Book of the Week 11: Made To Stick

Two superheroes, two teams, fighting each other to the death. Each superhero has firm beliefs in what they are fighting for. There is no true villain. Who do you cheer for?

Captain America: Civil War is such a great movie thanks to not only its great writing and humor, but also to the principles in this book.

Every day I’m constantly thinking about ideation. What makes ideas creative? What makes ideas survive for years? What makes ideas bad? After reading through this book, you’ll see not only how Civil War became such a great hit but also just how easy spotting a great idea really is, once you’re exposed to the concepts in this book. Let’s check it out.

Disclaimer: I’ll be using this superhero blockbuster as my example throughout this post, and while I’ll try to hold back on spoilers, some details may spill just enough to ruin it for you. You’ve been warned!


69242Rating: 5/5

Verdict: Clearly the authors took their own advice into making this book such a success.

SUCCESS – if you could only remember one word from this book, it would be this. Chip and Dan Heath establish the six key qualities of ideas that truly last: simple, unexpected, concrete, credible, emotional, and stories. Add an extra ‘s’ for good luck and you get “success.” Each principle explained below:

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Book of the Week 10: When Breath Becomes Air

You’re constantly pushing yourself to be the best you can be, every day. You go to the gym when you could have gone straight home to unwind on Netflix right away. You put in that extra hour studying for the exam. You’ve been doing this for years, your entire life, just to reach your greatest goal.

And in an instant, everything you’ve worked so hard for gets taken away.

A book unlike my previous reviews, usually in self-help or business, this quick memoir of a neurosurgeon easily became a bestseller during its release early this year, claiming a solid 4.37/5 rating on Goodreads with over 24,000 ratings. After spotting this book in a Barnes and Noble and looking up its stats, I decided to give this a shot, and oh was it so worthwhile.


25614898Rating: 5/5

Verdict: Quick, impactful memoir providing a rare perspective on insights in the medical field, in life and death, in chasing your passions, and in forming meaningful relationships with everyone you meet. Absolutely emotional in every regard.

Paul Kalanithi loved the little intricacies in the laws of science, particularly in how the brain works and how it’s able to enable every action we perform. He equally loved the world of literature as it provides access to human meaning and brings the aforementioned laws of science into communion.

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Book of the Week 9: Soft Skills: The software developer’s life manual

This (insert length of time not being a week)’s book features a well-rounded approach to life… specifically for software developers. I’m in the software field (and just starting out too so what better time!), I read, and I’m striving for a balanced life, so of course the sheer title of this book caught my eye!


23232941Rating: 3/5

Verdict: Lots of useful points throughout the book, but too broad and too introductory.

John Sonmez has quite a resume. Aside from being a developer, he dived into the realms of bodybuilding competitions, real estate, online course content creation, and writing – both in blogging and in this book. While he doesn’t brag about these achievements in the beginning or on the cover to attract your immediate attention, you see him bringing up these chapters of his life as he gives himself credibility to this holistic message. If you’re a software developer and you could only read one book in your life, this would probably be it.

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Book of the Week 8: Pour Your Heart Into It

An exciting business memoir yet still an easy read about the origins of Starbucks. Just gonna jump into it.


626601Rating: 5/5

Verdict: Fantastic read for anyone, really: future CEOs, anyone in the business industry, for those who are interested in the history of Starbucks, or for those who simply want to better themselves.

CEO and author Howard Schultz talks about a myriad of life situations that had shaped Starbucks into what it is today. This book is seriously a gold mine; I’ll have to reread this book soon to make sure I truly get everything downloaded.

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Smash in the Northeast 1/3: New Jersey

On the first weekend of this month, I had the wonderful opportunity of visiting the east coast for the first time!

I had signed up for an international Super Smash Bros tournament (and if you’ve been following for a while, this isn’t new haha) in New Jersey, but having flown into Newark I also took advantage of exploring New York for my first time as well. In this post, I’ll be writing up about the tournament, as well as the places I checked out within a mere three days.

New Jersey

Day one always takes a huge toll on me. I always end up taking a red-eye if the flight is long enough, this case definitely so being a nonstop flight from San Diego so almost 6 hours. Sleep on the plane is always iffy so I never leave completely rested, but I surprisingly got better rest than most of my other red-eyes. The key to the best rest you can possibly get includes the following: a neck pillow, ear muffs/plugs, and an eye mask. The entire set may cost quite a bit, but it is definitely worthwhile, especially in the long run if you travel often.

No matter how sleep deprived I am however, the sheer fact that I’m in a foreign land for the first time gives me the second wind I need to keep going. And this trip definitely did not disappoint!

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Smash in the Northeast 2/3: New York

On the first weekend of this month, I had the wonderful opportunity of visiting the east coast for the first time!

I had signed up for an international Super Smash Bros tournament (and if you’ve been following for a while, this isn’t new haha) in New Jersey, but having flown into Newark I also took advantage of exploring New York for my first time as well. In this post, I’ll be writing up about the tournament, as well as the places I checked out within a mere three days.

New York

What makes New York so special? The “Big Apple” brings in so many people from across world… why? From Broadway to Wall Street to the Metropolitan, there’s so many things to do, places to see, cultures to explore, for anyone and everyone. Everything is within walking distance, and the energy within New York City is so alive!

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Smash in the Northeast 3/3: The Tournament

On the first weekend of this month, I had the wonderful opportunity of visiting the east coast for the first time!

I had signed up for an international Super Smash Bros tournament (and if you’ve been following for a while, this isn’t new haha) in New Jersey, but having flown into Newark I also took advantage of exploring New York for my first time as well. In this post, I’ll be writing up about the tournament, as well as the places I checked out within a mere three days.

The Smash Tournament

This tournament, “Shots Fired,” marks my fifth (inter)national Super Smash Bros. tournament, so I was finally getting confident with placing well this time, at least top 32 out of about 162.

When I was dropped off by my Uber driver to the location, it seemed as if I had the wrong location. There weren’t many cars in the parking lot, and Google said that this building belonged to a technology corporation called Sita Corp. I walk in, and it completely looks like a professional office building, but with pieces of paper along the walls saying “SMASH” with arrows. It felt completely sketchy. A few others were walking around with a similarly confused look on their faces. I arrive there in a separate room however and all is good!

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