What She Really Wants by Barbara Delinsky – A Sweet Short Story

What She Really Wants was the first ebook I bought on Amazon after my father got me my Kindle Paperwhite reader. It was free on Amazon and I was looking for a book to test out my Kindle Paperwhite so I got this book. 

It is a short story about a husband getting his wife a present for her birthday. It is only 270-pages long, but I can really feel the love this husband has for his wife through Barbara Delinsky’s words. It is a fun and easy read that you can probably finish in 1-2 hours. 

Get What She Really Wants by Barbara Delinsky.


1984 by George Orwell – A Fictional Dystopian Novel

I have seen 1984 by George Orwell be described as an example of English literature and classic many times but the title does not sound interesting at all, so I kept putting it off. One fine day, I told myself “you bought the book, you might as well read it”. I started reading it and I couldn’t put it down until I have finished the book.

1984 is a dystopia (a community or society that is frightening or undesirable, an antonym to utopia) novel set in 1984 when most of the world population falls into one of the three superstates – Eurasia, Oceania and Eastasia – totalitarian states with the mottos: 

War is Peace

Freedom is Slavery

Ignorance is Strength 

The ideology of the totalitarian states as described by the book “The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism by Emmanuel Goldstein” is every bit the opposite of what I have been taught at school and in society, but many of the traits described reminds me of what I have read about communist countries, especially in Russia (which was known as Soviet Union back then), but this book takes it many steps further. Perhaps this was what communism was really about, except that no country has yet been able to manifest it fully before it was defeated, or perhaps George Orwell wrote this novel on the basis of communism. 

If you are looking for a novel that contradicts every belief you have ever believed in and make you grateful for the freedom to think, to speak, to act according to your own wishes, this is the book for you.

Get 1984 by George Orwell.


The Four – The Hidden DNA of Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google by Scott Galloway

I have always wondered why the most successful four companies of the twenty-first century – Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google – have that the other billions or millions of start-ups don’t. What gives them the competitive edge over other businesses? 

The Four by Scott Galloway has taught me that the reason these (he calls them) The Four Horsemen are able to penetrate and dominate the retail, smartphone, social and search sectors respectively, is because these four companies acts on our human instincts to acquire more stuff, acquire knowledge, be more god-like and have higher sex appeal and to connect with others. 

The Four has these common traits, which distinguishes them from the rest of the other companies: 

  1. Product differentiation 
  2. Visionary capital 
  3. Global reach
  4. Likability 
  5. Vertical integration
  6. Artificial intelligence 
  7. Accelerant 
  8. Geography 

Scott Galloway goes through The Four one by one, dissecting each company so that businesses from around the world can perhaps learn a thing or two and better their businesses.

Get The Four: The Hidden DNA of Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google by Scott Galloway.  


Rhett Butler’s People by Donald McCaig – Sequel to Gone with the Wind

I don’t like sad endings and after reading Gone with The Wind where the story ended with Rhett Butler leaving Scarlett, it left an unsatisfactory feeling in me. I decided to see if there is a sequel to Gone with The Wind and I found Rhett Butler’s People. This is the authorised sequel to Gone with The Wind. 

As the name implies, Rhett Butlet’s people tells the story from Rhett Butler’s perspective. I have always been rather curious about how Rhett Butler thinks so this book is perfect for me.

After reading the book, I adore Rhett Butler even more. He is a shrewd businessman who sees opportunity that others can’t, he can charm the pants off anyone he sets his mind to. Yet he is such a tender-hearted man who disguises his pain with cold harsh words. 

Rhett Butler’s People has given me the happy ending that I want where Scarlett finally realises that she loved Rhett and they finally start loving one another. 

Rhett Butler will, and always be, my prince charming. 

Get Rhett Butler’s People by Donald McCaig


Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

Gone with The Wind has been voted to be one of the best movies ever produced for as long as I remember, but the ignorant me didn’t know that the movie was based on Magaret Mitchell’s book of the same name. It was only when I learned that Bill Gates reads 200 books a year that I decided to pick up my reading, and I found out that “Gone with The Wind” is one of the classics. 

