This time around, I want to talk about books. Particularly about titles that I read in 2011 that are worth some reviews; I reckon too much of FingerTec talk sometimes could bore the audiences.
Last year, I bought about 100 books in total and a few eBooks from Kobo and not counting my magazine subscriptions. Some books are for references; some are trashed after a few chapters, and only 30 or so that I read cover to cover. Here I introduce a few English books that I like.
1. MacroWikinomics: Rebooting Business and The World - Don Tapscott and Anthony D. Williams
Tapscott is a thought leader in digital world. This MacroWikinomics should be an extension of his observation for mass collaboration, in a larger scale after the published of Wikinomics in 2006. In this book, he gives some true examples on how MacroWikinomics happened in business, government and civil society.
2. A World Without Islam - Graham E. Fuller
This book is NOT about criticizing Islam. In fact it concluded that the global confrontations wouldn’t be lesser if the world is without Islam. Fuller, a former vice chairman of the National Intelligence Council at the CIA gives a lot of analysis and proofs that the conflicts and tensions that exist between the West and the East are geopolitically mounted, rather than caused by religious origins. The discussions are not confined to Islam only; in relation to Islam, it broadly covers the Christianity, cultural, politics, economic, history and more.
3. Steve Jobs - Walter Isaacton
I don’t prefer celebrity biographies, and I hardly buy or read any memoir. But this was an exception to me. We are in an IT-related business and a person like Steve Jobs is such a legend that the details of his life are worth a look at.
4. The Takeover - Stephen Frey
I bought this book in a second-hand bookstore. I have a few books of Stephen Frey, some I finished and some I discarded half way. My last purchase, Hell’s Gate unfortunately felt in the latter category. This one so far I think is his best. If you want business world’s thriller, this is it.
5. Fall of Giants - Ken Follet
I have a full collection of Ken Follet’s books. This is the first book of his trilogy about the change of the major world powers before and after the World War 1, written in a style that gives it a lot more fun than a history book. I would definitely consider getting his second installment due this coming September.
6. The White Tiger - Aravind Adiga
This is Aravind Adiga’s debut novel that won him a Booker Prize. I bought the book, expecting some surprises to be in store and it didn't disappoint. I must say that I enjoy books written by Indian writers, especially one like Rohinton Misty who beautifully and powerfully depicts the harsh life in India.
Aravind’s White Tiger novel has a more comical feel. The low-life chauffeur turned “social entrepreneur” tells his own story, justifying his crime, and at the same time, revealing the rampant corruption that has eroded the Indian democracy system.
7. The Fear Index - Robert Harris
In my view, I found Ghost Writer more interesting in film rather than a read, but nevertheless, Robert Harris is still one of my favorite writers. His latest work, The Fear Index, is a combination of technological, financial and psychological fiction, which brings an interesting and creative turn to the book.
His ancient Rome trilogy, based on the tale of Cicero’s slave secretary, Tiro, is another intriguing piece although it seems like Robert Harris has totally forgotten his mission to complete the trilogy - after the publication of Imperium and Lustrum, I, for one, have been eagerly awaiting for news of the third and final part.
8. Animal Farm - George Orwell
We all know George Orwell because of his classical 1984, which was first published in 1948, the famous prophetic haunting tale about the “Thought Police” and the “Big Brother”. This novel was first published in 1946; and I bought the digital copy, as the printed copy is a rare in major bookstores. Both Animal Farm and 1984 criticize totalitarianism, and the author uses animals as characters in his Animal Farm.
by Teh Hon Seng, CEO, FingerTec HQ