All posts by BooksAvenue

BooksAvenue is an online company bringing literature closer to people. This project is started by 2 Singaporean book lovers, Adam and Alexa, rendering a service to the global reading community. Started in February 2012, the 2 founders strive hard to materialise this dream, bringing people closer to literature and art. In partnership with publishers and e-commerce sites, BooksAvenue brings promotion and deals for readers.

Superfreakonomics – Steven D. Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner

buy1

 

The New York Times best-selling Freakonomics was a worldwide sensation, selling over four million copies in thirty-five languages and changing the way we look at the world. Now, Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner return with SuperFreakonomics, and fans and newcomers alike will find that the freakquel is even bolder, funnier, and more surprising than the first.

Four years in the making, SuperFreakonomics asks not only the tough questions, but the unexpected ones: What’s more dangerous, driving drunk or walking drunk? Why is chemotherapy prescribed so often if it’s so ineffective? Can a sex change boost your salary?

SuperFreakonomics challenges the way we think all over again, exploring the hidden side of everything with such questions as:

  1. How is a street prostitute like a department-store Santa?
  2. Why are doctors so bad at washing their hands?
  3. How much good do car seats do?
  4. What’s the best way to catch a terrorist?
  5. Did TV cause a rise in crime?
  6. What do hurricanes, heart attacks, and highway deaths have in common?
  7. Are people hard-wired for altruism or selfishness?
  8. Can eating kangaroo save the planet?
  9. Which adds more value: a pimp or a Realtor?

Levitt and Dubner mix smart thinking and great storytelling like no one else, whether investigating a solution to global warming or explaining why the price of oral sex has fallen so drastically. By examining how people respond to incentives, they show the world for what it really is – good, bad, ugly, and, in the final analysis, super freaky.

Freakonomics has been imitated many times over – but only now, with SuperFreakonomics, has it met its match.

When Breath Becomes Air

buy1
Originally published: January 12, 2016
Page count: 231 pages (Paperback)
Publisher: Random House; 1 edition (January 12, 2016)
Subjects: Biography
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0812988418
ISBN-13: 978-0812988413
Product Dimensions: Kindle eBook available

100 Word Book Review:

A doleful recount of Paul Kalanithi, a neurosurgeon’s last surviving years, the sudden transition of role from being a doctor treating the dying, to becoming the dying patient himself. As he wrote, “by the question of what, given that all organisms die, makes a virtuous and meaningful life” into a neurosurgeon at Stanford working in the brain, the most critical place for human identity, and finally into a patient and new father confronting his own mortality. In the face of death, Paul went about the preparations, reflecting on choices, goals, his infant daughter and the continuity after his departure.

Who should read:

If you are looking for a deeper meaning of life, a serious view on the perpetual continuity in the face of death, reading this book may help to align your goals and seek what your answer to your question may be. It is a very practical book exploring the last days and months of a dying patient, who happens to be a doctor too.

Overall it is a good book exploring the feelings, emotions and the process of being sick, the pratical roles of doctor and patient. It is sad, yet beautiful. Bittersweet.

Who should NOT read:

On the contrary, if you are looking for some happy ending, some ‘everything is awesome regardless so’ theme of biography, do not try this book. It is sombre and serious in general even though the author has written in light humor, looking at daily things from amusing perspectives.

Takeaway points:

Life is simple, life is short for some. Sometimes things that are fated to be. No science, religion or philosophy can alter the course of fate. If it is meant to be, it is meant to be. Regardless how science have advanced and may cure the most deadly disease, it is a little beyond what even the best doctor can do.

About the Author

PAUL KALANITHI was a neurosurgeon and writer. He graduated from Stanford with a B.A. and M.A. in English literature and a B.A. in human biology. He earned an M.Phil in the history and philosophy of science and medicine from Cambridge and graduated cum laude from the Yale School of Medicine, where he was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha national medical honor society. He returned to Stanford to complete his residency training in neurological surgery and a postdoctoral fellowship in neuroscience, and received the American Academy of Neurological Surgery’s highest award for resident research. He died in March 2015. He is survived by his family, including his wife Lucy, and their daughter Elizabeth Acadia.

How to Book Swap for FREE in Singapore

We book lovers have a problem. A big problem.

We have a lot of books, but we still want more books. However at limited resources, it’s either constrained storage spaces, or insufficient funds to buy more books.

The only solution?

Book swapping with other readers to exchange and switch books. And that’s how BooksAvenue has been providing a simple platform to match book swappers.


First click on this link: https://t.me/booksavenuebookswapsg

After clicking the link, you should see this page on your browser like this:

Then click on View Group, and then Join.

Alternatively, you can search for @booksavenuebookswapsg within the Telegram app on your mobile. You should see the same icon like this:

The group just started very recently. Feel free to share with others to gather more people with the same interest.

