Spell or High Water

I made a promise to myself late last year that I would read at least one book a month. Part of the motivation for reading more came from seeking inspiration for my own writing. Another part came from desiring “me time” for which I wouldn’t feel the same kind of guilt-ridden angst as watching TV or playing video games. For the most part, I’d say I’ve been pretty successful. And the variety of books has been thoroughly enjoyable too.

Practical Business Advice

In How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big, Dilbert creator Scott Adams describes some of the tremendous failures he has endured over the course of his career. You may or may not know that Adams actually got his start with a cubicle job not unlike that of his creation. This book was valuable from a business perspective, as it really helped to illustrate the mindset you need to succeed.

The Immigrant Family Experience

You might remember when I highlighted Listen to the Squawking Chicken by Lainey Gossip’s Elaine Lui in a Sunday Snippet back in July. Before I started reading this, I went in with the expectation of a stereotypical Chinese-Canadian family with a nagging mother. What I got instead was a heartbreaking tale of a lonely and broken woman who really tried to mean well. It’s still a light read with a few good chuckles.

When I first heard that Eddie Huang was putting out a second book, I was stoked. I really enjoyed Fresh Off the Boat, since I could really identify with what it meant to be a Westernized Asian kid growing up in the 90s. Unfortunately, Double Cup Love didn’t quite pack the same kind of punch. It’s supposed to be about his trip back to Chengdu to explore his roots, but it’s really more of a sappy love story that feels emptier by comparison. I was surprised by how much his brothers Evan and Emery had changed though.

The Magic 2.0 of Geekdom

While I write exclusively in non-fiction, I do enjoy reading fiction as an escape. That’s why I liked Ready Player One so much. When I asked my friends for something similar, they recommended Off to Be the Wizard by Scott Meyer. It’s about a young man who discovers our world is really just an elaborate computer program and he hacks the code to send himself back to Medieval England where he encounters many other “wizards” who similarly manipulate the code. It’s geeky and fun. It also contains some nuggets of wisdom alongside the nerd culture references.

Since I enjoyed Off to Be the Wizard so much, I am now in the process of reading the second book in the series, Spell or High Water. The saga of our protagonist continues, except now he’s traveling over to Atlantis where all the “magical” women have gone. Thus far, the story is far weirder; it involves more complex time travel paradoxes. There’s a third book in the series too, which I’ll likely read at some point too.

I’ve still got quite an extensive collection of books to get through, but is there anything you’ve read lately that you’d glowingly recommend?