Books I enjoyed in 2018

Here are nonfiction books I enjoyed reading in 2018 (more precisely, these are books I read during the second part of 2017 through 2018). Not all of these books were released this year, although most them are 2018 releases. I read many of these using Apple Books on my iPad but I’ve also gotten back to scouring thrift stores and used bookstores (where I’ve gotten some amazing bargains this year).

My wife and I have taken several trips to China over the last few years, and along the way I’ve enjoyed several books that I list below:

  • The China Questions: Critical Insights into a Rising Power – This highly readable collection of essays is truly an essential resource.
  • Continue reading “Books I enjoyed in 2018”

    Hong Kong 2016

    We just spent the past week in Hong Kong and below are some tweets from our trip. The weather was perfect – the temperature was just right. Their metro/train system is world class and easy to use and navigate. I’m looking to returning soon!

    Wan Chai

    We stayed in the vibrant Wan Chai district which among other things, has a very active market scene. This is a typical evening just off of the Wan Chai market, and right on Wan Chai road itself:

    Strata NYC 2016 is next week

    Complete schedule is HERE.

    Beijing Restaurants: Strata 2016

    Here’s a partial list of the many memorable restaurants we visited in Beijing during the week of Strata 2016:

    Tricycle Diaries

    On a recent visit to the Philippines, I found myself gawking at two iconic modes of (public) transportation, the tricycle and the jeepney. They remain major sources of gridlock, chaos, and pollution, and many local residents would love to see them banned from the streets of Metro Manila. I doubt that will happen anytime soon, as they remain a cheap mode of public transportation, for a city lacking alternatives – save for a train system that doesn’t really cover large swaths of the metropolis. (For a good overview of traffic in Metro Manila, see this recent Economist article.)


    Hanging on to Jeepneys in the manner above, is technically illegal (citation + fine) but it doesn’t seem to deter passengers much. Apparently people indulge in an even riskier practice with tricycles (also illegal). The photos below were taken while I was an Uber passenger in cars trailing these tricycles:


    While most tricycles are motorized, many in the Intramuros and “Old Manila” area were pedal powered:


    Jeepney (“the king of the road”)

    The Jeepney as a “school bus”:

    Packed Jeepney, and it’s not even rush hour:

    Kuala Lumpur and Malacca City

    The week before Strata+Hadoop World in Singapore, we snuck up the Malaysia for a quick vacation. The food in Malaysia – particularly at hawker (food) courts – was outstanding. We stayed in Petaling Jaya (“PJ”) an area that young professionals and families seem to favor. Below are some highlights:

    Selena Malam SS2 Food Court

    Wong Ah Wah (or W.A.W.) on Jalan Alor street – the chicken wings are simply amazing:

    Other things worth noting: We enjoyed the bird park and the Islamic Arts Museum of Malaysia.

    Malacca City

    Restoran Asam Pedas Selera Kampung

    Restoran Ole Sayang Sdn. Bhd.

    Kopi Luwak (we found a distributor who carried the wild/”free range” variety)