6 awesome books for the spring

Reading has been my leisure pursuit since I was a high school student. However, it took me almost the same amount of time until I recently came up with the idea of sharing my book list. To me, sharing information and experiences is giving and caring. Sharing books is even more special since reading is learning from the most updated, well-organized sources of information.


Elon Musk, by Ashlee Vance. Narrating in chronological order, Ashlee did a sterling job on assembling Musk’s multi-company stories into a smooth flow. Musk is an epitome of a modern futuristic entrepreneur running several multimillion-dollar businesses. I did not expect someone could put his overlapping developments into good shape, but Ashlee did a decent job mapping story from PayPal to Tesla, SpaceX, and SolarCity. Musk is truly shaping our world according to his dream and imagination. I am inspired by Musk’s harsh personality and incredible determination to strive though many on-the-edge bankruptcies, strenuous efforts to stay still on the top of three futuristic, yet risky and controversial companies. The book promisingly gives a tremendous motivation to the young entrepreneurial spirit within you.

Impressive episode: Getting repulsed by Russian old rocket providers did little to curtail Mask’s vision for the future and doubt his capability. In the mid of the chaos of finding a starting point for his rocket dream, Musk decided to build things from scratch. It sounds like an idiotic thought of an eccentric fresh-blood single man. This kind of mission had remained impossible without the help of international companies such as Boeing or governments with ample resources. Musk did it. Not only to SpaceX’s rockets but also to Tesla’s cars did he implement in-house manufacturing with the principle of minimizing outsourcing. The A to Z principle seems unattainable for many but Musk in most real-world cases. I name it “If someone doesn’t give you things you need, go get it yourselves.”

We Were Soldiers Once… And Young, by Harold G. Moore and Joseph L. Galloway. While it is common nowadays that states are educating their youngsters in favor of nationalism and insularity, grasping the objective idea is notable for one to not be blind to some’s ideas. Since I am from Vietnam and suppose Vietnamese expose to same educated reality, it is a fair chance to sympathetically look at the soldiers, of both sides, under the same umbrella of a ferocious and relentless war. Four days in nearly 450 pages, Moore and Galloway will give you an in-depth look into the dark heart of war and bring you through diverse miscellaneous sensations of love, hate, self-sacrifice, terror, disgust, and exhilaration.

Impressive episode: In the Ia Drang battle specifically and all Vietnam-America warfare generally, NVA troops always outnumbered American’s, yet were inferior to the enemy’s rifle, machine gun, B-52 strikes, and aerial rockets. A number of moments NVA troops are depicted laughing recklessly, running down the hill and pointing their small-arms without shooting. Their silly action did not save them from death. The counterpart recognized this, but there was no place for sympathy. War is brutal.

The Industries of the Future, by Alec Ross. My best-loved book of this season. I think Alec is one of the rare authors in the present tumultuous world who can spot the patterns within and grant us a reliable guide to the future. There are six sections in the books associated with crucial predictions to the future. This book is a showcase of the latest innovations such as codified money, cybernetics, and genomics which I personally have never encountered. I believe most of the inventions mentioned in the book though are not every-day matter, will be a matter of the future. I got a better vision for my future and the world’s; so will you.

Sapiens, A brief history of humankind, by Yuval Noah Harari. This is my first book of Yuval, but I fell in love with his writing in a second. It is like an encyclopedia of 2.5 million years of mankind’s history. I found many profound concepts such as legal fiction, inter-subjective, entrepreneur’s dilemma or singularity used to analyze hidden patterns of the human revolution. Sapiens offers constructive justifications for understanding the covert code of human and thinking about troubles we are encountering. Also, the book is in chronological order, yet includes subsections where Yuval goes into more details and decodes what you will find thrilling.

Impressive episode: The Hammurabi’s Code, the documentation of the legal system of the Babylonian Empire defining what is justice and how the social order should function. Many laws written there sounds interesting to modern us. One is written: “If a superior man strikes a woman of superior class and thereby causes her to miscarry her fetus, he shall weigh and deliver ten shekels of silver for her fetus.” Many more will shake your understanding of the world.

Never Let Me Go, by Kazuo Ishiguro. I initially chose his book because he became a Nobel author in 2017, and it did not disappoint me. Cloning is a tricky topic not so many authors successfully made a good fictional book out of it; however, Kazuo Ishiguro has raised moral lesson of how young people make their way to live out of what they are offered. Meanwhile, though Kazuo Ishiguro is a British author, Never Let Me Go is at a slow pace which I often see in the common Japanese style of writing. I have no idea why, but I stopped at the mid of the book and move to its movie version since the first haft of the book is pretty descriptive (It may happen to those fans of thrilling detective novels such as Dan Brown’s ones like me). Anyway, the emotive film melted my heart and gave me the motivation to finish the book.

Impressive episode: The book left me in a subtle mood. I started having a question of what I am doing and where I am going. Am I walking on a fixed route made out of whatever on offer? The story is about cloning and being cloned, but it is not eerie. It makes me want to try screaming, partying, having sex, etc. I might wake up a morning bursting into tears and regretting of what I could have been.

Bad Blood by John Carreyrou. A thrilling real-world example of Silicon Valley’s modern startup behind who clandestine secrets pushed its failed invention to 9 billion-dollar estimated value. This is my first non-fiction startup book I found related materials on Youtube. I often checked what the book narrates with recorded interviews, pictures and TV channels and they never stopped surprising me because of Elizabeth’s (the company’s CEO) charisma and unique self-confidence. The story is so authentic that I don’t want to reveal the plot in details; you should read yourselves enjoy multibillion-dollar tricks, lies, and deception. It is an open-eyes story who I had never believe happened. Highly recommended to people curious about the dark side behind lucrative Silicon Valley and young entrepreneurs to avoid falling in the same trap of mind.