Thursday, December 31, 2020

Be Water, My Friend: The Teachings of Bruce Lee by Shannon Lee

"Empty your mind; be formless, shapeless like water."

One of my favorite reads this year, this book was everything I hoped it would be. I expected to learn so much from the daughter of one of the greatest martial artists of all time, and Shannon Lee delivered in her own words and through the aphorisms, maxims, and proverbial words of wisdom imparted by her father, the great Bruce Lee. 

In Be Water, My Friends the author shares countless insights to her father's way of life. Lee reveals shards of truth about Bruce Lee's philosophies and teachings. She relates our lives to the quotable words of an icon. And throughout the book, we learn that being like water allows us to act in a fluid manner that is necessary to live a fulfilling life. Water is natural and powerful. It is form-filling. It's movement is logical yet free. 

Check it out on GoodReads

Buy it on Amazon.

The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming by David Wallace-Wells

The dangers of climate change are coming sooner than you think. If you're reading this post right now, you'll probably still be alive when some of the worst imaginable things could come to fruition. Come on, you've already felt the affects. Don't be naive. Just accept the fact that it's coming. But do your best to contribute to mitigating the factors.

Climate change will impact every aspect of our lives. It will distort the pictures in our minds of a world that once was, and stories told to our children will seem fairy-tale-like. 

This book, The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming, is a flavor for what's to come. It might seem extreme and the numbers may come off as hyperbole, but make no mistake, if we continue on the path we are on, life could be a living nightmare. 

Check it out on GoodReads.

Buy it on Amazon.

Thursday, December 10, 2020

The Making of Asian America: A History by Erika Lee

My favorite book of the year, The Making of Asian America: A History, was an easy and impactful read about our history, one that I'm certain not many people know anything about. Because the reality is that Asians and Asian Americans have been left out of the US history books and teachings in school. I, for certain, was not educated in the least bit during my high school career about the importance and significance of Asians in America. For all intents and purposes, it should be said that much of America, American culture, and the standards that this country flourishes upon are grounded in what Asians and Asian Americans lived and died by and for throughout this nation's history. And it's not just the United States. Asians have had profound impact in both North and South America. I bet you didn't know that. 

From railroads to laundromats, from the slave trade to indentured servitude, from healthcare to politics, from food and culture to standards of daily living... Asians have had meaningful, noteworthy impact. And you may not even realize it. 

And because of the way history is taught in school, you may never even know how deeply you have been affected by the struggle, survival, effectiveness, and diligence of the people of these ethnic origins. 

Thank you, Erika Lee, for opening my mind to a history and a future that matters.

Read this book!

Check it out on GoodReads.

Buy it on Amazon.

This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate by Naomi Klein


Through 2014, this is certainly the word I'd use to describe the way this book was written. This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate examines seemingly almost every aspect of climate change. Naomi Klein's research is extensive and global. The causes, effects, potential, the conflicts, possible solutions, the ideas and failure, the who / what / where / when / why if everything that climate change touches is addressed in her writing. She even gets personal, and that's the most heart-wrenching part. Because it's easy to see climate change as an existential crisis, it's easy to just set it aside in your everyday life. But once it hits you, once you're affected and cannot avoid the direct impact and parallels, your personal life will never be the same. 

I loved this book for how it addressed everything that I ever thought about and more about climate change. The exposure to different lines of thought and possible outcomes was insightful and sometimes anger-inducing. 

And after reading it all, if someone remains unconvinced that climate change is real and that actions need to be taken, then that person is unfortunately delusional. For me, this was further proof and knowledge about the goings-on of climate change. And I wonder what Klein would add to this since 2014. Obviously many things have changed, and more change is coming in 2021 with a brighter outlooks. I'm anxious to see how climate change and our reactions will guide our future. 

Check it out on GoodReads.

Buy it on Amazon

The First Phone Call from Heaven by Mitch Albom

Every once in a while I have to read some fiction to change up my mindset, refresh, and try to keep some level of my imagination in use. If anything, it's a good way to not be so serious all the time. It allows my brain to relax. 

But in this book, The First Phone Call from Heaven, strangely enough, the topic at hand was pretty heavy in mind and heart. The novel calls to our attention the age old ponderings of the afterlife. Without any kind of understanding of life after death, the mystery continues to confound us all. 

There are a number of main characters whom we all follow to some extent, each of them having a seeming connection to a loved one or related person who has passed. Those connections were established and developed through a series of phone calls from the dead. It becomes a phenomenon to be watched and debated by the religious and non-religious alike. But are these phone calls real? 

Do you believe in life after death? 

This story makes you examine your own hopes, dreams, and beliefs. But no matter how you conclude on matters of the afterlife, that reality remains totally unknown. And maybe that's the way it should continue to be.

Check it out on GoodReads.

Buy it on Amazon.