Bird Box: A Novel Kindle Edition

Bird Box: A Novel

buy1
Originally published: May 13, 2014
Authors: Josh Malerman
Page count: 305 pages (Kindle)
Publisher: Ecco; Reprint edition
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0007529872
ISBN-13: 978-0-00-752987-2
Product Dimensions: Kindle

100 Word Book Review:

Imagine one day ‘something’ terrible appears out of nowhere and wiped out almost everybody. No one knows how this ‘something’ spreads or how it kills, much less how to prevent it. One glance and the victim falls into suicidal behaviour instantly, desperately seeking to end life. There is no vaccination, no cure, nor understanding of its transmission. Over time, some survivors learnt to live and avoid the plague. Malorie and her 2 young children need to relocate and reach the community which has promised them safety and food. Can she cross the white water river safely while being blinded-folded?

Who should read:

Readers who are seeking adventure and science-fiction fantasy. This kindle editon provides exactly just that. Though the novel tries to be as realistic as possible, it is rather unrealistic to be doing obstacle course while being blind-folded. Or perhaps with years of training, it is possible to do so?

Who should NOT read:

For those who are expecting some explainations or visual image of that ‘something’ will be sorely disappointed.

Takeaway points:

Both exciting and daunting to know that something formless and shapeless can cause so much damage to humanity. If this was to be based on true events, it is highly likely human population will be reduced by 80%. I kid you not!

Chan Heart, Chan Mind

Chan Heart, Chan Mind: A Meditation on Serenity and Growth

buy1
Originally published: 8 March 2016
Authors: Master Guojun (Author), Kenneth Wapner (Editor)
Page count: 176 pages (Paperback)
Publisher: Wisdom Publications
Subjects: Philosophy, Religon
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1614292620
ISBN-13: 978-1614292623
Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.6 x 8 inches

100 Word Book Review:

Master Guojun narrates his life with his ordination master, Master Songnian to Chan Master Sheng Yen, documenting the major memories and lessons from his apprenticeship to being the present abbot of Mahabodhi Temple, Singapore. Each contemporary master has his own way of teaching and sharing. Through these experiences, he shares and educates readers basic Buddhism concepts, how simple things hold great meanings. A change in perspectives unfolds insights into the basic things performed in life. In the age of technology and instant gratification, Master Gunjun illustrates how Buddhism is a life philosophy, adaptable yet unbending, applicable to any situations.

Who should read:

Readers who are keen and curious of Buddhism, or interested to know how the daily life of a monk. Master Guojun keeps the narration simple in order to deliver the clearest message. Though this book, readers realise that some things in life is so much easier than it looks. And many of the times in life, it is the mentality and perspectives that complicates things, resulting in frustrations.

Who should NOT read:

For readers who are expecting a deeper and advanced explaination of Buddhism, this book will not be the right title. The book intends to bring forth an introduction to the uninitiated.

Takeaway points:

Life is simple, fall back to basics. Unhappiness, frustrations, anger, and all the negative emotions are unnecessary. It arises from inflexible perspectives which narrows the mind resulting in complications. To see is to not to see. Many things are not be viewed as its form itself.

About the Author

Mother’s Love

What is Mother’s love?

A search on Google derives the following statement from Helen Steiner Rice:

A Mother’s love is something that no one can explain, It is made of deep devotion and of sacrifice and pain, It is endless and unselfish and enduring come what may. For nothing can destroy it or take that love away—Helen Steiner Rice.

This is something not as simple as a sentence or two. Surely not an element or a simple emotion, a feeling that derives from the given relationship by birth. It is more than just platonic selfless care and concern for another’s well being, possibly even at the cost of caregiver’s expense and safety.

Is it an obligation due to the arrival of a new life? Or a conscripted responsibility which is out of will? From the spectrum of logic, I do not think so and certainly not. Ever.

18th Nov this year on a peaceful glorious morning, a little prince is born. A magical event to witness the beginning of life, the start of another chapter in life, surely another significant milestone to be marked and more exciting times ahead. Even before the arrival of the baby prince, daddy and mummy have committed and promised each other to give only the best to ensure his growth and well being.

That commitment and decision is the epitome of mother’s love.

And that prince? He is my son.

Promo Code for Pilot Pens

If you are a fan of Pilot pens, BooksAvenue has some good news for you!

We have the promo code and through the link below, you will have 20% off.

This is the time to load up your writing materials and reduce your costs. Make sure after you bought the pens, place it in cool dry place for maximum storage life for the pen.

Click below:

Save 20.0% on select products from Pilot with promo code, through 1/31 while supplies last.