Margaret Mitchell is a talented writer whose detailed description of the lush countryside drew such a pretty picture that I longed to go there and the description of the bleakness of the Civil War and Reconstruction so bleak that I have never felt more thankful for all the comforts of my life. 

I have come to both love and hate Scarlette O’Hara for as much as I admire her strength and determination, I hate her selfishness and her indifference to her children, for this lack of motherly love will cause the children to have insecurity throughout their lives. The thing that infuriates the most about her is her “love” for Ashley Wilkes which is really just her imagination, even though he is already married to her best friend, Melanie Hamilton Wilkes. Oh, there are times when I wish I could strangle and wring her neck. 

I love Rhett Butler. I love his devotion to Scarlette O’Hara even though she hurts him again and again. I love that he is a doting father to Bonnie, Ella and Wade. There are many times when my heart arched for him and how I wish I were Scarlette O’Hara so that I may hold him and sooth his pain away. 

I am so happy that Scarlette O’Hara finally came to her senses at the end of the book when she realized that her love for Ashley is only an illusion and that she has come to love Rhett Butler as much as he has loved her. Although Rhett Butler says that his love for her has already died out, but now that Scarlette O’Hara has set her eyes on him, I am sure they will have a happy ending. If only there were a sequel to Gone with the Wind so that I may see them happily together. 

I am going to watch the movie and see how it compares with the original book. 

Get Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell.



When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

“When Breath Becomes Air” is one of the bestsellers on New York Times and it was highly recommended by Bill Gates on his website, Gates Notes, and that roused my curiosity so I decided that this is going to be my next read.

This book was written by Paul Kalanithi, a neurosurgeon who died at the tender age of 36 years old to lung cancer. I was expecting a heavy and dull book because this book is an autobiography as much as a memorial, but I actually felt very calm reading this book.

Paul was interesting in understanding the meaning of life and what makes life meaningful. Paul studied English literature in college because he thought literature “provided a rich account of human meaning” but he decided to switch to become a surgeon after he realized that “It was only in practicing medicine that I could pursue a serious biological philosophy.” 

This book is not about dying because we will all die one day, but rather about how to die and how to live a life of meaning. 

Get When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi.



In Order to Live: A North Korean Girl’s Journey to Freedom by Park Yeonmi

I was on Facebook one day when I watched a video of Park Yeonmi’s speech at One Young World 2014 Summit where she told her story of her life in North Korea and how she and her mother escaped from North Korea to China, and finally settled down in South Korea. 

Park Yeonmi has written a book called “In Order to Live: A North Korean’s Journey to Freedom” detailing her life in North Korea and her escape to China and finally to South Korea. I was intrigued and since I have made it my new year’s resolution to read 100 hundred books this year, I thought this book would make a great addition to my reading list. 

North Korea is one of the last few communist countries where everything is state-controlled. I have watched a documentary on YouTube sometime last year where an American traveler who was granted permission to travel in North Korea secretly filmed his entire trip. Sure, everything about North Korea is about propaganda and they only show you what they want you to see, but that is how communism works. Although the people of North Korea does not have access to the outside world, at least they look decently dressed and well-nourished. 

I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry when I was reading “In Order to Live: A North Korean’s Journey to Freedom”. North Korea is the exact duplicate of China during the Cultural Revolution. I was born in China, and although I was brought to Singapore since young, I have heard stories of the horror of the Cultural Revolution that killed millions of Chinese people. I can’t believe that these kind of things is still happening. North Korea has even taken it a step further by having their own calendar called Juche calendar that is based on Kim II-Sung’s birthday on 1912 and their own time zone known as Pyongyang Time!  

This book is not only about the horrors of living in a communist country, it is also about the human spirit, courage and thirst for freedom. Yeonmi tells us about her escape from North Korea to China by crossing the frozen Yalu river, struggle to survive in China and nearly died while crossing the frigid Gobi desert to South Korea. 

This is a wonderful book that makes me feel thankful for having as much food as I want, being able to live wherever I want, not having to live in fear everyday and many other things that I have taken granted.

Get In Order to Live: A North Korean Girl’s Journey to Freedom by Park Yeonmi.