Books

Reading books has always been an important part of my life. Despite having poor memory and constantly forget the details of many of the books that I have read, I enjoy reading new (and sometimes old) books. The topics of my reading could be quite broad, but a major part is Sci-Fi and fantasy books (especially after college).

Since I was young, I liked going to bookstores and libraries to read or just to wander around. I somehow feel calm and joy when being surrounded by lots of good books. I still go to the university library constantly whenever I feel I need a change of atmosphere, even though I mostly read e-books nowadays.

I mostly read while travelling (when I am not sketching). Most of the books I read are in Chinese, some in English and sometimes also a few in Japanese.

Books that I like

Here are a few books that I liked, listed in no particular order. Technical books and books on art or music are generally not listed here. I decided to include minimum or no comment at all as it would be a too ambitious project and hard to keep up to date.

Nonfictions

  • The Order of Time, by Carlo Rovelli. A short but insightful book about time in Physics.
  • Understanding Comics: the Invisible Art, by Scott McCloud. An indepth and interesting discussion about the evolution, categorization and essence of not only Comics, but also arts in general.
  • Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams, by Matthew Walker. A detailed book survying latest progress in research about sleep. A must-read for everybody, to understand why sufficient sleep is essential for our mental and physical development, and what could go wrong when we do not have enough sleep.
  • The Book of Why - the New Science of Cause and Effect, by Dana Mackenzie and Judea Pearl. A book on how to introduce causality into statistical science.
  • The Highly Sensitive Person, by Elaine Aron. Very long and detailed, but at least the first few chapters are very worth reading for everybody, especially if you or any of your close friends are highly sensitive person.
  • 1587, a Year of No Significance: The Ming Dynasty in Decline (万历十五年), by Ray Huang (黄仁宇).
  • The Sense of Style — the thinking person’s guide to writing in the 21st century, by Steven Pinker.
  • The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs, by Stephen L. Brusatte.

Fictions

  • The Moon and Sixpence, by W. Somerset Maugham. Biographical fiction based on the life of the artist Paul Gauguin.
  • The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet: A Novel, by Reif Larsen.
  • The Fountainhead, by Ayn Rand. The story is a bit long and idealized, but the point made is very interesting (and controversial).
  • Murder on the Orient Express, The A.B.C. Murders and And Then There Were None, etc., by Agatha Christie.
  • Romance of the Three Kingdoms (三國演義). Read many many times when I was a child.
  • Nineteen Eighty-Four and Animal Farm, by George Orwell.
  • Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There, by Lewis Carroll.
  • The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, by Arthur Conan Doyle.

Fantasy

  • A Song of Ice and Fire, ongoing series of fantasy novels by George R. R. Martin.
  • Harry Potter series, by J. K. Rowling.
  • The Dragonlance series. So far I have read Dragonlance Legends (龙枪传奇) and Dragonlance Chronicles (龙枪编年史).
  • Novoland: Traveler (九州•旅人), series by Zhan’an (斩鞍). Some other books in the Novoland (九州) universe are also good.
  • The Aspired Wings (図南の翼), by Fuyumi Ono (小野 不由美). It is one of The Twelve Kingdoms (十二国記) series. I have not read the other books in the series, but the anime created from those are very good.
  • Lord of Light, by Roger Zelazny. A mixture of steampunk, fantasy and Sci-Fi.
  • The Heaven Sword and Dragon Saber (倚天屠龙记), The Smiling, Proud Wanderer (笑傲江湖) and Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils (天龙八部), by Louis Cha Leung-yung (金庸).

Sci-Fi

  • Hyperion, by Dan Simmons. It is the 1st book of Hyperion Cantos, and I don't really like the rest of the series.
  • Ender's Game, by Orson Scott Card. My personal rank for the trilogy is III, I and then II.
  • Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, by Philip K. Dick.
  • The Three-Body Problem (三体), a trilogy by Liu Cixin. I like book II most.
  • Foundation series, by Isaac Asimov.
  • Neuromancer, by William Gibson.