  4. "A higher loyalty: Truth, lies, and leadership" (2018) by James Comey
  5. "Educated" (2018) by Tara Westover
  6. "Kissinger" (2005) by Walter Isaacson
  7. "GOTH" (2002) by Otsuichi
  8. "Black fairy tale" (2001) by Otsuichi
  9. "The things you can see only when you slow down" (2012) by Haemin Sunim
  10. "Peace in every step" (1990) by Thích Nhật Hạnh


"My goal is not to read books this year" - That was what I told myself at the beginning of 2018, and somehow I managed to stick to this stupid resolution for precisely six months. Around June, I felt furious at myself for different reasons. While it was tempting to crawl under a blanket and frame everything in the worst possible light, I chose to get lost in books.

  1. "Interaction design for complex problem solving" (2003) by Barbara Mirel
  2. "HCI models, theories, and frameworks" (2003) by John Millar Carroll
  3. "The shape of design" (2012) by Frank Chimero
  4. "Start with why" (2009) by Simon Sinek
  5. "Sapiens: A brief history of humankind" (2011) by Yuval Noah Harari
  6. "White" (2008) by Kenya Hara
  7. "Designing with the mind in mind" (2010) by Jeff Johnson
  8. "Kira-Kira" (2004) by Cynthia Kadohata
  9. "Homo Deus: A history of tomorrow" (2017) by Yuval Noah Harari
  10. "The future of humanity" (2018) by Michio Kaku
  11. "Factfulness" (2018) by Hans Rosling
  12. "Darwin comes to town" (2018) by Menno Schilthuizen
  13. "What happened" (2017) by Hillary Rodham Clinton
  14. "The plot to destroy democracy" (2018) by Malcolm W. Nance


My first year in Sydney went by in a blink of an eye. There was something tranquil about living alone in a new city, such as taking a long walk under the blue sky or sipping a hot cup of flat white while browsing through a book.

  1. "Dream of the red chamber" (1791) by Cao Xueqin
  2. "On China" (2011) by Henry Kissinger
  3. "Giấc mơ Mỹ - Đường đến Stanford" (2016) by Huyền Chip
  4. "Mao Zedong: A political and intellectual portrait" (2006) by Maurice J. Meisner
  5. "Ho Chi Minh: A life" (2000) by William J. Duiker
  6. "Korea: The impossible country" (2012) by Daniel Tudor
  7. "Killing the rising sun" (2016) by Bill O'Reilly
  8. "Lenin's tomb: The last days of the Soviet empire" (1993) by David Remnick
  9. "Putin country: A journey into the real Russia" (2016) by Anne Garrels
  10. "Nothing to envy: Ordinary lives in North Korea" (2009) by Barbara Demick
  11. "World order" (2014) by Henry Kissinger
  12. "All the president's men" (1974) by Carl Bernstein, Bob Woodward
  13. "Saigon has fallen" (2015) by Peter Arnett
  14. "102 minutes" (2006) by Jim Dwyer, Kevin Flynn
  15. "Deng Xiaoping and the transformation of China" (2013) by Ezra F. Vogel
  16. "A bright shining lie" (1988) by Neil Sheehan
  17. "The looming tower: Al Qaeda's road to 9/11" (2014) by Lawrence Wright
  18. "The rape of Nanking" (1997) by Iris Chang
  19. "The best and the brightest" (1969) by David Halberstam
  20. "Hirohito and the making of modern Japan" (2000) by Herbert P. Bix
  21. "Mao's great famine" (2010) by Frank Dikötter
  22. "Apollo 8" (2017) by Jeffrey Kluger
  23. "Animal farm / 1984" (1948) by George Orwell
  24. "All art is propaganda: Critical essays" (1941) by George Orwell
  25. "How to not play Go" (2009) by Yuan Zhou
  26. "Opening theory made easy" (1992) by Otake Hideo
  27. "Reducing territorial frameworks" (1986) by Shuko Fujisawa
  28. "Attack and defense" (1980) by Akira Ishida, James Davies
  29. "A brief history of tea" (2009) by Roy Moxham
  30. "10,000 miles for love" (2017) by Milena Nguyen
  31. "Town of evening calm, country of cherry blossoms" (2004) by Fumiyo Kouno
  32. "Van Gogh: The life" (2011) by Steven Naifeh, Gregory White Smith
  33. "Diplomacy" (2012) by Henry Kissinger