Voices from Chernobyl: The Oral History of a Nuclear Disaster

Voices From Chernobyl: The Oral History of a Nuclear Disaster

buy1
Originally published: 1997
Original title: Чернобыльская молитва
Page count: 256 pages (Paperback)
Publisher: Picador; 1 edition (April 18, 2006)
Subjects: Political Science
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0312425848
ISBN-13: 978-0312425845
Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches

Awards: National Book Critics Circle Award for General Nonfiction

100 Word Book Review:

An extremely depressing and devasting book that compiles 500 eyewitnesses, including firefighters, rescuers, cleanup crews, politicians, physicians, physicists and ordinary citizens over a period of 10 years. The author has effectively captured the details of misery, confusion and misinformation on the effects of radiation from the terrible disaster. From the narrations from various parties, it gives different experience and perspectives through the victims/survivors’ eyes. It is clear at that point of time that there was a horrible lack of information of radiation effects on humans. Lives were lost right after the explosion, and many, many, more after that.

Who should read:

Survivors who went through physical and mental hardships. People who been through crisis and fels that the world is ending. This books explores the though process of depression, survival and recovery. The possible things that can be done, and should be done for a gradual recovery.

Who should NOT read:

Readers who are expecting a happy story, should avoid this book at all costs! It documents the sufferings of the affected, the physical and mental torments and injuries due to radiation burns, and the lack of knowledge to handle radiation. There is no way it can be a happy story, no matter how the author writes it. It is indeed sad and depressing.

Takeaway points:

Science brings the best, and the worst to mankind. Knowledge is of paramount importance to ensure survival.

The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho

The Alchemist -  Paulo Coelho
The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho (Full View)
The Alchemist -  Paulo Coelho
The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho (Page view)

The Alchemist

buy1

Originally published: April 15, 2014
Original Title: The Alchemist
Author: Paulo Coelho (Author)
Page count: 208 pages
Publisher: HarperOne; Anniversary edition
Genre: Fiction
Language: English
ISBN-13: 978-0062315007
Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.1 x 0.8 inches

100 Word Book Review:

A story is about an Andalusian shepherd boy, Santiago who travels from Spain to the Egyptian desert in search of a treasure buried in the Pyramids. Along the way he meets a Gypsy woman, a man who calls himself king, and an alchemist, all points Santiago in the direction of his quest. Nobody knows what the treasure is, or if Santiago will be able to surmount the obstacles, resulting in the discovery of the treasure. Lush, evocative, and deeply humane story that is an eternal testament to the transformative power of our dreams, the importance of listening to our hearts.

Who Should Read it:

Readers who are lost in their lives, wandering aimlessly for a goal and a purpose in life. Each day is a fighting chance to strive and achieve for progression and advancement in all areas of life. The reason to fight may be directly for the end result, a cause for celebration and such. Yet a majority fails to see that when we follow our hearts, we may receive things that are much more dazzling and unexpected than what we set out for. That is what this book is trying to share with everyone, and to remind that our dreams are so much greater when we realise it.

Who Should Not Read it:

For those who are in the mood to read something serious and practical, this book is certainly not the right title. Even so, some fiction story delivers good, close to reality examples to be applicable to daily life. Certainly not this book.

Takeaway point:

Dreams are what motivate us to move and progress in life. The importance of fulfiling dreams may seem neither realistic nor practical. Only by realising it, dreams may yield so much more than we initially imagined.

Altruism

Six degrees of separation is the idea that all living things and everything else in the world are six or fewer steps away from each other so that a chain of “a friend of a friend” statements can be made to connect any two people in a maximum of six steps. It was originally set out by Frigyes Karinthy in 1929 and popularized in an eponymous 1990 playwritten by John Guare.

Now with this chain of friends and acquaintance, consider the effect and repercussions of positive actions done for your friends and the people around you. It forms a happy environment, producing positive energy that will pulse thought the network of connected friends and beyond.

If we all can help each other without expectations of direct benefit or renumeration, the world will be a much, much better place.

This brings up the topic of Altruism, which is disinterested and selfless concern for the well-being of others. A good example is one who may choose to work with vulnerable elderly people out of altruism, probably at one’s expense.

A glass of water is not the same for a thirsty man and a drowning man. A donation of $100 to a homeless man is not the same as to a middle income working executive. In other words, the same help rendered might not have the same effects.

To help someone effective, it is better to ask the beneficial party directly how to help better. Social media likes and shares might bring about some forms of awareness, but the actual help is limited, and not as instaneous.

Similarly in my opinion, performing a good deed for a picture to be shared and post on social media, is not considered an altruistic action. To me, I would view it as somewhat like a “personal marketing campaign”. For personal fame and glory perhaps?

As surprising as it sounds, altruism helps to bring about a better us. It reinforces our perspective to care for people around us, creating a better place for everyone.

Try to sleep on the streets for a week, and you will know how the homeless feels like. Try to skip 3meals a day and forge for food in malls and whatnots, and you know how the hungry is experiencing it every day. The point is there are people worse off than us. We have to help to the best of our abilities to ensure that everyone around is happy. This creates happiness and peace around them, and around us too.

Do something for the homeless man around the corner, or the person in queue who is seeking coins. Help them, give them and assist them with zero expectations.

And if you are lucky, you might receive a smile brighter than sunshine.